Joris van Tubergen and his Z-Unlimited Ultimaker add-on.
Do you remember the orange life-sized 3D printed elephant on display in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport last summer? The impressive structure, created by designer Joris van Tubergenin in aid of World Elephant Day, was 3D printed on five Ultimaker Original machines – turned upside down.
The unique 3D printing model broke the boundaries of a traditional desktop build area and enabled parts of up to 2.5 metres high to be created in an extended print space. Now a new Kickstarter project is giving you the chance to print with unlimited heights too.
The Z-Unlimited is an Ultimaker 3D printer add-on that allows unlimited print length with a non-permanent conversion that can enlarge the desktop print area without consuming any extra workspace.
According to the campaign page, the transformation – flipping your printer upside down - will take just 10 minutes to complete and is just as simple to reverse.
The add-on works by unscrewing the moving print head and mounting the Z-Unlimited to a wall where the Ultimaker is then attached upside down. Then the Z-motor and end stop are swapped for ones specific to the Z-Unlimted … and that’s about it.
The basic Z-Unlimited package comes with a carriage set and a trail of 1.2 metres to extend the Z-axis print area to 65cm high. For more height, extra lengths can be added and the same high quality is maintained.
There is also a unique support system that works by creating a yarn mesh over the printed object which the plastic melts into to secure it. When completed, the yarn can be easily pulled out without leaving any marks.
Early bird prices start at €395 and shipping is expected to start in July. The goal is to raise €15,000 and backers have until April 12th to claim their rewards.
The peripheral has already proved itself as a working model as its debut elephant project reached completion in just two weeks fed by signatures of support for the live petition against elephant abuse.
The campaign is sure to attract makers looking to make tall objects from large vases to life-size versions of the increasingly popular 3D printed mini-me sculptures.