Ultimaker S5 vs MakerBot Method

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Ultimaker S5 vs MakerBot Method are two 3D printers available in a similar price range. Both printers come from renowned companies in the market, as they have produced many models with different capabilities and feature sets. Continue reading below to find out whether you should get Ultimaker S5 or MakerBot Method to get the best value out of your money.

By the end of this article, you will know everything you need to know about:

  • The design of Ultimaker S5 vs MakerBot Method
  • The comparison of their dimensions and build volumes
  • The features of Ultimaker S5 and MakerBot Method
  • The software capabilities of Ultimaker S5 and MakerBot Method
  • The print performance comparison between Ultimaker S5 and MakerBot Method
  • Whether you should get Ultimaker S5 or MakerBot Method

Ultimaker S5 vs MakerBot Method: Design

Ultimaker S5 is not cheap, but the price tag is easily justifiable by its superb build volume, features, and print quality. This is an excellent printer for people who need to do 3D printing a lot. The printer comes in a large white box that measures 20.5 x 19.5 x 19.5 inches, so it indeed requires its own space in your work environment.

The build volume measures 13 x 11.8 x 9.4 inches, which is plenty. It should be large enough to handle the larger projects. Ultimaker S5 has a professional-looking enclosure that feels really tough and robust. At the bottom of the build volume is a removable glass print bed that can be heated to allow materials to stick properly. An optional aluminum print bed is also available.

MakerBot Method is also armed with a bunch of cool features. Firstly, it has a heated chamber that can help to ensure optimum and consistent print quality. The heated chamber is said to guarantee dimensional accuracy by distributing heat equally in the entire build volume. Then, it has an open platform that will allow you to experiment with different materials for a wide range of applications.

MakerBot Method is also pretty large, but it can still sit on your desk. It measures 25.6 inches tall and 17.2 inches wide. The build volume is 7.75 x 7.5 x 6 inches, so this is quite smaller than what is available on Ultimaker S5. Still, MakerBot Method can print small- to medium-sized items just fine. Read also: Makerbot Replicator VS Replicator+ here. 

 Ultimaker S5MakerBot Method 
Product Dimensions23.62 x 25.59 x 30.71 inches19.69 x 22.05 x 30.31 inches
Shipping Weight45.3 pounds65.04 Pounds
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Ultimaker S5 vs MakerBot Method: Features

Ultimaker S5 comes with dual print heads. This will allow you to use two different materials, or simply print in two different colors at the same time. You can remove the print heads  by selecting an on-screen menu and pressing the retaining clamp.

The printer comes with three print heads to choose from. Two of them are AA 0.4 mm print heads, which are suitable for ABS and PLA materials, whereas the last one is a BB 0.4 mm for PLA. Other types and sizes can be purchased separately if you need something that can squeeze out material faster.

Ultimaker S5 supports wired and wireless connectivity. The Cura software that works with the printer also makes it convenient, as you can control print queue right on the printer, on the software, or through a web interface.

MakerBot Method is more oriented towards ease of use. It comes completely assembled, and it has various automatic functions that are very convenient for beginners. Things like print bed leveling and calibration are handled by the printer itself. The initial setup from unboxing the printer to printing should take less than 20 minutes.

MakerBot Method also has dual extruders. So, it can also handle two different materials, or print in two different colors at once. The performance extruders that come with the printer are said to be able to push out material much more quickly, hence resulting in faster printing. It can work with the MakerBot Print desktop software and the MakerBot Mobile for smartphones and tablets.

Ultimaker S5 vs MakerBot Method: Software

The Cura software works very nicely with Ultimaker S5. You can access Cura via your Windows or Mac computer, or your mobile device. Meanwhile, the large and clear LCD screen on the printer also gives access to most functions so that you can print directly from a flash drive. The LCD screen will also show you the print status and information about the filaments, print heads, and print bed temperature.

Still, you will use Cura a lot. The user interface is actually good, as it gives you plenty of advanced options to fine-tune your prints. However, there is minimal guidance, so you will need to check some tutorial videos if you are a total beginner.

Cura can load several models at the same time, and it can automatically add supports to hold a model in place during printing. You can scale the model and move it around on the print surface. Finally, you can monitor the print progress via the built-in webcam, and you can pause, stop, or cancel an on-going print.

MakerBot Method’s apps are generally more beginner-friendly. They are also compatible with a wide range of file formats, and can work with 25 popular computer-aided drafting programs including CAD. This means you can design from your preferred program and print them without a problem.

Nevertheless, the printing system of MakerBot Method is integrated with CAD. As a result, when you start working on a model, it can automatically aid you in adding and controlling the necessary aspects for the printing process. This is very helpful for beginners, as the technical parts also become very smooth and seamless. This leads to saving time, too.

Ultimaker S5 vs MakerBot Method: Print Performance

Ultimaker S5 has an impressive print performance. It is compatible with a wide range of materials right out of the box, including ABS, PLA, CPE, Nylon, TPU, and PVA. The last one is particularly great for making flexible supports due to the water solubility. You can dissolve the supports later with hot water.

Ultimaker S5 also does not put a restriction on where you get your material, so you can use a third-party filament with no problem. The Cura software has presets for 11 different materials but you can download and add more.

In work, Ultimaker S5 is somewhat slow, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. The relatively slow speed is because of the printer’s superb accuracy and precision. It has a layer height of 0.06 mm in the highest quality setting, and the low quality setting is comparable to other printers’ high quality settings. Frankly, Ultimaker S5 can deliver incredible prints with smoother, finer, and more precise results than most printers.

MakerBot Method is compatible with materials like ABS, PLA, ASA, SR-30, Nylon, PETG, and PVA. It is really straightforward to use because the printer performs automatic Z-axis calibration, nozzle calibration, and material loading. The printer is also impressive because it is really stable without causing any vibration when working.

MakerBot Method can print faster. But, somehow, it is prone to issues. Some users have reported that the printer can encounter bugs and problems, especially after several months of use. And it is difficult to pinpoint the issues, because replacing the parts and manually leveling the print bed don’t fix the problems.

- Newest large-format 3D printer from Ultimaker
- Dual extrusion capability for multi material prints
- Premium materials used in construction. Heated bed smooths prints and allows for ABS printing.
- The innovative Print Core system allows for simple swapping of hot ends
- Print with official MakerBot materials including Nylon Carbon Fiber, Nylon, PET-G and PVA – each carefully tested for thousands of hours to achieve engineering standards of printed part dimensional accuracy and strength.
- Next-Generation desktop 3D printing platform that delivers manufacturing-grade parts with advanced engineering materials.
- Achieve consistent strength in three axis with recirculating heat on every layer
- Access unlimited materials with an Open Materials Platform enabled by MakerBot LABS (optional extruder)

Conclusion

Between these two printers, Ultimaker S5 is the way to go. It has a bigger build volume, which is essential if you want to print larger projects. It also has superb print performance. The features and software capabilities are excellent.