ZDNet Must Read!! Advanced filament is key to 3D printing revolution

Polymaker CEO argues that better filament, and not necessarily better desktop machines, will unlock the disruptive potential of 3D printing.

By Greg Nichols for Robotics | August 26, 2015 — 10:35 GMT (03:35 PDT) | Topic: Innovation

An entrepreneur friend of mine likes to tell the story of the time he met a very rich man. Impressed by the guy’s car, clothes, and companion, my friend wanted to know what the man did for a living. The rich man said he sold a product to Wal-Mart. My friend wanted to know what he sold — clothes, electronics, housewares? The man dismissed all these with a chuckle and a wave. “No one gets rich that way,” he said. “You know the boxes Wal-Mart uses to ship all that stuff? I make the glue that holds them together.”

I thought about that story the other day during a phone call with Xiaofan Luo, founder of the Chinese company Polymaker, which makes filament for 3D printers.

To read the complete article, click HERE

Zortrax Z-Filament Functionality

Zortrax Materials Functionality

Z-ABS functionalities

Z-ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) is a versatile material characterized by medium impact strength and durability. Thanks to its features this thermoplastic polymer has a wide range of applications. Users can choose from a broad selection of colors. It is perfect for printing small elements, concept models and prototypes. Its properties make the material suitable for post-processing, the surface of Z-ABS models can be easily smoothed out with acetone as it is shown in the acetone vaporizing article

Z-ABS was used to print Rubik’s Cube as this type of material is available in many colors and perfect for creating models for displays. Choosing Z-ABS to print this model provides the model is colorful, resistant and good-looking.


Z-ULTRAT functionalities

Z-ULTRAT is the most durable material recommended especially for printing large models, even lifelike ones and those that are assembled from many elements. Can be used for iterative testing and producing end-use parts. Suitable for various methods of post-processing like sanding, polishing, vaporizing and more.

A perfect example of a model that was printed from Z-ULTRAT is the Mighty Cube – a square-shaped object that was printed without using support. The print was very complex and consisted of many thin elements which could possibly result in higher brittleness and being prone to deformations. Thanks to the use of Z-ULTRAT the lines were strong enough to hold the whole construction, so the print was defect-free and kept its initial shape.


Z-GLASS functionalities

Z-GLASS is a thermoplastic copolyester glass fiber blend which provides high tensile strength, abrasion and resistance to high temperatures, the material doesn’t react with substances like acids, alkalis and salts. The innovative formula of material allows printing semitransparent and glass-like elements. It is durable and has very low level of shrinkage which makes it perfect for printing mechanical parts like pulleys, screws and nuts. Printing from Z-GLASS requires the use of Hotend V2 in Zortrax M200 3D Printer.

This material was used to print a screwdriver which is a small and precise element. Z-GLASS properties allowed to create an object which is translucent and the light inside the object is visible through the surface.


Z-HIPS functionalities

Z-HIPS (high impact polystyrene) is a durable, impact-resistant material. Thanks to its very low shrinkage level it is suitable for large sized prints and objects that consist of many elements, especially electronics and industrial machine covers, provided they don’t require UV resistance. Perfect for gluing, sanding, spackling and sandblasting.


One of the examples where Z-HIPS properties were used to obtain such good results was a stool. This model consists of many parts which were easily assembled, yet resistant making the stool perfect for everyday use. Creating this life-size item was possible due to the low level of shrinkage together with high tensile strength as these properties provide durability of the object.

Print Cost Calculator in Zortrax Z-Suite Software

Zortrax has launched the Print Cost Calculator in Zortrax Z-Suite software. This new feature allows you to estimate the cost for the single print. Check out new option -> http://support.zortrax.com/calculating-print-cost/

Gain more control over printing process. The ‘Print cost calculator’ in Z-Suite software allows you to estimate the cost for single print. To calculate your print cost simply type the cost of spool and material usage and press ‘Calculate’ button.


Zortrax Responds to Wi-Fi Issue on M200


While designing Zortrax M200 quality was always a priority for us. We were planning to implement Wi-Fi but it’s not going to be added because of it’s speed and a lot of problems with lost connections.

Latest versions of M200 which don’t have the module inside won’t obviously be able to use Wi-Fi as they were not designed for it. Information about it was published at out official website at the beginning of May.

Putting the Wi-Fi case aside and focusing on the top quality of our prints, we’ve been developing the reliability of the M200 models implementing various hardware and software updates during the past few years, such as: more durable ribbon cable, improved hotend version designed for printing with Z-GLASS and a many significant Z-Suite improvements. All of the updates in M200 were free and available for all Zortrax clients and each of them was the next step to achieve the highest quality in 3D prints.

Flashforge Dreamer 3D Printer: Connecting to Wi-Fi

Video Tutorial for Flashforge Dreamer 3D Printer.

One of the three ways to connect to the Dreamer 3D printer is through Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi provides a convenient and seamless experience to Creating masterpieces. It communicates with FlashPrint so that you can start controlling the Dreamer’s settings and extruder movements while you are away from home.

This video walks you through the steps needed to connect to the Dreamer’s Wi-Fi network.

3D Hubs’ July 2015 Trends Reveals Interesting 3D Printing Behavior

This month’s trends report from 3D Hubs has some interesting data that identifies who’s actually 3D printing.

The community 3D printing network is in a great position to gather stats, as they have the ability to monitor 3D printing on their nearly 20,000 (and growing) participant network. Each month they publish revealing analyses based on their findings.

This month they asked surveyed participants to categorize their purpose for 3D printing and found the following:

  • 35% Professionals, mostly product designers or engineers, who require 3D printing for their work.
  • 35% Makers, who require 3D printing to assist with various personal projects
  • 22% “Pioneers”, or people 3D Hubs considers novices, who typically do not design their own 3D models
  • 9% Students and Researchers, who use 3D printing for academic use.
  • This explains why their color frequency statistics always show approximately 50% of printed parts are either plain black or white in color. This is because parts made for machines typically do not have a specific color requirement and thus, black or white. This is likely driven by the nearly 70% who use the network for making parts for business or projects.

    There’s also some interesting effects underway in the “Most Highly Rated 3D Printer” statistics. There’s new top dogs, the Kossel XL and DeltaWASP, although the number of ratings for these machines is far less than the deposed champion, the Zortrax M200, which now sits at position three. Formlabs’ Form 1+ remains the highest ranked resin-based 3D printer.

    What’s also interesting is the near-absence of the two largest players, MakerBot/Stratasys and 3D Systems, both of whom manufacture extensive lines of desktop 3D printers. In the top twenty list we see only the original MakerBot Replicator, a machine released nearly three years ago and the MakerBot Mini, the only currently sold machine from MakerBot on the list. None of 3D Systems’ current products appear on the top-ranked list, although the Cube3 does appear on the trending list, meaning it is exhibiting a spurt of popularity.

    Afinia 3D and Makers Empire Partner to Serve North American Schools

    Afinia 3D and Australian 3D printing software company Makers Empire have partnered to sell Makers Empire products to the North American education market.

    Afinia 3D, a supplier of award-winning desktop 3D printers, will provide North American elementary and middle schools with Makers Empire’s 3D design and printing Learning Program through its Education Resellers network. The Makers Empire 3D design and printing Learning Program is comprised of easy-to-use 3D design software, curriculum-aligned lesson plans, a teacher’s portal, and online resources.

    John Westrum, Afinia 3D’s Vice President and Education Market Lead said, “We have a coast-to-coast presence in the US and Canadian educational markets and the Makers Empire 3D design and printing Learning Program is an excellent addition to our solutions portfolio. Educators have been asking us for easy-to-use 3D design software integrated with a curriculum. I believe we have now have a formidable offering.”

    Makers Empire’s CEO Jon Soong said, “Makers Empire’s 3D design and printing Learning Program was designed specifically for elementary and middle schools and tested extensively by classroom teachers and students.”

    “With so many demands placed on schools and teachers today, Makers Empire makes it simple to get started with 3D printing in the classroom. We are delighted to be working with Afinia 3D to help more schools in North America use 3D printing in the classroom to achieve learning outcomes in STEAM-related subjects,” Soong said.

    About Makers Empire

    Makers Empire is a leader in targeted 3D design and print Learning Programs for the education space. Its ground-breaking products help teachers achieve great learning outcomes as well as inspired students in critical areas such as creativity, mathematics and technology. In the words of Makers Empire CEO, “Makers Empire is to 3D printers what Microsoft was to the personal computer.”

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