CTO Miguel Calvo unveils the PVA Removal Station on stage

4 key updates from the Ultimaker Showcase

'VUCA', easier 3D print workflows, and new features

For 10 years, Ultimaker has been working to create a world-leading, easy-to-use 3D printing platform. It’s a process that never stops. The result of the constant hard work and dedication of our R&D teams and many ecosystem partners. And it’s why we were proud to launch our first ever Showcase event tonight.

The 45-minute broadcast, filmed at our Geldermalsen facility in the Netherlands, featured a keynote from CEO Jürgen von Hollen about the role of additive manufacturing (AM) in today’s world, as well as updates from various teams about the entire Ultimaker product range.

Missed the event? Don’t worry, you can watch it again in full below – or keep reading for a quick summary of the highlights.

Ultimaker Showcase video preview
Watch the Showcase

Leveraging AM to navigate the ‘VUCA’ world

Rising shipping costs, trade disputes, and the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are having an impact worldwide, with the evidence of supply chains under pressure visible in the US, UK, and elsewhere.

Operating a ‘just-in-time' inventory or getting new products to market quickly have never been more difficult. 

In his keynote address, Jürgen focused on two key ingredients to succeed in this new world: flexibility and sustainable value.

  • Flexibility is about our responsiveness to address challenges or pursue opportunities; it’s about our ability to pivot quickly and effectively redeploy our teams, processes and technologies to remain out in front 

  • Sustainable value is about continuity and an organization’s long-term relevance. It has several elements for successful business growth 

But how can 3D printing help? It pushes the production of goods closer to the consumer, democratizing manufacturing on a global scale and allowing products to be cost-effectively customized to consumers’ needs. We see 3D printing being used to develop bespoke grippers, fixtures, and tools that enable companies to profitably accept custom orders locally that would be difficult to fulfill with a fixed automation production process remotely.

These solutions also let businesses bypass rising raw material costs, long supplier lead times, and to build in a flexible resilience to events like the COVID-19 pandemic. Follow the link below to find out more ways 3D printing can benefit businesses in 2021. 

Discover more top business benefits

Ultimaker PVA Removal Station with a 3D printed part
Ultimaker PVA Removal Station

New innovation to enable post-processing of parts 4 times faster

At the end of the Showcase, Ultimaker CTO Miguel Calvo made the biggest product announcement – revealing the Ultimaker PVA Removal Station.

This new product, currently in the final stages of development, will help 3D printer users to develop prototypes faster, bring their products to market more quickly, and speed up the overall product development process. 

3D printers that use PVA, or polyvinyl alcohol, as a support material require post-processing to remove it for some prints. This means dissolving the PVA for a long period of time in water. Depending on the print’s design and size, this process can take more than a day to complete. The PVA Removal Station reduces this time by up to 75%. It also reduces the operating time, as operators no longer have to remove PVA manually or need to check the dissolving process. 

Easy to use, clean, and maintain the PVA Removal Station can be filled with up to 13.5 liters of water, its circulation direction will change automatically, and the speed can be adjusted as needed. An internal basket and divider keep prints in place and submerged. A saturation indicator shows when the water needs changing, and the transparent container allows for a quick check on progress. 

The PVA Removal Station is universal in use and will be available in the first half of 2022. 

Keep me posted ahead of launch

Lehvoss filament

Using advanced, third-party materials just got easier 

Another of the big announcements was the first material in the Ultimaker Certified Materials range: LEHVOSS Group LUVOCOM 3F PAHT® 9825 NT. 

This strong, high-temperature polyamide-based material becomes the first of many planned Certified Materials. This enables you to print confidently with the best-in-class third-party materials on the market, so you can achieve first-time-right results. 

With print profiles, material quality, and technical datasheets tested and validated by Ultimaker, you can be sure that the material delivers the quality you need on your Ultimaker 3D printer. And thanks to NFC integration you will enjoy a seamless workflow on your printer and in our software. 

Learn more about the filament and where to buy

Firmware 7.0 on display at the Showcase event
A sneak peek of firmware 7.0 for Ultimaker S-line printers

More enhancements across the Ultimaker platform 

Beyond the announcements, the Showcase went deeper into some of the less noticeable features we’ve been adding – and will continue to deploy – throughout the Ultimaker platform. 

Product Marketing Manager Software, Elder Linssen, gave an insightful demo of the complete end-to-end platform workflow. It showcased new features, such as the streamlined CAD to print flow and remote printer maintenance scheduling, that help ensure more first-time right prints for Ultimaker users.

Miguel Calvo also showed off some of the features of the forthcoming firmware 7.0 release for S-line printers, which will bring a visual overhaul to the printer’s interface. A new status bar more clearly indicates the printer’s current status, and icons have been updated throughout the UI for a consistent experience across software and hardware. Firmware 7.0 is expected to drop in the next couple of weeks.

And if all these updates have you thinking you want to get back to the basics of 3D printing and refresh your knowledge... Well, there’s something for you too!

We’ve also launched a new course for the Ultimaker 3D Printing Academy e-learning platform – a beginner’s guide to FFF 3D printing.

Try the new course

We hope you enjoyed the Ultimaker Showcase and look forward to bringing more fresh updates to the Ultimaker community at the next event in 6 months’ time. To stay up to date with our latest news and events, sign up to our newsletter and get a monthly roundup of our 3D printing news.

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