When I was contacted and asked to review the Zortrax M200, I was incredibly excited. The M200 has received really good reviews from other reviewers and from consumers as well.
What I found was that the positive reviews were spot-on… the M200 might just be the best consumer-level 3D printer currently on the market.
There is a ton to like about this printer, from it’s plug & play capabilities (up and running right out of the box), to it’s ease-of-use (anyone can use this printer), to it’s amazing print quality and reliability, as well as plenty of other features that help it stand out.
Ultimately, after extensively using the M200 and putting it to the test, I have it ranking highest on my list of the Best 3D Printers. If you want to dive-in further to what the Zortrax M200 brings to the table, continue reading to see my full review of the printer.
|TECHNOLOGY||LPDTM — Layered Plastic Deposition|
|MATERIALS||1.75mm Z-ABS, Z-HIPS, Z-ULTRAT, etc.|
|BUILD SIZE||~8″ x 8″ x 7″|
|LAYER THICKNESS||Advanced Settings: 25-50 Microns|
|INPUT||.STL, .OBJ, .DXF, file input|
|SIZE||~14″ x 14″ x 17″|
Zortrax M200 Features
The Zortrax M200 is what I consider to being as about as perfect of a 3D printer as current 3D printing technology permits—at least in regards to consumer-level 3D printers.
By that I mean that in all of the areas that I deem to be important in a 3D printer, the Zortrax M200 is as good as—if not better than—the competition in most of those categories.
It’s easy-to-use, it’s plug & play friendly, it can hit high quality prints, it’s reliable, and for what you get, the price is very reasonable.
Let’s talk a little more about some of those features as well as dive into some other things the M200 does right.
Plug & Play and Ease-Of-Use
It was literally no more than 20-30 minutes after unboxing the M200 that I had it started on its first print. At first I was a bit annoyed that the M200 couldn’t be connected by USB, because that was the main method I used to print from my other 3D printers.
However, after using the provided SD Card (which comes with a USB-to-SD-Card adapter) and realizing that I could move the printer out of my office and onto display in my man cave, using an SD card to print objects is now my new preferred method of loading files.
To make the printer as simple to use as possible, the M200 features an auto leveling print bed, an auto load and unload filament feature, and provides ridiculously easy-to-use software (called Z-Suite).
Ultimately, if you’re looking for an easy-to-use and simple-to-setup printer that can produce high quality prints, look no further than the M200.
If there is one thing that modern 3D printers need to improve upon before they become widely adopted among non-technical users, it’s in how reliable they are. Basically, this refers to a printer’s ratio of successful prints to failed prints.
The M200 has tackled this problem head on as they have designed one of the most reliable printers on the market.
In all of the prints that I ran on the M200, the printer never failed once. And, I ran multiple long prints, including prints that took 12 hours, 27 hours, and 52 hours… and all of those prints finished without a problem.
Not to mention, 3D Hubs users have reported a 94% success rate with the M200, meaning that the printer fails, on average, about 6% of the time. That easily makes it one of the most successful printers on the market right now.
When you combine the kind of reliability that the M200 has with how easy it is to use, it really makes it tough to look at other 3D printers in the same way. This combination of features is exactly what the market needs to turn 3D printers from a hobby/enthusiast item into a must-have tool for any home. And, as such, I applaud Zortrax for raising the standard for consumer-level 3D printers.
Full List of Features
|Can be up and running within 20-30 minutes|
|Auto bed-leveling saves you time and hassle|
|Extremely reliable printer with a 94% success rate|
|Great print speeds|
|Z-suite software is simple and easy to use|
|Great print accuracy—capable of producing high-quality prints|
|Perforated build platform prevents ABS from warping|
|Decent-size print volume|
|Outstanding design and build quality|
|Supportive community that is quick to respond|
|Comes with a rack to hold your filament|
|Stylish and lightweight design make it perfect for a desktop|
Setup, Software, and Configuration
As mentioned a few times already in this review, the Zortrax M200 really delivers on it’s ability to be up and running in just a short time. The following is a basic rundown of the step-by-step process needed to get the printer up and running.
- Remove the M200 from the box and remove packing foam and tape
- Install the print bed and filament guide
- Download, install, and configure the software (Z-Suite)
- Load and configure your first model
- Plugin and power on the M200
- Load the filament and model
- Start printing
As you can see, the steps aren’t too difficult. There’s no configuring necessary with the printer other than the configurations you choose to setup in the software with the model you want to print.
All-in-all it took me just under 30 minutes to get the printer ready to start running its first print.
The Z-Suite software that the Zortrax M200 comes with is really well organized and is easy to use.
They’ve limited the default options you have to make the interface clean and to avoid overwhelming you with options.
However, you can still configure your models with advanced settings if you’re looking to hit some higher quality prints.
Some of the options that you can change are the type of filament, the layer thickness, the print speed, the infill, support structure options, fan speed, etc.
Ultimately, the software is another plus for the M200 as it is easy to use and still gives you all the options you need to produce high-end prints.
Printing With the Zortrax M200 3D Printer
When you get down to it, one of the biggest determining factors in a 3D printer’s quality is how well it prints. If it can’t print decent-looking objects, then what is the point of paying money for it?
Fortunately, the M200 doesn’t struggle in terms of its ability to produce high quality prints. In fact, it shines in this area.
In this section I’ll go into detail about the following areas: print accuracy, print speed, print area and volume, and printer build quality and reliability.
Through the standard settings in Z-Suite, the M200 can hit resolutions as high as 90 microns. However, with advanced settings, the M200 can hit resolutions as high as 25 microns. Though, when you start getting to resolutions that high, it becomes more difficult to tell the difference.
In my opinion the prints that I ran turned out fantastic. I own a Formlabs Form 1+, which uses a different technology to achieve a more polished-looking print, but the M200 at 90 microns can get pretty close in terms of finished quality.
All-in-all, the M200 is capable of producing very nice-looking prints.
The M200 is capable of hitting print speeds as high as 100mm/s, which, to be honest, isn’t that great… especially when you consider the other printers in its class.
Still, though, if you want to produce a quality print you need to slow down the print speed anyways, so while the M200 does lack in print speed, it definitely makes up for that in more important areas.
If you are looking for a printer that compares to the M200 but can print at higher speeds, you might want to consider the MakerGear M2, or the Ultimaker 2.
Print Area and Volume
Another area that isn’t quite as impressive as the rest of the features the M200 has to offer is its build volume.
The M200 gets trumped by virtually every other printer in it’s class in terms of build volume. The M200 sits at about 8″ x 8″ x 7″. Meanwhile, the MakerGear M2 sports a little bit bigger ~8″ x 10″ x 8″ platform, the Taz 5 sports a ~12″ x 11″ x 10″ platform, and the Ultimaker 2 sports a ~9″ x 9″ x 8″ platform.
The difference isn’t huge (especially with the M2 and the Ultimaker 2), but it is something to consider if you’re looking to produce huge prints.
Ultimately, this is another area where the M200 is good, but not great. In my opinion, though, it’s near perfect rating in other areas are enough to overlook the little bit of a smaller print volume and slower print speed.
Printer Build Quality and Reliability
Another winning quality of the Zortrax M200 is its build quality and reliability. Built with an aluminum frame, the Zortrax M200 is both sturdy, rigid, and durable.
And, as previously mentioned, the Zortrax M200 is the closest printer to being “fail-proof” that exists on the market. Users on 3D Hubs have reported an astonishingly low 4% failure rate. That’s unheard of for a 3D printer built on modern 3D printing technology.
I can attest to this reliability as I put the printer through multiple prints—including a few day or two long prints—and the printer never even hinted at failing.
In the end, reliability is a huge selling factor for me, especially considering the price tag for the class of 3D printers that the M200 sits in. And, because the M200 gets reliability right, it definitely warrants a very high score and my personal recommendation. It’s going to be hard to send this printer back…
Prints With the Zortrax M200 (More to Come)
There are so many things to like about the Zortrax M200 that I’m not sure where to begin… Perhaps most importantly is the fact that the M200 is one of the most reliable consumer-level printers on the market (if not the most reliable).
This is an incredibly important selling point, because nobody wants to pay $2,000 for a machine that is going to fail more often than not.
In combination with its reliability, the M200 is very easy to use. This combination should be appealing to anyone who is worried about making an expensive commitment to a technology that is still working the kinks out (at least at a consumer level.)
In fact, the M200 is so easy to use that I’m sure even the most technology-challenged users could operate it with no problems.
On top of those two key selling points, the M200 can also produce amazing quality prints. And, in my opinion, those three factors (print quality, ease-of-use, and reliability) are the three most important factors a modern 3D printer can have.
Eventually, all of the 3D printers on the market will be easy to use and much more reliable, and it will just be a matter of which printer can produce the best prints. However, for now, the M200 already shines in these areas and as such is one of only a few printers I would recommend spending ~$2,000 or more on.