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

Let's beginning off with construct size. The S5 is a good deal larger than the Ultimaker three. it be a 330x240x300mm build dimension, compared to the 215x215x200 of the Ultimaker three.

both the Ultimaker three and the brand new S5 are dual filament printers. but the older Ultimaker 3 would lose some of its construct house when using two extruders. it could lose 18mm in construct measurement, going all the way down to 197x215x200, if you used two nozzles. in contrast, the Ultimaker S5 does not lose any build space if you happen to're the usage of both nozzles, which is a nice improvement. 

should read Filament administration

One characteristic the S5 added over its predecessor is an conclusion-of-filament sensor. If the computer runs out of filament, it pauses and lets you add a new spool.

talking of filament, let's take a second to talk about my favorite characteristic of this desktop: How handy it is to alternate filament. it is by means of far the least difficult machine to exchange filament on that I actually have ever used.

The Ultimaker three became a bit intricate when it comes to altering filament. Most printers require some type of contortion to get filament to load, whether its snaking filament past a equipment, pressing a spring-loaded reduction button, or threading a slim path. 

The Ultimaker S5 has a simple toggle tackle. You raise the deal with up, you push the filament up, you then drop the handle down. The filament alterations are speedy, fundamental, zero bother. i like how this laptop adjustments filament. it's a favorite, favourite feature and is making this one in every of my very favorite machines. 

The S5 has an NFC sensor on the lower back for Ultimaker branded filament. in case you simply do not are looking to have any trouble establishing filament and inserting it into Cura (Ultimaker's slicer), you just region the filament on its spool holder and the NFC will read the filament information and configure your slicer for you.

I have not taken a great deal abilities of the NFC feature, due to the fact it be restrained to just Ultimaker filament. ColorFabb supplied us with a ton of filament, sufficient to do the huge prints you are going to see within the video that accompanies this article, and a series of further large prints you're going to see over the coming weeks. I've additionally used some random filament I had sitting round. 

right here's the big news. apart from one user error, not one print failed. The total time i've been using this desktop, the most effective failure I had became in fact 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 exchange the circulation expense from 100% to 108%. I didn't try this on my first verify piece, which resulted in a failed print. as soon as I pulled out the verify piece, and went back and browse ColorFabb's instructions, I modified the stream cost. I went on to print a fantastic piece -- a model of the megastar Trek NCC-1031.

greater aspects

The S5 has a color monitor, not like the Ultimaker 3, which had a blue and black monitor. This new reveal is wonderful, aside from one of the most color decisions. In some of the menu gadgets, there's white on light gray text. if you look straight at the text it is obvious, however in view that most of us might be looking on the waist-excessive screen from eye level, it's difficult to examine. i am hoping they fix that in a future software replace, as a result of it is a bit of of a design fail.

Frankly, notwithstanding, it be my handiest real criticism.

The laptop does wise bed leveling. It tests across the total construct surface, instead of just on the corners. This enables the desktop to build a representative mesh, accounting for any bed inconsistencies. The result is astonishing prints.

just like the Ultimaker 3, the S5 supports diverse extruders and distinct extruder varieties. that you would be able to switch between extruders supposed for regular plastic and a PVA-certain extruder supposed for dissolvable filament. that you can additionally swap extruders to make use of distinct size nozzles, so if you desire one nozzle to be spewing out at and also you desire an additional nozzle to be extruding at you can make it so.

The printer additionally has glass doors on the entrance, which support with warmth management. here is an growth on the Ultimaker three, which had enclosed facets, however an open front. The S5 nonetheless has an open-to-the-air correct, however the glass doorways create a heat buffer that seems to have a extremely effective impact on print success.

look at various prints

earlier than i used to be brave adequate to do the basically huge initiatives, I determined to do a few examine initiatives. I printed a hook for my spouse's sewing room that makes it possible for her to grasp a bunch of clothing off a unique customized attachment mechanism I designed that works with some home Depot plastic shelves. I printed an extra hook for those cabinets that I just designed for a single hanger.

I printed a door knob hole cover that matches right into a door. once we bought the residence, there became an ugly hole in one of our indoors closet doorways, so I filled that with a flat piece that has some bracketry to attach it to the door. 

I also printed a whole pile of exams. I printed a small gaggle of look at various Yodas (Yodi?). I printed an entire bunch of test cubes. All my prints, aside from the one that i discussed earlier with the inaccurate settings, printed perfectly.

Managing bed adhesion

by using this aspect, i was practically courageous sufficient to begin making an attempt the big prints. but i used to be nonetheless a little bit nervous about what it might take to detach significant prints from the glass bed. When printing something 300 by means of 300 millimeters in size on glass, some thing that could take days to print, i wished to be certain I didn't ruin the rest making an attempt to get the prints off the bed. 

I received involved with the individuals at Ultimaker. I spoke to one of their assist guys, who instructed me that I may still rub a glue stick on the construct floor and print on that.

I instructed him i would had problems during the past eliminating objects that had been adhered with glue stick and he clued me into the key. He advised me the key turned into to attend except the build plate cools. if you wait and you're affected person, the prints eradicate quite simply.

My different query turned into, "How do I clear off the glue stick each and every time?" My previous method — and i'm sure this is no surprise to any person — became to take a hammer and chisel, or a hammer and a scraper to whack the glue off the floor. while my engineering diploma credentials me to make use of a hammer to remedy any mechanical or electrical issue (or at least consider better about not fixing it), there may be some thing a bit worrisome about hitting a glass plate with a hammer.

It turns accessible's a better manner. it be easy, too. once you've eliminated your print and any final plastic particles, readily wet a paper towel and set in on the print floor on appropriate of the glue stick residue. go away it there for 15 or 20 minutes. it's it. simply depart it there. When 20 minutes have passed by, come again and wipe up the glue stick residue with the paper towel. this is it. that is all there is to it. it be clean. or not it's convenient. or not it's quick.

Printing on this component with mattress adhesion, with the glue stick, so long as you comply with these few elementary optimal practices I've described, is rather first-class. I simply in reality loved it. And once again, I've had no problems with it.

The massive prints

I reside about 60 miles away from Mount Hood. When it be clear, i will be able to in fact see it from right here. Naturally, my first big build become a Mount Hood sculpture, which is in line with 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 turned into in fact enjoyable. 

it be big. It takes up many of the bed surface. And like I pointed out before, i was a bit bit frightened about doing away with it. I did not should be. It printed perfectly. I used the graduated print settings which supposed that, instead of taking days, it took just in a single day to print. See the accompanying video for some screenshots of those settings. They labored smartly.

My spouse and i favored the print so an awful lot, we decided we were going to take it and hang it on the wall. we have a perfect spot in our entryway to try this, so I drilled a hole in it, and we hung it up.

The 2d really giant venture i wanted to print became the USADiscovery, from big name Trek. I printed it in two ingredients: The saucer part and the leading body and nacelles. each segments truly would have fit side by way of aspect on the construct plate, but i am in fact happy I printed it in two passes.

this is because the saucer section is rarely exactly balanced, specially when printing within the heavier copperFill filament. because the bed cooled, the adhesion decreased, so by the point the mattress was utterly cool, the additional overhanging weight from the saucer brought about the print to detach and topple over. fortunately, it was a robust print and there became no hurt.

together, both segments make up a model starship that is about 20 inches lengthy. because it prints, the copperFill appears extra like terracotta than copper, however apparently it polishes to a nice sheen. it truly is a assignment for an extra week, but that you would be able to make certain i may share it with you when it's complete.

Is it worth it?

So, general, is this printer worth it? or not it's a $6,000 printer, which is considerably more expensive than the Ultimaker 3 and means more expensive than the hobbyist machines. Is it value the $6,000?

in fact, the answer to that depends on what you might be going to do with it and what your finances is. when you are doing industrial work, it's fully value it. it's likely the ultimate 3D printer I have ever used.

i really like the little LulzBot machines. i like my CR-10. I in reality like the Ultimaker 3. but this issue has an immense construct area. It correctly prints on the large construct area, and it appears to print massive builds with zero complications. it's the simplest printer I've ever used when it comes to loading filament, it supports twin filament extrusion, and it doesn't lose any construct enviornment for those who're printing distinctive filaments. 

if you are making jigs, or need manufacturing fixtures, or prototyping a product, or you're doing any sort of commercial pastime, then the $6,000 is neatly value it, in particular in terms of not wasting your time having to do redos or reprints. 

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

i'm very impressed with this laptop. live tuned within the coming weeks and months, as a result of I actually have a bunch more big builds coming, along with a number of other exciting projects, together with greater superstar Trek models.

What do you suppose? Do you have got a mission it truly is priceless of a machine like the Ultimaker S5? Are you growing a new product or building or making whatever awesome? tell us within the comments under. 

that you may observe my day-to-day mission updates on social media. be sure to comply with 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 had been compensated by Ultimaker for this independent, unbiased assessment.

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