Wednesday, October 26, 2011

High School Students Have 'The Best Field Trip Ever!' Learning about 3D Design & 3D Printing at Z Corporation

Today's blog is from Scott Harmon, Z Corporation VP of Business Development.
With great fanfare we kicked off the EngineeringZONE program last week. Twenty-five students and three faculty members, led by June Krinsky Rudder from Revere High School, came to visit. After a brief introduction to the company, we split them into three groups. Each group moved through three different segments.

In the first segment, students got a tour of the manufacturing facility, led by our VP of Manufacturing, Matt Mandia. Z Corporation has been manufacturing 3D printers right here in Massachusetts for more than 10 years. We ship those printers all over the globe. Although labor costs are higher here, we get very talented assemblers who don’t just put things together, they actively participate in discussions about how we can design things so that manufacturing is less expensive and easier to do. The students saw our KanBan system for lean inventory control which also keeps costs down.
The students also got some hands on time with the printers and the prototypes themselves. Most of them had never seen a 3D printer or the output from a 3D printer. In our demo room, they saw all the printers in our line, as well as prototypes from just about every discipline we sell to. We had students who were interested in engineering, architecture, animation, digital media, medicine, etc. Fortunately, we have lots of different examples of prototypes and customers from all those different disciplines.
Students then learned why 3D printers are so popular with engineers, designers, architects, animators, etc. "Failing Faster to Succeed Sooner" is a message that resonated. Engineers, designers and architects, in particular, try to generate and test lots of ideas early in their design processes so they’re not fixing things later, when it’s more costly.

As a special treat, Z Corp. worked with to let each student create their own robots during their visit. If you haven’t seen this application, you should. It’s really cool. Using a browser (Chrome and Firefox work best), you can actually design a robot and have it 3D printed. No CAD required. The application just went to public beta on the Google App Store. Best of all, in conjunction with My Robot Nation and Offload Studios, we’ll be providing each student with a 3D print of their robot.

More Photos


If you’re interested in bringing a class of students to Z Corp. as part of our EngineeringZONE program for the “best field trip ever!” (June’s words, not mine), please contact Olimpio DeMarco at


  1. Sorry to leave an unrelated comment, but I couldn't find any contact information from you. My name is Emily Matthews, and I'm very interested in contributing to your site - I think I have some great ideas for posts that your readers would love. I'd love to discuss them further with you, and hope to hear from you soon.

  2. Hi Emily, No worries. The best person for you to reach is Julie Reece, our Director of Marketing Communications:

  3. Thanks for posting a very sweet article. So much needed data i'll get and keep in my file.Thank u so much.

  4. Dimension Printing make much better quality 3D printers than ZCorp. There team is more advanced than ZCorp as well. It's like comparing apples to oranges.