Released just over three years ago, the Ultimaker Original kit just keeps getting better. The Original+ has a slew of enhancements that include a heated glass bed (upgrade kit available), an improved Z-axis, new electronics, and Ulticontroller onboard controls with SD card are now included.
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL …
Another welcomed improvement is the move to a 3-point bed leveling system, which is much easier and quicker than the previous 4-point bed adjustment system. Additionally, there have also been changes to the extruder. The polypropylene fan duct has been replaced with a sturdy metal one and new plastic spacers and clips are used in the assembly of the hot end. Our test machine was fully assembled (and a prototype, which may have hurt XY, Z scores) but judging from our personal kit build experiences, this redesigned extruder will be significantly easier to build.
The overnight prints on this machine performed extremely well and reliable. One thing we did notice was that one of the nuts was a little loose when we came in the next morning. Experience using other Ultimaker Originals for the last two years has shown that it’s important to tighten all of the nuts every three to six months.
LET THERE BE LEDS?
The only thing that this machine might be missing is a lighted build platform. That is one of the many things that the Ultimaker 2 did extremely well, and it seemed to be a big hit. I imagine that Ultimaker will eventually release a lighting kit or, perhaps, Make: Projects will come up with a clever tutorial on how to light up this machine.
This guy packs a huge value. It puts a huge build volume, refined quality, reliability, and incredible speeds into a continually upgradable, well-supported machine. This printer may not be as sleek as the Ultimaker 2, but at nearly half the price ($1,600) it’s a great bargain. With its low maintenance and high performance, this hackable machine is great for any maker.