3D Printer’s Interchangeable Nozzles Switch Between High Speed and High Resolution

Ultimaker launches two 3D printers at CES.

Ultimaker, a 3D printer manufacturer from Geldermalsen, Netherlands, was one of many companies launching new products at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that ran January 6-9, 2016. Dating back to 1967 and now billed as the world’s largest gathering of the leaders of consumer electronics, it’s the perfect setting to introduce a new product to the public. Ultimaker took the opportunity to unveil the new Ultimaker 2+ and Ultimaker 2 Extended+.

The Ultimaker 2+ and Ultimaker 2 Extended+. (Image courtesy of Ultimaker.)

The Ultimaker 2+ and Ultimaker 2 Extended+. (Image courtesy of Ultimaker.)

Like some of its competition, Ultimaker has built an online community around the company and its products through forums, blogs, a social media presence and a page on its website on which users can share and download 3D print files.

Jos Burger, Ultimaker CEO, explained that, “The Ultimaker 2+ and Ultimaker 2 Extended+ are results of countless collaborations and insightful feedback we have received from the Ultimaker community. Both printers feature crucial upgrades based on what our customers are looking for in a 3D printer.”

Three of the main upgrades from the predecessor Ultimaker 2 and Ultimaker 2 Extended printers are listed in a recent Ultimaker news release.

  • Interchangeable Nozzles: The ability to easily change between 0.25, 0.4, 0.6 and 0.8 mm nozzles gives the Ultimaker 2+ and Ultimaker 2 Extended+ a leg up on a lot of comparable 3D printers. A lot of print nozzles are designed so they can print both high-resolution and high-speed prints. However, you can’t always get the best of both worlds. This means you might give up a little at one end of the spectrum or the other. While it prints decently for both high-speed and high-resolution and it may be great at one or the other, usually it’s not great at both. Having the ability to swap out nozzles for the specific type of print you want is a huge advantage. This feature also makes it easier to work with multiple types of filament.
  • Geared Feeder: Most filament-based 3D printers with which I have experience use a gear within the extruder assembly itself to pull the filament through the extruder. Having a geared feeder right at the filament spool that allows you to pick the correct pressure for the specific type of filament with which you’re printing should not only make swapping out your filament easier, but should also help extend the life of the extruder itself.
  • Optimized Airflow: New fancaps help aim the airflow right below the nozzle and equally from both sides. This helps to cool the filament uniformly and to ensure constant layer thickness and adhesion.

The Ultimaker 2+ has a build volume of 223 X 223 x 205 mm and sells for $2,499 while the Ultimaker 2 Extended+ has a build volume of 223 X 223 x 305 mm and sells for $2,999. Both printers can handle PLA, ABS and CPE filaments. They also come with an SD card, USB cable, the print preparation software Cura, the Ultimaker app, a starter spool of silver PLA and an impressive 12-month warranty and lifetime support.

Ultimaker’s revenue doubled from 2014 to 2015. The company credits that to an increase in both professional and educational users.

“Ultimaker has seen an expansion of sales within industries such as aerospace, automotive, health care, energy and education, especially within engineering, design and manufacturing in the past year,” Burger explained.

It’s making a splash here in the US; 35 percent of Ultimaker’s sales now come from the United States.

For more information on Ultimaker or to purchase an Ultimaker 3D printer, visit the Ultimaker website.

About the Author

Jeffrey Heimgartner has more than 20 years of experience in the computer-aided drafting and design field. He manages the Lincoln, Nebraska-based drafting and design firm, Advanced Technical Services. His main responsibilities include managing the CAD team, sales, scheduling and coordinating projects, drafting and design, as well as marketing and all IT functions.

Jeffrey earned his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology with an emphasis in Computer Aided Drafting and Design from Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska. He has a background in farming and construction and has authored many published industry-related articles.