UltiMaker presents the first “common” 3D printer – UltiMaker S7

UltiMaker – a company established as a result of last year’s merger of the two largest manufacturers of desktop FDM 3D printers – Ultimaker and MakerBot, announced the premiere of the first joint device – Ultimaker S7. However, this is not a revolution, but a continuation of the product line of the Dutch manufacturer. Ultimaker S7 is a refreshed and slightly modified version of the S5 model, which debuted in 2018. How is it different from its predecessor…?

UltiMaker CEO, Nadav Goshen, says that the new 3D printer primarily introduces a number of features designed for ease of use and reliability of the production process. At first glance, the key change is the extension of the structure in the Z axis – however, the 3D printer does not have an enlarged working area compared to the S5, only a new Air Manager filtration system is installed, which filters out up to 95% of UFP and improves temperature regulation. The working area is still 330 x 240 x 300 mm in the XYZ axes. With further novelties, the glass work bed was finally abandoned, replacing it with a flexible working platform, which is the current standard in amateur and desktop 3D printers. According to the manufacturer’s information, the S7 also has an improved automatic leveling of the bed, ensuring better adhesion of the first layer.

One of the first testers of the new 3D printer was the German igus – UltiMaker’s material partner. Niklas Eutebach, the company’s development engineer, commented, “We’ve noticed that the new bed leveling system on the S7 helps us print very precise parts with the right mechanical properties using our materials.” The next tester was the Chinese Polymaker – another partner of the company. Marketing Manager Luke Taylor had the opportunity to test the S7 in the production of a client application, printing a carbon fiber mold for a racing car spoiler. “This part is almost as big as the S7’s maximum working area,” he explains. “It has some sharp corners, so I thought we could test the adhesion to the new flexible plate and see how our CoPA material works with such a large part. The results were great!”

The S7 is compatible with the UltiMaker ecosystem of over 200 materials and offers seamless integration with UltiMaker Cura software. With the S7 Pro Bundle, users can also pair a 3D printer with an UltiMaker Material Station to work with up to six spools with automatic material switching and humidity control.

Summing up, with S7, UltiMaker (or rather its Dutch part) consistently implements its strategy of moderate construction development, which was first presented over 10 years ago. Each subsequent iteration of their 3D printers is an upgrade compared to its predecessor instead of a revolution:

  • The Ultimaker Original in a wooden case was a speed leader in the old days
  • Ultimaker 2 replaced the wooden housing with aesthetic, white dibond panels, and the 3D printer itself received a number of improvements, such as semi-automatic table leveling
  • Ultimaker 3 received a system of two print heads, communication via WiFi, an integrated video camera
  • Ultimaker S5 (and its smaller version S3) had a larger working area than its predecessors and very strong integration with the 3D print management system from the cloud; it also introduced an improved worktable leveling system.

The new 3D printer is another “more of an upgrade” than a “new product”. It may not be a spectacular development strategy, but it is certainly very effective…

Source: UltiMaker press materials

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