Ultimaker displayed its new Ultimaker 2 to the public for the first time this weekend. Although it looks very similar to Ultimaker’s first 3D printer, there are a couple of notable updates including a new aluminum body, a quieter drive motor, and a heated print bed. The latter upgrade allows the Ultimaker to create objects using ABS plastic. The warm platform also prevents printing errors that occur when parts of the plastic lift as they cool. The new Ultimaker 2 has an asking price of 1,895 euros ($2,563).
The Ultimaker 2 wasn’t the only innovative printer at the show. The B9 Creator is a fairly unique looking printer with an elevated building chamber. What’s more, it repurposes a DLP projector (the same screen beaming device you might see used in company meetings or classroom presentations) to fabricate prints.
Instead of extruding hot plastic into solid shapes, the B9 Printer uses a stereolithography (SLA) process of curing light sensitive, liquid resin into a 3D print. Normally SLA printers, such as the Formlabs Form 1 printer, use a high-precision laser to solidify the resin, the B9 Creator, however, was designed to use an off-the-shelf projector with a few optical adjustments. The end result is an affordable $2,990 high-resolution 3D printer that can create objects with 50 micron (0.05 millimeter) thin layers.
Another homebrewed printer at the show was a metal-based inkjet printer called the Vader printer created by father-and-son makers Scott and Zackery Vader. It looks badass. With a granite countertop and a machined aluminum printing bed, the Vader 3D printer was designed to take the heat from shots of molten metal in Liquid Metal Jet Printing. In other words, the printer literally shoots droplets of liquid, molten metal to fabricate a solid metal object.
Zack said the inspiration for the idea came from a 1997 University of Texas at Arlington research paper on Liquid Metal Jet Printing. Now the family project is six months into development and they hope to have a fully functioning printer by next month.