Before attempting to use the Color printer
Complete the training class
Agree to Cost and Usage policies (further down on this page)
The ZCorp 450 is a powder-based printer which is capable of high accuracy, full-color, complex structure printing. In a build a layer of powder is deposited and then a printhead sprays binder and color where needed, like an inkjet printing on flour. The end result is a piece with a ceramic-like texture which can be very complex in shape.
The complexity of the shapes is easy because the material is self-supporting - no matter what part is being printed, the entire printbed area is filled. This means that something such as the Golden Gate bridge could be printed with zero support material.
Colors are the same as an inkjet printer, however it's important to note that you will never easily obtain absolute color accuracy. For example if you are trying to match a specific shade of blue you may be able to do it in the model, but after printing and finishing it will not match precisely.
When the piece first comes out it is somewhat fragile, and must be handled very carefully. Extra build powder must be carefully brushed off from the structure and then it must be "infiltrated" with material to make it stronger. Typically this just involves rinsing the model with a Cyanoacrylate (Super Glue) and allowing it to soak in and harden. When hardened the pieces are far less fragile, and suitable for small figurines, wargaming terrain, coasters, fridge magnets, and so on. They are not (using the methods currently used in house) suitable for structural parts.
When combined with the full color scanner. this printer works very well for producing busts of individuals, such as the Steampunk figurines on display made from real-live models in our garage, or models of some of our members.
An interesting feature of the printer is that time to print is not directly proportional to the number of items being printed. The majority of the print time is spent filling each layer with powder, not the coloring and binding itself. For example, if a small part takes 1 hour to print, building 4 of them may only take 1.1 hours if parts are oriented correctly in the machine. This makes it far more time-efficient to print multiples of items in a single print run, or to combine your print job with someone else's (or several someones) to maximize the use of space in the machine.
Color: 180,000 colors (2 print heads)
Resolution: 300 x 450 dpi
Minimum Feature Size: 0.006 inches (0.15 mm)
Vertical Build Speed: 0.9 inch/hour (23 mm/hour)
Build Size: 8 x 10 x 8 inches (203 x 254 x 203 mm)
Material Options: High Performance Composite
Layer Thickness: 0.0035 – 0.004 inches (0.089 – 0.102 mm)
Number of Jets: 604
Training takes approximately 1.5 hours and covers the following:
Printer overview - How it works, materials and costs
How to make models ready for Color 3d printing (General)
Printing process - Step by step
Post-processing - De-powdering and Finishing
Policies - Costs and Invoicing for prints
Classes will be held intermittently as interest requires, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate interest.
The ZCorp printer (currently) uses expensive proprietary materials. Every print costs money, and it is far more expensive than basic Filament used in FDM printers. As a result, Membership does not cover costs for printing on the color printer.
Prints are priced based on two factors:
Actual amount of materials used
To determine the cost for any print, follow these steps:
Load Model into 3D Print
Select “Tools” tab, click “Build Time Estimator”
Note the “Binder Usage” and “Total Volume” entries
Binder = Monochrome Binder x $0.30
Powder = Volume x $0.12
Multiply by 1.25* (Pro), 1.5 (Hobbyist) **
Round up to nearest $1.00
4 Boats,$7.25 each ((15 + 7.46) * 1.25 ~1.00 = $29)
Hobbyist cost = $8.50 each
10 Fridge Magnets, $1.60 each
Hobbyist cost = $1.90 each
Note that these costs are subject to change; our hope is to lower them over time, but the amounts above are in place to cover materials and operational costs of the printers.
First and foremost, this printer may not be used by members as a commercial "pay for print" service, eg 3d Hubs, etc. Running a print for work/family/friends and being reimbursed is allowed, but excessive use by any members may require changing of policies as the prices are designed to encourage hobbyist use.
For outside entities looking for printing of a small number of items, or anything which may be considered commercial in nature contact email@example.com for further information. MakeIt Labs uses any funds from print jobs run for outside groups or entities to maintain and expand its 3d printing program.
When printing a part you are responsible for costs of materials used, regardless of outcome. This includes prints you abort, prints that break during the finishing process, prints which don't have quite the color you expected, etc. If something goes wrong with the printer itself during the print, which leads to an unfinished print, please contact the Resource Manager to provide more information - if the issue was a malfunction beyond your control you won't be charged for it.