High precision, very easy to use, and very easy to network. Not many downsides...
Overall the Ultimakers are an excellent FDM printer. They are very easy to setup, easy to use, and easy to maintain. Similar to the LulzBot printers, the Ultimakers use Cura software giving a wide range of options for printing but then the Ultimakers offer a much more convenient and easy to monitor printing interface.
Bottom line, use the Ultimakers for most final FDM prints jobs. The only difficulty we have run into is printing "unusual" filaments on the Ultimakers so only use Ultimaker branded filaments without talking to MakerSpace staff first.
MakerSpace names: Armstrong and Shepherd (host)
Printer type: FDM (Ultimaker calls this FFF)
Classification: precision printer
Material: 2.85 mm plastic filaments
Build volume: 13” x 9.4” x 11.8”
Dual extrusion (and works very well unlike some other dual extrusion printers)
Heated build plate
Automatic filament detection and easily loaded
Many customizable settings
Excellent combination of ease of use and quality.
MakerSpace USNA tips
Probably the most capable FDM printer overall combining the best of almost all features.
A significant step above the MakerBot production printers.
The Ultimakers operate as a printer "cluster". Jobs can be submitted to the "host" (Shepherd) which will then determine which printer gets the job (this is EXTREMELY helpful).
But filaments are more expensive and printing times can be long (especially if using dual extrusion for supports) so Ultimakers should normally be used for final print jobs.
Use extruder 2 for PVA (support material only). Many parts will require supports but use them only when needed. PVA is a little more expensive and can be difficult to print.