Z Corporation

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3D Systems ZPrinters
Genre3D Imaging/Printing/Prototyping
Founded1986 (1986)
United States

Z Corporation (commonly abbreviated Z Corp.) was acquired by 3D Systems on January 3, 2012.

ZPrinting relates to the z axis which adds depth to the other 2 axes x,y as does 3D printing.[1]

In 1993, a new 3D printing technology, ZPrinting, was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[2][3] As in many other rapid prototyping processes, the part to be printed is built up from many thin cross sections of the 3D model. In ZPrinters, an inkjet-like printing head moves across a bed of powder, selectively depositing a liquid binding material in the shape of the section. A fresh layer of powder is spread across the top of the model, and the process is repeated. When the model is complete, unbound powder is automatically removed.[4] Parts can be built on a ZPrinter at a rate of approximately 1 vertical inch per hour.

Color printing[edit]

Zprinters can print parts in full color, using inkjet technology that has been refined for decades in the 2 dimensional printing industry. The color science has been adapted for use in 3 dimensions. The color spectrum of their most capable machines is full cmyk, or up to 6 million colors. Due to this wide range of color choices, the machines are able to print gradient color patterns. This is how the machines differ from any other "color" 3d printing system.[5] Color can be used to simulate the appearance of other materials (as in architectural models or product prototypes [6][7][8]), to highlight surface structures or add annotations to models (as in models used to plan surgeries [9]), or to display the results of structural analyses (such as finite element analysis) directly on the model surface.

Zprinters originally gained recognition through applications in medical and architectural industry. More recently, they have been popular for creating 3d printed models of people from color 3d-scans, avatars from video games (Space Engineers, World of Warcraft, Assassin's Creed), artistic and realistic sculptures.

As of 2016, 3D Systems rebranded the Z Corp's 3D printing technology as Color Jet. Quickparts.com, the service bureau owned by 3D Systems, offers service from this printing technology.[10][11]

Printer modifications[edit]

In 2018, Scott Ziv modified a Z Corp Z402 (the first commercially available machine to use binder jetting) to use selective laser sintering to create 3D objects by fusing glitter.[12][13][14][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Origin of Company Name". Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  2. ^ Z Corporation 3D Printing Technology
  3. ^ Grimm, Todd (2004). User's Guide to Rapid Prototyping. SME. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-87263-697-2. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
  4. ^ Sclater, Neil; Nicholas P. Chironis (2001). Mechanisms and Mechanical Devices Sourcebook. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 472. ISBN 978-0-07-136169-9. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
  5. ^ Liou, Frank W. (2007). Rapid Prototyping and Engineering Applications. CRC Press. p. 277. ISBN 978-0-8493-3409-2. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
  6. ^ Building Design
  7. ^ Experience Building Online
  8. ^ Civil Engineering News
  9. ^ The Journal of Cranialfacial Surgery
  10. ^ "ColorJet Printing (CJP)". 3D Systems. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Medical Modeling - Color Jet Printing". medicalmodeling.com. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Cutting Edge of 3D Printing Revealed At Last Weekend's Midwest RepRap Festival". Hackaday. 2018-03-26. Retrieved 2018-03-28.
  13. ^ "3D Printing Talent and Creativity On Display at Midwest RepRap Festival | 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing". 3dprint.com. Retrieved 2018-03-28.
  14. ^ Thomas Sanladerer (2018-03-28), The most fabulous 3D printer uses Glitter #MRRF2018, retrieved 2018-03-28
  15. ^ "The ReCorp: Restoring the oldest 3D printer… With Glam. | Dream the Impossible Dream". scottziv.com. Retrieved 2018-03-28.

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