We’ve been following Zortrax for years. This small Polish upstart gathered some interesting PR when they first launched and they’ve built a few solid 3D printers after creating a burgeoning 3D printer part business in Central Europe. Now, however, it seems they’re all grown up.
- Prints in ABS
- 7.87 x 7.87 x 7.28 ” build area
- Includes software
- Wi-Fi compatible
- MSRP: $1,990.00
- Product info page
- Great print resolution
- Solid build
- Wonky software
- Problematic print removal
The Zortrax M200 is a good, solid 3D printer. That’s a good thing. It’s a standard system – an extruder shoots out heated plastic onto a build plate over and over until an object is built. However, Zortrax has done some interesting things to make the unit quite usable and efficient.
First, nothing is left to chance. You’re encouraged to wear gloves while touching the machine and the built plate, screws, and extruder parts are all carefully calibrated and oiled. It has a heated build plate made of perforated material with specially tuned metallic portions at the corners that allows the M200 to automatically calibrate the extruder.
So what does all that mean? It means you can essentially open the box, insert some filament, and print. That alone is one of the most refreshing experiences ever in 3D printing. The perforations also ensure that the plastic doesn’t curl up as you print – although these tiny holes also fill up with plastic and make it difficult to clean the plate.
How are the prints? A good, well-calibrated 3D printer like this one can make objects that look almost completely solid. The Zortrax is no exception. If you look at the gallery below, you’ll notice a few great prints. First is the statue of Ares. While not as detailed as I would have liked – there is a bit of muddiness on the decorations on the side – but it looks like it’s made of smooth ceramic rather than plastic.
The other test print I ran was a difficult 3D model that includes tiny holes in a vertical plane, a jagged tower that tests printing on an overhang, and a tiny little ball that tests for smoothness. While the piece wasn’t perfect – it rarely is – it printed far better than I expected. I would say that this is on par with the Afinia H-Series and the Makerbot in terms of quality.
Zortrax has had some success selling these printers in Poland and Europe but are less-known here. At $1,999 this is a surprisingly inexpensive printer. However, there are some issues. The Wi-Fi printing capability is still not available on the M200 – although that is changing – and the OS X software is sub-par. However, if you are using a Windows machine and are happy to move prints onto the printer with an SD card, you’re in luck.
While Zortrax is still a startup, this is not a young product. It is solid, usable, and nicely built. It works out of the box and the prints are more than adequate. If you’re looking for a good, entry-level home printer, the M200 is a good option.