About this project
Ultimaker 3D printer add-on creates unlimited print length
Ever dreamed of printing larger objects with your own Ultimaker 3D printer? This is the Z-Unlimited. With this amazingly simple add-on you convert your own trusty Ultimaker into a 3D printer with an unlimited extended print-area in height.
The Z-Unlimited basically flips your 3D printer upside down and moves it all the way up along a wall while it is printing. To convert your 3D printer to reach unlimited height will only take you 10 minutes. And this operation is just as easy to undo.
With the Z-Unlimited add-on your Ultimaker will be able to print really tall objects like large vases, wine bottles, life-sized (scanned) human sculptures or even an elephant!
Last summer Joris executed the first project with his Z-Unlimited invention. Live at Schiphol airport he 3D printed a life-sized elephant as a 3D petition against elephant abuse. The installation with five Ultimakers combined with Z-Unlimited was only actively printing when people signed the petition. Since more than enough people signed the petition the life-sized 3D printed elephant was completed within two weeks!
The basic Z-Unlimited package comes with a carriage set and a rail of 1.2 meters. This will extend your print-area in Z to 65cm high. If you wish to go even higher you easily mount extra length of rails to the system. To get high quality prints all the way to the top Z-Unlimited features a very simple support mechanism that can be adjusted to any height.
Don't have an Ultimaker, but you do want to support? We also have two nice rewards for you! A personalized cup like www.youmagine.com/designs/weekly-cup-nr8
Stretch Goal XXL Colorfabb
The Kickstarter campaign is soon coming to its end. So tell your 3D printing friends who are interested in large-scale printing, there are only 3 more days to back the project and purchase a Z-Unlimited! If the campaign raises more than €30.000,- the Z-Unlimited kit will also include an XL spool of printing material by Colorfabb. Trust me, you need this…
Print-area Z-Unlimited in mm: 210 x 210 x unlimited
Extend your z-print-area to 650 mm
Rails of 1200 mm
2x Support arms
Price: €495,- / Early bird €395,-
Extend your z-print-area to 1850 mm
2x Rails of 1200 mm
4x Support arms
Price: €595,- Early bird €495,-
Extend your z-print-area to 3050 mm
3x Rails of 1200 mm
6x Support arms
The add-on comes as a DIY kit.
- Add-on for Ultimaker original and original plus AND now also Ultimaker 2
- High quality prints like you are used to from your Ultimaker 3D printer
- Enlarge your printarea without consuming extra space of your workspace
- Conversion in only 10 minutes
- Non-permanent conversion
- Including smart support system for high printed objects
- Including easy to install software and firmware update
- No change of workflow
- Open Source / Creative Commons (BY-NC).
How does it work
Unique support system
The unique support system works as follows: The arms can be mounted on any height. Mount the arms on both side while your 3D print is running, exactly on the height your object is at. Take the yarn and create a mesh over the object. The plastic melts onto the yarn and secures the object. When the print is ready the yarn is easily pulled out without leaving any marks.
What happened and what will happen. The timeline below is a quick overview of the activity around the Z-Unlimited.
Risks and challenges
Please note that when you start printing bigger objects the risk of failure is also becoming bigger. That’s why I would like to share some tips and tricks with you.
1. I prefer printing with a large nozzle to keep the printing time within limits.
2. Bigger prints need more filament, so keep an eye on the end of the spool! I'm experimenting with a filament detection system from Tunell.
3. Use Octoprint for remote control and monitoring to keep an eye on your print.
4. Don't be afraid to resume stopped prints.
5. Use the included support system to stabilize your print.
6. Find and share your knowledge and thoughts on the Ultimaker forum!
The Z-Unlimited is a proven add-on. To take this into production shouldn't be risky. All production files and bill of materials are there and used for 10 setups already. To expand production to the first 30 early bird backers is very realistic. I might get a problem though when more than 1000 people back this project, but even then the production shouldn't be a problem.
The biggest challenge is to keep the shipping costs within a reasonable price...
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