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This machine's build quality feels like a huge leap forward compared with many other 3D printers. The M200's style isn't over-designed in a bid to appeal to the cool maker community, instead it is a fully functional solid printer that would be at home in almost any environment where quality and reliability are key.
The size and weight mean that vibrations are kept to an absolute minimum and along with the quality parts and precision engineering you can be sure the Zortrax has been built to last.
Printing from SD card and using the well-designed LCD interface is a smooth process, even if there's sometimes a little lag between making selections. The perforated print platform is something we have never seen before, but after three weeks with the machine we have to ask the question: why are perforated platforms not commonplace amongst all 3D printers?
Once you get used to the concrete adhesion between print and platform, and you become more familiar with the techniques required to extract the models, there is little to dislike here. During our test printing not a single print failed due to the build platform, warping or any other platform-related issue.
The Zortrax produces high quality prints that are as good as any other high-end FFM printers presently on the market.
The Zortrax M200 is a sizable machine, and as with the majority of box-style printers it mounts the filament spool on the rear, which further increases the printer's depth. A small issue with the Zortrax is the system used to guide the filament into the printer's extruder – this consists of clips that are stuck onto the back of the printer to hold the filament and print cable in place. Although these stick securely the design is generic, and this is a rather stark contrast compared to the quality of the rest of the printer.
The control panel is in most respects excellent, and a relatively recent firmware update to the printer refined the interface design and increased the control panel's responsiveness. Although interface speeds are increased there are still occasions when the LCD options lag behind the motion of the dial.
The perforated print platform is going to be something that you either love or hate, but when it comes down to print quality it is one of the best solutions that we have ever seen. However in order to remove the platform two plugs must be disconnected and while this is easy enough, over time and with months or years of use, we're unsure how well these wires will cope.
The Zortrax doesn't have the cool tech style of the Makerbot printers or branding of the Ultimaker range, rather it is a more serious machine that has quality printing at its heart. The quality of the machine is exceptional with a heavyweight metal construction and robust precision mechanics that lead to error free prints.
The print platform is something that you will either love or hate, but it does the job better than any other type of build platform that we have come across, and during the review process not one print failed because of it.
If you're in business, education, or you're a product designer then the Zortrax is an extremely well-priced printer that will either outperform or equal all other FFM models. There's no fuss over the design and the quality of parts is unequalled at the price – but really it's the quality of the prints that makes the Zortrax M200 stand out from the crowd.
- Also check out: 10 best 3D printers of 2016