Ultimaker 2 vs MakerGear M2 Comparison: Which Is Right for You?

By | August 7, 2017
Ultimaker 2 vs MakerGear M2

The Ultimaker 2 and MakerGear M2 are two high end, high performance desktop 3D printers. They both are very capable 3D printers and are designed for beginners as well as advanced users. But of course, that does not mean that they are the same. They are both 2 very respected 3D printers in the community. Both are priced similarly and are in the sub $2000 category.

In the following sections, we will list each 3D printers features as well as a comparison between the two, including a comparison of their features, their Pros and Cons. At the very end you will find the final summary and rating of each 3D printer respectively.

Core Features of the Ultimaker 2 3D Printer

Ultimaker 2Huge Print Volume: The Ultimaker 2 has a huge print volume compared to its size. It offers a 223 x 223 x 205 mm (8.8 x 8.8 x 8.1 inches) print volume even though the whole size of the 3D printer is just 342 x 493 x 588 mm (13.5 x 19.4 x 23.1 inches). It is impressive to see that Ultimaker was able to put all the available space into use.

Print Resolution: This 3D printer has the ability to print at a resolution up to 20 microns per layer. 20 microns is impressive on its own for a desktop 3D printer, but the best part is that the nozzles on the print head are also easily removable and replaceable with other sizes, giving the user the ability to print anything with a huge resolution if needed.

Filament Freedom: As you might have guessed already, this is a serious business 3D printer. That also means that it gives users, advanced or not, the ability to print any material on the market. This is achieved by having a new improved print head with direct cooling, as well as a heated bed and a semi enclosed design.

It’s Quiet: Ultimaker engineers did a lot over the last generation of Ultimaker 3D printers to reduce the overall noise of their 3D printers. This is a very noticeable improvement, as the printer is able to work while being whisper quiet. Lets not forget that most people are using these 3D printers inside their offices or rooms, where they also do other work, so having a quiet printer on the background printing for hours is a huge plus.

Software: The Ultimaker 2 is an open source 3D printer that is just reading standard G-code. This means that it can be used with many slicing software to suit every ones needs. The recommended slicing software is Cura, which is also an open source project developed by Ultimaker and the community, and it is considered one of the easiest and feature filled slicing software out there while offering all the advanced options for the more advanced users.

Ease of Use: Setting up and using the Ultimaker 2 should not take more than few minutes thanks to its excellent documentation, the easy to use calibration settings and pre sets that should work with most basic prints. It is marketed to everyday users who want to have a high performance 3D printer at their disposal after all.

Ultimaker 2 Key Specifications

Printing Technology:FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)
Build Area:223 x 223 x 205 mm (8.8 x 8.8 x 8.1 inches)
Layer Resolution:600 to 20 micron (0.6 to 0.02 mm)
Printing Speed:30-300 mm/s
Filament Diameter:2.85mm
Position precision:X,Y: 12.5 micron, Z: 5 micron
Max Extruder Temperature:446°F (260°C)
Max Platform Temperature:212°F (100°C)
Nozzle Diameter:0.25mm, 0.40mm, 0.60mm, 0.80mm
Operating sound:50 dBA
Supported materials:PLA, ABS, CPE, CPE+, PC, Nylon, TPU 95A
Product Dimensions:342 x 493 x 588 mm (13.5 x 19.4 x 23.1 inches)
Connectivity:USB, SD Card
Software:Cura

Core Features of the MakerGear M2 3D Printer

MakerGear M2 Big Print Volume: The MakerGear M3 features a very impressive 200 x 250 x 200 mm (8 x 10 x 8 inches) print volume allowing for big and complex prints. It achieves that while maintaining a frame of just 533 x 610 x 420 mm (21 x 24 x 16.5 inches). It should be noted though that the final size of the MakerGear M2 includes the spool of filament attached.

Ready to Use: Each and every MakerGear M2 3D printer is tested before shipment at the MakerGear factory in Beachwood, Ohio. That means that every printer is ready to use out of the box. Combined with the quick start software, excellent documentation and video tutorials available, setting up the 3D printer for its first print should be an easy task even for beginners.

Material Freedom: This feels like a repeating pattern between high end, high performance 3D printers. And that is a good thing. The MakerGear M2 has official support for a wide range of materials including all the basic and exotic materials on the market. A high quality and precise print head combined with a headed bed and a sturdy construction makes us believe that this 3D printer should be able to print any new exotic materials on the market with no problems.

Open Source: Both the software and the hardware on the MakerGear M2 are open source, giving more advanced users the ability to tweak every aspect of the printer and print anything the user can imagine.

Reliability: MakerGear focuses a lot on making machines that last and are unreadable with the latest tech. The MakerGear M2 frame is made out of CNC machined cast aluminum. Along with the industrial grade rigidity and precision, there is also a four-point print bed that is easy to level, stays level, and removes the need for z-compensation.

MakerGear M2 Key Specifications

Printing Technology:FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)
Build Area:200 x 250 x 200 mm (8 x 10 x 8 inches)
Layer Resolution:50 micron (0.05 mm)
Printing Speed:80-200 mm/s
Filament Diameter:2.85mm
Max Extruder Temperature:572°F (300°C)
Max Platform Temperature:230°F (110°C)
Nozzle Diameter:0.35mm
Operating sound:>65 dBA
Supported materials:PLA, ABS, PET, HIPS, HDPE, TPU, Polycarbonate, Composites
Product Dimensions:533 x 610 x 420 mm (21 x 24 x 16.5 inches)
Connectivity:USB, SD Card
Software:Simplify3D

Comparison Ultimaker 2 vs MakerGear M2

Let’s see how these printers match up in a head-to-head comparison.

Size

The first thing we are going to compare is the size, shape and design of these 3D printers. One of the advantages of the Ultimaker 2 is that it is a really clean and well contained package. The whole printer is tidy, symmetrical and clean. The same can not be told for the MakerGear M2 however as it has a pretty bulky design, with exposed components and asymmetrical overall shape. It should also be noted that the Ultimaker 2 weighs 11.3 kg while the MakerGear M2 weighs 12kg. The Ultimaker 2 is a clear winner when it comes to space utilization and design.

Print Volume

Both 3D printers have a reasonably big printing volume. The actual cubic meter area that they can print at is almost the same, but the MakerGear M2 has a bigger Y axis by few mm. It is really hard to choose one over the other as a winner in this category, as both can utilize that space different depending on the usage.

Quality and Speed

These 3D printers are marketed as very high quality 3D printers and that is true for both printers. An advantage of the Ultimaker is that it comes with replacement nozzles that allow the printer to print at a very detailed 20 microns layer resolution. The MakerGear M2 does ship with only one nozzle that can do up to 50 microns layer resolution, but MakerGear offers more replacement nozzles to match the resolution of the Ultimaker.

As for speed, they both can print very fast, but the MakerGear M2 might have a slight lead here as it can print at a maximum speed of 400 mm/s compared to the 300mm/s of the Ultimaker 2.

But it should be noted that it is not recommended to print at these speeds as it can cause the prints to fail depending on the material and settings used.

Software

This is a clear tie between the two, as both the Ultimaker 2 and the MakerGear M2 are using open source software and hardware, so they both can use the same slicing software and be tweaked on the hardware level.

Material Support

Both 3D printers have support for a wide range of exotic materials. They are very flexible and can use almost any material on the market now with 0 modification. This is also a tie between the two, as they have a material support list that gets updated every time a new material comes out.

Noise Level

The Ultimaker 2 is a winner when it comes to printing silently. While the MakerGear M2 is definitely not a loud 3D printer, it is still louder than the Ultimaker 2.

Other Small Details

Ultimaker Close-UpBoth 3D printers have an LCD screen that displays all the necessary information and allows the user to set any settings they desire. Both 3D printers also have the option to be upgraded to use a dual extrusion print head. At last, the Ultimaker has a very nicely illuminated build platform using LED strips.

Price

The MakerGear M2 costs $1,825.00 while the Ultimaker 2 costs $2.499,00. It is obvious that the MakerGear M2 is the clear winner when it comes to performance per dollar.

Conclusion

While both the Ultimaker 2 and the MakerGear M2 are excellent desktop 3D printers for fast and quality prototyping, it all comes down to the user preference. If you need a small and clean printer that can print everything and are willing to pay the price premium then the Ultimaker 2 is for you. If you are looking for a performance 3D printer and the size or noise level is not all that important and want to save some money, then the MakerGear M2 is for you.

Ultimaker 2 Rating:
Print speed: 9/10
Build Area: 8.5/10
Precision: 9/10
Value: 8.5/10
Ease of use: 9/10

MakerGear M2 Rating:
Print speed: 9.5/10
Build Area: 8.5/10
Precision: 9/10
Value: 9/10
Ease of use: 8.5/10

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