RE: Much (nice) talk about the Z-stuff, BUT ......

From: Alex Salvi (ASalvi@MMCCINC.COM)
Date: Fri Jan 14 2000 - 15:34:50 EET

Have you noticed how regular deskjet printer manufacturers make their money?
Say for example Canon. They will sell a printer for $80. You know that the
work they put into it is not worth $80. So how do they make all the money?
Answer: Supplies. They sell you an ink cartridge for $35. Similarly zcorp
sells you a comparatively cheap machine and then charges premium on the
supplies. In fact they tell you that you should not reuse the powder at
all... Personally I reused almost all of the ZP11 material succesfully, I
only threw away about .25" of powder that was around the printed parts (if
you have read my previous emails you will have noticed that we print
ceramics now, but it's the same story with reusing the powder).
In any case, wether you reuse your powder or not, you might want to take a
look at the nasa rp site, they did a nice study on six machines and
evaluated all the costs of operating the machines, including materials. You
can download this study at http ://
I don't know much about all the various rapid prototyping machines. The Z402
is probably not the best out there today and the materials are not the
cheapest, but it does what I need it to do for now. The only problem I have
is that my customers always want a part that is at least 1/2" larger than
the print bed.
By the way does anyone know what rp has the largest print bed?

-----Original Message-----
From: Jorn Berends []
Sent: Friday, January 14, 2000 3:38 AM
To: RP mailinglist
Subject: Much (nice) talk about the Z-stuff, BUT ......

Much talk about the Z-stuff, interesting also, but ....
I was told that a maximum of 50% 'used-powder' can be mixed to new powder in
order to get a reasonable quality product. When you have to build a small
part of let's say 1x1x1", a lot of powder is spread needless in the
part-volumebox. For as a general productvolume will never exceed a volume of
let's say more than 25% of the total buildbox-volume of the Z-machine, a lot
of material will be lost, or not be re-useable. Ain't this a big
disadvantage of this system. The Z-machine is supposed to make 3d-parts
cost-effycient (cheap in other words). For building such a small part the
materialcost of the lost powder weighs heavy on the part-price.
Am I wrong (?), or are there other methods used to save build-materials?
(what does the material cost?) To build price-effective parts, we bought a
Genisys machine some time ago; I think that this material-item is a big
advantage of this G-FDM system. (But I have an open mind for someone who can
convince me that I'm wrong!)
Concerning speed, I have never had a customer who had a problem with a
deliverytime of 24 hours, so speed is a minor aspect (or are you going out
of your bed three times a night to take out parts and restart the machine)
Thank your future reply on above, kind regards,
Jorn Berends
JB Ventures BV
Bedrijvenpark Twente 165c
NL - 7602 KE Almelo (the Netherlands)

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