Re: 3D printers

From: Brad Fox (
Date: Thu Sep 09 1999 - 19:34:19 EEST

I have been following the 3D Printing equipment for the last 3 - 4 years.
Even before they were commercialized. There are three (main) options for you

1. ThermoJet from 3D Systems
2. Genisys from Stratasys
3. Z402 from ZCorp

Each of the systems have their own "niche" and certain characteristics.
Since I'm probably most familiar with the ThermoJet, here's my input on that:

1) It's the most "mature" technology having gone through 2 major releases, 3
software releases and 4 material upgrades. You won't find any "bugs" with
the ThermoJet.

2) It's the most "user friendly" - start to finish. Material loading is
super easy; starting a part is a snap; and monitoring the progress is really
easy from anywhere on the network.

3) The reliability with ThermoJet is incredible. The ink-jet head used by
ThermoJet has been commercially used in several "printing" applications, so
it's very, very reliable.

4) I like the feature definition on ThermoJet - z slices are .0015 inch per
slice. X - Y resolution is .003 inch.

5) The application proficle for ThermoJet is impressive. Industry has been
using ThermoJet parts for:
     - fast 3D prints (thermojet is now very, very fast)
     - parts can be used as investment casting patterns
     - many use thermojet parts as patterns for silicone molds because of
the crisp detail

Yes, the only drawback to ThermoJet is the material! But stay tuned - this
will be solved very soon. In my opinion, all the other characteristics that
ThermoJet is strong on outweigh the material issue. Of course, specific
applications for each company vary - so examine each characteristic closely.

Hope this helps!

Brad Fox
Rapid Design Technologies
Rapid Tooling Technologies


At 03:35 PM 9/8/99 -0500, you wrote:
> I am investigating 3D printing capability and would like to know
>what 3D printing processes are available on the market today. Can anyone
>using a 3D printing process please send me some information regarding cost,
>functionality, dependability, capability, etc. What was the criteria you
>used for purchasing your system?
>How is the system you chose working for you?
>Thanks for your help.
>Paul Hanna
>Cessna Aircraft Company
>For more information about the rp-ml, see

For more information about the rp-ml, see

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