There isn’t lots of chat on here, but I thought it might be useful to post my views on the M300 plus.
We have been a Zortrax user for just over a year and had a M200 plus. We also have multiple Form 3D and Ultimaker printers. We are professional CNC company and use a 3d printer for rapid prototyping of various parts, mainly things which are not practical to produce on a CNC like complex dust boots or vacuum attachments pre injection molding, even small enclosures etc.
We were drawn to Zortrax for five reasons:
- They had/have their own slicer which was supported by mac and windows - more on that later.
- We can print ABS as it’s enclosed with the extra cover
- Useful features like wifi and a camera (tip, put the printer on a smart plug and you can print from anywhere in the building)
- An ecosystem we can just use - no need to test and play with filaments
- These are possibly the best looking printers out there
A year after the first M200 plus things have been going pretty well. We were looking for a new printer and ended up buying… Another Zortrax.
We looked at pretty much everything else out there and the 5 points still hold up, but choosing a new printer wasn’t straight forward. In the last year or so things have moved on allot of companies are rolling out 3d prints of bigger build volumes and most can handle ABS and have their own slicers. Interestingly the price of pro-grade printers has gone up quite a bit. Eventually we took the approach that the M200+ had done over 2500 hours of prints and in there there might have only been 2-3 failures when experimenting or a part like the hot end begun to fail or the material ran out and the end stop didn’t register.
At the end of the day we build CNC’s, we don’t want to spend time fixing prints or printers.
The reason we did look around before buying:
- Mac support is down for the current OS- although I’ve been reassured this will be resolved at some point. We can’t do anything but export models from fusion/inventor from our work computers. We have a dedicated 3d printer laptop right now which is a pain.
- Support - we had an issue with the M200 plus and in a production environment it was down for too long
Moving on - we took delivery of our shiny new M300 plus and it’s big! It actually came on a mini palate.
Un-boxing it was just as nice if not better than the M200 plus - custom molded foam, well laid out accessories and the general filaments and accessories inside were actually strapped down with ratchet strap belts. A nice touch having 2 big rolls of filament with the big build volume.
Within 10 minutes it was un-boxed and getting the latest firmware.
Things we like:
- On the M300 plus I was pleased to see they now use optical end stops. Please make a retro fit option for the material detector - if you don’t I might.
- In addition to this the have introduced a couple of new features with Hardware V2 - like blackout resume - a big deal when some of our prints are 32 hours.
- Also new is a notification buzzer which is handy to remind you you’re needed to change the filament
- It is nice to see that a year between purchases the printers have had features added, also noted the accessory kit seems to be a bit broader with extra big spatula and some silicone oil now included.
- Excellent packaging
- The welded frame
It’s too early to say if this will print just as we want but the 30x30 surface area will allow us to print a complete dust assembly. Whilst I’m running our initial tests today - everything is going well and if our enclosure top arrives soon I can kick off some 24 hour prints.
I have a few complaints/feature requests/ideas
- This is a big printer - but it fits nicely on a roll cab. The printer is about 49cm deep. The roll cabs we buy (and almost standard) are 49cm. Reaching around to change the spool is a pain. It would be nice to see a side panel mounted option.
- Here is the complaint - on the perforated board they have put a connector on the top… right at the back. It’s well well marked, a big sticker on it saying not to solider or use the spatula front to back. This is just silly, as anyone who has used a Zortrax will know the prints stick to the perforated plate. It’s not a matter of if that connector will get sheered off it will be when. I don’t know why this is on the build plate, I just know it’s going to get broken
- The hinges on the door feel pretty flimsy. I was surprised they didn’t break when being fitted.
- These things need maintenance - we spent a pretty penny keeping the M200 up and running (that isn’t a complaint), please make some accessory kits available like 1 hot end, 5 spare nozzles, a heater element etc. The daily cost of having a printer out of action is significant - happy to buy accessories, just make it easier to buy them.
- Please make these larger filaments more common among your distributors along with spare parts. I can’t get a hot end, spare nozzles, heating element, extruder cable all from one place.
Until some long prints come off I can’t add much more, but please guys @Zortrax keep up the good work.