3D Printers

UltiMaker Factor 4, a new industrial 3D printer for the factory floor: Technical Specifications and Pricing

Netherlands-based 3D printer manufacturer UltiMaker has launched Factor 4, its new FDM 3D printer for the industrial market.  

The new 3D printer supports a wide range of engineering-level materials, including the company’s new PPS CF high-temperature composite filament. Factor 4 is optimized for the production of end-use parts, functional prototypes, manufacturing tools, and small batches of auxiliary components and spare parts. 

Ultimaker claims that its new direct drive dual extrusion 3D printer is reliable and offers high part repeatability. This is enabled by its temperature controlled 300 x 240 x 300 mm build chamber, which can heat up to 70℃. In testing, the company has achieved over 95% 3D print completion success, and dimensional accuracy within ± 0.2 mm or ± 0.2% of the feature nominal length.        

“There is untapped potential in the light industrial market, and we believe that Factor 4 will enable customers to further explore the application possibilities in this space,” explained UltiMaker CEO Michiel Alting von Geusau. “Moreover, with its efficiency and versatility, Factor 4 promises a quick return on investment, allowing businesses to capitalize on the benefits of 3D printing.” 

Prices for the Factor 4 will reportedly start at around $20,000, making it an affordable option within the industrial 3D printer market. 

UltiMaker enters the industrial 3D printer market with the Factor 4

Founded back in 2011, UItiMaker’s previous 3D printers have largely been targeted towards consumers and the education sector. Factor 4 now sees the company address demand in the industrial manufacturing sector. The new 3D printer is designed for use directly on the factory floor, featuring a modular architecture design to be easily repaired and maintained.   

Central to Factor 4 is its ability to 3D print at temperatures up to 340℃. This allows users to leverage a broad range of high-temperature industrial-scale 2.85 mm materials. These include the company’s own PPS CF, Nylon, PET CF, and PVA filaments. Ultimaker’s new PPS CF is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic material, reinforced with carbon fiber. It is flame retardant and resistant to temperatures over 230℃, offering an alternative to steel or aluminum in FDM 3D printing. 

The Factor 4 is also compatible with validated third party materials from the likes of BASF Forward AM, Kimya, Polymaker, LEHVOSS, and Jabil. According to UltiMaker, this represents one of the widest material portfolios on the market.   

When using Ultimaker’s latest 3D print profiles, available on the company’s Cura 5.7.1 slicer, the Factor 4 can reportedly 3D print engineering materials at speeds similar to Tough PLA and PETG. In fact, PET-CF and Nylon can be 3D printed 50% faster than on the Ultimaker S7.    

The UltiMaker Factor 4. Image via UltiMaker.
The UltiMaker Factor 4. Image via UltiMaker.

Those familiar with hygroscopic engineering-grade materials will know the damaging effects absorbed moisture can have on the quality of 3D printed parts. To combat this, Factor 4 incorporates an automatic climate-controlled material handling and storage station. This keeps humidity levels below 15% and can store up to six spools at a time. The system can also automatically change spools during 3D printing, removing downtime for users’ 3D printing parts that require multiple filaments.  

Building on its reputation for reliability, Ultimaker’s new industrial 3D printer features uniform 3D print bed heating, said to ensure consistent performance across the build plate. This works in conjunction with actively controlled build chamber airflow to achieve consistent temperatures up to 70℃, ensuring reliable part quality in all workspaces. 

Sensors are located in the 3D printer’s extruder, build chamber and automated material loading system, which monitor 3D print data and material performance. This allows for part-validation and quality control, with live process data also shown on the 3D printer’s 7” capacitive touch screen. An in-depth report is also generated after each 3D print job.       

“With Factor 4, we are introducing a reliable industrial-grade solution that provides a solid long-term investment,” stated Andrea Gasperini, Product Manager, B2B Solutions, at UltiMaker. “Factor 4 continues to deliver the reliability that UltiMaker products are known for, while also being able to seamlessly integrate alongside other industrial machinery and production processes.”

UltiMaker’s new 3D printer is currently being showcased at HANNOVER MESSE 2024, taking place from April 22-26. The Factor 4 will also be exhibited next month at TCT Asia in Shanghai, taking place from May 7-9.   

Parts 3D printed on the UltiMaker Factor 4. Photo via UltiMaker
Parts 3D printed on the UltiMaker Factor 4. Photo via UltiMaker.

Technical specifications of the UltiMaker Factor 4

3D printing Technology Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
Build Volume 330 mm x 240 mm x 300 mm 
Maximum Build Chamber Temperature 70℃
Maximum 3D Printing Temperature340℃
Dimensional Accuracy Within ± 0.2 mm or ± 0.2%
Air Filtration HEPA Filter
Filament Size 2.85 mm
Material Compatibility at Launch  UltiMaker-branded PPS CF, PLA, Tough PLA, Nylon, PETG, PET CF, PVA.
Validated materials from other companies including
BASF Forward AM, Kimya, Polymaker, LEHVOSS, and Jabil.   

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Featured image shows the UltiMaker Factor 4. Image via UltiMaker.