Kicking off CES week, Ultimaker has announced the launch of their new Utimaker 2+ line of machines. Last year at CES, Ultimaker expanded their Ultimaker 2 line by introducing the Extended and Go, an offering that helped provide size options for anyone looking for a small, portable machine or a large desktop powerhouse. The 2+ family upgrades the standard form factor Ultimaker and the Extended, while leaving the Go behind for now. This year, the upgrades are all about the extruder.
While many love the Ultimaker 2 and have been able to produce amazing prints with it, the extruder has always been its Achilles heel. Prone to jamming when not operating under perfect conditions, the bowden style extruder on the Ultimaker 2 family of machines has already seen upgrades come down the pipe, and is now seeing a total overhaul with three major changes.
Quick Change Nozzles
The 2+ line now utilizes the Olsson block kit as its standard heater block and nozzle. Adopted officially a few months ago by Ultimaker as an upgrade, the Olsson block kit allows an Ultimaker 2 owner to quickly change nozzles to either replace a damaged nozzle, or alter the diameter of the nozzle orifice for finer or faster printing. The Olsson block kits utilize E3D’s line of high-end nozzles for greater performance and upgradability in the future.
One of the causes of failed prints on the Ultimaker 2 printers is that the extruder doesn’t have enough torque to push the filament through consistently. Rarely on 3mm filament based machines do we see the filament drive gear mounted directly to the motor. Instead, there is often a geared reduction to increase torque. The 2+ line has now implemented a geared extruder, greatly increasing the torque. As a bonus feature, Ultimaker has included a button to manually disengage the extruder, allowing filament to be removed or inserted more easily by hand.
Ultimaker has redesigned their cooling fan ducts for the 2+ machines. The increased airflow is meant to help PLA cooling and improve surface quality.
The Ultimaker 2+ will run €1,895 and the 2+ Extended will come in at €2,495. Don’t worry, if you just picked up an Ultimaker 2 or Extended and feel like you missed out, an upgrade will be available shortly and we will keep you informed as we find out the details.