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Like its predecessor, the SKETCH Large features the accuracy and material compatibility to facilitate academic 3D printing applications. However, the new system also packs a larger 220 x 200 x 250mm build volume, meaning that up to ten student projects can be 3D printed at once, in a way that allows teachers to prioritize educating over continually carrying out manual processes.
“Supporting 3D printing and STEAM education continues to be one of our core tenets. We believe that making 3D printing more accessible will empower students to take their creativity to the next level,” said Nadav Goshen, CEO of UltiMaker. “With the new SKETCH Large, educators and students can amplify their ideas and designs, unfettered by the limitations of a printer.”
UltiMaker’s continued academic focus
Prior to Ultimaker and MakerBot’s merger, the companies operated as separate entities, with each establishing their own line of desktop 3D printers. For its part, Ultimaker had built up a range of increasingly more advanced Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) systems, including the Ultimaker S2+ Connect, Ultimaker S3, Ultimaker S5 and Ultimaker S5 Pro.
These machines have found both industrial and academic applications, with 3D Metalforge setting up an Ultimaker print farm in 2020, and Ultimaker donating multiple printers to schools just last year. Pre-merger, the firm also tended to market its offering as an accessible 3D printing portfolio, which it supported via several software launches, such as the introduction of Ultimaker Essentials.
MakerBot, meanwhile, launched its METHOD, Replicator+ and SKETCH lines, the latter of which is specifically designed to meet academic teaching needs. As with Ultimaker, the company consistently supported STEM educational courses with the donation of machines, most recently giving several to under-resourced US communities in June. With the two firms having merged, they now appear to remain focused on educational 3D printing, and expanding their joint offering in this area.
“3D printing is [about] more than just the printer, which is why we are continuously improving our education ecosystem—one of the most comprehensive and established 3D printing solutions on the market for educators,” added Goshen. “We aim to give educators and students the tools and resources they need to unleash their creativity and unlock the possibilities in learning.”
A new, plus-sized SKETCH
UltiMaker’s new MakerBot SKETCH is not just larger than before, meaning that student users are able to experiment at greater scale, but it’s set to be shipped as a package primed for heavy duty usage. Available as a single unit solution or as a two-unit classroom combo, each Large is set to ship with three spools of easy-to-print MakerBot PLA, theoretically enough to cover an entire semester.
Every printer is also expected to come with an extra build plate, spatula and a pair of snips, as well as one teacher license and fifteen student licenses for the MakerBot Certification training programs. Designed to help users get the most out of their machines, the software includes a comprehensive curriculum program that educators can follow, plus ‘interactive design thinking’ courses for pupils.
Hardware-wise, the SKETCH Large packs the same fully-enclosed chamber, particulate filter, heated, flexible build plate, touchscreen and 100 – 400 micron layer 3D printing capabilities as before. This in itself is no bad thing, as UltiMaker says these features allow users to “print large projects with peace of mind,” knowing that the system is set up to ensure model accuracy and consistency.
In terms of software, UltiMaker’s new machine is designed to work with MakerBot CloudPrint, a print preparation and classroom management application. Adopters also stand to benefit from access to MakerBot Education, a Thingiverse educational resource library, which currently has hundreds of lesson plans and projects for all grade levels and subjects, alongside an active educator community.
Technical specifications and pricing
Below are the technical specifications for UltiMaker’s MakerBot SKETCH and SKETCH Large 3D printers. Those interested in buying the machines can either get the SKETCH Classroom for $1,299, or the Large edition for $2,399, with the latter due to ship in December 2022.
|MakerBot Sketch Classroom||MakerBot Sketch Large|
|Build Volume||150 x 150 x 150mm||220 x 200 x 250mm|
|Layer Resolution||100 – 400 microns||100 – 400 microns|
|Nozzle Diameter||0.4 mm||0.4 mm|
|Product Dimensions||433.4 x 423.1 x 365mm||547 x 535 x 470mm|
|Connectivity||USB, Ethernet, Wifi||USB, Ethernet, Wifi|
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Featured image shows UltiMaker’s SKETCH 3D printing range. Image via UltiMaker.