With Santa having clearly read this blog and listened to my prayers, it was no wonder that (with the help of my savings account) his little elves were busy this Christmas and left a pleasingly large parcel on my doorstep! My new Ultimaker Original + kit had arrived – Squeee!
As a true techno-nerd-in-training it had to be the kit version for me – and just as ‘Santa’ was busy researching the options, the new UMO+ came out, with a heated bed and improved z-stage. If you’ve followed my admittedly sporadic postings, you will have read that at an earlier point I had considered Makerbot and the UP. Well, I have become thoroughly disenchanted with Makerbot in the meantime, mainly because of their withdrawal from the open-source community and the dodgy IP controversies surrounding Thinigverse. I believe in open-source, and have been following the recent commercialisation of the personal 3D printer market with great worry. There are fewer kit products now the market now than when I started this research project, and the general trend to provide a finished ‘out of the box’ printing experience – while not unexpected – is a great shame, particularly because if you know your machine inside out it becomes easy to diagnose and fix any problems that might occur. And occur they will, even the most sophisticated 3D printers eventually need to be maintained. The worst development in my opinion is the push of certain brands towards custom ‘cartridges’ of filament – do we really want 3D printing to go the way of the inkjet? Not me, and that is why the UMO+ was my choice.
After a good two weeks of painting, sanding, screwing and wiring, my fully pimped Ultibaby was ready to go and produce its first test prints. And after ironing out a few kinks along the way, it has now been up and running smoothly for the last month. My studio is getting filled with brightly coloured bits of plastic in the meantime – don’t underestimate the power of the Ulti….