RE: 3D Printers - recommendations please

From: Alex Salvi (ASalvi@MMCCINC.COM)
Date: Mon Jan 24 2000 - 17:18:39 EET

Hi Mark,
we own a Z402 and I can honestly say that it is a great machine: I have had
more problems with my office's regular paper printer than with the Z402.
- The materials are excellent. I believe the parts are strong, but that is a
matter of personal opinion. I printed an automotive connecting rod (approx
1"x5"x3") with the zp10 powder then I spread the zcorp z10 infiltrant all
over it and let it dry overnight. The next day I put it on the floor and
stood on it and it did not break.
- Post processing consists of blowing powder off the parts in the provided
depowdering unit and then applying an infiltrant if you want to. If you want
a shiny/smooth part you can then sand the parts apply a primer and spray
paint them.
- Zcorp has given us outstanding customer support. Most of my questions are
answered immediately. I had a problem with the depowdering unit's air
compressor (not built by Zcorp) and they replaced it with a brand new one
the next day.
- The software accepts .stl files.
- The printer finished printing its first part 30 minutes after
installation. That same day I printed parts for work.

The feature I was most impressed with is how easy it is to work with. It is
almost harder to program a VCR than to set up a job on the Z402.

Hope this helps let me know if I you have any more questions.

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Lee []
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2000 6:55 AM
Subject: 3D Printers - recommendations please


Please forgive me if this subject has been recently covered -
I have just rejoined the list as I'm looking for help.

I am currently looking into the purchase of a 3D printer
eg 3DSystems ThermoJet or ZCorp Z402.

Can anyone with experience of using a 3D printer give me
some feedback including the following:

- which 3D Printer do you recommend ? why ?
- is the material good for prototype use ie strong enough ?
- is post processing necessary ?
- do you get good customer support ?
- what file format does the printer accept ? (.stl ?)
- is the printer reliable eg does every build work 1st time ?

Any information you can give me will be much appreciated.
I need to move quickly on this !


Mark Lee
Product Designer
Agilent Technologies

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