I see a lot of praise for the Ultimaker,

I see a lot of praise for the Ultimaker, but I’m wondering specifically why.

Because it’s a well built machine, with great performance characteristics, the company hasn’t stolen or claimed anything from the reprap project as their own, they open source their design (non-commercial) so you can source it yourself if you want to build one, the people involved with it actively participate in the community, they’ve hired software developers that work on slicing software full time and gets re-released back to the public for everyones benefit…I could go on…

There are many reasons to like the Ultimaker. I don’t even own one (nor have I ever), but I praise them constantly because of what they do.

They do a lot of things right (see above) and in my experience are quick to fix design flaws or bugs. It’s a good machine for individual users, though at this point I’m of the opinion they need to do a refresh of the design to better keep up with the competition.

I’m just looking in terms of competition, there seem to be other companies that have those same qualities but at cheaper price points.

So far, that’s the only specific selling point I’ve noticed that is mostly unique to the Ultimaker. And it is a compelling one.

The specs on the Ultimaker convinced me. Even Make magazine says it has “the fastest, finest prints of any DIY printer” and gave it even better reviews behind it’s stupid paywall: http://blog.makezine.com/volume/make-ultimate-guide-to-3d-printing/
It’s at the high end of the price curve, but far less than other printers, cough Makerbot, with less capabilities.

I’m asking this because I’m seriously considering getting an Ultimaker, but while many people claim it’s more affordable than the Replicator 2, it’s only fair to compare its fully-assembled price, which considering current currency conversion makes it only $6 cheaper…

Let me put it this way if I may… They are a high quality, well designed and thought out printer. I spent two days at MFBA wearing one as a backpack and walking around for hours and I continued to print while doing so. The entire time this was going on I was still printing at one of the highest quality settings without a failure.

That’s pretty sweet but rather anecdotal. There’s nothing to say that other printers couldn’t do the same. Thanks for sharing; that’s certainly an achievement.

“High quality” is in the description of most 3D printers, so I suppose I should ask more specifically: what makes its performance unique? Is it the motors, extruder, electronics, carriage, all of the above?

The way the steppers are mounted, the cooling fan, the fact it prints at 20 microns, the fact you can print that quality faster then other printers

Now we’re getting somewhere. Anyone have any 20 micron prints I can see?

edit: Looked some up. Wow. Would still like to see any that anyone here has.

I don’t know if it is fare to compare the replicator 2 to the Ultimaker. Ultimaker will print ABS, Replicator will only print PLA.

I have heard nothing but good things about the ultimaker, it seems to just work, a lot of the cheaper printers CAN work as well, but you spend a lot more time fiddling and tuning. IMHO that is key. I don’t care so much about a hypothetical spec, I care about the practical ones. And everybody I have heard talk about the ultimaker say it works well and reliably.

I wasn’t comparing them on performance – I believe the Ultimaker is the winner there. I was clarifying that they cost pretty much the same.