UltiMaker has announced a new desktop 3D printer, the S7, which builds on the existing S5 but adds a number of new features, mainly around more consistent temperature, that should improve productivity and reliability.
The S-series printers use the Fused filament fabrication (FFF) approach, which essentially means melting and extruding plastic filaments to form each layer of an object. The S7 printers use a dual extrusion print head with an auto-nozzle lifting system, swappable print cores, and flood detection. There’s a choice of nozzle diameters, from 0.25mm up to 0.8mm. The nozzles take just under two minutes to heat up, and operate at 180 to 280ºC. The S7 takes 2.85mm filament. It has the same build area as the S5 at 330 x 240 x 300 mm and includes a 11.9cm touch screen.
UltiMaker CEO Nadav Goshen, commented, “With the S7, we took everything our customers loved about the S5 and made it even better.” Thus the S7 gains an integrated air manager that has been independently tested by Fraunhofer WKI and found to remove up to 95% of ultrafine particles from every print.
UltiMaker has also changed the glass door on the front of the machine, replacing the S5’s double-door design with a single door on the S7, which allows for better temperature control. Heat from the build plate warms the air inside the printer, which then rises throughout the build chamber. However, the S5 can suck air in through the gap between the double doors directly facing the centre of a large part, which, could cause warping when printing with a very temperature-sensitive material, such as ABS, so the new single door fixes this issue.
There’s a new flexible build plate that makes it easier to remove parts without cracking the build plate. It has a new proprietary PEI coating for helping build parts stick to the base without needing glue, while also making it easier to remove those parts when they’re finished without the parts warping. The plate itself uses 25 magnets and 4 alignment pins so that it can be replaced and aligned accurately.
There’s a new inductive print head sensor, instead of the capacitive sensor of the S5, that probes the build plate with less noise and more accuracy. The printer also gains an automatic tilt compensation so that there’s no need for thumbscrew bed calibration. These two features combined should ensure the accuracy of the first layer that’s laid down. UltiMaker has also improved the remote in-chamber monitoring with a higher-quality camera with a better viewpoint of the print plate.
UltiMaker also sells as an optional extra. a Material Station, which together with the printer forms the S7 Pro. This gives six front-loading spool bays plus automatic filament humidity control and material handling, which should save operator time while increasing print success rate and quality.
The S7 will be compatible with the UltiMaker ecosystem of over 200 materials and offers seamless integration with, UltiMaker’s Cura printing software.
Goshen concludes, “As more customers are using 3D printing to grow and innovate their business, our goal is to provide them with a complete solution to be successful. With the new S7, customers can be setup and running in minutes – managing printers, users, and designs with our Digital Factory software, improving their 3D printing knowledge with e-learning courses on the UltiMaker Academy, and choosing from hundreds of materials and plugins using the UltiMaker Cura Marketplace.”
UltiMaker will continue to sell the S5 though the S7 now becomes the flagship model in the S-series range. Ultimaker has made a number of minor upgrades to the S5 since launching it in 2018, so the S7 can largely be seen as part of this process, and is essentially an advanced version of the S5.
It’s worth noting that UltiMaker and Makerbot completed their merger late last year, with the new entity now called UltiMaker with a capital M in the middle. You can find further information on the new S7 from ultimaker.com.
Published with permission from www.nessancleary.co.uk