Ultimaker Metal Expansion Kit launched to make Metal 3D Printing more accessible and affordable

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Ultimaker Metal Expansion Kit, co-developed by Ultimaker and BASF Forward AM
Above: (From left to right) Miguel Calvo (CTO Ultimaker); Tobias Rödlmeier (Business Development Manager – Metal Ecosystem at BASF Forward AM); Andrea Gasperini (Product Manager Ultimaker) presenting components of the Ultimaker Metal Expansion Kit, co-developed by Ultimaker and BASF Forward AM/Source: Ultimaker

Ultimaker, the global leader in professional 3D printing, has announced the release of the Ultimaker Metal Expansion Kit, which is designed to make metal 3D printing more accessible and affordable. Engineers using the new Kit will be able to create applications with high mechanical stress and thermal resistance, which was previously impossible with high-performance thermoplastics.

The Ultimaker Metal Expansion Kit is specifically designed to eliminate existing process bottlenecks and limitations by providing users with all of the dedicated items, software features, and knowledge needed to maximize process efficiency and expand Ultimaker printer capabilities beyond thermoplastics.

The newly released Kit includes materials that are automatically recognized by the printer via NFC and allows for efficient switching between printing plastics and metal on the same machine. Ultimaker Cura, Ultimaker’s powerful and user-friendly slicing software, powers the technology, which is compatible with the Ultimaker S5 Platform.

Ultimaker Metal Expansion Kit

Ultimaker Metal Expansion Kit
Above: Ultimaker Metal Expansion Kit/Source: Ultimaker

The new Kit provides a complete, user-friendly solution for metal part preparation on the Ultimaker platform, including:

  • All necessary items for metal part preparation, from printing to accessing post-processing services, including materials and a set of dedicated print cores to support both the metal filament (Ultrafuse® 17-4PH) and the Ultrafuse® Support Layer, allowing full design freedom. Ultimaker created a new Print Core DD 0.4, a highly wear-resistant core, specifically for this Kit to print the abrasive support material. There is no need for permanent hardware modifications because print cores and materials can be replaced just like any other print core or filament.
  • Access to exclusive Ultimaker 3D Printing Academy content – created in collaboration with the BASF Forward AM team – allowing users to rely on a centralized and up-to-date knowledge base to teach the entire workflow with all kinds of tips and tricks so they can successfully apply Metal FFF on the Ultimaker platform.
  • Access to the BASF Debinding and Sintering Order Management Portal, a network of debinding and sintering services for transforming a 3D printed part into a full metal part.

MFFF-specific Ultimaker Cura 5.1 version

The release of the Ultimaker Metal Expansion Kit coincides with the release of an MFFF-specific Ultimaker Cura 5.1 version, which includes the extensive set of features required to prepare metal parts on the Ultimaker Platform.

According to Andrea Gasperini, Product Manager at Ultimaker, “The Ultimaker Metal Expansion Kit is especially suitable for printing non-of-the-shelf parts such as tools, jigs and fixtures, replacement parts, functional prototypes and auxiliary components. The Kit provides access to a complete and validated 3D printing workflow on an open platform that offers competitive quality and lead times normally only accessible with full in-house metal fused filament fabrication (MFFF) solutions at a much higher total cost of ownership. Thanks to the low total cost of ownership and savings up to 90% over small series of not-standard auxiliary components and tools, our early adopters are already realizing return-on-investment (ROI) in less than a year”.

3D printed applications with the new metal kit
Above: 3D printed applications with the new metal kit, resulting in strong, non-of-the-shelf parts with complex geometries/Source: Ultimaker

“This unique all-in-one bundle by Ultimaker unlocks the Metal 3D printing on open desktop platforms like Ultimaker S5, makes MFFF more accessible and affordable. With all the necessary components and accessories in the kit, it facilitates for users switching between printing plastics and metal parts back-to-back, and helps them throughout the process step by step from a to z. We are happy to complement this kit with our Ultrafuse® filaments and to offer a simplified post-processing step at a competitive price through our Debinding & Sintering partners located in different regions” – Firat Hizal, Head of Metal Systems at BASF Forward AM.

The Ultimaker Metal Expansion Kit will be available in North America, China, EU and UK in July 2022. Contents of the Kit vary by country; initially the BASF Forward AM Ultrafuse® Support Layer and Ultimaker Print Core DD 0.4 will only be available in EU and UK.

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Manufactur3D is an Indian Online 3D Printing Media Platform that reports on the latest news, insights and analysis from the Indian and the Global 3D Printing Industry.
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