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Ultimaker 3; the new generation dual extrusion 3D printers

By - - Price update: 2023 December 10 -

More than half a year after the Gelder company Ultimaker provided an upgrade for their top 3D printermodel - the Ultimaker 2 - in the form of the Ultimaker 2+, the 3D printer manufacturer has already announced two brand new models: the Ultimaker 3 and its bigger brother the Ultimaker 3 Extended. Ultimaker claims that the Ultimaker 3 is the most reliable dual extrusion 3D printer on the market.

Both are immediately available starting from € 3,600.

With the new generation of 3D printers, Ultimaker is focussing especially on the commercial market and education; a target group that is now also providing the company with clients in the form of leading companies such as Tesla, Volkswagen and Apple. Consumers still only account for a small percentage of sales and this will likely continue to be the case in the foreseeable future.

Jos Burger, CEO of Ultimaker: "Our team is constantly working on advancing 3D printing and the new Ultimaker 3 is the result of three years of development with the goal to meet the needs of demanding businesses."

The Ultimaker 3 comes with an impressive list of new possibilities, but the most important one is surely the addition of a second printhead with which the device can print with two materials at once. The nicest application of this is the printing of in-water-soluble support materials. Here you place the object after printing in water and all the support materials will melt away like snow in the sun. And that without needing to fiddle around for hours with sandpaper.

Certainly not unimportant are also the exchangeable print nozzles that greatly increase the print possibilities and make maintenance of nozzles a bit easier. Other smaller improvements are a reinforced and removable heatable printhead, improved airflow, a camera on the build platform and LED indicator lights when user interaction is required. In the area of connectivity Ultimaker 3 provides WIFI, Ethernet and also standalone printing via USB.

Noticeable is also the NFC technology that is incorporated into the filament spools of the Ultimaker 3. This allows the 3D printer to precisely recognize what material is being used at the time, allowing it to adopt different print settings accordingly.

The Ultimaker is available for around € 3,600 including VAT; the larger Ultimaker 3 Extended costs around € 4,470. These are hefty prices, but also keep in mind that for those prices there are few 3D printers available with such wide capabilities. The newest Ultimaker can for example print at 20 micron, positioning the printer at the very top of the market concerning print quality and making competitors look back in awe.

Last month Ultimaker received a loan of 15 million from the European investment bank to help the company grow and to research new 3D print technologies. The introduction of the Ultimaker 3 is probably only the first step in the pursuit to become one of the largest and best 3D printer manufacturers in the world. Last year, the Dutch printer manufacturer sold 20.000 3D printers and the general expectation is that sales will be many times higher in 2016.

"We see in companies and in education a continuous growing professional demand for accessible 3D printing," John Kawola said, chairman of Ultimaker in the United States and Canada. "With the Ultimaker 3, we can meet this demand very well."

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