Whether you’re a beginner or you want to fill some knowledge gaps connected to Zortrax 3D printing technology, the issues discussed below give some insight into our company’s processes. Zortrax Knowledge Base summarizes all the information useful while printing with Zortrax devices. It is a compilation of basic questions and terms as well as all the do’s and don’ts of using our printers.
Learn more about the terms belonging to Zortrax 3D printing technology. Here’s a short overview of technical terms which are most commonly used in the whole Zortrax experience. If you’re new to 3D printing technology, the list below organizes and helps to understand all the necessary terms.
an integral part of the 3D printer on which the model is created. It consists of two parts: the heatbed and the perforated plate. The heatbed provides proper platform heating, whereas the perforated plate guarantees that the model fully adheres to its surface. The platform can be easily removed from the printer as well as installed back in its place.
the mechanism which ensures material feeding, heating and extruding as well as cooling of the print. Its main components include the hotend and the nozzle. The material is loaded into the hotend where it is melted and then pushed through to the nozzle. The melted thermoplastic is deposited layer by layer to form a previously designed shape. Additionally, there are two fans on the extruder which cool the whole mechanism and the print.
the software programmed into the Zortrax printers which controls and monitors all the data in the device. It also gives the possibility to enable/disable the printer’s options. Whenever there is a technical issue, the firmware immediately informs you about it by displaying an error message on the screen. The whole list of firmware error messages along with the possible causes and solutions is available here.
We systematically update our firmware. The latest update is available at here. Simply download the file, upload it on the SD card, insert the card into the slot in the printer and turn on the printer. The firmware will be automatically installed. Remeber to check zortrax.com for updates.
a basic heating system which consists of the aluminium block and the heater & thermocouple. The hotend is responsible for heating and melting the material as well as for providing the proper temperature of the material during the whole printing process.
LAYER PLASTIC DEPOSITION (LPD)
the technology in which a melted material is deposited on a given surface. This technique involves applying one layer of material after another in order to form a predesigned shape – an accurate representation of a virtual design. This technology is applied by Zortrax devices – the printer starts to print from the bottom and builds the object until it is fully formed. The model and the support structures are created using the same material.
M SERIES PRINTER
printer model which constitutes one part of the whole 3D printing environment, that is a 3D printer, materials and software. M Series printers use LPD technology – the model and the support structures are printed with the same thermoplastic material and the same hotend. The print is applied onto the heated perforated plate.
specially dedicated Zortrax printing materials which maximize the benefits of 3D printing. These thermoplastic materials are in the filament form wound on a spool. There is a wide choice of materials in Zortrax product offer: Z-ABS, Z-ULTRAT, Z-GLASS, Z-HIPS, Z-PETG, Z-PCABS, Z-ESD. Each material has different properties, therefore a given material can be easily adapted to a wide range of needs and applications. Moreover, most materials are suitable for mechanical and chemical post-processing.
the collection of ready-made models available within Z-SUITE. All models are divided into categories, for instance art. & design, education or robotics. You can find many useful and attractive models there that were uploaded by the Zortrax printers users. Moreover, there is also one category called Zortrax Parts where you can find models of parts useful while printing with Zortrax printers, for example the spool holder or the extruder top cover.
the final element of the extruder. It is used to direct the material throughout the entire printing process.
the procedure which ensures a problem-free printing process. Platform calibration basically involves a procedure of checking the distance between the nozzle and five points on the platform and tightening/loosening the calibration screws.
all procedures of mechnical and chemical treatment that improve the final look of the model. Post-processing techniques include: polishing, sanding, smoothing, painting or gluing two or more parts together.
the first few layers of material which begin the whole printing process. This element is always printed on the platform before the main object. The RAFT has a larger area than the target model and once the printing process is done, both need to be removed from the platform. RAFT enhances adhesion of the whole print and reduces the risk of warping.
plastic panels that can be easily attached to the casing of the printer. Side covers provide protection from drafts and temperature differences in the printing room and prevent warping effect from happening while printing large-sized prints.
STARTER KIT BOX
several pieces of equipment that are put together in one set. Apart from the perforated plate, the set contains tools and protective materials and elements. The Starter Kit is what you need to make your maintenance and repair work of M Series printer easier and more efficient. Each printer is delivered with equipment including, for example, a set of nozzle keys or a pair of safety gloves.
if your model has any overhanging or protruding parts, they have to be supported with special structures so that they don’t fall down. Without these structures, the model may lose its predesigned shape. The support is printed with the same material as the model. Once the printing is done, it is necessary to remove the support carefully by hand or using pliers.
the type of file which contains a model prepared for 3D printing with previously selected print settings (such as layer thickness, infill type, etc.). All print settings can be managed in Z-SUITE before generating the .zcode. The .zcode format can only be created by saving an .stl / .dxf / .obj / .3mf file in Z-SUITE.
the application created specifically for Zortrax devices. Z-SUITE prepares a model for 3D printing by generating a project and saving it in the .zcode format. Z-SUITE allows to change and adjust the print settings, such as the size of the model, layer thickness, a type of infill or how many support structures will be generated. Once the .zcode file is generated, the print settings cannot be changed. The last step is to save the .zcode onto an SD card and then the model is ready to be printed. All Z-SUITE functions have been collected in one manual available here. Remember to update Z-SUITE regularly – all updates are available here.
How does it work?
Everything begins with preparing a model. The work on the model can be started in any program which creates 3D models and generates .stl, .obj, .3mf or .dxf files. These are the standard file formats supported by most 3D modeling software – the model is saved as a set of three-dimensional triangles (triangle mesh).
The next step is to open the .stl file (or other) in Z-SUITE – the application created specifically for Zortrax devices. Z-SUITE prepares the model by slicing it into individual layers and saving it as a .zcode. Each layer represents the extruder’s motion (vertical and horizontal) while building the whole object. Z-SUITE also allows to change and adjust the necessary print settings, such as the size of the model, layer thickness, a type of infill or how many support structures should be generated. The file is then ready to be printed.
Also, it is possible to use ready-made models from the Zortrax Model Library within Z-SUITE. The Library offers a collection of models uploaded by Zortrax users. The collection is divided into many categories, such as architecture, engineering or household objects. Just browse through the available models and select the model which interests you the most.
Once your model is prepared, save the .zcode onto the hard drive and then onto an SD card. In order to transfer the model, insert the SD card into the card reader in the printer.
Next, prepare the material which you are going to use to print your model. Z-Filament series offers a wide range of materials which have different physical and chemical properties and are available in many colours. More details are available here.
To start the print, turn on the printer and place the spool with the material on the spool holder at the back of the printer and load the material into the extruder. Turn the knob to select the model to be printed, push it to begin the printing process.
How does the Support Center work?
Support Center is a part of zortrax.com website. It is a platform where various manuals can be found. If you have a technical problem, just browse through the categories of: Repair it yourself or Printing/material issues to find the instructions. There are also guidelines for maintenance work and many articles on tips & tricks. You can also use tags to search the solutions for specific problems.
Most importantly, the Support Center provides technical support for our customers. Simply report the issue in detail through the support form and our specialists will do their best to diagnose the problem and provide the best solution. Our team will be able to make the diagnosis faster once you attach a photo or a short video showing the problem with your printer. With a detailed description of the issue and a photo/video, the feedback will be more precise – it always includes suggested solutions and, if it is covered by the warranty, you will receive the part that needs to be replaced.
What software is necessary to print with Zortrax devices?
The only program needed to print with Zortrax devices is Z-SUITE. You can download it here. In order to download Z-SUITE onto your computer, you need to enter the serial number of your device.
What is the necessary electronic equipment apart from the Zortrax printer?
All you need to have is a computer with Windows (or Mac OS X) and an SD card. And that’s it.
What are the technical specifications of Zortrax M Series printers?
All technical specifications are available here.
How much time is needed to print a given model?
It all depends on several factors. First of all, the size and shape of the model strongly influence the time of a particular print job. Secondly, the printing time can be extended or shorten by changing the print settings in Z-SUITE, for example a greater layer thickness or a full model infill will surely make the printing longer. There is also a printing speed option in Z-SUITE: normal/high. Normal speed is the most recommended, because high speed may have a negative effect on the final look of the model. All print parameters are entirely controlled by the user in Z-SUITE.
Is it possible to print more than one model at the same time?
Yes, it is possible to print several models simultaneously. Simply add one model after the other and place them on the workspace with appropriate distance between them.
What are the best conditions for 3D printing?
First of all, place the printer on a flat and stable surface. Always provide adequate conditions: avoid drafts and ensure the appropriate temperature (between 21 and 28 ⁰C / 70 – 82 ⁰F) in the print room.
What materials can be used with Zortrax devices?
Zortrax offers a wide range of materials specially dedicated for Zortrax printers and our range is constantly updated with new materials. There are seven types of materials available for purchase: Z-ABS, Z-ULTRAT, Z-GLASS, Z-HIPS, Z-PETG, Z-PCABS, Z-ESD. Detailed information on our materials can be found here. These printing materials are coiled on spools. In order to acquire the best final look of the model with no defects, we advise printing with materials from the Zortrax product offer.
Where to find SDSs and MSDSs for Zortrax materials?
Here you can find all the necessary information on Zortrax materials. Just click on a material of your choice to learn more about it. You can also download Material Data Sheet and Material Safety Data Sheet for each material available in our offer.
How much maintenance work is required while using Zortrax printers?
Maintenance work should be regular in order to keep the printer in good condition and achieve high quality prints every time. Some parts require maintenance before each print and some every few hundred working hours. All maintenance activities do not take much time and they are not complicated. The printer is delivered with a full set of tools needed to carry out maintenance work. Our maintenance manuals provide thorough and precise instructions. Moreover, our maintenance guide shows specific rules connected with the maintenance work of Zortrax printers.
Are Zortrax materials environmentally friendly?
Zortrax materials comply with national and international safety standards as evidenced by the fact that our company was granted CE and FCC certificates. Also, Zortrax holds WEEE and C-Tick. All certificates prove that the products sold by our company meet the legal requirements including safety, health and environmental protection.
Zortrax manuals provide thorough instructions on various matters. All manuals are available at our Support Center. The manuals are divided into several categories. There is also an effective search engine so sometimes typing one word is enough to find a useful manual. Using tags is also helpful while looking for a solution to the problem.
The categories include:
Whether it’s a product to be mass-produced or a gadget to be used at home, 3D printing is a solution for both. With a high-quality project and materials available in various colors, you can print objects with diverse purposes. A wide range of materials with different properties makes it possible to turn your ideas into shapes that can be easily adapted in many industries – from heat-resistant automotive parts, conceptual models and elements that can be exposed to many external factors to decorative objects.
To acquire even better results, you can try some methods of enhancing the final look of the model. You can make your model more attractive looking by putting it together from several parts, printing it in many colors or applying one of the post-processing procedures. Post-processing methods include: spackling, gluing or painting the print. Not to mention the acetone vaporizing method – for prints made of Z-ABS only. We give you a helping hand at your attempts while printing with Zortrax M200– feel free to contact us at Support Center in case you have any problems.
A great source of new and inventive models is the Zortrax Library. It is a collection of models uploaded by our company as well as Zortrax users. Visit the Library to get new ideas and inspiration. Our Blog is also updated with news about original ways and methods for creating 3D prints. Sign up for the newsletter.
This gallery shows what types of models are achievable with M200.
M300’s workspace gives even more opportunities. You can either print a really big model or several smaller ones which wouldn’t fit in M200’s workspace all at once. To make something even bigger, divide the model into parts and put them together into one piece. What’s more, you can enhance the final look of the model and acquire even better results by applying one of the post-processing procedures. Post-processing methods include: spackling, gluing or painting the print. We give you a helping hand at your attempts while printing with Zortrax M300– feel free to contact us at Support Center in case you have any problems.
This gallery shows what types of models are achievable with M300.
General Warning Notices
Always read Zortrax data and information sheets. They are always a source of basic information and safety procedures for the equipment you bought. It is extremely important to update the firmware in Zortrax printers so as to avoid any kind of failures. Visit our website regularly to see the latest news and updates.
Zortrax machines operate at high temperatures so never touch the heated up components – especially the hotend, the nozzle or the platform – with bare hands. Once the print job is done, wait about 30 minutes for the components to cool down before reaching into the printer. Always remember to wear safety gloves.
Also, M Series printers have movable components, so never reach into the printer when it is running or about to start running. Do not attempt to slow/stop the extruder or any elements of the entire drive system during the print job.
Check the printer from time to time for proper functioning during the print job. To avoid potential accidents or breakdowns, do not leave the machine unattended for too long during the print. Turn off the machine once the print job is finished.
Do not attempt to remove the print from the platform if the print job has not been finished. Always wait for the printer to cool down and wear safety gloves and goggles.
Be careful while using any sharp objects from the Starter Kit box. Do not forget to wear safety gloves and goggles.
Monitor your device for wear and tear regularly. Contact our Support Center for assistance with replacing worn or broken parts.
Before commencing any repair, maintenance or cleaning work, turn off the printer and disconnect the power cable.
Device modifications and repairs should be completed according to the manuals available in our Support Center or advice given by the service technicians. Changing any parameters of the 3D printer may cause malfunction and warranty loss. If you are unfamiliar with a particular repair work, seek assistance from our technicians at our Support Center.
Keep the printer away from heat sources, fire, flammable materials, humidity as well as from water and other liquids. Place the machine away from any equipment emitting radiation. To prevent any inadvertent use, keep the device out of reach of children and animals. It is forbidden to shake or drop the printer as it may cause breakdowns. The equipment is not intended for use in a potentially explosive environment.
Zortrax Warranty Terms
This section is a summary of warranties provided for Zortrax products. Zortrax guarantees that the printers: will perform properly according to the products’ specifications and are free from factory defects in material and workmanship. Any repairs or exchanges of the product are possible for a certain period of time after its purchase.
If the product you bought does not function as originally intended, the service is handled by the manufacturer or authorized Resellers/Distributors.
The warranty is valid for:
– 12 months if you are a corporate client,
– 24 months if you are an individual customer.
The warranty period generally starts on the date of purchase by the original buyer (typically a Reseller).
If the printer fails to perform the functions indicated in the manuals or technical specifications, the Manufacturer or authorized Reseller/distributor will repair the machine or replace the defective parts (or the printer itself) with new or refurbished parts that are equivalent to the original ones. However, the warranty does not cover all consumable parts delivered with the equipment, so natural wear and tear of cables, perforated plate, nozzle, etc. is excluded from the warranty.
Most importantly, the warranty does not cover:
a) failures resulting from incorrect installation or other activities inconsistent with the manuals or technical specifications,
b) damages caused by misuse and abuse of the devices,
c) defects that occur after improper cleaning or maintenance.
Also, willful reconfigurations and constructional modifications will definitely void your warranty.
In order to retain your warranty entitlement, you should read the user’s manual before using the device for the first time. Always use the machine according to the manuals. Once the print job is done, unplug the power cable. There are some electrical components in the printer that should not be connected to the power supply for a long time.
Keep the original packaging handy in case the printer needs servicing. Zortrax packaging provides the best protection during the shipment. Information on how to pack your 3D printer can be found here.
The Warranty Card for products bought within the EU is available for download here.
Due to the Z-SUITE 1.10 update, the Warranty has been updated on 24/04/2017 and the following notes: “Do not use other materials for print than the dedicated ones. Application of other materials can cause failure of the device’s elements and invalidate the warranty” and “Damage made to the Products caused by using materials other than those dedicated to the device and recommended by ZORTRAX shall not be covered by the Warranty.” have been removed.
As far as non-EU countries are concerned, we provide a warranty only for hidden defects. If you are a client from outside the EU and you bought equipment directly from Zortrax, you should report a defect to us – using the Support Form available here – as soon as you receive the printer or as soon as it comes to your attention within the first 150 hours of printing with M200 and 300 hours of printing with M300.