Reducing costs and improving efficiency 1

Reducing costs and improving efficiency with the Ultimaker S5

IMI Precision Engineering, a world leader in motion and fluid control technologies, is a company dedicated to creating solutions that provide speed and precision for customer machinery. Using the Ultimaker S5 for in-house additive manufacturing, their team was able to save time and money on low-volume pieces, while also reducing energy consumption and enhancing production line performance.

Saving over $17,500 per year and enhancing manufacturing efficiency

The Ultimaker S5 offered the best value, with the size and materials we needed to print all the parts. It added new capability to other machines that we had purchased last year, with lower costs for low-volume parts and improved manufacturing efficiency.

- Kathryn Jones, IMI Graduate Engineer

Challenge and solution


IMI Precision Engineering relied on a manual machining processes that was costly and didn’t provide enough design freedom. Each year, they spent thousands of dollars machining parts while wasting valuable production time with another 3D printer that lacked essential features. They also needed a better way to control the weight of their products and further improve their efficiency.


After researching over 130 machined parts and selecting 18 of them for a 3D printing trial, IMI Graduate Engineer Kathryn Jones narrowed down her search for a desktop 3D printer to Ultimaker and Formlabs. The Ultimaker S5 offered the best value and time savings against another brand of 3D printer, saving thousands of dollars in production costs and providing a return on investment in four months.

Cost comparison

The IMI Precision Engineering team saw quick ROI on the Ultimaker S5 while experiencing valuable money and time savings.

Part descriptionParts per yearTraditional machining3D printing on Ultimaker
Spring Key (Tough PLA)721$3,118 per year$872 per year
Saddle (Nylon and Breakaway)8$6,296 per year$674 per year
End caps (TPU 95A)22$486 per year$99 per year

IMI Graduate Engineer Kathryn Jones explains, “The total cost of printing selected parts is $3,653, which saves $17,747 per year. Because of these savings, we were able to see a return on investment for the Ultimaker S5 in just four months.”


  • Reduced costs: The IMI Precision Engineering team saved thousands of dollars on low-volume parts and earned back the cost of their Ultimaker S5 quickly.

  • Design freedom: With the Ultimaker S5 available in-house, IMI Precision Engineering experienced greater design and redesign freedom for faster production of parts.

  • Enhanced efficiency: The team improved efficiency and saved almost 2,000 hours of production time when designing and 3D printing 18 low-volume parts on the Ultimaker S5.

  • Weight savings: 3D printing their parts on the Ultimaker S5 means greater control over the infill densities and wall thickness of their parts for overall weight reduction.

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