BURLINGTON, Mass., USA, March 5, 2007 - Z Corporation today took another giant step in its mission to make high-definition color 3D printing available to the masses with the release of the ZPrinter® 450. The new machine is the first color 3D printer to break the $40,000 price point, the most highly automated, and the most compatible with contemporary office environments.
Z Corp. is the only company that makes a full-color 3D printer, an output device that transforms electronic 3D data into handheld physical models. Color dramatically communicates the proposed look, feel and style of engineering product designs and architectural concepts, and vividly renders landscapes, electronic entertainment objects, and medical information. The ZPrinter 450, however, introduces first-ever capabilities for a color 3D printer, including:
- Automated operation: The ZPrinter 450 simplifies the 3D printing process with automated operation at every step. New features include automatic setup, powder loading, and self-monitoring of materials and print status. For the first time, a 3D printer automatically removes and recycles loose powder.
- Time saving: Automated operation and new quick-change material cartridges reduce touch time by 40 percent. The ZPrinter 450 also produces color in a new way with a single tri-color print head instead of multiple print heads, reducing cost and enabling 66 percent faster changes.
- Office friendly: The ZPrinter 450 is optimized for a front-office environment. It is quiet, uses safe build materials, employs "negative pressure" and a closed loop system to contain airborne particles, and produces zero liquid waste. New "no-touch" powder and binder cartridges enable clean loading of build materials. An integrated fine-powder removal chamber reduces the footprint of the system. And unlike 3D printers that attach support structures to models that later require removal with dangerous razors or chemical baths, the ZPrinter 450 supports models with loose powder that is removed automatically. These capabilities make the ZPrinter 450 as safe and unobtrusive as a standard copier.
Desktop and printer control: Users can control the ZPrinter 450 from either the desktop or 3D printer itself. New ZPrint™ software lets users monitor powder, binder, and ink levels from their desktops, and remotely read the machine's LCD display. The expanded on-board printer display and interface enables users to perform more operations than ever at the machine.
Speed, cost-effectiveness and precision: Like its predecessors, the ZPrinter 450 produces models and prototypes five to 10 times faster than competing printers at half the cost. Models cost about $3 per cubic inch - one-half to one-sixth the cost of competitors. It prints in high-quality 300 x 450 dpi.
"The integrated powder removal system is a very big step forward for the technology and company," said industry consultant and analyst Terry Wohlers of Wohlers Associates. "When considering it, and the easier loading of the binder and inkjet cartridges, the ZPrinter 450 becomes very compelling for under $40,000. Many organizations that before were unsure about whether to purchase a color 3D printer will now have much more motivation to get one."
The new lower price tag puts high-definition 3D color printing within the range of small-to-medium engineering businesses and divisions, many of which currently spend thousands to outsource 3D physical model making to service bureaus. The price also makes 3D printing more affordable for college and university engineering departments.
"The ZPrinter 450 delivers on our "3D Printing Bill of Rights," which holds that 3D printing should be fast, easy, affordable, and office-friendly, like printing on paper," said Tom Clay, Z Corp. CEO. "Just as 2D printer breakthroughs like color and print quality became commonplace, the ZPrinter 450's unique qualities will eventually permeate our entire product line, making 3D printing increasingly accessible to all."
Other 3D printers in the Z Corp. product line are the ZPrinter 310 Plus, a monochrome entry-level rapid prototyping system, and the top-of-the-line Spectrum Z®510, which prints in 24-bit color and delivers the highest resolution, largest build size, and access to the greatest range of build materials.
The ZPrinter 450 is available in early Q2 through Z Corp.'s worldwide reseller network for a United States manufacturer's suggested retail price of $39,900 USD.
About Z Corporation
Z Corporation makes products that enable users to capture, edit, and print 3D data with unprecedented speed, ease, versatility and affordability. These products include the world's fastest high-definition 3D printers — machines that produce physical 3D models from digital data in full color - and uniquely portable 3D scanners - handheld machines that digitize 3D surfaces in real time. Z Corp. technology is enabling a wide range of applications in manufacturing, architecture, civil engineering, reverse engineering, geographic information systems (GIS), medicine and entertainment.
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