In this stable release, Cura 5.3 achieves yet another huge leap forward in 3D printing thanks to material interlocking! As well as introducing an expanded recommended print settings menu and lots of print quality improvements. Not to mention, a whole bunch of new printer profiles for non-UltiMaker printers!
The UltiMaker S7 is built on the success of the UltiMaker S5 and its design decisions were heavily based on feedback from customers.
So what’s new?
The obvious change is the S7’s height. It now includes an integrated Air Manager. This filters the exhaust air of every print and also improves build temperature stability. To further enclose the build chamber the S7 only has one magnetically latched door.
The build stack has also been completely redesigned. A PEI-coated flexible steel build plate makes a big difference to productivity. Not only do you not need tools to pop a printed part off. But we also don’t recommend using or adhesion structures for UltiMaker materials (except PC, because...it’s PC). Along with that, 4 pins and 25 magnets make it easy to replace the flex plate perfectly – even with one hand.
The re-engineered print head has an inductive sensor which reduces noise when probing the build plate. This effectively makes it much harder to not achieve a perfect first layer, improving overall print success. We also reversed the front fan direction (fewer plastic hairs, less maintenance), made the print core door magnets stronger, and add a sensor that helps avoid flooding.
The UltiMaker S7 also includes quality of life improvements:
Reliable bed tilt compensation (no more thumbscrews) 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi A 1080p camera (mounted higher for a better view) Compatibility with 280+ Marketplace materials Compatibility with S5 project files (no reslicing needed) And a whole lot more
Curious to see the S7 in action?
We’re hosting a free tech demo on February 7.
It will be live and you can ask any questions to our CTO, Miguel Calvo.
Register here for the Webinar
Are you a fan of tree support, but dislike the removal process and the amount of filament it uses? Then we would like to invite you to try this special release of UltiMaker Cura. Brought to you by our special community contributor @thomasrahm
We generated a special version of Cura 5.2 called 5.3.0 Alpha + Xmas. The only changes we introduced compared to UltiMaker Cura 5.2.1 are those which are needed for the new supports. So keep in mind, this is not a sneak peek for Cura 5.3 (there are some really cool new features coming up) but a spotlight release highlighting this new version of tree supports.
The Ultimaker, like most 'hobby grade' printers is what we call a Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) printer. It prints from spools of plastic filament (like plastic wire) that it melts and deposits layer by layer on the surface. There are basically two main types of plastics that people use with FFF printers, ABS and PLA. ABS is the kind of plastic that is used in many consumer products such as Lego and such, as well as industrial uses such as sewer pipes. It's a fairly flexible plastic and quite strong, however somewhat difficult to print with because it tends to shrink when it cools and warp. The other common kind of plastic is called PLA. It is a completely organic plastic that is made from corn. Common uses for PLA include food packaging and medical dissolvable sutures (stitches). PLA is much less flexible than ABS and somewhat brittle. It also melts at a lower temperature which makes it unsuitable for anything where it could potentially get too hot and melt. However, it is much easier to print with than ABS (less shrinkage/warping) and it's completely biodegradable for those that like to be kind to the environment.
The Ultimaker was designed specifically to use PLA so that works best, but it is also possible to print with ABS in the Ultimaker. There are also some newer and less common plastics that are used. One is Laywood 'Printable Wood'. This is basically sawdust suspended in a plastic material so it looks and feels somewhat like wood when it's printed. Another material is Nylon which is a very common plastic that is used in many, many things... However it is extremely hard to print with because it doesn't stick well to most print surfaces and shrinks and warps worse than ABS. A newer blend of Nylon called Taulman 618 is making it much easier to print with Nylon, but it's still difficult to work with. There's also PVA, which is a plastic that can be dissolved in water, it's mainly used as a support material to help with printing large objects that have lots of overhang. People are also experimenting with other plastics like polycarbonate and polyethylene as well as blends of plastics such as PLA/PHA blends.
None of these plastics require any treatment afterwards to finish them off.
Another variation of the FFF printer can be used to print chocolate. And there is a type of selective sintering printer that can print with sugar (candyfab).
That's just for FFF printers. There are other types of printers... Many others. Another type of printer that is available to the hobbyist is a STL (Stereo Lithography) or DLP Resin printer. These printers use a liquid resin that hardens when exposed to UV or near UV light. This material usually looks and feels like ABS plastic, but has some slightly different properties. These printers also do not usually require any treatments afterwords to finish, though sometimes additional exposure to UV (such as just leaving the object out in the sun) can be needed for it to fully harden.
And moving on from the hobby printers if you have thousands of dollars to spend then the possibilities are limitless. There are many other technologies for 3d printing that allow you to print with ceramics, metal, glass, paper, etc...
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