It can be difficult to choose a high-end 3D printer. After all, when you increase your budget, you also increase the number of choices available. Some of these printers will be intended for commercial use, but some are just for enthusiasts looking to take their hobby to the next level.
That’s why we’re demystifying 3D printers. Today, we’re looking at the Zortrax M200. This is a high-end printer that’s seen a spike in popularity thanks to its decision to allow third-party materials last year. With that out of the way, let’s jump right into our review.
|Supported Materials||PLA, ABS, HIPS, Exotics|
|Connectivity||USB, SD card|
|Build Volume||7.9 x 7.9 x 7.1”|
The M200 certainly looks like an expensive printer. It has a sleek black design with rounded edges and an integrated LCD controller, after all. More importantly, its build area is enclosed, allowing it to maintain a constant temperature more easily. This is a godsend if you want to print with materials like ABS.
The build plate is heated and made of glass. The extruder can go as high as 290°, so you have a lot of scope here for different materials. Unfortunately, there’s just one extruder, so you can expect printing to move forward at a fairly slow rate. This printer’s specs claim a maximum speed of 100mm/s, which seems to back this up.
You should note that this is a fairly large printer, although it’s still capable of fitting on a desktop. At more than a foot long in every direction, it’s really intended for those with a little extra space.
Prints come across pretty nicely with the M200. You’ll see nice, rounded surfaces, and sharp edges with very little material waste. Even fairly intricate structures can be printed, which is where many printers, even some high-end ones, fail. Best of all, this printer is very quiet unless you crank up the speed.
We’ve seen several expensive 3D printers that can only handle the most basic filaments. In contrast, the M200 can print with all the most common materials, as well as some more exotic ones like glass-filled filaments. Plus, as we mentioned earlier, you’re not limited to just Zortrax’s own brand anymore
This 3D printer is excellent for those that want a little extra quality. If it were slightly faster, it’d be the ideal model for small businesses, but it could still be a strong choice if you’re looking for quality over quantity.
This is one of the only printers we’ve encountered that actually has a screen that’s not a pain to use. Its menus are well-organized, its functionality extensive. You can, of course, choose to control it straight from the computer if you’d like. There’s also an SD card slot for importing models.
Let’s not neglect to mention the large build area. Often, you’ll find that premium printers have vertical build areas, but this one is cubic, allowing you to create more expansive models without having to connect them afterward.
WiFi compatibility is fairly rare in 3D printers, but we can’t help but wish for it anyway. The ability to trigger and observe prints while away from your computer would help the M200 stand even further above its peers, and make it an absolute must-have.
The Zortrax M200 costs around $2000 on its own. However, if you’d like to add a heat cover, that’ll cost you about another $200. As such, it’s clear that this is a printer with a high initial investment. But what about the day-to-day running costs?
Well, the cost of filament depends on how much you print. For instance, small spools of PLA can be bought for around $10, but if you’re using glass filament instead, you’ll see that price rise dramatically. Still, this can be said of any printer and the ability to use all these materials helps it stand out from the crowd.
There’s a huge amount of support material available for the M200 on Zortrax’s website. Seriously – everything you’ll need to fix any problems short of a hardware failure is included here. You can also submit a help request, although you’ll need to provide proof of purchase to get any kind of a response.
The warranty is pretty generous too. It lasts one year for businesses, but two years for individuals. Compare that to several other models that offer just six months coverage, and it’s clear why the M200 has become a hobbyist’s favorite since its release.
This help doesn’t just extend to the printer itself. There’s also extensive documentation and help for using the proprietary Z-Suite application. The other good news is that this is compatible with both Windows and Mac, although if you’re a Linux user, you’ll have to use a different program instead.
After spending his youth hanging out at his local hardware shop, it was no wonder Justin decided to become a computer engineer. When he’s not working, he enjoys riding his Honda across the picturesque Montana farmlands.
Zortrax M200 Review
- Overall - 7.9/107.9/10
The Zortrax M200 isn’t for everyone thanks to its high price. However, those that can afford it will find it meets, if not exceeds, their expectations.