If you’re into 3D printing you may have heard of a company called Ultimaker. I was lucky enough to try out their latest product the Ultimaker 3 at a library close to where I live. If you’re looking for a new 3D printer the Ultimaker 3 may be your best option, but how does it compare to other printers on the market and is it worth its hefty price tag? Well, let’s find out!
First things first the Ultimaker 3 is precise, reliable and easy to use. It’s the first of its kind to feature a printing option that allows you two print with two different colors simultaneously.
I prepared my model for printing using Cura; an application for macOS. Something great about Cura is that it displays the estimated time it will take to print your model with the settings you’ve applied. If you’re interested click here for more information on Cura!
The method for printing was really simple, all I had to do was select the printer I wanted to use, in this case, the Ultimaker 3, drag and drop the model I downloaded online and adjust the settings. You can begin printing by downloading the file onto a USB-stick as seen on the bottom right corner of the Cura application or print wirelessly using the same Wi-Fi network that your Ultimaker 3 is connected to. Something I didn’t try, however, was printing using my iPhone. The Ultimaker 3 app for iOS and Android allows users to start and monitor 3D prints from your phone. Here’s a list of what it can do:
- Connect to your local Ultimaker 3 printer
- Create prints with profiles for Nylon, PLA, ABS, CPE, PVA and more
- Slice models with our online slicing service
- Monitor progress via your printer’s integrated camera
- Remotely control your Ultimaker 3 via your phone or tablet
If your new to 3D printing here are a few links to get you started:
Keep in mind the Ultimaker 3 isn’t your only option as to 3D printing; The Ultimaker 2+ is much cheaper than than the Ultimaker 3, yet it’s still very similar in specs. For more info on Ultimaker’s products click here! If your looking for something extremely cheap (keep in-mind the quality and user-friendliness of this product won’t be good) the XYZprinting da Vinci Mini goes for only about 250 dollars.
How high of a resolution do I need?
A 3D printer extrudes successive thin layers of molten plastic in accordance with instructions coded in the file for the object being printed. For 3D printing, resolution equals layer height. Resolution is measured in microns, with a micron being 0.001mm, and the lower the number, the higher the resolution. That’s because the thinner each layer is, the more layers are needed to print any given object, and the finer the detail that can be captured. Note, however, that increasing the resolution is sort of like increasing a digital camera’s megapixel count: Although a higher resolution often helps, it doesn’t guarantee good print quality.
If you’re looking for the best 3D printer on the market the Ultimaker 3 has proven itself superior in terms of quality, user-friendliness and reliability but when it comes to savings you’ll most likely be much better off with the Ultimaker 2+. If you will it’s sort of like the Apple of all 3D printing.