Meet the Zortrax M200
i3D is now an authorized Zortax retailer! We carry all Zortrax model lines along with filament, parts, and service. This week we are introducing the M200 3D printer and giving you our first impressions.
The M200 unboxing and setup is straightforward. The printer ships with its axes fixed in place with 3D printed clamps. Once all plastic is removed the build platform goes on easily and is held in place with magnets. Two wire harnesses attach to the build plate and one wiring harness goes into the extruder, a filament holder and some guide clips go on the back, and you’re done.
First impressions: The printer has a powder coated frame and looks professional. It stands tall and impressive without taking up your whole desk. It feels minimalist with its single control knob, small LCD screen, and understated branding. Navigating the menus is simple and intuitive, and the SD card comes preloaded with interesting models so you can get your first print going ASAP.
The M200 ships with a roll of Z-Ultrat, an ABS Polycarbonate blend that claims structural advantages and print stability.
Our first print was the i3D Platform Jack which required the use of the Zortrax slicing software Z-Suite. The Zortrax platform is closed source. Having had bad experiences in the past (looking at you Cubify!) we were apprehensive at first. Closed platforms have a tendency to limit user input to a number of approved preset profiles with the idea that limited options are somehow user friendly. To our amazement Z-Suite offers a surprising amount of control over the printing process. I should start by saying this all has one very, very, big caveat, and that is temperature control, you get none of that. You “control” temperature by selecting material from a list. Looking past that the software is great. Z-Suite balances options well and offers:
- Random layer starting points
- Shell outline control
- Support angle (0 degrees is off)
- Active cooling fan speed
- Layer height (preset)
- infill density (preset)
- Inner and outer offset scaling (really cool. See below.)
- Hover-over messages explaining the effect of each menu option
All in all Z-Suite offers an acceptable amount of control to prosumers without confusing newbies.
The M200 prints at a swift, quiet, pace. You really only hear it during travel moves and it is soft and subdued. Vibrations are minimal thanks to the rigid frame and acceleration so your desk wont feel like there is a box with a pair of small animals fighting on it. There is an option to print faster in Z-Suite which will likely make print quality and noise go up.
Print quality is phenomenal for desktop FDM printing with ABS. We have had printers before that boast low layer heights but when you try printing on those settings you dont always get a better looking part. The M200 pulls no punches and delivers stunning high res prints.
At the end of the day this printer is a home run. It outperforms other industry favorites, for less (MSRP of $2100). It as a 7.8 x 7.8 x 7.25 cubic inch build volume, comes with an impressive starter kit, and works out of the box.