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Ultimaker 3

By Jonathan Prozzi / Nov 6, 2018

Ultimaker 3
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Ultimaker 3

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.

What’s New

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.

Some Confusion

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.

A Great Buy Overall

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.

Specs
Ultimaker 3 Ultimaker
Manufacturer:Ultimaker
Price as Tested:$3,495
Build Volume:194×182×200mm (single extrusion) 176×182×200mm (dual extrusion)
Bed Style:Heated glass
Filament Size:2.85mm
Open Filament:Yes
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

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Why To Buy

The Ultimaker 3 retains the high quality of past iterations while adding versatility with dual extrusion, Wi-Fi, and swappable print cores. It supports a variety of materials with optimized Cura profiles and settings.

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Pro Tips

Take advantage of how quick and easy it is to change print cores. You’re able to swap in spare nozzles to address clogs, print with multiple material types, and increase the speed by using a larger diameter hot end.

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