Did you catch Todd Grimm's June 2010 3D Printer Benchmark Report? It is available as a free download at http://www.tagrimm.com/benchmark-2010/download_benchmark.html and is pretty interesting reading since it is an independent third party analysis. More about Todd Grimm and his company T.A. Grimm & Associates can be found here: http://www.tagrimm.com/company/index.html along with a number of other industry publications and tools, some free to download and some for purchase.
Like any report of this nature it isn't perfect. For example, the ZPrinter 310 was used for this analysis. If the newer models ZPrinter 150, ZPrinter 250 and ZPrinter 350 were considered instead, some of the results would likely be different. Overall, however, I agree with most of the conclusions in the report. I thought that instead of writing about my views on this paper I would bring it to your attention, give a brief overview, and ask for your opinions and experiences. Do they line up with the conclusions found by Grimm?
It focuses on the fastest growing segment in additive manufacturing – 3D Printing. So, comparisons where made between the six lowest cost printers available from five different manufacturers. As mentioned above, Z Corporations three newest products (ZPrinters 150/250/350) might have been considered if they had been available when the data was collected for the report.
As stated in the report, the purpose of the study was to determine just how fast, inexpensive, and easy to use 3D printers can be. To do so the following four areas where reviewed: Time, Cost, Quality, Operation, along with a number of subcategories. In the coming weeks I will give you some of my insights on cost, part quality and ease of use. But if you will allow me to give you an assignment, download the study, read it (the pictures are nice also), and let me know what you think. Do the conclusions ring true to your experience or assumptions? And, what part of the study is most important to you, cost, ease of use, other?
I am responsible for leading 3D Systems content creation and capture activities and, in partnership with business and functional leaders, developing new opportunities for the company. I have held a variety of leadership positions in marketing and business development and most recently ran a $150MM division of Church & Dwight, a leading consumer goods company. Prior to receiving my M.B.A from Harvard Business School, I was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal company commander for the U.S. Army. I graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.
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