Both FDM and SLA printers are equally useful but they have different characters depending on which fits in your application the most. They are also equally reliable and some can be affordable while some are very expensive. Among those, Formlabs Form 2 Vs Ultimaker 3 are two good choices you may want to consider for their performance and simplicity but, do check what they can offer here first before deciding to choose one because the two are coming with many differences.
In this article, we are going to give you information about:
- What are the Difference Between FDM and SLA Printers
- What are Formlabs Form 2 and Ultimaker 3
- What Formlabs Form 2 and Ultimaker 3 Look Like
- How are the Build Volume of Formlabs Form 2 and Ultimaker 3
- What else Formlabs Form 2 and Ultimaker 3 can offer
- How are the Performance of Formlabs Form 2 and Ultimaker 3
- Formlabs Form 2 Vs Ultimaker 3
FDM and SLA Printers
Our technology has improved so much from the day computers were invented to now everyone is carrying small computers in their hand. They are very useful not only in communication but also in productivity because many of our jobs today can be done through the internet which is connecting each one of our devices. As long as your area has coverage and your device is working properly, we can share, send, and make files or collaborative tasks from anywhere.
Additive manufacturing is currently a trend today with people starting to see the benefit of this method. The machine itself is called a 3D printer and just like a regular printer, there will be a certain material being ejected on top of the media or in this case a build plate to build your model. What’s different is if your paper printer only ejects a small amount of ink and keeps them at the same level, creating a two dimensional object, this machine will stack up as high as its capacity or design.
The technology used to create 3D models is actually varying greatly based on how the machine builds your model but the common types in the home used or end-consumer market are either FDM or SLA. Both of them are very popular and chances are what you will be using as well both for hobby or prototyping products at home and workshop. FDM means Fused Deposition Modeling and as the name suggests, it is using a solid material or thermoplastic which is then melted by the hot end.
|Formlabs Form 2||Ultimaker 3|
|Product Dimensions||21.06 x 20.08 x 18.7 inches||19.41 x 13.46 x 23.15 inches|
|Shipping Weight||28.66 Pounds||0.01 Ounces|
|Best offer||Check price||Check price|
This material is then extruded and deposited on top of the build plate in a soften state layer by layer. As the material cools and hardens, the next layer is then stacked on top of it until the full model or design is finished. It is probably the simplest to use and the most convenient way to make a 3D model, even in a budget machine. The SLA is short of Stereolithography which instead of using solid material is now using liquid photosensitive ones such as resin.
The material is stored inside a vat with a transparent bottom and in the machine there is a laser beam to harden this resin. This process is also done layer by layer so instead of stacking on the “top” of the build plate, this plate is installed upside down to face the vat and submerged in the liquid as well for the initial layers. Both of them are carrying both pros and cons so it is best to pick based on which seems to fit your application the most.
About Formlabs Form 2 and Ultimaker 3
If you are here then it means you are also currently considering getting an FDM or an SLA machine. The two are equally good however, so when people ask which is the best, it can be very complicated depending on what you want to print and your personal preference itself. In general FDM is cheaper both in material cost and the amount we can make with them compared to SLA but the latter is often said to be able to give better details on your model or printing.
The choice of machines itself are abundant from both types so you will not have to compromise with unreliable options as chances are there will be good and not-so-good machines from a wide range of options out there. If you are considering buying either FDM or SLA machines, Formlabs and Ultimaker are two great names you may want to consider. They are not new players in the market and people love them for their reliable products.
Just like any 3D printer brands such as Prusa or Creality, the two also have their favorite machines you may want to try. For those looking at the best choices from these companies, Formlabs Form 2 and Ultimaker 3 are going to be interesting models to consider. The Form 2 is the favorite of many or for some probably the best SLA printers last year that can give great details into your work and even ideal for professionals who need a working and reliable machine.
On the other hand Ultimaker 3 is the older variant and formerly a favorite machine from the brand in which the new generation is the S series that you can check in our Ultimaker 3 Vs S3 here. These machines are very similar as they are brothers but the latter will come with more capabilities and is cheaper as well today. In comparison, Formlabs Form 2 and Ultimaker 3 are equally capable machines from their respective companies but none of them are affordable if you want to start low.
Formlabs Form 2 and Ultimaker 3 Design
Form 2 is an SLA machine and Ultimaker 3 is an FDM printer so based on their technology the two will be inherently different. Starting with Form 2, this machine has a top cover or housing which is tinted orange to filter the light inside when in the curing process. It is not completely removable too so there is a hinge on the back that you can tilt or open. There is a display at the front which is a touch-screen to control the machine.
As for the Ultimaker 3, this is a completely different machine to entry-level options we often pick such as Ender 3 because now the printer comes in not only full assembly right out of the box but also with its own housing, making everything neater. This machine has a white housing and a front opening system where you can see and access the printing room, a neatly arranged material spool at the back, and a small screen with a rotating knob to use.
Formlabs Form 2 and Ultimaker 3 Volume
The two are not very space savvy because they are quite huge for the build volume which is not as big if you are going to use any of them for an application such as costume part making or just a huge model in general. The build volume of an FDM printer usually can be pushed higher per cost and this Ultimaker 3 has a small to medium capacity at 215mm by 215mm, by 200mm while on the other hand Form 2 is much smaller at 145mm by 145mm, by 175mm.
Talking about the build plate as well, it seems that Ultimaker 3 is a bit outdated however for FDM printers today because this machine is still paired with a glass layer with a metal clip on both sides that can be less convenient to remove and place again despite being very easy to scrap the model from.
Formlabs Form 2 and Ultimaker 3 Features
The next part we want to talk about is their features because as machines in thousands of dollars, they will need to offer convenience as well. Formlabs Form 2 and Ultimaker 3 are quite rich in this part and starting with Form 2, this machine comes with convenience such as touch screen, USB port and Wi-Fi capabilities while our favorite feature is the automatic resin filling system and now we don’t have to do any calibration again such as on its predecessors.
With Ultimaker 3, the best thing about this printer is probably the dual extrusion print head which is fed by two Bowden style extruders and are positioned on the back of the machine. This will allow you to print with two materials at once, printing side by side or for printing support. In addition it also has Wi-Fi connectivity and a camera installed inside the printing chamber that we can access to monitor the printing process from afar.
Formlabs Form 2 and Ultimaker 3 Performance
The last part we want to mention is their printing quality and here both Formlabs Form 2 and Ultimaker 3 are just amazing. These machines are producing great details that is very difficult to achieve from the cheaper options but they shine differently. SLA in general gives a very smooth texture to your model, even when the surface itself is tricky such as with details yet Form 2 is able to print a very clean model out of the box.
Ultimaker’s best charm is in the dual extrusion system when you need to print with dissolvable support as this is a game changer in any 3D printing. Now with two extrusion systems we can make a more detailed result with a dissolving support that encases your model, delivering even small and tricky prints a great amount of details.
Formlabs Form 2 vs Ultimaker 3
When it comes to reliability both Formlabs Form 2 and Ultimaker 3 are just amazing as they can create beautiful models without much fuss and the best thing is they do work out of the box with minimum setup effort. The price and capacity as well as mechanism will be different as well so it is not about which of them will be the best machine as the two are equally good but in comparison, SLA is always going to require more effort on the post-processing part.
We like this machine because they work and because they are convenient. In comparison, you can benefit from just any of them but if you want the best convenience then we recommend to choose FDM printers like Ultimaker 3.