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The Zortrax M200 Pro is a Strong Contender for Best 3D Printer
Zortrax M200 Pro
Last update on 2021-01-26 at 11:45
The Zortrax M200 is one of the most reliable FDM 3D printers available today and it’s also a strong contender for outputting the highest quality 3D prints too.
If you think visible layers are inevitable when 3D printing then think again. Because the M200 gets you as close as possible to a perfect seamless print.
Most 3D Printers that are marketed as ‘plug and play’ still require some initial setup and routine maintenance. Well, the M200 genuinely requires zero setup other than loading your chosen filament.
A good way to think of the M200 is that it’s very much like an Apple product; you switch it on, it works flawlessly, and you never have to lift the hood to tinker with it.
The M200 features a moveable direct feed print-head design working to an incredible 1.5-micron precision in on the XY plane. While the build plate moves in Z with a 90-micron precision.
The build quality of the machine is very evident with the aluminum chassis giving it a sturdy feeling and all components look and feel high quality.
Perhaps the most innovative part is the perforated build plate. If you’ve ever used an FDM 3D Printer before, you’ll know that one of the most common problems is getting the raft or first layer to stick to the build platform.
To overcome this, most 3D Printer owners find the best solution for their own printer. Common methods are using blue painter’s tape, applying a thin layer of Elmer’s glue or spraying certain brands of hairspray.
Well, the perforated build plate on the Zortrax does away with the need for any of that tedious preparation. When you print the raft, a small amount of material melts into the tiny holes in the build plate. This guarantees that your model will stick to the plate without any manual intervention with tape or glue.
This is a big time saver, and it means you can start 3D printing as soon as your geometry is ready with no setup.
Thanks to the fully enclosed chassis, a very stable environment is created that results in ultra reliable and repeatable printing, especially in materials that can otherwise be hard to use such as ABS.
The maximum build volume is a generous 200mm x 200mm x 180mm.
With most 3D Printers, you have to carry out at least a few tweaks and set up operations when you first buy them. And you then have to carry out similar tasks as regular maintenance throughout their life. But the M200 is completely different.
Zortrax has used the highest quality components in the M200, and the attention to detail is spot on. This means it performs perfectly right from first use.
Build plate leveling is automatic and also very stable. Therefore it often doesn’t need setting for months of continuous use. This is very impressive, considering most rival printers would need such setups tweaking almost daily.
The unique perforated build plate means you don’t need to use glue or tape to make your first layer stick. It’s a great design that solves one of the most common 3D printer issues perfectly.
The minimum layer height of the M200 is a fairly standard 90 microns. But it’s the 1.5 micron XY precision that gives it such an edge over the competition.
The quality of prints is nothing short of impressive. I’ve not seen any FFF prints this good with so few visible layers.
You notice when the M200 is running, just how smooth all the mechanisms are. There are no jerky movements, loud noises, or vibrations. All this points to the quality and precision of all the components used by Zortrax.
The perforated build plate works perfectly to ensure first layer adhesion and users report the failure rate to be close to zero.
One of the main reasons for Zortrax’s superior printing reliability and quality is the fact that their filaments are of such high quality and consistency. The filaments also go hand in hand with the Z-Suite software which carries optimized default settings for all of Zortrax’s different filament types and colors.
This is an area when many 3D Printing enthusiasts spend much of their time. Trying to find the optimum settings for an array of variable parameters is time-consuming and often frustrating.
With the M200 this testing has been done for you. Therefore the best way to use the printer is to accept Zortrax know best and to enjoy the freedom and time saving of owning a well designed and fully optimized setup.
Previously there was one negative point with the M200, but Zortrax has now solved this problem; When it was first released, you were unable to use filament brands other than Zortrax’s own.
However, Zortrax has now lifted this limitation. The software now allows you to use any filament and the warranty has been updated to make it clear that it won’t be voided if you use off-brand filament.
Having said that, the Zortrax brand filaments are exceptionally good quality and a reasonable price. So there is little reason for you to use other brands unless you have a very specific color or finish requirement.
The Zortrax M200 can print an impressive range of materials. As well as the standard PLA and ABS, it can print using exotic filaments and any of the following unique Zortrax filaments:
Z-ASA Pro – a UV stable material that you can use in outdoor applications.
Z-Glass – a translucent material that mimics the visual properties of glass. This can be very useful for creating an architectural model of a glass building or glass features.
Z-Hips – a highly matt finish material that gives an ultra smooth finish.
There are a lot of 3D Printing enthusiasts that like the fun and sense of achievement that comes from taking a 3D Printer that nearly works and tweaking and optimizing it until it becomes a reliable tool.
The Zortrax M200 Pro, however, needs none of that tweaking as all the optimization both hardware, materials and software have been expertly done by Zortrax.
Therefore, if you’re the type of person that wants an exceptionally well designed and well-built 3D printer that works out of the box and will require little to no maintenance then the M200 is absolutely perfect for you.
It will work reliably leaving you to concentrate on designing enough 3D prints to keep it from getting hungry!
If you’re more of an under the hood type who likes to tinker and experiment with the hardware. Then I suggest you look elsewhere because you’re unlikely to be able to improve on the M200.
I love the M200 and can’t recommend it enough!