Get to Know the Firmware and Hardware Features of Zortrax M200 Plus Desktop 3D Printer
- Most visually noticeable upgrade to the M200 Plus is the addition of a high density touchscreen.
- The additions of a Wi-Fi module and an Ethernet port allow the creation of 3D printing farms.
- Two new sensors protect your manufacturing line from failed prints and make the printer more autonomous.
Zortrax M200 Plus is the high-performance 3D printer and a refined version of Zortrax flagship model, the original M200. The new iteration comes with Wi-Fi connectivity and the ability to create wireless 3D printing farms, but it also comes with a few extra tweaks and improvements in the hardware and firmware department.
Looking at it from the outside, the main difference between the original Zortrax M200 and the fourth generation M200 Plus 3D printer is the addition of the touchscreen. Facts The control system features a 720×480 high density display. The graphical interface is equipped with five-point touch capability The touchscreen has high brightness levels. “The original M200 relied on a single bidirectional encoder as its input method, and that’s why we wanted to enhance user interaction options.” says Jacek Janiszewski, Zortrax’s Software/Firmware developer. This new control system features a 720×480 high density display with a new five-point touch capability graphical interface and high brightness level to achieve the best user experience for a desktop 3D printer.
However, the key addition in terms of printer application is arguably the 802.11 a/b/g Wi-Fi module and an ethernet port which allows this plug & play 3D printer to be connected as an IOT device using either of the two methods. Facts The M200 Plus is equipped with the 802.11 a/b/g Wi-Fi module. The 3D printer also comes with an ethernet port. A camera inside the printing chamber has been added for better control. Depending on various security or policy reasons, Zortrax M200 Plus can not only work in either the Wi-Fi or Ethernet mode but also as a full-feature device in stand-alone mode. The addition of online connectivity naturally allows the creation of a wireless 3D printing farm, an idea which we have covered and explained before, but it also needs to be addressed that multiple Zortrax M200 Plus printers can run on the same network in a mixed Wi-Fi/Ethernet mode as well. In order to fully take control of online connectivity and remote control options, we have also equipped the M200 Plus with a camera located inside the printing chamber. Despite the printer’s background in world-renowned reliability, certain unexpected errors might still be possible and the camera allows the user to keep tabs on the workstation and making sure issues like warping or shrinkage do not occur.
The extruder of the M200 plus has been overhauled with an additional cooling fan and improved internal construction. Facts Improved extruder with an additional fan to permit 3D printing with flex materials. It is also possible to print with external materials. Z-axis end stop and filament sensor notify users when there is no more material. These changes were made to ensure better guidance for previously difficult to print filaments and hence it allowed us to add Z-SEMIFLEX to our material offer, which opens up a door of opportunity for new cases of 3D printed parts. Flex materials enable the production of elastic models and prototypes which can conform to deformation and return to their original shape afterwards. Another addition to the material variety is the Open Filament System. “Based on known good presets, we have isolated, exposed and documented critical calibration options that enable the printing of third-party materials. Now, thanks to the Open Filament System, the operator has the ability to rapidly produce functional prints on non-certified materials without the risk of being overwhelmed by the complexity that comes with calibrating a material in competing 3D print solutions,” explains Jacek.
In order to make the printer even more reliable, the M200 Plus was outfitted with two additional sensors to protect your manufacturing line from 3D printing errors. The sensors in question are an additional Z-axis endstop and a filament sensor. “Thanks to these, we’ve made the device smarter, decreasing reliance on operator input and preventing mistakes, like a miscalculated material amount, from causing failed prints,” explains Jacek. Now users will be notified when there is no more material left for printing, which will greatly minimize waste. This notification will be displayed on the Z-SUITE control panel, an important part of Zortrax Ecosystem.
Be in Control
The main purpose of working in Zortrax slicer application, Z-SUITE, is to perform most actions remotely from the comfort of the working space. Facts Compatible with Z-SUITE slicer application in order to control the printer remotely. The printer is equipped with a 1.2 ghz quad-core processor. The processor and 2 gigabytes of on-board RAM allow future upgrades. “These include starting, pausing, resuming and stopping prints, checking the printer status or validating print conformity”, says Jacek. Although physical user presence is still required to clear the bed or load the material, the entire 3D printing process is mostly automatic and doesn’t requires any expert knowledge or specialist intervention and can be finished within ten clicks.
“We couldn’t have done this without upgrading the hardware of the original. The M200 Plus 3D Printer is powered by an industrial grade, 1.2 ghz quad-core processor with 2 gigabytes of on-board RAM. These specifications allow us to extend the existing software with new functionality and advanced features, which we weren’t able to fit into previous generation,” explains Jacek.
Zortrax M200 Plus desktop 3D printer was designed to be accessible, efficient and intuitive for professional users and novices in the world of 3D printing alike. All the features listed enable effortless operation of multiple printers by a single operator and reduce the need for extensive training. You can read up more on how to unpack your M200 Plus as well as how to set up a 3D printing farm.