by General Fabb
3D Systems and their recent acquisition, ZCorp, announced the availability of their most gigantic 3D printer yet, the ZPrinter 850. The 850 is capable of 3D printing large objects in full color using its powder-based printing approach.
This beast is similar to the smaller model 650, but with a larger build area. The new model can build up to 20 x 15 x 9 inches (508 x 381 x 229 mm), quite an increase over the 650's 10 x 15 x 8 inches (254 x 381 x 203 mm). That's a 2.25x increase in volume, according to our calculations.
While most of the other specs are similar to the 650, including 390K colors using 5 heads, 600x540 dpi resolution, a layer thickness of 0.089 - 0.102mm and minimum feature size of 0.1mm, there are some differences. The vertical build speed is actually somewhat less on the 850, which is no doubt due to the massively larger build envelope - there's much more to get done. Strangely, although the 850 has more than double the build envelope it's actually physically smaller: 47 x 46 x 68 inches (119 x 116 x 162 cm) vs. the 650's 74 x 29 x 57 inches (188 x 74 x 145 cm). Another difference is a new requirement for Shop Air, presumably for cleaning finished items.
The main feature seems to be the massively larger build area, which should provide much convenience for architects and others needing to produce very large models.
No word on pricing yet.