A project intends on providing an accessory for Ultimaker 3D printers that extends the height axis to, well, unlimited!
It’s not quite unlimited, but for all practical purposes it may be so. The project, by Rooie Joris is a kind of elevator that carries your original Ultimaker along an exaggerated Z-axis to various dramatic heights.
Using the “Z-Unlimited” accessory is simple: just strap your Ultimaker upside down in the elevator carriage and that’s it. When printing the elevator gradually moves the printer (and its extruder) upwards in much the same way as the factory Z-axis would, with one exception: it’s WAY bigger. Check this video to see how it works:
Using the Z-Unlimited requires some minor software and firmware changes to your machine, but Joris says the process takes only 10 minutes.
The project seems to be a commercialization of a project we wrote about last year, in which a life-size elephant statue was 3D printed at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.
Huge, isn't it?
The Kickstarter campaign offers three species of Z-Unlimited: 650mm, 1850mm and an incredible 3050mm for €495, €595 and €695 (USD$520, 625, 730) with a discount of €100 if you happen to catch the early bird batch. While the 650mm version seems “small” compared to the other options, that’s a height far larger than almost all common 3D printers. The MakerBot Z18, for example, offers only 457mm in height, and at far greater cost than an Ultimaker and a Z-Unlimited.
As of this writing, the project has exceeded its funding goals and thus will be completed, so there is less risk engaging.
We’re wondering if this approach could be used for 3D printers other than the Ultimaker. If so, this could spark a tiny burst of tall printing from many different 3D printers. It may even be possible to develop a kind of “universal” extender that can be adapted for many printers.