Located at opposite ends of the array of 3D printing options are hobbyist desktop printers and specialised industrial machines. Somewhere in the middle, there is fertile ground for 3D printing solutions that combine the best of both worlds for use in professional environments. This is precisely the market Ultimaker is targeting with its newly announced S5 Pro Bundle.
Bridging the gap between desktop and industrial 3D printers, the S5 Pro bundle consists of the previously released Ultimaker S5 as well as the new S5 Air Manager and S5 Material Station. The S5 printer itself is positioned by Ultimaker as being suited to printing prototypes, tools and even end-use parts, aided by the large build volume.
The new additions brought to the table by the S5 bundle further push the printer towards the professional side of the spectrum, reducing the time spent attending to it. The Air Manager creates an enclosed, controlled environment that provides a physical barrier and filters out waste particles, in turn allowing the use of more printing materials. Those extra materials can be managed with the Material Station, allowing for faster installation of filament into six humidity controlled bays.
Paul Heiden, Senior Vice President of Product Management at Ultimaker, said: "Our goal is to make 3D printing easy, reliable and accessible in order to accelerate the world's transition to digital distribution and local manufacturing. We have heard many professional users express a need for a more enclosed 3D printing environment and we understand the desire for good, dry material storage and smart material handling in order to reduce the risks of humidity, dust and human error.”
Companies in the 3D printing industry have been keen to demonstrate the utility of the custom parts enabled by just such printers, with Protolabs and GE Additive printing gowns for the Met Gala and with the Ultimaker S5 being employed at a Heineken factory earlier this year.