I saw a demo, and compared to ALL of the others I have seen demos from, the
dimension machine's ABS plastic parts are as good as actual molded parts,
i.e. strong and look fantastic. The output from all of the other machines
just did not give me as good a feeling and look, although the colors are
interesting... by the way you can get several colors with the dimension
machine by changing out the ABS cassettes.
Just my opinion, but I look forward to buying a dimension machine in about 2
to 4 months...
After reading the specs of the two, the ZPrint seems to have a better
For the Dimension.
Layer Resolution .245mm (.010 in) or .33mm (.013 in)
Build Size 203 x 203 x 305 mm (8 x 8 x 12 in)
For the ZPrinter 310
Layer Resolution .089mm (.0035) or .203mm (.008 in)
Build Size 203 x 254 x 203 mm (8 x 10 x 8 in)
Not sure of the purchase and operating costs for either. I would like to
see samples from both before spending the cash.
I wonder how long before these things become a viable production technique?
"JKimmel" a écrit dans le message de news:
They used to offer a free trial part. The one I had was far from accurate to
I can't remember how far (could be something like .5mm), and that was at
least 3 years ago.
They should have improved since...
"Aron Bacs, Jr." wrote in
We bought a dimension BST about a year ago based on demo parts, and
employees previous experience with zcorp. Our local dimension part built
a demo part from one of my files that I'd previously paid $1500 for an
SLA. The part came back and I knew we were going to be getting one of
these machines. It was really quite nice, and well within the accuracy I
About 3 months ago we brought a second machine on-line and haven't looked
back. It has totally transformed the way we develop products. Our
business is all about airflow. I've put prototypes on the flow bench and
even installed and run them under the hood of a truck (intake system).
The dimension will run you almost $30k installed price. That gets you an
8x8x12 inch build envelope. Truthfully, I've found that the build
envelope is not a limiting factor. If your part won't fit, slice it up,
build the pieces, and glue it together. I think the largest pieces we've
done are about 9 sections glued together. You'll sacrifice a bit of
accuracy doing that, but for my parts it hasn't been a problem.
As far as colors go, I just stick to black. Its the nicest looking I've
found. I've used white, and it gets dirty and ugly very quickly. I
think my rep said black outsells all of the other colors 10:1 or so.
We're in Southern CA, and work with TekPro as our reseller. I highly
recommend their services.
We've been using the Dimension for a while and are happy with it. You
can't really do wall thicknesses less than about .15 practically and
the parts, especially ones with thin walls are fragile, good for
checking form, but not necessarily function. Also, the parts do not
flex so if you model any part that is supposed to flex, you won't see
it in the prototype. All these are to be expected of course.. We do
use the machine a lot and are happy we have it.
The only experience I have with the Z Corp printers is a demo of the earlier
310. The basic material is corn starch. They suck the ink out an HP Inkjet
print head and fill it with sugar water. The corn starch that doesn't get
bound together by the sugar water acts as the support structure. The parts
are fairly fragile until you infiltrate them. Cyanoacrylate is the usual
infiltrating material for rigid parts. You can use another material to make
rubbery parts. They had just introduced a stronger ceramic material as I
recall, but I don't remember much about it.
If you need concept type models for appearance and feel, but not for
functionality, then it seems like a good system. The Dimension system that
Aaron is considering seems like the better solution if you want more
functional parts, provided ABS will give you good enough physical properties
and you can live with the cruder geometry.
Tripod Data Systems
"take the garbage out, dear"
I have worked with both machines and it really is not a case of one
better than the other. What you have to ask is what does you company
do, at what stage are you looking to get a prototype made and cost.
Hands down the Zcorp 510 is the fastest and material cost most
effective. You also have a lot more flexibility with the 5 different
powder types. From flexible to sand casting with more to come. The 510
is printing at 600 DPI when it comes to color resolution (ie jpeg, bit
map, tiff) full CMYK 24 bit. The powder can be reused, cutting cost per
cubic inch. 10 x 14 x 8
The dimension prints in ABS plastic and color cartridges can be added
to give you one color at a time. The new system has a liquid based
solution that melts the support structure that you have to build around
the model. With out the liquid solution, you have to break the support
structure off by hand. Build volume 8 x 12 x 8
Best case, you can get a free part from both. Ask both of the resellers
how much it cost to make the part and how much time it took to make the
model. If you have the time, go see both in action. As funny as this
may sound buy one of these RP machines is kind of like buying a car,
know what you're getting before you buy.
The Z-Corp salesman came by with a sample "printout" of an assembly I
sent him. It came out really well. He also showed us something really
interesting, they can print a mold and a core into a sand media, dry it
out, assemble it, then pour aluminum directly into the mold. So how do
I get my boss to start up a foundry? We already have the gas line...
I think I would try to find someone to make identical parts you need
from both machines and compare them.
Individual uses of prototypes vary from just looks to fully functional
Some rapid prototyping just doesn't work well when you get thinner
walls or snap fits or tighter tolerances.
I have used a number of rapid prototypes, but for a ABS with precise
size and fits for sealing and snap fit, the best I've found is SLA with
the Accura si-50 material which is like a semi-flexible ABS.
I have successfully made tight seals and snap fits work as expected
virtually on the first prototype, given the precise nature of the SLA
process and the material.
I am not trying to indicate that there are not other equal or better
methods and products, but just to illustrate that there are different
needs and when you need higher precisions and toughness, you need to
pick the right process.
RP shops today do prototypes so inexpensively, and quickly in a few
days, that unless there is a high volume need or tight deadlines, I
would bet most people would get lower costs through an RP vendor.
My key vendor for the is
and their datasheet
is available on their web site as a pdf.
I checked out the Dimension machine at the 2004 SEMA show and I might
have seen one of your parts! It was featured at their booth and it said
Banks on it.
Will you be at SEMA 2005? For better or worse, I'll be there all 5
Best of Luck!
"BoC" wrote in news:1129047507.814744.4880
Exactly. I don't need that level of precision on my parts and so I'm not
willing to pay for it. Potential buyers really need to understand their
own product and what each potential machines strengths and weakness are
related to that product.
I wouldn't go so far as to say most. I only had to build about 25 models
to see a 100% ROI. I have long surpassed that. One thing not people
don't often realize is how many more models they'll build, early in the
design process, when you bring it in house. I build prototypes now, that
I'd never have paid to send out because it wouldn't have seemed
"finished" enough. Building SLAs was our last check before production.
I build large models with many pieces put togther. As the part size
increases, the advantages of bringing it in house increase, in our
I agree generally with MHill's statements.
My use of precision SLA parts, means that when I pay $600 for 3 parts
that fit together with close tolerances, it is cost effective for me,
as buying an SLA machine would not pay for itself quickly at all,
because my needs are different, requiring the high precision.