Ultimaker 3D Printer Demystified: Your Key to Precision Printing


Hey there, fellow 3D printing enthusiasts! Today, I want to share my hands-on experience and review of the impressive Ultimaker 3D printer. As an avid maker and enthusiast, I’ve had the opportunity to explore its features, print capabilities, and understand how it compares to other 3D printers in the market.

Getting to Know the Ultimaker 3D Printer

Overview of Ultimaker

Ultimaker is a renowned brand in the 3D printing industry, known for producing high-quality and reliable 3D printers. The Ultimaker series, including the Ultimaker 3 and Ultimaker S5, has gained popularity among professionals and hobbyists alike.

Setting Up the Ultimaker 3D Printer

Initial Calibration

After the assembly, calibrating the Ultimaker was a breeze. The printer’s auto bed leveling and nozzle calibration features made the setup hassle-free, ensuring precise prints from the start.

Exploring the Key Features

Ultimaker 3D printers have gained a reputation for their advanced features and user-friendly design. Below are some key aspects that make these printers stand out in the competitive field of 3D printing.

Dual Extrusion System

  • Multi-Material and Multi-Color Prints: The dual extrusion system is a major highlight of Ultimaker printers. It enables the machine to use two different types of filaments simultaneously. This capability allows for the creation of complex models that feature different materials or colors in a single print job.
  • Enhanced Creativity and Functionality: By combining different materials, such as rigid and flexible filaments, users can create prints with varying textures and properties. This dual extrusion system opens up a world of possibilities for designers and makers, from intricate artistic models to functional parts with composite materials.

Large Build Volume

  • Size and Scale of Projects: Ultimaker printers are known for their large build volumes. This feature is crucial for anyone looking to print large objects or multiple parts at once. The increased build volume means users can undertake more ambitious projects that would be impossible in smaller printers.
  • Maintaining Quality: Despite the large build size, Ultimaker printers maintain a high level of print quality. This is essential for professionals who need both size and precision, such as in architectural models, large-scale prototypes, or functional parts.

User-Friendly Interface

  • Intuitive Touchscreen Interface: The touchscreen interface of Ultimaker printers is designed to be intuitive, making it easy for users to navigate through settings and control their prints. This feature is particularly appealing to beginners who might be intimidated by more complex machines.
  • Ultimaker Cura Software: The printers are complemented by Ultimaker Cura, a powerful and user-friendly slicing software. Cura allows users to prepare their 3D models for printing with ease. It offers a range of customizable settings while remaining accessible to those new to 3D printing.
  • Accessibility for All Levels: The combination of an easy-to-use interface and robust software makes Ultimaker printers a top choice for educational purposes, hobbyists, and professionals alike. They provide a seamless experience from model design to the final print.

Using the Ultimaker 3D Printer

Using the Ultimaker 3D Printer

The Ultimaker 3D printer is renowned for its flexibility and user-friendliness, making it an ideal choice for a wide range of applications, from educational projects to professional prototypes. To make the most of this technology, it’s essential to understand how to prepare 3D models for printing, choose the right filaments, and adjust print settings.

Preparing 3D Models for Printing

  • Using Ultimaker Cura Software: Ultimaker Cura is the slicing software used to prepare 3D models for printing. It converts digital 3D models into printing instructions for the Ultimaker printer. The software provides a user-friendly interface and an array of customizable settings.
  • Customizing Print Quality and Speed: Users can adjust various settings in Ultimaker Cura to strike a balance between print quality and speed. This includes selecting the level of detail, which can range from draft-quality prints for rapid prototyping to high-quality prints for final products.

Choosing the Right Filaments

  • Compatibility with Various Materials: Ultimaker printers are compatible with a wide range of filament types, such as PLA, ABS, PETG, and specialty materials. Each material has unique properties that make it suitable for different applications.
  • Considerations for Material Selection:
    • PLA: Easy to print with and environmentally friendly, ideal for basic models and educational projects.
    • ABS: Strong and heat-resistant, suitable for functional parts but requires a heated bed and well-ventilated area.
    • PETG: Combines the ease of printing of PLA with the strength and durability of ABS, suitable for both prototypes and functional parts.
    • Specialty Materials: For advanced applications, materials like flexible filaments, wood-infused filaments, or metal-filled filaments offer unique properties.

Adjusting Print Settings

  • Layer Height: Layer height impacts the surface finish and print time. A lower layer height results in finer details but longer print times.
  • Infill Density: This setting determines the internal structure of the print. Higher infill density increases strength but uses more material and takes longer to print.
  • Print Speed: Adjusting print speed can affect the quality of the print. Faster speeds lead to quicker prints but may reduce detail and accuracy.
  • Temperature Settings: The temperature for both the extruder and the bed can be adjusted depending on the filament type. Different materials require different temperatures for optimal printing.

By understanding and leveraging these aspects of the Ultimaker 3D printer, users can achieve high-quality prints tailored to their specific needs and preferences. Whether it’s for rapid prototyping, educational purposes, or intricate final products, the Ultimaker 3D printer offers the flexibility and precision required for a wide range of 3D printing projects.

What to Expect from the Ultimaker 3D Printer

Ultimaker 3D printers are known for their exceptional performance in the world of 3D printing. They provide a balance of quality, speed, and efficiency, making them a popular choice among professionals and hobbyists alike. Here’s what to expect when using an Ultimaker 3D printer:

Print Quality and Precision

  • High-Resolution Prints: The Ultimaker 3D printer is capable of producing prints with sharp details and smooth surfaces. This high resolution is particularly beneficial for intricate designs and detailed models.
  • Precise Dimensions: Ultimaker printers are known for their accuracy in replicating dimensions, which is crucial for functional parts that need to fit together or meet specific size requirements.
  • Surface Finish: The printer achieves a superior surface finish, minimizing the need for post-processing. This feature is especially important for artistic prints where aesthetics are paramount.

Printing Speed and Efficiency

  • Rapid Prototyping: One of the key advantages of Ultimaker printers is their speed. They are capable of producing prototypes and models quickly, which is vital in a professional setting where time is often a critical factor.
  • Efficiency with Smaller Prints: For smaller and less complex prints, Ultimaker printers are particularly efficient, delivering quality results in a relatively short time frame.
  • Balancing Speed and Quality: While Ultimaker printers can print fast, users have the option to adjust the speed settings. A higher speed can lead to quicker prints but may slightly reduce the print quality. Conversely, a slower speed enhances detail and overall quality.

Common Problems and Solutions in Ultimaker 3D Printing

Common Problems and Solutions in Ultimaker 3D Printing

Even with the advanced technology of Ultimaker 3D printers, users may encounter some common issues during the printing process. Understanding these problems and knowing how to address them is key to maintaining a smooth and efficient 3D printing experience.

Clogging in the Nozzle

  • Problem: Clogging in the nozzle can lead to uneven extrusion or complete print failures. This issue often arises due to dust, degraded filament, or incorrect temperature settings.
  • Solutions:
    • Regular Maintenance: Regularly clean the nozzle to prevent buildup.
    • Filament Selection: Use high-quality filaments and store them properly to avoid dust and moisture.
    • Temperature Adjustment: Ensure the nozzle temperature is appropriate for the filament type. Too cold can prevent proper extrusion, while too hot may degrade the material.

Warping and Adhesion Issues

  • Problem: Warping occurs when parts of the print lift off the bed during printing, leading to misshapen prints. Adhesion issues can also result in prints not sticking to the bed at all.
  • Solutions:
    • Leveling the Print Bed: Regularly check and adjust the level of the print bed to ensure an even first layer.
    • Using Adhesion Aids: Apply adhesives like glue sticks or hair spray to the bed. A heated bed can also improve adhesion.
    • Environmental Control: Control the printing environment to reduce temperature fluctuations that can cause warping.

Layer Shifts and Print Failures

  • Problem: Layer shifts, where layers of the print do not align correctly, can ruin a print. These shifts are often due to mechanical issues like loose belts or unstable printing platforms.
  • Solutions:
    • Tightening and Calibration: Regularly inspect and tighten belts and other moving parts. Ensure all components are properly calibrated.
    • Reducing Print Speed: Slowing down the print speed can reduce the stress on mechanical parts, leading to more stable prints.
    • Ensuring Stable Setup: Place the printer on a stable, level surface to minimize vibrations and movements during printing.

Features of Ultimaker 3D Printers: Enhancing Flexibility and Convenience

Features of Ultimaker 3D Printers: Enhancing Flexibility and Convenience

Ultimaker 3D printers are equipped with several advanced features that significantly enhance the user experience in terms of flexibility, precision, and convenience. Below are detailed explanations of some of these features:

Interchangeable Print Cores

  • Swappable Print Cores: Ultimaker printers come with the innovative feature of interchangeable print cores. This allows users to easily switch between different nozzle sizes or adapt to various material types.
  • Benefits of Interchangeable Cores:
    • Versatility: Different nozzle sizes can be used for different applications – larger nozzles for faster, rougher prints, and smaller nozzles for fine, detailed work.
    • Material Compatibility: Different cores can be optimized for specific materials, reducing the likelihood of clogging and improving print quality.
    • Time Efficiency: Swapping cores is quicker and easier than replacing entire extruders, significantly reducing downtime between different print jobs.

Active Bed Leveling

  • Automated Process: Active bed leveling is a standout feature in Ultimaker printers. This system automatically adjusts the print bed to be perfectly level before each print.
  • Impact on Print Quality:
    • Improved Adhesion: A level bed is crucial for the first layer of the print to adhere properly, reducing the chances of warping or print failures.
    • Consistency Across Prints: Active bed leveling ensures consistency across multiple prints, which is particularly important for large batch printing or when precision is critical.

Network Connectivity in Ultimaker S5

  • Remote Monitoring and Control: The Ultimaker S5 model enhances user convenience with its network connectivity feature. This allows for the monitoring and control of the printing process remotely via Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
  • Advantages of Network Connectivity:
    • Ease of Access: Users can start, stop, and monitor print jobs from a distance, which is highly convenient in a professional or educational setting.
    • Integration with Workflow: This connectivity feature allows the printer to be integrated into a broader workflow, facilitating file sharing and collaborative working environments.
    • Real-Time Monitoring: Users can keep an eye on the print progress and make adjustments as needed from their computer or even a mobile device.

Review of the Ultimakers 3D Printers

Ultimaker S7


  • Versatile Material Compatibility: Supports over 280 materials.
  • PEI-Coated Flexible Build Plate: Enhances print removal and durability.
  • Integrated Air Manager: Improves air quality and print quality.
  • Accurate Sensor: Ensures perfect first layers with an inductive sensor.
  • Redesigned Print Head: Offers early flood detection and easier maintenance.


  • Price: May be on the higher end for some users.
  • Complexity: Advanced features might be overwhelming for beginners.

Ultimaker S5


  • Large build volume for bigger projects.
  • Dual extrusion capabilities for complex prints.
  • Compatibility with a wide range of over 280 materials.
  • Award-winning touchscreen interface for user-friendliness.
  • Filament run-out detection enhances reliability.


  • Higher price point compared to basic models.
  • Might be complex for beginners to operate.

Ultimaker S3


  • Compact size, suitable for desktop use.
  • Dual extrusion capabilities for complex models.
  • Can print with over 190 materials, including composites and metals.
  • Advanced auto bed leveling for precision.
  • User-friendly with an award-winning touchscreen UI.
  • Compatible with the UltiMaker Metal Expansion Kit.


  • Limited build volume compared to larger models.
  • May require additional investment for full material compatibility (like the Metal Expansion Kit).

Recommendations and Suggestions for Ultimaker 3D Printers

Ideal User Scenarios

  • Designers, Engineers, and Makers: The Ultimaker is perfect for those requiring precision and versatility in 3D printing, such as designers and engineers.
  • All Skill Levels: Its user-friendly interface makes it suitable for users ranging from beginners to advanced.

Tips for Enhancing Print Quality

  • Use High-Quality Filaments: Opt for premium filaments for better results.
  • Regular Maintenance: Keep the printer in top condition through regular cleaning and checks.
  • Adjust Print Settings: Tailor settings like layer height and print speed to match the specific requirements of each project.


In conclusion, the Ultimaker 3D printer has been a game-changer in my 3D printing journey. Its impressive features, ease of use, and outstanding print quality have exceeded my expectations. Whether you’re a professional or a hobbyist, the Ultimaker is a reliable and powerful tool that unlocks boundless creativity.


  1. Can I use third-party filaments with the Ultimaker 3D printer?
    Yes, the Ultimaker is compatible with a wide range of filaments, including third-party brands.
  2. How long does it take to assemble the Ultimaker printer?
    The assembly time can vary, but it typically takes a few hours to set up the Ultimaker completely.
  3. Can I 3D print flexible materials with the Ultimaker?
    Yes, the Ultimaker is capable of printing flexible materials like TPU, allowing for more diverse projects.
  4. Is dual extrusion difficult to set up and calibrate?
    The Ultimaker’s dual extrusion system is designed for ease of use, and calibration is made simpler through the auto bed leveling feature.
  5. Does the Ultimaker offer good customer support?
    Yes, Ultimaker provides excellent customer support, including online resources, forums, and dedicated customer service teams to assist with any inquiries or issues.


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Daniel Brooks

Join me the author of Explore 3D Print, on an exhilarating journey through the captivating world of 3D. Discover the endless possibilities of 3D printing and immerse yourself in a vibrant community of enthusiasts. Explore, learn, and unlock the limitless potential of this fascinating realm.

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