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20 Jan 2020, 15:33

Which Ultimaker S5 Material Station setup is right for you?

The Ultimaker S5 Material Station offers a ‘no-hassle’ office solution. Part of the Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle, it provides simple front-loading supporting up to six filament spools, plus NFC recognition with compatible materials, end-of-filament detection, and automatic material switching. Learn how to configure your Material Station for your own use case.

Stay consistent

Prototyping, model-making, and production runs generally only require one print color. In this instance – and also for large or time-consuming prints – it is best to load your Material Station with six filament spools of the same color, allowing you to greatly reduce time spent replacing print material. Just start the print run and then get on with your day.  

Stay stable

Complex prints will usually require support material to prevent any overhangs from collapsing. In this case, you could load the Material Station with three spools of your regular material and three spools of support materials like PVA or Breakaway – or you could employ a four-two division, depending how much of each type of material you need – to make sure that your prints come out stable and ready for action. A fully enclosed chamber keeps the relative humidity instead below 40%, so PVA, which degrades when not properly stored, can be kept for longer periods, eliminating the potential for wastage. 

Other materials, such as glass-fiber-reinforced nylon, will also degrade if not kept at the proper humidity. The Material Station provides a suitable environment for these materials and many others available within the Ultimaker Marketplace

Stay organized 

In a fast-paced environment such as a manufacturing line, the use of multiple tools, jigs, and fixtures is all but required. To keep things moving – and to maintain an appropriate level of safety – color-coding is an excellent option. With the Material Station, this is easily done.

The Ultimaker S5 can print with up to two colors per print. Coupled with Ultimaker Connect, however, you can queue print jobs. So long as your prints fit the build plate – or you are present to manually remove them after each print is finished – you will be able to create prints using any combination of six filament colors.  

You can also use multiple colors to create parts with functional wear elements. These prints require two colors, with one wearing away as it is used – think gears, close-fitting tools, or robotic grippers. When the secondary color begins to show, you will know the part needs to be replaced.

Stay informed

Material configurations are one thing. The confidence that comes with a clear overview of all your prints is another. That’s where Ultimaker software steps in. When connected with a Material Station, the Ultimaker S5 will show all available material combinations in the configuration selector in Ultimaker Cura.  

The touchscreen of the Ultimaker S5 will also show all materials which have been loaded into the bays – as well as what extruder each material is loaded to. NFC-compatible materials will be automatically recognized and displayed on the touchscreen.

Driven by technology and passionate about innovation, Ultimaker is the market leader in desktop 3D printing and offers a range of high-quality 3D printers, Ultimaker Cura software, materials, and support. Since 2011, Ultimaker has built an open and easy-to-use solution of 3D printers, software, and materials that enable professional designers and engineers to innovate every day.

20 Jan 2020, 15:33