By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Just a week ago, Z Corporation introduced its new ZBuilder Ultra rapid prototyping machine. This is big news both for end users and the company.
For Z Corporation, the ZBuilder Ultra expands its offerings for the product development process. With the introduction of the ZBuilder Ultra, a durable plastic rapid prototyping system, the company offers everything from 3D scanners, 3D software for pre-processing build files (even for medical imaging), 3D printing and rapid prototyping materials, as well its color 3D printers. That means Z Corporation has your hardware, materials and software needs for physical model capture, concept modeling, detail design, and functional design verification covered, enabling you to focus on engineering and innovation.
For end users, the ZBuilder Ultra means a bunch of things. For one, it means direct printing to a 3D part. Since the ZBuilder Ultra’s high-resolution Digital Light Processor (DLP) projector solidifies a liquid photopolymer into a smooth-finished part – with no stair stepping — you have a part that can withstand high-end functional testing and that you can use right away.
A second thing the ZBuilder Ultra means is compressed design cycles. Think of the possibilities of costs saved with tooling alone if you can verify form and fit quickly and inexpensively. For three, four, and five, the ZBuilder Ultra means fast, accurate, and affordable. Fast: vertical build speed of up to 0.5 inch/hour. Accurate: feature accuracy within +/- 0.008 inches. Affordable: $34,900.
I know that $34,900 makes “affordable” a relative term. But take a gander that those speed and accuracy numbers again. You’re talking building a part overnight that fits like a glove at a price point significantly less than comparable machinery. After a while, you’ll have so much faith in the ZBuilder Ultra’s output that your calipers will gather dust next to your slide rule. My guess is that the change in your new product development and your tooling cycles resulting from having a ZBuilder Ultra will recoup your investment in relatively short order.
A colleague of mine saw the ZBuilder Ultra in action at the recent Rapid Show in Anaheim. He fired me off a note from the show floor telling me I had to learn about this thing. I was not about to hop a plane to Anaheim, but I did have access to a 3.25-minute video that Z Corporation produced showing off the ZBuilder Ultra. At the end of today’s Pick of the Week write-up, you’ll find a link to that video. See for yourself. The ZBuilder Ultra seems like on cool unit.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering