PROS / This 3D printer comes with four different size nozzles, so you can better customize your model’s quality and print speed.
CONS / The Ultimaker 2+ doesn’t feature Wi-Fi printing.
VERDICT / Because of its print quality and simple, powerful design elements, the Ultimaker 2+ is perfect for high-quality 3D printing.
Editor's Note: The new version of this 3D printer, the Ultimaker 3, is now available. We will evaluate, rank and review the Ultimaker 3 when we next update the 3D printer site. Meanwhile enjoy our review below about the Ultimaker 2+.
The Ultimaker 2+ stands out in our 3D printer comparison for its sleek design and interface, high print quality, and overall functionality. You can control print layer height and speed with the powerful Cura software, and the printer comes with multiple nozzles in different sizes to customize each of your prints to its individual needs. For all these high-end features and more, we award the Ultimaker 2+ our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.
The Ultimaker 2+ is already an impressive 3D printer, but it’s even more impressive when you look at its print quality. During our tests, it unfailingly made each model, and the surface quality was way above average – the tiny layers were barely even visible on most prints. The Ultimaker 2+ can print layers as thin as 0.06 mm, which is less than the thickness of a piece of paper. We did notice some occasional issues common to 3D printers, including a little bit of layer shifting and ringing, but most prints were still successful. During our testing, the printer didn’t have any problems with overheating on account of its smart fan placement, which improves the airflow throughout the interior.
This 3D printer’s excellent performance is only enhanced by the four different nozzles included with your initial purchase. Other 3D printers have one or two optional nozzle replacements and sizes available for purchase, but the Ultimaker’s are easily swappable and completely free. The smallest size is 0.25 mm, and you can use it to print slow, high-quality models; the largest nozzle is 0.8 mm, and you can use it to boost your print speeds and make draft-quality prints. One of the printer’s only downsides is its small print space of 8.7 x 8.7 x 8 inches, which is only about average for 3D printers. It’s more than enough space to print medium and small prints though.
This 3D printer works with both ABS and PLA, as well as various other filaments from Ultimaker. Your initial printer purchase includes some PLA filament, but you can also purchase replacement cartridges in CPE, PVA, nylon and more. The proprietary Ultimaker 2+ materials are slightly more expensive than those from other manufacturers, but they are still affordable considering how well they work with Ultimaker printers.
This machine also has an open filament system, which means you can use whatever brand filament you want. This allows you to take advantage of universal or generic cartridges for more color and material options. The open system works especially well with the included nozzles.
We found that installing and changing filament on this machine was intuitive and easy. You just select the change filament setting on the screen, and the printer does most of the work for you. The filament holder sits out of the way on the back of the machine and quick feeds the filament through an opening with gears that project the filament into the print head. You don’t have to do any opening, adjusting, shoving or clamping to get the filament in the right place. This is just another of the many qualities that makes the Ultimaker 2+ one of the best home 3D printer options.
This compact home 3D printer is easy to connect to. While it doesn’t have Wi-Fi, it does have an SD card slot so you can still print wirelessly. If you have a dedicated computer, the Ultimaker 2+ also prints via a USB cable connection.
Controlling this 3D printer is also super simple – the onboard screen lets you change all the settings and functions. You can use it to change filament, start and stop prints, level the bed, change the temperature, and more. While the screen is small, the scroll dial is large and easy to operate.
One of the best things about the Ultimaker 2+ is the Cura software. While Cura works with many of the other 3D printers on our lineup, it originated with Ultimaker. This powerful program is one of the very best in the industry. It has two settings, simple and advanced, that tailor the program to your skill level. In simple mode, you only see essential settings such as infill type, filament type and support structure type. In advanced mode, you see options for layer height, speed, cooling, social modes, platform adhesion and more. In both modes, hovering over a setting describes its function and recommended inputs. Cura and the Ultimaker 2+ are the ideal combination of printer and software for any custom project or skill level.
During testing, we hardly had to make any adjustments on the Ultimaker 2+, and it basically works right off the bat. The printer does have an auto leveling function, but it’s not entirely automatic – you follow guided steps to ensure the bed is completely level. You don’t have to get dirty though; turning the dial does most of the work raising and lowering the corners of the bed. We found that it’s nice to have manual control of the print bed in addition to an automated process. Overall, the calibration process is incredibly easy, and for the most part, you don’t have to level the bed before each and every print, which saves you some time.
The Ultimaker 2+ was one of the easiest printers to assemble and use during our testing. First of all, there is practically no assembly besides inserting the print bed and adding filament. The bed itself is glass, and it’s heated for ABS printing. You just slide it into the machine, and it’s held in place by small metal holders. The bed is also easy to take out so you can carefully remove finished models without awkwardly maneuvering around inside the printer.
This 25-pound printer is made of aluminum and glass, which makes it much lighter than some of the other machines in our 3D printer review. However, the construction is incredibly sturdy, and the machine doesn’t rock or vibrate during the printing process.
Help & Support
Ultimaker offers a 12-month warranty on the Ultimaker 2+. You also receive free lifetime support from technical staff. There’s information for email and phone support on the website, as well as the manual and helpful video tutorials. On the website, there’s also a section to answer your questions about 3D printing, including information about how 3D printers work and what industries take advantage of 3D printing. In addition, Ultimaker hosts a community forum.
Although the Ultimaker 2+’s print size is just average and it doesn’t have Wi-Fi, the 3D printer is a strong contender in our review for its combination of features that produce extremely high-quality 3D models. Its filament options, size, functional design features and impressive software make the Ultimaker 2+ perfect for home or office use if you’re serious about quality.