The Ultimaker 3 retains the precise, reliable prints of its predecessors, while adding dual extrusion, Wi-Fi/LAN, and active bed leveling. Since Ultimaker is firmly established, there’s a wealth of information and support available.
The dual extruders are a welcome addition. One application is to use the AA nozzle to extrude PLA for the main body and then the BB nozzle for water-soluble PVA support. No need to chisel away PLA support material. The swappable print cores are another notable feature. Changing nozzles is beginner friendly, and the LCD guides you through it. In addition to printing with multiple materials, educators could keep a spare print core around to swap in when the nozzle clogs (one of the most common issues across all brands). You can purchase a .8mm nozzle for faster print time, as Ultimaker’s default settings are tailored for quality over speed. The machine now auto-detects (via NFC) Ultimaker filament, setting the material and color on the machine and in Cura. The Ultimaker 3 can print untethered via USB or Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi configuration is as seamless as everything else, and the user can send and monitor prints with its new built-in camera via Cura without needing to hop off their regular wireless network.
While Ultimaker’s specs state that the build volume is 215×215×200mm for single extrusion and 197×215×200mm for dual extrusion, the actual build volume allowable with Cura’s defaults is 194×182mm (single) and 176×182mm (dual) because of bed-clip dodge areas.
The Ultimaker 3 is a powerful, reliable, high-quality, and versatile machine with a wide audience. While the price is somewhat high, you’re receiving a reputable product. I’d recommend this for nearly everyone with the ability to afford it.
|Price as Tested:||$3,495|
|Build Volume:||194×182×200mm (single extrusion) 176×182×200mm (dual extrusion)|
|Bed Style:||Heated glass|
|Temp Control:||Yes, extruder (280°C max); bed (100ºC max)|
|Print Untethered:||Yes, Wi-Fi, USB|
|Onboard Controls:||Yes, LCD screen with analog wheel for selections|
|Host/Slicer Software:||Cura Ultimaker edition|
|OS:||Mac, Windows, Linux|
|Firmware:||Available via onboard update|
|Open Software:||Yes, Cura is AGPLv3|
|Open Hardware:||Yes, CC-BY-NC|