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Try the new Ultimaker S5 on Protolabs Network

In this post, we sat down with Paul Heiden, SVP Product Management of Ultimaker, to give you an insight into the process of developing the S5.

Written by George Fisher-Wilson

On April 23rd Ultimaker released their newest machine the S5, and it's now available on Protolabs Network. In this post, we sat down with Paul Heiden, SVP Product Management of Ultimaker, to give you an insight into the process of developing the S5. We also give you the tl;dr of the features that make the difference when ordering high-quality parts.

Here's the list:

  • Large build volume of 330 x 240 x 300 mm which is perfect for large-scale prototypes or for batch production of smaller parts.
  • Enclosed front, with tinted glass doors, ensuring that the internal temperature and airflow are optimal. This is an important change helping overall print quality as changes in temperature can cause warping.
  • New ultra-flat anodized aluminum build plate, the Ultimaker S5 can reliably print with advanced engineering grade materials such as ABS, Nylon and PP, all available on Protolabs Network.
  • Redesigned silicon nozzle cover keeps airflow consistent giving good layer adhesion. Giving parts a consistent surface finish.
  • Suppliers using the machine can spend less time calibrating thanks to active leveling technology. The technology compensates for any surface deviations in turn potentially leading to faster turnaround times.

All the first concepts for these features started somewhere and Paul Heiden guided us through where it all begins when Ultimaker is creating a new machine:

"The first thing we do is look at the customer profile or persona for the new machine. In this case, it was Roland (a fictional person), an engineer who needs to be able to get his parts without getting his hands dirty. He's not so interested in 3D printing but understands the benefits it offers to his work processes. He has a desire for reliably made parts with as little hassle as possible. The development of this persona comes out of conversations with clients, companies and user testing."

Paul-Heiden-SVP-Product-Management-UltimakerPaul Helden, SVP Product Management at Ultimaker

As soon as the persona is created of the prospective customer Ultimaker begins looking into the problems they need to solve to serve this person best. Once the information is gathered from similar sources that the persona was created, Research and Development go into it full swing producing ideas on prospective features that can solve Roland's problems. The supply chain team also gets involved very early. Paul explains:

"They have to be in very early to make sure the ideas being developed can actually go into manufacturing. A good example of this is with the new touchscreen on the S5, the supply chain team knew straight away who would be manufacturing these screens and whether it was feasible. The same rules apply to all over the printer. You need to be able to find a problem, offer a solution and think about whether you can mass manufacture that solution."


Once these stages are complete prototypes can be developed, testing can begin and then once everything is finalized you have a new 3D printer ready for market. A good analogy used by Paul for this process:

"Imagine groups of trains all leaving the station at different times with the same goal of getting to their destination at the same time. Once development begins research and development take off, then goes supply chain and in the latter stages marketing begins its journey."


The end result of all this is the Ultimaker S5, which you can test it out now on Protolabs Network for yourself. See what these new features have to offer when creating low-cost prototypes, by clicking this link with printer pre-filtered. Just upload a part, get instant design feedback and see prices in real-time.