Everyone’s been there. You save up for a fancy new piece of technology – a phone, a computer, a 3D printer – and finally have enough to buy it. You bring it home, set it up, and happily start using what you see as the coolest device you’ve ever had. A month later, the manufacturer releases a new version – faster, better, with more capabilities and options. If only you’d known, you would have waited just a little bit longer. Sigh.
Obviously, such a predicament is far from the end of the world, but it can be frustrating, especially when it comes to phones and certain computers, which become obsolete faster than you can say “Windows Vista.” With 3D printers, it’s less of an inconvenience, but it’s still disappointing when a company unveils fantastic new features right after you’ve purchased their newest (until now) printer.
Anyone who bought an Ultimaker 2 last year knows what I’m talking about. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great printer, one that consistently ranks as one of the most popular 3D printers in trend reports from 3D Hubs and other experts. But in January Ultimaker introduced the Ultimaker 2+ and 2 Extended+, which offer new features that make them smoother, more effective and more versatile than the original. Not a total printer overhaul, but enough to give you a nice case of printer envy when your friend goes out and buys a brand new model.
Envy no more, because Ultimaker has now introduced a new extrusion upgrade kit that will allow you to turn your plain old Ultimaker 2 or 2 Extended into a 2+. The upgrade kit, which is being officially introduced by Ultimaker at SXSW 2016, contains everything you need to revamp your printer. Once the upgrade is installed, you can enjoy all the benefits of the 2+, including:
- Swappable nozzles that allow you to easily switch between 0.25, 0.4, 0.6 and 0.8 mm nozzle size
- Geared feeder that prevents print skipping and allows you to easily change filament and filament pressure
- Fan caps that optimize air flow, aiming it directly below the nozzle and evenly from both sides for smoother prints
“Not only do we introduce new features for our printers based on what we think is valuable, we listen to the needs and wishes of our users,” said Siert Wijnia, CTO and founder of Ultimaker. “By introducing the Extrusion upgrade kit we allow our users who already own an Ultimaker 2 to benefit from our latest technology.”
The kit, which can be purchased now for $395, even comes with “+” stickers so you can make the transition from 2 to 2+ official. The upgrade shouldn’t take any more than an hour, and there are plenty of step-by-step instructions in the form of manuals and videos on Ultimaker’s website.
Ultimaker will be at SXSW’s Interactive Festival, which is taking place from March 11-15 and focuses on emerging technology. Ultimaker has been nominated for an Interactive Innovation Award for the Ultimaker 2 Go and 2 Extended printers, and representative Iris Smeekes will be at the convention to demonstrate the new extrusion kit and speak with attendees. Discuss in the Ultimaker 2+ 3D Printer Upgrade forum over at 3DPB.com.