Ultimaker2

 

The Ultimaker 2 is a nice solid plastic construction, it is a really capable machine, producing fine works at a good speed. It is debatable whether the Ultimakers own make filament is worth your last dollar though, theres plenty to recommend the aftermarket if you can find a good consistent brand for your 3mm ( 2.8mm) filament supplies.

Ultimaker2_450

 Main Features

  • Excellent printhead, keeps jams to a minimum
  • Temperature controllable up to 260 ‘C
  • Heated glass print bed ( 100’C )
  • Max print size:   9 x 8.7 x 8 inches (23 x 22.5 x 20.5)mm
  • Max print Volume 626 cu in
  • Print speed max 300mm/sec
  • 20 micron maximum layer resolution, 12 micron XY precision, and 5 micron Z precision
  • Print bed leveling is manual but menu has full procedure to  make it easy
  • Filament feed motor and control is not on the printhead

Ultimaker2printhead_400

 No Clogging !

Clogging was totally absent during our testing print runs and it is the only machine to have this record. When changing from ABS to PLA filament, always leave it on the higher temperature that ABS requires until all residual ABS has been expelled, before switching down , this will ensure very little if any clogging problems.

Plate Levelling Procedure

Very simple and straightforward, access the menu on the display and go to section 21 . Steps 4 through 10 level the plate by moving the extruder to the back, setting the plate height at the back with the main control button , then it automatically moves to front left and then right, where you set the left and right front setting screws. First within 1mm , then these steps are repeated using a sheet of paper as a thickness guide,  until there is slight resistance between paper and nozzle

 General Tips and Comments

Out of the box, the Ultimaker was a breeze  to assemble to the point of being print ready .  The programming is done either with  an SD card, as supplied there is no WiFi connectivity, however the manual does say it is WiFi ready , so all that is required is the WiFi adaptor. It is a pity they didn’t enable the simple USB cable to do the programming as well as the software updates.

All the tools required to assemble and disassemble the machine and the print head are provided in the manufacturers kit. During a print it was noted that the fans were fairly noisy compared to other machines,  this may just have been our  machine though, as other reviewers have commented just the opposite, saying the Ultimaker is the quietest machine on the market !

Ultimaker2_prt_450

ABS handling was excellent due to the higher temperature settings available. Layer cracking was not really an issue but,  in practice if you cover the front of the machine, to keep in the heat, there was almost no cracking  visible over many print runs.  Because of the reduced mass of the printhead ( the filament feed motor is next to the spool at the back ) there is less inertia and greater accuracy and speed when compared to other models. Only 0.4mm nozzle size is provided and is not interchangeable.

DOWNLOAD THE ULTIMAKER 2 USER MANUAL

downloadIcon_55      USER MANUAL v1.13

Software

One major omission is the lack of a function to stop the print when a change of filament is needed. All the other printers reviewed have this. It is possible to pause, pull out the end of the filament on the  first reel, push in the new filament, retensioning the filament drive motor, but it is a ridiculous omission.  The open source Cura software  package comes with the machine free, it was designed by the team that produced the Ultimaker so it is completely tailored to fit.  it does the job very well , once programmed there were no problems to report. Download the  Cura_User-Manual_v1.0 here

Download the latest software version of Cura direct from the manufacturers , to avoid early s/w bugs. See also our Cura Introduction page to get you going with this popular package.

PC Magazine Top Pick

In his recent review,  Tony Hoffman gave the Ultimaker the Editors Choice Top Pick ” the only 3D printer we’ve tested that operated without a single hitch. The Ultimaker 2 aces ease of use, and despite its high price, its our top 3D printer pick for makers and designers.”

Who is Ultimaker?

The company is Ultimaking Ltd., Entirely a 3D printer company founded by three  Dutch entrepreneurs . Ultimaker sells them directly, and through online retailer Dynamism, who also provide customer support.

What Buyers and Testers Said…

Extremely user friendly. Absolutely does not require reading a manual to walk up and use

Superb, over our 5 days testing the Ultimaker2 there were no extruder jams , in fact no problems at all

It stopped working on the 5th day after arrival. One day after contacting the technical support, I was provided with instructions to remove the clogged filament. It is quite easy to fix the jam problem comparing to other 3D printers I have used. So far, it is working well.

Conclusion

Although its not cheap , this 3d printer certainly has much to praise , if your needs are  for speedy prints or for slower high quality prints in ABS or PLA and you don’t need to print with other materials that need a wider aperture nozzle then this is for you.

Its work area is larger than many at 630 cu inch but best of all

IT KEEPS ON WORKING !

our ranking 9/10

Ultimaker2_150

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