Re: Z corp questions

From: steve upcraft (
Date: Fri Jan 14 2000 - 15:19:20 EET


We've had a Zcorp 402 for about 5 months now and its been in almost
use. We still run starch so can't respond to your plaster questions, as
your other points I hope the following comments help...
- we operate a technology transfer centre, as a result we have quite a
range of
systems (SL350, SL250, LOM, FDM, Actua & Zcorp), the Zcorp is by far the
quickest machine we have. It is also the simplest to operate, we even
take it
out on the road to some of our seminars and let the delegates use it.
- post processing can be messy, we have developed a routine to minimise
and disruption in our small facility so its longer a concern to us.
- we leave the parts in the starch bed for 10-15 minutes after the
Handling definitely depends on geometry and wall thickness, we de-powder
part, dry it thoroughly (typically an hour or two in the FDM - use it as
oven) then we wax for a couple of seconds. This way we end up with good
quality parts that stand handling and the rigours of our postal system!
- as to expectations...the 402 was purchased primarily for its speed,
ease of
use & its mobility; the objective being to incorporate it into our
programmes. It was not seen as a 'front line' system for building
Our training programmes have definitely benefited from its contribution
additive RP process is very easily explained to newcomers as they watch
Zcorp. Our programmes are currently over-subscribed, due in part to the
machine. When we undertake external presentations it is always the star
of the
Ironically it has become one of our main process systems in one specific
area - we have produced almost 500 investment casting patterns off the
for many different end uses.
On the down side we have had some difficulties with reliability (its
fine right
now!), early print cartridges were variable and the plethora of
ancillary bits
& pieces is a real pain!
Overall I'd give it 7 out of 10.

I trust this helps.



Steve Upcraft
General Manager +44(0) 115 925 6142 phone
Innovative Manufacturing Centre +44(0) 115 926 6147 fax
5 William Lee Buildings
University Boulevard
Nottingham. UK

RP Solutions wrote:

> Hi folks,
> All this talk about the Zcorp machine has made me inquisitive, can any
> users answer the following questions.
> 1. How well does the new 'plaster' type material work, is it reliable and
> can it make thinner more delicate parts than the 'starch' material?
> 2. Is the Z corp machine really as quick and easy to operate as they say or
> do the parts need a lot of post-processing?
> 3. Are the 'plaster' parts strong enough to use directly off the machine or
> do they need dipping in wax or resins.
> 4. Do the parts need to be left to cure in the powder or can they be used
> as soon as the machine has stopped.
> 5. I have heard that the 'plaster' type material takes twice as long to
> build as the starch is this true? can anyone give typical build times or
> examples of build speeds for this material?
> 6. Has the Zcorp machine lived up to operators expectations or does the
> choice of materials limit its use. Do end users appreciate the speed of
> build as a fair trade off for prototypes with a limited functionality?
> As usual all replies gratefully recieved,
> Oliver Cole
> RP Solutions Ltd
> For more information about the rp-ml, see

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