by General Fabb
Zortrax is launching their new M200 personal 3D printer on Kickstarter, with a focus on ease of use and aesthetics. They say they "want 3D printing to be a great experience."
Unlike typical filament-based 3D printers that use ABS and PLA plastic, the M200 is specifically designed to print ABS, PC-ABS and Nylon.
The M200 has multiple ease of use features, including: pre-assembly, factory calibration, dedicated and simplified software and very robust components made from "aluminum, POM, DryLin, FR4, stainless steel and brass". The specially designed software, ZSuite, includes an ability to generate "easy to remove" support structures, which is extremely important as the M200 seems to have only one extruder: your model and its support must come out of the same extruder!
For aesthetics the M200 includes a smooth-looking aluminum case with a bright control display that "fits the room". The M200 is designed to operate very quietly, although we do not know the decibel level statistics. This is definitely not a laser-cut wood machine kit.
Technically the M200 offers a reasonably sized 205 x 205 x 190mm build volume, suitable for most prints. The interface between computer and machine is done via a memory card - no WiFi or LAN networking exists on the M200 yet.
Zortrax's product launch is raising funds to greenlight their manufacturing partners to start punching out the anodized black aluminum housing and various moulded parts that make up the M200.
The resolution specs for the M200 are impressive, offering four settings from 0.3mm to 0.1mm. Judging from the sample images, prints appear to be quite good, particularly considering that some of these models will have had support structures physically removed after printing. Another feature is high-quality; the prints seem to be much more well defined that the usual stringy extrusion prints you see elsewhere.
The M200 is available for pre-order on Kickstarter now, at a price of USD$1899. For that you'll get an assembled M200, the accompanying ZSuite software and 1kg of pure white ABS.
From all appearances, the Zortrax looks like a pretty decent machine. It has excellent specifications, two years of development, and the management team has focused on getting the key features right and avoided non-core features.