With the already crowded and volatile 3D printing marketplace growing more convoluted and contentious by the day, figuring out to which victor should go what spoils is no simple matter. Ultimaker, in the fray since 2011, has cast its lot with open systems and brand loyalty, a strategy that seems — thus far — to have served the pioneering Dutch manufacturer well. In spite of the sticker shock that buyers of its high-end desktop prototyping devices may experience, the company's business model has made Ultimaker a household name both within and beyond the field of additive manufacturing.
Finding its niche largely in the education sector, Ultimaker has leveraged its name recognition and positive relationship with the open-source community to gain an edge against the likes of Dutch rivals Leapfrog and America's Reprap whipping boy Makerbot, now a subsidiary of litigation-minded behemoth Stratasys. While competitors in the global 3D printing industry put up their dukes in court to decide who will end up the revered Chosen Ones in rapid prototyping's uncertain future, Ultimaker has buttressed itself against the legal firestorm with a commitment to open systems and backward compatibility that keeps its name on the lips of owners and fans alike.
For owners of the Ultimaker 2 Extended, this means continuous access to upgrades not only via the open source community, but also through Ultimaker's direct offering of retrofitting kits such as those made available to current owners of the Ultimaker 2 line to update to the newer 2+ machines' capabilities. One caveat is that owners of the Ultimaker 2 Go are left out of the upgrade kit scheme.
While the Ultimaker 2 Extended's connectivity and maintenance records are far from perfect, and extrusion problems reportedly cause delays to unclog the fussy nozzle, its large build area and quiet precision are enough to keep all but the most cantankerous users happily working with their old reliable Ultimakers. Added to the ability to call upon the active community of support and Ultimaker itself for tips and tweaks to get the most out of the machine, that makes the Ultimaker 2 Extended the device of choice for many enthusiasts.
Wouldn't print out of the box. Grub screws came out from pulleys after printing and fan was disconnected. I wasted time and money on this.
The Ultimaker 2 Extended is significantly heavier than the Ultimaker 2 Go, so unboxing it takes a bit longer.
Relatively expensive if you are just getting into 3D printing, and the fan duct could be designed better to cool the print more efficiently, but overall an excellent printer.
I preordered my Ultimaker 2 Extended directly from Ultimaker. I love it! I use it almost every day. This was hands down the most recommended printer out there.
If you are looking for an affordable, well-designed 3D printer that will make larger parts, then the Ultimaker 2 Extended is a great unit to start with.
One of the highest resolution desktop 3D printers available. Its larger footprint means it can also print larger, more complex projects than many of its brethren.
Twice it had extrusion issues that caused it to stop printing until they were corrected after a round of troubleshooting. Its print quality was also somewhat inconsistent.