The Ultimaker 3 is an entry level system used to support coursework at the University of Michigan. The Ultimaker 3’s features are tightly integrated with Cura, a popular open source slicer application, offering user centric features such as a front facing USB port, a simple user interface, and auto-bed leveling. Those who are a bit more experienced can take advantage of the printer’s dual heads for 2 color printing or to create more advanced geometries with water soluble support structure. The Ultimaker 3 is a perfect solution for class support and is available by faculty, instructor, or student advisor reservation only.
Understanding the Technology
What is FFF: In a process known as Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), a.k.a. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), the Ultimaker 3 additively builds objects by selectively applying a heated thermoplastic polymer in layers, typically 100 micron thick, from the build tray to the top of the part.
FFF Materials: Ultimaker 3D printers in the Fabrication Studio use PLA plastic for model material and PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) a water soluble support material. PLA is a biodegradable plastic that is made from renewable resources like cornstarch or sugarcane. When compared to ABS, PLA is not quite as strong but the material uses less energy to form; is less likely to warp; is safer to use; and has less of an impact on the environment, making it an ideal material for 3D prototyping.
FFF Benefits: FFF 3D printers, such as the Ultimaker 3, provide an easy to use, cost effective solution to additive manufacturing. Due to their relative simplicity, FFF 3D printers tend to be inexpensive. FFF printers are highly tunable allowing users to adjust model infill and layer resolution which can reduce print time and cost. Low cost hardware, flexibility, and a wide selection of materials make the FFF the most common choice for 3D printing.
FFF Disadvantages: Because objects are built up from a thin bead of material, typically measuring 0.4 mm in diameter, build times are measured in hours to days. The filament extrusion process also limits feature detail, provides low dimensional accuracy, poor surface quality and part weakness between the layers in the z axis. Support structure is required for overhanging geometries which must be removed and negatively impact surface quality.
Ultimaker 3 Specifications
- Technology – Fused Filament Fabrication
- Build Volume: 215mm x 215mm x 200mm (8″ x 8″ x 8″)
- Layer Resolution – 60 to 200 Micron (0.4 mm nozzle)
- Dual extrusion for 2 colors or a soluble support material.
- Print Speed: 80mm/sec max
- Print temperature up to 280C
- Heated build plate with active leveling
Availablity and Pricing
Reservation by Faculty Request Only
Ultimaker 3D printers are available for academic use only and are not intended for mass production. Up to 5 machines can be reserved at a cost of $5.75 per printer/per 12 hour work day; 9:oo am to 9:oo pm. Additional reservation fees will be applied for print jobs that extend beyond 9:oo pm. Payment is due in the form of a short code transaction so faculty approval is required. We do not accept any other form of payment for Ultimaker reservations.
Reserve a 3D Printer for Your Class
Instruction for Faculty, Instructors and Student Advisors
Ultimaker 3D printers are available to faculty, instructors, and student advisors to support coursework and student learning. A total of 5 Ultimaker 3D printers are available for reservation. To gain access, check the Ultimaker calendar below for printer availability, then complete the ‘Ultimaker 3 Reservation Request’ form.
- Step 1. Check the Ultimaker 3 Class Schedule (Faculty & Instructors)
- Step 2. Reserve the Ultimaker for your class (Faculty & Instructors )
Once your reservation has been confirmed you will receive an email confirmation. We ask that you share this email with your student(s) as it contains steps that the student will need to complete, see below. Students who complete their Ultimaker certification will receive a ‘Certificate of Completion’ in PDF format.
Sign up to use the Ultimaker
Instruction for Students
The following information provides instructions for users of the Ultimaker. Accessing the Ultimakers reserved by your teacher is a 3-step process:
- Step 1. Get Certified
- Step 2. Check the Ultimaker 3 Student Schedule
- Step 3. Complete Ultimaker 3 Signup Sheet
Students are required to sign up for print time in 3-hour blocks using the Ultimaker Signup Sheet. If your 3D print will exceed 3 hours, be sure to reserve enough consecutive 3-hour blocks of time required to complete your 3D print. You may only sign up for time reserved by your teacher for your class. 3D print jobs that conflict with other student schedules will be canceled.
Learn How to 3D Print Using the Ultimaker 3
To learn how to design for, safely operate, and earn your ‘Ultimaker Certification’, please visit our Training and Certification page. Additional learning materials are available in the Ground Connection Knowledge Base.