Every device created by Zortrax is marketed as a plug&play. Perhaps you have heard this term before, but how does it relate to 3D printers? Are plug&play devices worth considering when buying a 3D printer? What is the difference between this kind of device and a regular one? Do any of these questions bother you? Read this article and you will find all the information you are looking for.
The first steps into 3D printing
If you are taking your first steps into the 3D printing world and do not have enough knowledge about it, you might feel a little bit overwhelmed by the jargon. Indeed, there are a lot of numbers in both your 3D printer’s specification and the parameters you are able to set in your slicer software. It is possible that you were not familiar with the 3D printing software. In fact, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s assume that you have already ordered your printer and received the package. How do you assemble all the parts together? How do you position the printer’s bed in the proper way? How do you load your filament? And finally, how do you maintain your machine? Don’t worry, when I started my journey with 3D printing, I knew pretty much nothing about any of the above. And this is where the plug&play devices come in handy.
Plug&Play vs. RepRap – What’s the difference?
The answer is simple – the time. After opening the box with your brand-new regular 3D printer, you will usually have to spend a few hours assembling it. What comes next is calibrating your printer’s bed until the tip of the nozzle will stay at the same height irrespective of its XY axis position. Finally, you will have to choose the correct slicer software, and set many parameters which require extensive knowledge about the 3D printing to succeed. In most cases, you might need to repeat each step numerous times to achieve satisfying quality of the model, and – believe me – it takes a lot of time.
On the other hand, you can use a plug&play device like the Zortrax 3D printer. In this case – the situation turns out to be much simpler. You receive your package and just after the unboxing you have a fully assembled 3D printer. After surviving this quick first step, you have to calibrate the printer’s bed. Or maybe you don’t? In fact, the 3D printer is capable of setting everything for you, automatically, and your role is to select the correct option in the display.
How about the software? Zortrax machines use their own dedicated software, so you don’t have to waste time on choosing the right one. Once you open the Z-SUITE (the software is designed by them) on your PC, you need to select your 3D printer from the menu. What pops out in the screen is a friendly, intuitive interface, dedicated for your device. Thanks to it you will not feel confused by numerous parameters to fill. One quick upload onto your flash memory card and you are ready to 3D print your first prototype. And if you have followed the instructions, your 3D printer will work. You don’t have to go through a lot of 3D printing tests to find the perfect parameter set. The manufacturers do it for you, so you don’t have to spend your time, or know much about 3D printing, to start creating your prototypes.
To plug&play, or not to plug&play, that is the question
No matter how experienced you are in 3D printing, you should try using plug&play devices. They are easy and intuitive enough to be used by beginners, and if you are familiar with 3D printing, it gives you some freedom to explore the product more closely, and try new ideas. So are you convinced?
More details about about Zortrax 3D printing software.