The new UltiMaker just announced their first product: MakerBot SKETCH Large.
UltiMaker is a new company. It’s not the Ultimaker you’re familiar with, nor MakerBot either: it’s both, merged together as a joint venture between investors made earlier this year. You can tell it’s the “new” company by the presence of the uppercase “M” in the new name, which recognizes “MAKERbot”.
After a quiet period, the new company recently hinted about an announcement, saying:
“Something BIG is Coming to the Classroom”
They weren’t kidding: they just announced their first 3D printer, the MakerBot SKETCH Large. As you can see, they are retaining MakerBot branding for this and likely other machines.
The original MakerBot SKETCH 3D printer was announced in a stealthy manner back in February of 2020, where it was slipped into a more general classroom product for the educational market. The product, MakerBot Classroom, included not only the 3D printer, but access to tons of online lesson plans, a certification process, materials, accessories, cloud-based services and more.
At the time, MakerBot recognized that the printer was of less importance than the entire package to be used by educators. A 3D printer doesn’t do much in a classroom unless you have material to teach with it.
UltiMaker CEO Nadav Goshen understands this very well, explaining:
“Supporting 3D printing and STEAM education continues to be one of our core tenets. We believe that making 3D printing more accessible will empower students to take their creativity to the next level. With the new SKETCH Large, educators and students can amplify their ideas and designs, unfettered by the limitations of a printer. But 3D printing is more than just the printer, which is why we are continuously improving our education ecosystem—one of the most comprehensive and established 3D printing solutions on the market for educators. We aim to give educators and students the tools and resources they need to unleash their creativity and unlock the possibilities in learning.”
At the time of this writing, UltiMaker had not yet released the specifications of the new MakerBot SKETCH Large, but you can bet it’s bigger than the original MakerBot SKETCH device.
UltiMaker did say, however, that the new machine is able to accommodate “ten projects” on the print bed, which is the same number of students supported by the classroom package. This should make printing workflows simpler in the classroom, as only one job would have to be launched instead of two.
We also know that the MakerBot SKETCH Large has an enclosed build chamber, which should help with print quality and perhaps even the ability to print with additional materials. It also has a heated build plate, and a number of sensors to ensure print quality. There is also an air filtration system, which should be welcome in busy classrooms.
The specifications for the classroom package appear similar to the previous MakerBot SKETCH configuration, which was quite successful.
UltiMaker said the new MakerBot SKETCH Large package will be available this December.