It’s been a good year for the Polish 3D printer and materials manufacturer with a name that sounds like a Superman villain, Zortrax. Not only has news of their newest 3D printer the Inventure been making a big splash as they ready it for release, but Make: Magazine named the M200 the 2nd Best Overall 3D printer in their annual Ultimate Guide to Desktop Fabrication guide. Worldwide 3D printing network 3D Hubs also named the M200 the top 3D printer in the Plug and Print category on their 2016 3D Printer Guide for the second year in a row. And to top it off they successfully launched their new Zortrax Support Center, which makes looking for solutions to common problems or ideas to get the best performance out of the M200 as easy as possible, as well as opening a new Zortrax Store in Warsaw, Poland.
You’d think after all of that the Zortrax team might take a bit of a break, but instead they went right to work updating the way that the Zortrax Model Library works, and added some significant upgrades to Z-Suite with the new 1.4.0 update. The updates allow the M200 to print faster than ever, and even offer users more options in optimizing their 3D printing materials for the best results. They also did a revamp of Z-Suite for the Mac, and tried to streamline and automate as much of the printing process as they could.
One of the big Z-Suite 1.4.0 upgrades is with how it processes 3D printing materials. The update added a new printing profile for their latest advanced ABS and polycarbonate blend material Z-PCABS, which has great hight temperature and low temperature resistance and is strong enough to 3D print complete end-use products. Z-PCABS materials are already being used to 3D print car interior components, as well as all sorts of consumer electronic devices. The new profile in Z-Suite auto-sets the optimal 3D printing settings and temperatures so users don’t need to waste any time getting started.
Zortrax also included new options for printing with their transparent Z-GLASS material that will allow users to obtain a new level of clarity ranging from 75% to 90% transparency depending on the shape of the object being printed. This was primarily achieved by adding a new 0.29 layer thickness setting that will make the surface material extremely thin, which will let more light pass through it. The new printing layer will be available in the Shell options, which have also been improved to allow an additional bottom layer to be added to any print. This adds a thicker base for containers like cups, vases and lampshades. Z-GLASS can also be be printed with a new 0.14 layer thickness which will simulate the finish of sandblasted or etched glass.
The Zortrax Model Library available through Z-Suite also got a major overhaul that added several great new features to their online 3D model marketplace and repository. Users are now able to send each other private messages rather than only being able to communicate within comments under the models. There is a new notifications system that will inform users when others like their models, leave comments and send them messages.
Users can also include 3D views of their model so it can be seen from all sides, and they can now include pdf or .txt files as project attachments so it is easier to provide detailed instructions or project requirements without having to fit it all in the available text boxes. Users can now crop and edit photos when they upload them to their project card as well. Zortrax also improved the Search Engine function to be more responsive, and added an infinite scroll feature so there is no more need to jump from page to page looking for models. And they added a “report abuse” form so designers can notify Zortrax of violations of their copyrights or any licensing issues.
Z-Suite 1.4.0 will also include new “high-speed” printing options that will 3D print an average model up to 30% faster than before. The Print Pause visualization has been upgraded to be more accurate, and Z-Suite now has automatic hardware recognition, so the printer and it’s optimal settings will automatically be available. For the Mac version of Z-Suite, the 1.4.0 update includes a new set of icons and several performance and bug fixes have been included.
This was a really big update to Z-Suite that added what many in their community saw as must have functions. As one of the fastest growing 3D printer manufacturers in the industry, Zortrax is seeing some impressive response to their high-quality products, and seems to really be working hard to make sure that they have the software and infrastructure in place to handle all of the new customers and interest in their products. Zortrax is clearly trying to take over the world, and not even the Man of Steel can stop him. Discuss these updates in the Z-Suite forum thread on 3DPB.com.