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Ultimaker turns 10 | Sander van Geelen


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Posted · Ultimaker turns 10 | Sander van Geelen

 

As you probably have heard by now; Ultimaker is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year, having started in 2011. When we started it was just the 3 co-founders, Siert, Erik and Martijn. Following a continuing demand for the Ultimaker Original after sharing its design they decided to hire a few people to help them out. I don’t think anyone could foresee what lied ahead of them. The continuous demand and extra staff naturally comes with more stock which led to the decision to relocate, and they settled in a very nice location close by. Geldermalsen, The Netherlands. 

 

It was an old school building, and I was lucky enough to find my way to Ultimaker the second week they took office in that building, and being the 6th employee for Ultimaker, late 2011, I have been lucky enough to witness most of its history. And I figured, perhaps it would be fun to share some of that history. 

 

Here is a picture from that building, seen from the nearby road. We stayed here for a couple of years, until quite literally the building couldn’t hold us anymore. 

 

image.png.5597048525ef16ded4237b1c37ea0b33.png

 

To give you an idea about the surroundings, I took a screenshot from google maps. What you can’t see on there is the now green field right next to the office used to be a corn field (with a path, so as far as I know we never lost any employees in there…), which was excellent for walks, meetings and brainstorming dilemmas. 

 

1707626118_officemaps.thumb.jpg.7c4e1c9f41edaff1b2b8262c0ff1468a.jpg

 

This was the time I like to think where we really build the foundation for what Ultimaker would become. When we just moved in, there was barely anything besides a lot of ambition, enthusiasm and some instructions how to build your DIY wooden Ultimaker. No print profiles, a very complicated slicer and only a small group of users that gathered on google groups to help each other figure out how to work around the previously mentioned missing essentials.
But when we left this building we had an Ultimaker 2+, Ultimaker Cura, print profiles, a thriving community, some Ultimaker materials, an amazing sales partner network and a team that grew towards somewhere between 100 and 200 people. 

 

When we became too big for this building too, we moved to another location in Geldermalsen (right next to a windmill and some sheep. Another amazing and relaxing environment to work in), which most of us got to call home for a few years until we opened another office in Utrecht.

 

 image.png.b390ce9e0c4240ea47de04dbf8ab17d4.png

Geldermalsen office   

image.png.54177141f7f8e240e9fde19330528981.png

Utrecht office
                 

By the time we entered the Utrecht office, Ultimaker and the network around us matured a lot. But something that always struck me as an amazing feat is that from the group that started Ultimaker, most of them are still with us. The other remarkable detail is that everyone went to a different branch in the company, R&D hardware, Software, Support, Marketing, Quality assurance, UX. Like different fingers belonging to the same hand holding onto that Ultimaker spirit. 

 

Do you like to hear more personal reflections on these first years? Matt Griffin interviewed me and you can listen to it via Spotify 🙂

 

 

 

How long have you been part of the Ultimaker family? I know some of you have been with us for many years already! Are you curious to hear about a certain era or detail from back then? Feel free to ask in the comments! I might share some more perspectives on different things from the past later 🙂

 

Matt has interviewed more people besides me to capture those personal impressions. Curious? You can see the full list of available episodes here and here!
 

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Posted · Ultimaker turns 10 | Sander van Geelen

Congratulations on a 10th birthday and I hope UM keeps prospering.  It was always more fun playing on a team with a lot of talent and I've been impressed from afar by the talent of the UM team.

 

Now...tell me more about the sheep.

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