Z-Corp 3D-Printer

Machine Spectrum Z510
Manufacturer Z Corporation
Material Plaster powder
Mechanism Print head, binder
Build Volume 10" x 14 " x 8"
Applications Produces full colored models primarily for display.

3D Printing Process Spectrum Z510

The Z Corp machine is essentially a 3D color printer that creates successive cross sections of three dimensional objects from a plaster powder. The cross section layers of 0.0035"-0.008" (.089-.203 mm) are built in the machines 10" x 14" x 8" build bed. The powder layers are spread from the feed bed into the build bed with a roller. The parts are then printed by spraying a binder solution on the powder substrate by means of inkjet print heads. The build bed is then lowered and a new layer of material is added. This process continues until all layers of the part have been completed. Upon build completion the part is removed from the bed, excess powder is blown off the part, and the part is infiltrated to improve its strength.

Advantages of the Z Corp technology are the low material costs and speed, typically printing 2-3 layers per minute. The downside to the technology is that the surface finish, accuracy and strength are not as good as some other methods.