Global desktop 3D printing leader Ultimaker has been in the 3D printing business since 2011. The company is well known for its accurate, high-quality 3D printers, and released its Ultimaker 2+ series in 2016, followed by an upgrade package, before unveiling its next-generation Ultimaker 3 that same year. Now, Ultimaker is introducing its first new desktop 3D printer in two years.
The company did release several products to enhance its 2+ and 3 systems last summer. But while it’s continuing to grow its operations and improve its software, focusing on community and streamlining workflow, we haven’t seen a full new machine from the company since 2016…until now.
At Hannover Messe today, Ultimaker is finally releasing an expansion to its professional 3D printer portfolio in a bit way with the new S5 3D printer.
The company has really raised the bar when it comes to easy, professional 3D printing – the reliable and versatile S5, designed for the fabrication of industrial end-use parts, functional prototypes, and manufacturing tools, has been optimized to fit right into existing workflows to offer reliable and powerful results, and features a larger build volume and easy operation.
“In automotive, every second counts, so we are pleased to see that the Ultimaker S5 has a larger build volume which allows us to print larger jigs and fixtures or multiple manufacturing aids at once,” said Lars Bognar, Research Engineer Additive Manufacturing at Ford. “Combined with the automated, reliable print process and the ability to now print with a very wide range of industrial-grade materials, the Ultimaker S5 allows our engineers and designers to fully iterate and test certain functional prototypes to as real conditions as possible without scaling. After conducting successful tests, we also use our Ultimaker 3D printers to create the final end-use manufacturing aids that continuously help us to improve our workflow.”
The flexible S5 has it all, including industrial-grade material properties, fully integrated hardware, software and materials configuration, high repeatability, and optimal settings alignment for professional customers who need complete geometrical freedom capabilities. You can find the full product specs here.
With a build volume of 330 x 240 x 300 mm and an enclosed front with tinted glass doors, the Ultimaker S5 fits easily into an office setting. For increased user experience, an intuitive, full-color touchscreen is integrated into the front panel for guided set-up, operation, and maintenance.
Detailed status information is complete with high-resolution images and easy to understand language, and it also supports eleven display languages, including English, German, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
An embedded power supply means that the S5 has a clean footprint for rack or shelf mounting, and the print cores can be swapped out in the two print head slots for easy, tool-free maintenance. The S5 has nozzle sizes ranging from 0.8 mm for prints to 0.25 for fine details, and dual extrusion allows you to print with different colors, or use breakaway or water-soluble support materials for easy post-processing and an excellent surface finish.
The Ultimaker S5 uses two interchangeable plates for consistent results with multiple materials. The hardened glass plate is for general use, while the ultra-flat anodized aluminum one, which will be available this fall, is for advanced engineering materials, like ABS and PC. And you won’t have to worry about your print staying in place, as each build plate easily clips onto an extra-stiff cast aluminum heated platform.
Ultimaker has enhanced its active bed leveling technology for the S5, probing the build plate in more locations to create a detailed heightmap of the surface. A perfect first layer, with secure adhesion, is ensured by using this data to compensate for any real-time surface deviations, and it compensates the print bed continuously during printing, so you can leave the S5 unattended.
“Because of the accessibility and reliability of Ultimaker 3D printers, we quickly embedded this technology in our design workflow,” said Rodrigues Dimitri, 3D Print Driver at Renault. “The fact that the Ultimaker S5 is even more intuitive and delivers a perfect first layer for every print means we spend hardly any time setting up and checking on the 3D printers. This frees up our team more time to fully focus on the creation of new innovations that help to improve and speed up our engine manufacturing process.”
The improved feeder system features an intelligent filament flow sensor that will automatically pause when materials run out, prompt you to add more, and then resume. The print head is extremely light for a fast performance, thanks to a Bowden extrusion system, and an ergonomic locking lever in each feeder makes it super easy to load, unload, and change out material.
Additionally, a redesigned silicone nozzle cover keeps the airflow in the print head consistent for more efficient material throughput.
“In 2017, we estimated that we avoid around €325,000 of costs by 3D printing multiple tool and fixtures with Ultimaker 3D printers,” explained Luis Reis, Pilot Plant Engineer at Volkswagen. “The enhanced feeder on the Ultimaker S5, designed to print with advanced technical plastics such as composite materials, allows us to print reliably with an even wider range of industrial-grade materials, which is a great benefit for us.”
The S5, which features high-speed WiFi and LAN connectivity, can also print with the company’s full range of materials, as its materials experts have tested all of them for compatibility and optimized over 200 Ultimaker Cura settings to make material profiles. However, should you want to try out third-party materials, the company’s open filament system lets you do so easily. To further increase production efficiency, use Cura Connect software to group together Ultimaker 3 and S5 3D printers.
Ultimaker also introduced two other products that help make professional 3D printing accessible and easy to integrate. New Ultimaker Tough PLA filament is less brittle than regular PLA, and is optimized for 3D printing larger models without warping. Tough PLA also provides a more matte surface finish quality, and has a similar impact strength to Ultimaker ABS, though the stiffness is higher.
The new Ultimaker app allows users to get updates on print progress from phones or tablets, notifying you when a print job is complete or a 3D printer requires maintenance.
“The development of the Ultimaker S5, in combination with the new material solutions and the Ultimaker App, sets a new standard for smart and accessible professional 3D printing. Our commitment to building a complete 3D printing solution, from hardware to software and materials, offers our growing professional user base an increasingly integrated, automated and reliable print process with a very high succession rate,” said Jos Burger, Ultimaker CEO. “The time needed to configure this new 3D printer is lower than ever, which allows users to fully focus on the creation of functional prototypes, larger objects and other designs and models that require full geometrical design freedom capabilities. Combined with our continuously updated software and our global sales and service network, we have made local digital manufacturing a reality.”
Starting May 15th, the Ultimaker S5 and Tough PLA will be available through the company’s global partner network. The free Ultimaker App, which works with both Ultimaker 3 and S5 3D printers, will be available the same day on Google Play and the App Store for devices with iOS and Android 5.0 or higher.
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