3D Printer Review

Zortrax M200 Review: Easy to Use, Great Quality

Zortrax M200 review

Easy to use, easy to setup, great quality: The Zortrax M200 is a high-quality (but not exactly cheap) 3D printer. For more details, read this Zortrax M200 review.

When we conducted the All3DP test, we found that we were able to start the printing process quickly because printer assembly was simple and didn’t take long. We liked the print results: Across the board, the ABS prints were high in quality, detailed and clean. The system is almost as easy as plug & play. In the following are the results of our test run, including a few shortcomings.

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The test printer has been provided by iGo3D (You can buy the Zortrax M-200 directly from iGo3D here.)

Zortrax M200 Review: Unboxing

The Zortrax M200 started out as a Kickstarter project and, by 2013, had already brought in US $179,471. The assembled printer looks large (345 x 360 x 430 mm/13.6 x 14 x 17 in) and heavy ‒ but it “only” weighs 13 kilos (about 28.5 lbs). When you lift the printer out of the box, the first thing you notice is its good design and the high quality with which it was built. The black frame made of metal is sturdy and compact ‒ nothing wobbles or is flimsy. The weight of the printer keeps it firmly in place. Our test printer came partially assembled; though, even beginners should have no problem putting it together.


Items included in the shipment

In addition to the printer, you’ll find several other important parts in the box:

  • You’ll notice the power cable right away, but it’s somewhat short. We had to use an extension cord for our test run.
  • A filament spool holder (orange) and filament guide.
  • The perforated build plate (platform) has a “Wear safety gloves!” warning label on it ‒ and rightly so, because it gets hot during the printing process. To avoid getting burned, you should always wear the safety gloves, which are also included in the shipment. When you’re calibrating the build plate, you’ll be happy to have them.
  • Safety glasses are also provided to protect your eyes.
  • A real plus is the SD card with a compatible USB SD card reader ‒ also part of the shipment. This makes subsequent printing much easier and additional equipment unnecessary.
  • There is also an array of helpful tools: Allen Keys, cutting knife and scalpel, spatula, nozzle key & needle, pliers and tweezers.
  • However, there is no USB cable (but everybody probably has one at home anyway), and there are no side covers to ensure even heat distribution; both have to be additionally purchased.
Zortrax M200

Zortrax M200 Review: Assembly

The Quick Start instructions make assembly a quick matter. You have to first install the build plate (platform). The two flat ribbon cables need to be connected to the plate, then the plate goes on the respective holder. Since it is magnetic, it snaps in easily and tightly.

On the back of the printer you’ll find an opening for the filament spool holder. The filament spool is placed on the holder, allowing the printing material to roll off counterclockwise. The filament guide is mounted in another opening ‒ this part is fairly small and can get lost easily, but it can be printed out again if lost. Now you have to feed the filament through the tube, which is then attached to the filament guide.

Your Zortrax is just about ready to go now. All that’s left to do is turn it on, select the “load new filament” option from the printer menu and wait until the extruder is heated to the right temperature. This takes a little while. The next step is then to load the filament into the extruder, from the top. Push the tube into the holder so that the filament is able to roll off the spool during the printing process. Done! Your printer is ready for its first print job.

Your Zortrax is just about ready to go now. All that’s left to do is turn it on, select the “load new filament” option from the printer menu and wait until the extruder is heated to the right temperature. This takes a little while. The next step is then to load the filament into the extruder, from the top. Push the tube into the holder so that the filament is able to roll off the spool during the printing process. Done! Your printer is ready for its first print job.

Our evaluation:

The design of the M200 is appealing and fits on most desks. The high quality with which the printer was built is worth mentioning. We did, however, discover two minor shortcomings, the short power supply cable and the fact that there are no side covers ‒ needed to ensure a more even distribution of temperature on the heatbed ‒ and that you have to additionally purchase them for US $95. We feel that, at nearly $2,000, these should be included in the price as well.

Especially nice: You can download spare parts from the manufacturer’s website and print them out on the M200. The assembly can be done quickly, in just a few steps; beginners should find it easy as well. The brief instructions “Quick Start” with straightforward illustrations are easy to understand and just the right sort of introduction to get you started on your first print job. If you have any questions, you can go to the forums and support section on the manufacturer’s website.

Zortrax M200 Review: Software

Import your own models.
You can easily import your own models.

Next step: Now you download the “Z-Suite” from the Zortrax website. While there are some models that you can’t create with Z-Suite, the ready-made virtual model can be optimally prepared for 3D printing.

In order to install the software, you will need to enter the serial number found on the bottom of the printer. When we tried to start the software on a Mac, the system crashed. We were unable to start the software on two different MacBooks. The Windows version on the other hand worked just fine.

The software is clearly structured and easy to use.
The software is clearly structured and easy to use.

After starting the software, you have to select your printer version; this only has to be done once. To do this, go to “Information” on the printer menu. You can upload a ready-made model by clicking the add object button or by using the drag & drop option. The file formats supported are .stl, .obj and .dxf. You can use the rotate, move, resize and zoom in and out options for various views of your imported model and make adjustments. If you want to copy a model, select an object and press CRTL + C keys.

The “Print Settings” function offers you a few additional options to adapt the printing process to your specific needs.
The “Print Settings” function offers you a few additional options to adapt the printing process to your specific needs.

If a model is too large for the workspace, you can split it anyway you like, but then two printing processes will be necessary.

Once the model has been arranged to your liking, select your printing preferences in “Print Settings.” For our test run, we specified material to be used, layer thickness, speed, infill and the support angle (default angle is 20°); the “auto” option was a good choice for the fan speed.

Then you get a print preview depicting the various print components. You can opt to preset a pause to hold printing at any particular point during the process. After that, the virtual model is converted into .zcode format and saved to the hard drive of the computer. The digital file is transferred via USB and the SC card. Even though the Wi-Fi option is included in the printer menu, it currently leads nowhere ‒ Zortrax will be adding this option soon.

Our evaluation:

The Z-Suite is designed to prepare the virtual 3D model for printing. It is easy to use and works very well. Models obtained online and software that you’ve created can be easily imported and converted into the appropriate format. The user interface is straightforward and is easy for beginners to navigate as well. If you have additional questions, there are more detailed instructions on the manufacturer’s website. A big problem is the fact that the software didn’t work on the Mac.


Zortrax M200 Review: Calibration & printing

Time to talk about the actual printing process! In our test, we used the Z-ABS filament that was included in the shipment. Other printing materials are also available, which you’ll need to purchase from the manufacturer:

  • Z-Ultrat filament is available in various colors and is suitable for solid objects because of its hardness.
  • Z-Glass filament is suitable in high temperatures and is resistant to salt, acids and alkanes.
  • Z-Hips is especially suitable for objects that require finishing touches such as gluing, painting or sanding.

Prior to printing, the perforated plate has to be calibrated. This can be done manually or with an automatic calibration system. The Zortrax printer is equipped with platform auto-calibration, which ensures proper alignment (position) of the build platform. Precise alignment is made possible through the 3D printer due to special calibration points. In the event the build platform is slightly tilted, the system is also able to readjust the first layers of the model.

During our test run, we encountered a problem with auto-calibration ‒ except for a loud noise, you could hear no action from the printer. Zortrax is aware that some of the models have this bug. You should be able to fix this problem with the software update.

adjust the height with the three screws below the plate.
Adjust the height with the three screws below the plate.

To manually calibrate the plate, you select the respective point in the printer menu. The print head scans the corners of the plate and prompts the user to adjust the position, that is, to adjust the height. To ensure that the plate is level, you can adjust the height with the three screws below the plate. This is a time-consuming process that requires great precision. The plate has to be calibrated every once in a while. We recommend adhering to a regular calibration schedule in order to ensure print quality and accuracy. If you decide to manually calibrate the plate, you have to move the extruder to the respective corners by hand and then check the distance between the print head and the plate with a business card. You should be able to just barely slide the card through at each point. This is when you’ll really be grateful for those safety gloves, because the plate is already hot at this point.

Once the plate has been calibrated, select the model in question from the menu. This was not supported by the wireless local area network (software version 3) when we tested it. We had no problems with the SD card that was sent along with the printer. As an alternative, you can also use the USB port. Once the extruder and perforated plate are heated, printing starts, and you’ll soon get to see the amazing results.

When the printing process is over, be sure to let the plate cool off before carefully lifting it out with the printed item. The printed object is easily removed with the spatula. A base is automatically printed on the bottom part of the object, which you can break off by hand without difficulty.

Since the nozzle has a diameter of only 0.4 mm (about 0.015 inches), all of the details and the exact curving on the object are printed accurately. But on closer inspection, you will discover a few minor flaws. This could have several reasons: the print density may have been too low, printing speed set too high, printer vibrations or interference caused by air draft. This can be avoided by placing the printer on a sturdy surface and printing in a closed room. The print density and printing speed can be adjusted in the software program. But this also means, of course, that the printing process will take longer, and a larger amount of the printing material will be needed. Side covers shield the printer from direct drafts and can be purchased on the Internet. To get the best possible results, it’s a good idea to clean the nozzle before printing. But all things considered, these are just minor flaws.

Our evaluation:

The printing process takes a while, so you’ll need a little patience. Heating the extruder and the plate takes time, and now and then, the status bar shown on the monitor is not entirely reliable and is only a very rough indication of the printing progress. Calibrating the plate is also time-consuming.

The print result in our test run was good ‒ just a few minor flaws, which were only visible on closer examination. The surfaces were smooth and curving and edges very accurate, with only very small deviations.

Zortrax M200 ALL3DP Logo

Zortrax M200 Review: Summary

Our impression of the Zortrax M200 was altogether very positive. This Polish startup has done an excellent job. Assembly, operation and implementation are user-friendly and an appealing solution for all types of users. After running the test once, we found the printing results consistently good. Minor shortcomings: no USB cable, no side covers and heating and calibration take quite a while. However, these are not big issues, especially considering what it has to offer: The M200 is very close to being plug and play. If you’re looking for a good ABS printer, this would be a very good choice.

Check price:Available at Amazon

Technical Data Zortrax M-200

zortrax m200
Zortrax m200 Data General

Physical Dimensions

  • Without Spool: 345 x 360 x 430 mm [13.6 x 14 x 17 in]
  • With Spool: 345 x 430 x 430 mm [13.6 x 17 x 17 in]
  • Shipping Box: 460 x 470 x 570 mm [18 x 18.5 x 22.4 in]
  • Weight: 13 kg [28.7 lbs]
  • Shipping weight: 20 kg [44 lbs]

TEMPERATURE

  • Ambient Operation Temperature: 15°-35° C [60°-95° F]
  • Storage Temperature: 0°-35° C [32°-95° F]
Zortrax m200 Data Parts
Zortrax m200 Data Parts

ELECTRICAL

  • AC input: 110/240V ~ 2 A 50/60 Hz
  • Power requirements: 24 V DC @ 11 A
  • Power consumption: ~ 190W
  • Connectivity: SD card , WiFi*

SOFTWARE

  • Software bundle Z-Suite®
  • File types: .stl, .obj, .dxf
  • Supports: Mac OS X / Windows XP, Windows Vista,Windows 7, Windows 8
Zortrax m200 Data Printing
Zortrax m200 Data Printing

PRINTING

  • Print technology LPDLayer Plastic Deposition
  • Build volume: 200 x 200 x 185 mm [7.87 x 7.87 x 7.28 in]
  • Layer resolution settings Advanced: 25-50* microns [0.000984-0.0019685 in]
  • Standard: 90-400 microns [0.003543-0.015748 in]
  • Wall thickness Minimal: 400 microns
  • Optimal: 800+ microns
  • Resolutution of single printable point: 400+ microns
  • Filament Type: Z-Filament Series
  • Nozzle diameter: 0.4 mm [0.015 in]
  • Minimum single positioning: 1.5 microns
  • Positioning precision X/Y: 1.5 microns
  • Z single step: 1.25 microns
  • Extruder maximum temperature: 380° C [716° F]
  • Heated platform maximum temperature: 110° C [230° F]
  • Filament Diameter: 1.75 mm [0.069 in]

Check price:Available at Amazon