I Bought a 3D Printer: Ultimaker 3

I started looking into 3D printing for hobbyist and business purposes. A month later I bought an Ultimaker 3. Here's why:

General Research:

There is a lot information out there about 3D printing but most of it is useless. I did find a few sources that are very informative and appear to be unbiased. Tom's 3D and Makers Muse make video reviews of materials, printers and all things 3D printing. There's also a good printer comparison on 3DHubs that appears to be continuously updated. Prusa's and Lulzbot's websites aren't unbiased but they are very informative.

Tom's 3D YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb8Rde3uRL1ohROUVg46h1A
Makers Muse YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/TheMakersMuse
Printer Comparison and Guide https://www.3dhubs.com/best-3d-printer-guide
Prusa's Blog and online shop http://www.prusa3d.com
Lulzbots Learning and Education pages https://www.lulzbot.com/learn

Comparing Machines:

Once I was up to date with the machines and processes currently available I started my own machine comparison list. Some of the things I looked for were:

  • High printing quality (Layer heights under 0.1mm and good reviews)
  • Large print volume (Around 200mm x 200mm x 200mm)
  • Heated bed (Up to 100°C for printing ABS and Nylon)
  • High temp extruder (Up to 300°C for printing Nylons and other high temp plastics) 
  • Enclosed build volume
  • Dual material extrusion

I ultimately narrowed it down to the Ultimaker 3, Zortrax Inventure, BCN3D Sigma and the Prusa i3. (Even though the Prusa i3 wasn't for multi materials yet.) The Zortrax Inventure looked like a good machine. It was however the most expensive machine with the smallest build volume. It also required the use of Zortrax's expensive material. The BCN3D Sigma has a huge build volume and is somewhat enclosed but didn't get great reviews. It was eventually down to the Prusa i3 and the Ultimaker 3. I was really considering buying the Prusa i3 but didn't because they had an 8 week backorder and hadn't launched their multilateral kit yet. I may buy one in the future, but for my first 3D printer I bought the Ultimaker 3.

Main Machine Comparison List

Dual Extrusion Machines

More affordable and reliable machines list.

The Ultimaker 3 Decision:

I bought the Ultimaker 3 because it fulfilled all of my requirements, had amazing reviews and really just seemed like the right choice. The only thing that made me hesitate was the price. At €3000 without shipping or taxes it was the second most expensive machine on my list and almost 4 times more expensive than the Prusa i3. Now that I've owned it for a few months I still feel like I've made the right choice.

It wasn't always smooth sailing. I purchased my Ultimaker 3 from iGo3D.com and it would turn on. The main lights would illuminate but nothing would show on the screen and the selector wheel wouldn’t illuminate. I contacted IGO3D and within an hour they sent me a prepaid DHL shipping label to return it. 5 Days later they shipped it back with a new test print and claimed there was a loose cable. Its a bummer it happened but iGo3D handled it well. There weren't any arguments or excessive waiting times on hold. I also didn't have to pay anything extra. I was a bit impressed and because of it I would do business with iGo3D again. The Ultimaker 3 has been running flawlessly for a month now and is still going strong.

Very first print on the Ultimaker 3.
Download STL on Thingiverse. Tree Frog

Assortment of prints.
Download STL Files on Thingiverse. 2 Color Frog Octopus Stand

GoPro Mount system.
Download STL files on Thingiverse. Bracket Mini Case

Some Other Links for Related Information:

3D Printing Services:

Where to buy:

Other Links:


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