There was big news for Ultimaker at this year’s CES as the company announced two new machines, the Uiltimaker 2 Go and Ultimaker 2 Extended in Las Vegas just last week - though my serious case of jet lag and lack of sleep would argue it feels more like a month ago.
Being in prime position just across from the Ultimaker booth – I kept my eyes peeled on the unmarked boxes waiting to be revealed during set up. As soon as there was any sign of life I dashed over to get a glimpse of – I apologise but – the cutest 3D printer I have ever seen. Not just a pretty face either as the machine continued to produce consistent prints throughout the show as the guys left the printers running through the night.
I chose this video as my favourite because apart from giving a good run down of the latest machines which were created as a direct result of listening to the 3D printing community, I think Ultimaker CEO, Siert Wijnia, offers a worthy insight into what the industry needs to do to progress.
“We are moving rapidly out of the stone age of 3D printing into the Iron Age” he says and it’s true. There are so many new developments across materials and applications on the horizon, a lot of those shown at CES 2015, that it looks like we might finally get to talking about the value of 3D printed products based on the merit of what they are and not just that they were 3D printed.
Siert explains that right now we are “printing things” but realistically in the next few years the industry needs to move forward and start 3D printing products with genuine functionality and purpose. I appreciate that Siert emphasises this point because it highlights an important and a common theme throughout the industry at the moment. Just take a listen to thoughts from MakerBot and Materialise and they confirm that this is a focus that's high up on the agenda.