Extending the Ultimaker S5’s functions as a single printer unit, its operations can be augmented and improved further with Ultimaker’s Material Station Unit and Air Manager Unit which altogether are known (and sold) as the Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle. The Material Station allows loading up to six spools of material for seamless material switching or reloading between and during prints and the Air Manager stabilizes the print chamber temperature and filter airborne particles from the printer chamber and surroundings by way of HEPA filter. The 3D printer at the core of the S5 Pro Bundle is virtually unchanged from the S5 launched in 2018 and it’s still a tremendous dual extrusion machine with a novel and useful versatility in its print core system. However, almost everything else has changed recently and the ecosystem is a whole new dimension that makes it a recommendable enterprise-friendly installation. Both the Material Station and the Air Manager complete Ultimaker’s vision of the S5 as a productivity powerhouse suitable for the shop or production floor.
An integral part of the Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle is the Material Station. Sitting beneath the S5 printer as a base unit, this illuminated humidity-controlling box offers six front-loading filament bays, which is utterly convenient. Spools of 50–70 mm wide and 197–203 mm in diameter can be loaded.
At the point of loading, you choose which of the two filament paths to the print core each filament can take. Each material bay in the Material Station can feed both print cores independently although some planning with respect to the print cores and filaments you use is necessary.
Many materials in 3D printing will absorb moisture from the environment if left out and unprotected. The Material Station as the Ultimaker claims, controls the humidity level inside the cabinet, recharging its silicate absorption medium enough never to require changing. The Material Station won’t dry your filament, but it will maintain an acceptable level of usability with severely hygroscopic materials such as PVA, one of the printer’s specialties.
The Material Station can also read the NFC chips embedded in Ultimaker brand spools of filament, detecting the materials automatically and relaying this information to the printer, connected Cura software if connected, and the Ultimaker Digital Factory. Material loading and unloading happen automatically – rollers nestled at the rear of each material bay spool filament as it backs up through the Material Station’s long feed path down the rear of the machine. As a complete package, the S5 printer and Air Manager units connect to the Material Station for power and communication. The Material Station is “always-on,” protecting filament from moisture even if the S5 printer powers down.
Topping off the Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle is the Air Manager, a hinged transparent plastic hood that clips into place on top of the printer. This device is simple in concept, closing off the print chamber for better temperature stability and adding a HEPA filter to scrub, Ultimaker claims, up to 95% of ultrafine particles. Because of this, we opted to install our Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle in our office space rather than our lab, and found there was a distinct lack of smell or fumes. While we’re talking about our office environment, also know that the S5 is not a whisper-quiet machine. Expect volumes in line with that of a standard office copier for the duration of a print.
As with the Material Station, the Air Manager’s presence is known to the S5 printer, with its behavior adjusted and factored into the print settings of some materials. The filter is accessible from the front of the machine, making replacements a relatively simple process.
- Robust integrated ecosystem (machine, software, subscription services)
- Automated print and material profiles simplify print prep
- Fast and efficient setup
- Wide material compatibility (incl. carbon fiber and metal via optional CC print core)
- Tools for business intelligence (traceability of printing via reporting)
• Only a single build plate
• Kinks in the cloud functionality yet to be ironed out
• Tricky to track multiples of materially similar third-party filament
All in all, Ultimaker S5 Bundle Pro is a great professional FDM 3D Printer that comes at an affordable price point. At THINKFAB, we offer Ultimaker S5 Bundle Pro 3D Printer at a high competitive price. Click here to request for quote.