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Welcome to the latest installment of ZDNet's DIY IT Discovery collection on 3D Printing and computing device Fabrication. We're looking at the Ultimaker S5. there's a whole lot to check with this new flagship of the Ultimaker line.

Let's start off with build size. The S5 is plenty bigger than the Ultimaker 3. it be a 330x240x300mm construct size, compared to the 215x215x200 of the Ultimaker three.

each the Ultimaker 3 and the brand new S5 are dual filament printers. but the older Ultimaker three would lose some of its construct house when the use of two extruders. it would lose 18mm in build dimension, going right down to 197x215x200, in the event you used two nozzles. in contrast, the Ultimaker S5 does not lose any construct house in case you're the usage of each nozzles, which is a pleasant development. 

ought to study Filament administration

One characteristic the S5 introduced over its predecessor is an conclusion-of-filament sensor. If the desktop runs out of filament, it pauses and allows you to add a new spool.

speakme of filament, let's take a moment to talk about my favourite characteristic of this laptop: How effortless it is to exchange filament. it is through some distance the simplest machine to change filament on that I have ever used.

The Ultimaker three became a bit tricky when it comes to altering filament. Most printers require some variety of contortion to get filament to load, even if its snaking filament previous a apparatus, urgent a spring-loaded aid button, or threading a narrow route. 

The Ultimaker S5 has an easy toggle tackle. You elevate the deal with up, you push the filament up, you then drop the deal with down. The filament changes are quick, elementary, zero trouble. i love how this desktop alterations filament. it's a favourite, favorite characteristic and is making this certainly one of my very favourite machines. 

The S5 has an NFC sensor on the back for Ultimaker branded filament. in case you simply do not wish to have any trouble constructing filament and inserting it into Cura (Ultimaker's slicer), you simply vicinity the filament on its spool holder and the NFC will study the filament statistics and configure your slicer for you.

I haven't taken lots talents of the NFC characteristic, considering that it's restricted to simply Ultimaker filament. ColorFabb offered us with a ton of filament, sufficient to do the massive prints you're going to see in the video that accompanies this article, and a sequence of extra massive prints you'll see over the arrival weeks. I've additionally used some random filament I had sitting around. 

right here's the massive information. aside from one consumer error, not one print failed. The complete time i've been the usage of this desktop, the only failure I had become definitely my own fault.

I loaded ColorFabb's copperFill, which is copper infused filament, into the printer and did not study the instructions. 

ColorFabb recommends you trade the move expense from one hundred% to 108%. I didn't try this on my first examine piece, which resulted in a failed print. as soon as I pulled out the examine piece, and went returned and read ColorFabb's directions, I changed the circulation price. I went on to print an amazing piece -- a model of the superstar Trek united statesDiscovery NCC-1031.

greater points

The S5 has a color reveal, in contrast to the Ultimaker three, which had a blue and black screen. This new reveal is extraordinary, aside from one of the most color selections. In one of the most menu items, there may be white on easy grey textual content. in case you seem straight at the text it is clear, however when you consider that most of us can be searching on the waist-high reveal from eye level, it be problematic to study. i am hoping they fix that in a future application replace, as a result of this is a little of a design fail.

Frankly, notwithstanding, it be my most effective actual criticism.

The computing device does sensible mattress leveling. It tests throughout the whole build surface, as opposed to simply at the corners. This allows for the laptop to build a representative mesh, accounting for any mattress inconsistencies. The result is superb prints.

just like the Ultimaker three, the S5 helps distinctive extruders and multiple extruder kinds. that you may change between extruders intended for common plastic and a PVA-selected extruder meant for dissolvable filament. which you can additionally switch extruders to use distinctive dimension nozzles, so if you want one nozzle to be spewing out at and you desire a further nozzle to be extruding at you could make it so.

The printer additionally has glass doorways on the front, which support with warmth management. here's an development on the Ultimaker 3, which had enclosed facets, but an open entrance. The S5 still has an open-to-the-air proper, however the glass doorways create a warmth buffer that seems to have a very nice effect on print success.

verify prints

before i was courageous satisfactory to do the in fact huge tasks, I decided to do a couple of examine initiatives. I printed a hook for my wife's sewing room that allows her to cling a bunch of clothing off a unique customized attachment mechanism I designed that works with some domestic Depot plastic shelves. I printed an additional hook for those cabinets that I just designed for a single hanger.

I printed a door knob gap cowl that suits right into a door. when we purchased the house, there became an unsightly gap in one of our indoors closet doorways, so I stuffed that with a flat piece that has some bracketry to connect it to the door. 

I also printed an entire pile of checks. I printed a small gaggle of verify Yodas (Yodi?). I printed an entire bunch of examine cubes. All my prints, with the exception of the one which i mentioned previous with the incorrect settings, printed completely.

Managing mattress adhesion

through this factor, i was nearly courageous adequate to begin making an attempt the huge prints. however i was still a little bit nervous about what it would take to detach colossal prints from the glass bed. When printing anything 300 by way of 300 millimeters in size on glass, something that could take days to print, i wanted to be sure I did not wreck the rest attempting to get the prints off the mattress. 

I got involved with the folks at Ultimaker. I spoke to certainly one of their aid guys, who advised me that I may still rub a glue stick on the build surface and print on that.

I informed him i might had complications in the past getting rid of objects that have been adhered with glue stick and he clued me into the key. He told me the key became to attend until the construct plate cools. in case you wait and also you're patient, the prints eliminate quite effectively.

My other question became, "How do I clean off the glue stick each time?" My past approach — and i'm sure this is no surprise to any person — turned into to take a hammer and chisel, or a hammer and a scraper to whack the glue off the floor. whereas my engineering degree credentials me to make use of a hammer to clear up any mechanical or electrical problem (or at the least feel greater about no longer solving it), there is whatever a little worrisome about hitting a glass plate with a hammer.

It turns obtainable's an improved method. or not it's easy, too. once you've removed your print and any final plastic debris, effectively wet a paper towel and set in on the print floor on accurate of the glue stick residue. leave it there for 15 or 20 minutes. it's it. just leave it there. When 20 minutes have gone by, come back and wipe up the glue stick residue with the paper towel. it truly is it. it truly is all there is to it. or not it's clean. or not it's effortless. it's fast.

Printing on this factor with bed adhesion, with the glue stick, provided that you observe those few standard premiere practices I've described, is pretty exceptional. I just in reality loved it. And once again, I've had no problems with it.

The large prints

I are living about 60 miles faraway from Mount Hood. When it's clear, i will be able to in reality see it from here. Naturally, my first massive construct turned into a Mount Hood sculpture, which is in response to a scan of the terrain of Mount Hood. I downloaded the STL file from Thingiverse and printed it. I are living in Oregon, so printing a Mount Hood became definitely enjoyable. 

it's huge. It takes up most of the bed floor. And like I stated before, i was a little bit anxious about removing it. I didn't should be. It printed completely. I used the graduated print settings which intended that, as an alternative of taking days, it took simply overnight to print. See the accompanying video for some screenshots of these settings. They worked well.

My spouse and that i favored the print so lots, we decided we had been going to take it and grasp it on the wall. we've an ideal spot in our entryway to do this, so I drilled a hole in it, and we hung it up.

The 2nd truly tremendous mission i wanted to print turned into the from megastar Trek. I printed it in two components: The saucer section and the main physique and nacelles. both segments in fact would have healthy side by way of facet on the build plate, but i'm really joyful I printed it in two passes.

it's because the saucer section isn't precisely balanced, above all when printing within the heavier copperFill filament. as the bed cooled, the adhesion reduced, so by the point the mattress changed into utterly cool, the added overhanging weight from the saucer caused the print to detach and topple over. fortunately, it changed into a robust print and there became no hurt.

together, the two segments make up a model starship it really is about 20 inches long. as it prints, the copperFill appears extra like terracotta than copper, however interestingly it polishes to a pleasant sheen. that's a venture for an additional week, but you could be sure i'll share it with you when or not it's comprehensive.

Is it price it?

So, overall, is this printer worth it? it be a $6,000 printer, which is noticeably extra expensive than the Ultimaker three and method extra expensive than the hobbyist machines. Is it price the $6,000?

definitely, the answer to that is dependent upon what you might be going to do with it and what your budget is. if you are doing business work, it is absolutely price it. it is likely the finest 3D printer I have ever used.

i love the little LulzBot machines. i admire my CR-10. I in fact like the Ultimaker 3. but this factor has a huge construct enviornment. It correctly prints on the large build area, and it seems to print massive builds with zero problems. it's the simplest printer I've ever used when it comes to loading filament, it helps twin filament extrusion, and it doesn't lose any build area in case you're printing multiple filaments. 

if you're making jigs, or need manufacturing fixtures, or prototyping a product, or you're doing any kind of industrial recreation, then the $6,000 is neatly price it, mainly in terms of not wasting precious time having to do redos or reprints. 

i've been working with the S5 now for roughly two-and-a-half months and it looks to just work. I've completed 10 or 12 smaller prints and the three large prints, and this printer has been rock solid. 

i am very impressed with this desktop. dwell tuned in the coming weeks and months, because I have a bunch extra huge builds coming, together with a few other enjoyable initiatives, together with more celebrity Trek fashions.

What do you think? Do you have a venture this is helpful of a computing device like the Ultimaker S5? Are you creating a brand new product or building or making whatever thing amazing? let us know within the feedback under. 

that you could observe my daily venture updates on social media. make sure to observe me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz, on facebook at on Instagram at and on YouTube at

Disclosure: ZDNet earns commissions from probably the most products featured on this page. Neither the author nor ZDNet have been compensated through Ultimaker for this impartial, independent assessment.

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