Price keeps dropping on additive printers

By: 
August 11, 2010

Z Corporation, manufacturer of 3D additive manufacturing technologies, announced its latest effort to make 3D printing available to every designer, engineer, architect and student with the introduction of it new affordable, commercial-class 3D printers. 

The ZPrinter® 150 (monochrome printer) comes in with a price tag of $14,900, and the ZPrinter® 250 (multicolor printer) is priced at $24,900). Both have a small physical footprint that is ideal for the classroom, department or small business. Z Corporation claims that the printers are easy to use out of the box, and can build 3D models with five times the resolution with the industry’s lowest operating cost (lowest cost per model).

Joe Titlow, vice president of Product Management for Z Corporation, says that the main object in developing the new printers was “to take the benefits and features of the mid-range machines ($30,000-$40,000) and put them in a low-cost machine and making them more affordable.”

Today’s designer or engineer wants their prototype machines in their office, “not in an engineering lab tucked away in the basement,” says Titlow. “At the end of the day, the parts from the ZPrinter 150 and 250 are very similar to those produced on our mid-range machines.”

In addition to being affordable to purchase and use, the new ZPrinters print five to 10 times faster than other 3D printing technologies, with the unique ability to print multiple, stacked models simultaneously, said Z Corporation.

The ZPrinter 250 and other color ZPrinters are capable of simultaneously printing in multiple colors to enable designers and students to better evaluate the look, feel and style of designs by enhancing 3D models with graphics, logos, text, labels, and design comments. Titlow notes that it is also capable of “spot color” with a range of 64 colors. “Color is something that ZPrinters have always been known for,” says Titlow. “To be able to offer that for under $25,000 is revolutionary, considering that when color first came out you had to spend $50,000.”

Resolution of the ZPrinter 150/250 is 300x450 dpi, and has a minimum feature size of 0.016 inches (0.4 mm). They have a vertical build speed of 0.8 inches/hr (20 mm/hr), and a build size of 9.3 x 7.3 x 5 inches (236 x 185 x 127 mm).

“The price of ZPrinting is coming down to enable a broader adoption by mainstream users,” says Z Corporation CEO John Kawola. “We’re driving that revolution with new machines offering new levels of value. Though smaller in scale than the rest of our line, these ZPrinters deliver trademark Z Corp. speed, quality and affordability.” Clare Goldsberry

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