3D printing with Ultimaker in 2019: A year in review

  • News

It’s official – 2020 is here. We’re excited for the coming year and all that’s in store for both the Ultimaker community and the 3D printing industry. We’re also extremely proud of 2019 and all that was accomplished. Moving to a brand-new headquarters in Utrecht, for instance, or ALL3DP naming the Ultimaker S5 as 2019’s “Best Dual Extruder 3D Printer”. Needless to say, we’re proud, honored, and motivated to continue innovating with products that support the industry and our customers. Here’s a look back at some of the year’s high points on all fronts – hardware, software, materials, and people.

Hardware: New products, new possibilities

The Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle and the Ultimaker S3

The launch of the Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle the Ultimaker S3 were the hardware highlights of 2019. The Pro Bundle features the award-winning, composite-ready Ultimaker S5 3D printer, the Material Station – a six-spool prefeeder with humidity control and automatic material switching – as well as the Air Manager, a top enclosure with a material-matching EPA filter. Together, they integrate seamlessly, enabling always-on production that deliver real business value.

Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle video overlay
Watch the Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle video

The Ultimaker S3, meanwhile, delivers many of the best features of the Ultimaker S5, combined into a smaller, more affordable device. With composite-ready dual extrusion and a footprint suitable for any desk, the Ultimaker S3 enables professional performance for any budget.

Ultimaker S3 video overlay
Watch the Ultimaker S3 video

Software: Intent profiles and application enablement

Print slicing with our open-source software, Ultimaker Cura, grew 124% in 2019, while G-codes for Ultimaker machines grew 40%. The total number of users per month nearly doubled. As well, the release of Ultimaker Cura 4.4 introduced three intent profiles, each with a specific professional application in mind: Engineering, Visual, and Draft.

intent profile headphones-visual-2,1 cura 4.4
Effortlessly achieve crisp details and smooth surfaces for your designs using the Visual profile, one of four intent profile available with Ultimaker Cura

The first quarter of the year saw the Ultimaker Cloud, a future-ready platform that allows for easy backup of Ultimaker Cura settings, access to the Marketplace, and remote printing. Ultimaker Cloud designed to meet the needs of today’s engineering and design professionals, simplifying the 3D printing workflow and providing seamless integration with a wide variety of industry-standard software applications and materials.

In October, the Ultimaker Marketplace hit 1 million downloads, cementing the idea that Ultimaker’s ecosystem – its hardware, software, and hardware – is truly unique, accelerating and streamlining digital manufacturing workflows around the world.

Materials: The Alliance powers up

The Ultimaker Material Alliance grew even stronger, as the Ultimaker Marketplace received its 100th material by mid-November. In Düsseldorf, Germany, the K trade show also served as a showcase for materials developed for additive manufacturing on Ultimaker 3D printers. K 2019 welcomed approximately 225,000 visitors from 165 countries, and more than 3,300 exhibitors from 63 countries.

K 2019 video image
Materials enable 3D printing applications at K 2019

Additionally, key players from the Material Alliance were in the spotlight at Formnext, the annual additive manufacturing exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany. There, the efforts of a collaborative push for the improvement and enablement of industrial applications of 3D printing were on fully display, including ESD-safe, recycled PLA, glass or carbon fiber-reinforced, and metal polymer composite materials.

Watch the video

Ultimaker also formed a partnership with LEHVOSS Group, in which the two companies will work together to obtain TÜV SÜD certification for LUVOCOM® 3F filaments on Ultimaker printers. The certification covers material properties and the print process provided by the Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle, and is a major step towards industrialization and scalability of the 3D printing industry.

Scaling industrial applications for 3D printing

People and the industry: Uncharted territory and soaring successes

In November, we introduced the 3D Printing Sentiment Index, a measure of market awareness and adoption as well as overall sentiment towards the potential impact of the technology.

It is based on 2,548 interviews with qualified professionals and in-depth analysis of macro-economic factors. Five key elements were investigated: market awareness, adoption and install base, 3D printing growth indicators, perceived future impact and optimism, and technology infrastructure and ease of adoption.

In addition to the industry, we are also are well aware of the power of the people – rather, those individuals, businesses, and organizations which use Ultimaker 3D printers, and which are breaking new ground, pushing boundaries, and pioneering a new way of working.

Gerhard Schubert GmbH, for example, revealed its innovative ‘digital warehouse’ for on-demand manufacturing, providing its customers with future-proof, high-performance packaging machine solutions that are reliable, easy to operate, and flexible in terms of format conversion.

Watch the video

Internationally renowned brewery Heineken gave us a glimpse of how 3D printing transformed its manufacturing line. By implementing the technology, it was able to increase uptime and efficiency at its Seville brewery.

Watch the video

Killa Design, a Dubai-based architectural firm, also showed how it uses 3D printing to create unique, iconic designs – as well as one of the most complex structures ever built.

Ultimaker and Killa Design video
Watch the video

And it doesn’t stop there. Companies around the world are continuing to introduce 3D printing into their day-to-day operations, taking control of every step of their streamlined workflows – the above examples are but a drop in the bucket. Want to learn more about how companies are shaking up industries?

Discover Ultimaker success stories

Summing up and a look ahead

“For Ultimaker, 2019 was an extremely productive and exciting year. We moved to a beautiful new location in Utrecht, celebrated the 100th material on our Marketplace, and saw a dramatic increase in Cura usage,” Paul Heiden, Ultimaker’s Senior Vice President of Product Management, said. “We also worked with Schubert to publish one of the 3D printing industry’s first cases on distributed manufacturing. As we look ahead to 2020, we hope to further our progress in the development of distributed manufacturing – and continue to accelerate the world’s transition to digital distribution and local manufacturing.”

The coming year is sure to bring even more news, stories, and industry advancements. Want to stay up to date with everything that occurs? Subscribe to the Ultimaker newsletter!

Sign up now

Read more blogs

Read more blogs (113)

  • Ultimaker-S5-material-station

    Which Ultimaker S5 Material Station setup is right for you?

    The release of the Ultimaker S5 Material Station opens the door for a wide range of use cases. But how best to configure the materials contained within it?


    3D printing in 2019: Ultimaker's year in review

    From innovative new products to inspiring success stories, 2019 has been an eventful and exciting year for 3D printing. Here's a look back at a few of the highlights.


    Improving industrial applications with the Ultimaker Material Alliance

    Partners of the Ultimaker Material Alliance are doing their part at furthering the 3D printing industry, from UL Blue Card-certification to ESD-safe material to metal-polymer composites.

  • Making it work: 3D printing and engineering

    Making it work: 3D printing and engineering

    From rapid prototypes to end-use parts, 3D printing is a perfect addition to an engineer's workflow, in which wasted time is wasted money.


    3D printing and ROI: Build your business case

    Bringing 3D printing into your business is cost-efficient, convenient, and transformative. But it's important to understand and calculate your return on investment from the technology.

    Ultimaker Cura 4.4 og image

    Achieve success faster with Ultimaker Cura 4.4

    Intent profiles in Ultimaker Cura simplify 3D printing. Just load your CAD data, choose a profile that matches your print’s intent, and hit print.

  • Ultimaker 3D Printing Sentiment Index 2019

    3D Printing Sentiment Index: Which countries lead the way?

    Where is the biggest 3D printing growth potential in 2019? This blog reveals the results and methodology behind Ultimaker's first global 3D Printing Sentiment Index.

    Ultimaker LEHVOSS Group

    Ultimaker and LEHVOSS Group: Scaling industrial applications for 3D printing

    A partnership between Ultimaker and LEHVOSS Group is the beginning of a new level of 3D printing, lowering the barrier for industrial adoption.


    Discover Intent profiles in Ultimaker Cura 4.4 beta

    Intent profiles in Ultimaker Cura simplify 3D printing preparation, give you results that match your intent, and maximize your print success rate, so you can show the true value of 3D printing in your business.

  • The Ultimaker Material Alliance: Pushing boundaries at K 2019

    The Ultimaker Material Alliance: Pushing boundaries at K 2019

    The impact of the Ultimaker Material Alliance was evident at K 2019, the world’s premier trade fair for plastics and rubber.

    6 factors that affect indoor air quality when 3D printing OG

    6 key factors that affect indoor air quality when 3D printing

    Concerned about air quality and 3D printer particle emissions? Check out this blog to learn the 6 factors that affect your indoor air quality when 3D printing.

    Glass vs carbon fiber composite 3D printing materials

    Glass vs. carbon fiber 3D printing composites

    It's a common question. Which composite material is right for your 3D printing application? Carbon fiber or fiberglass? Check out this in-depth blog!

  • marketplace-1m-og

    Ultimaker Marketplace hits 1 million downloads

    The Ultimaker Marketplace, our digital distribution platform, has just hit a major milestone of 1 million downloads for plugins and print profiles combined. Ultimaker now has the largest compatible material choice in the entire 3D printing market.

    TCT Show OG

    A visual recap of TCT Show 2019

    Big crowds, big announcements, and more – get the full photographic rundown of 2019's TCT Show.


    Ultimaker Cura 4.3: Available now

    We've released a new upgrade of our print preparation software. Join millions of users worldwide and benefit from an advanced slicing engine that offers integration with the Ultimaker Marketplace, and a cloud-connected workflow for ultimate flexibility. Don’t miss out! Update today.

  • Introducing the new Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle OG image

    Meet the Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle

    24/7 automated material handling, air filtration, filament humidity control. Find out how our unique 3D printing solution unlocks more demanding applications.

    Introducing Ultimaker S3 the newest addition to our S-line of 3D printers OG

    Ultimaker S3 – the newest addition to our S-line of 3D printers

    Composite-ready, dual extrusion, auto bed leveling, touchscreen. Learn how Ultimaker S3 delivers robust desktop 3D printing so you can start innovating faster.

    Owens Corning talks 3D printing

    An industrial adoption: Owens Corning talks 3D printing

    Composite materials powerhouse Owens Corning explains why and how 3D printing can transform workflows

  • cura-43-beta

    6 things you can try today in Ultimaker Cura 4.3 beta

    From more 3D file formats to an easy selector for Z seam positions, here are six great features of Ultimaker Cura 4.3 beta


    In the driver’s seat: 3D printing and the automotive industry

    Designing and creating a vehicle is hard work – but 3D printing can lighten the load


    5 lean manufacturing principles demonstrated by 3D printing

    Explore the the 5 principles of lean manufacturing and how leading brands have implemented them thanks to Ultimaker 3D printers.

  • Ultimaker-Cloud-Teams-blog-hero-2

    Ultimaker Cloud: Achieve more together using Teams

    With Ultimaker Cloud's latest feature, Teams, you can connect and collaborate with colleagues and control multiple groups of Ultimaker 3D printers.

    3d printing for molds

    A perfect fit: 3D printing for molds and casting

    How is additive manufacturing changing the creation of molds and casts? From silicone molds to investment casting metal, check out this blog for inspiration.

    An Ultimaker printer prints a L’Oréal prototype

    Transformative beauty: L’Oréal prepares for the future with 3D printing

    If it’s happening in Ultimaker’s world, you can find out about it here. 3D printing stories about inspiring moments, original 3D printed projects and much much more.

  • hero-user-context

    Ultimaker Cura 4.2: First choice for 3D printing professionals worldwide

    Today, the latest version of our powerful, easy-to-use 3D print preparation software is available for download. In this release, we’ve focused on usability improvements that simplify 3D printing workflows, whatever your 3D printing application.


    'Beyond the basement': 3D printing in the age of Industry 4.0

    The rise of 3D printing means the technology is more accessible than ever, paving the way for creation, iteration, and innovation

    Het Noordgebouw

    Onward and upward: New city, new office, new look

    If it’s happening in Ultimaker’s world, you can find out about it here. 3D printing stories about inspiring moments, original 3D printed projects and much much more.

  • Ultimaker manufacturing

    Behind the scenes: How Ultimaker 3D printers are manufactured

    If it’s happening in Ultimaker’s world, you can find out about it here. 3D printing stories about inspiring moments, original 3D printed projects and much much more.

    Upgrade your Cura experience with and Ultimaker 3D printer

    Upgrade your Ultimaker Cura experience – with an Ultimaker 3D printer

    If you use Ultimaker Cura, but don't send your print to an Ultimaker 3D printer, then you’re missing out on a ton of functionality...

    Ultimaker Marketplace

    Accelerate 3D printing productivity with the Ultimaker Marketplace

    If it’s happening in Ultimaker’s world, you can find out about it here. 3D printing stories about inspiring moments, original 3D printed projects and much much more.

  • Firmware 5.2

    Activate Ultimaker Cloud with firmware 5.2

    Enjoy all the benefits of Ultimaker Cloud by updating your Ultimaker 3D printers to firmware 5.2. Cloud connectivity and new performance optimizations give you the most powerful 3D printing experience available.

    Ultimaker Cura 4.0

    Simplify 3D printing with Ultimaker Cura 4.0

    Download Ultimaker Cura 4.0 today and enjoy a brand-new user interface designed to simplify 3D print preparation – whether you’re a beginner or an expert. This release adds integration with Ultimaker Cloud, offering you advanced cloud-based tools to support

    Ultimaker wins prestigious iF Design Award

    Ultimaker wins prestigious iF Design Award

    Ultimaker has been awarded a prestigious iF Design Award for the user interface of our Ultimaker S5 3D printer.

  • Ultimaker Cloud

    Introducing Ultimaker Cloud – the next generation 3D printing workflow

    If it’s happening in Ultimaker’s world, you can find out about it here. 3D printing stories about inspiring moments, original 3D printed projects and much much more.

    Application focus: Jigs and fixtures

    Application focus: Jigs and fixtures

    3D Printed jigs and fixtures enable businesses to work faster, save money and add flexibility.

    Ultimaker S5

    Ultimaker S5: A round-up of reviews

    We took a look at how reviewers have been finding the latest addition to our range of desktop 3D printers - the Ultimaker S5