ZORTRAX – The Future is 3D
Zortrax, the Polish developer of comprehensive 3D printing solutions, has conquered the world by focusing on two key factors: reliability and user-friendliness.
Established as recently as 2011, Zortrax has built a strong position in the global 3D printing market – the company offers not only desktop 3D printers but also dedicated filaments, its Z-SUITE software, a cloud-based platform and additional devices to improve the printing process and post-processing experience.
The company, which today employs some 200 people and operates two production facilities in Poland and China, uses innovative solutions and high-quality materials to provide precision printing primarily to business professionals, but also – due to its unique design, ease of use and affordability – to prosumers and amateurs.
Mariusz Babula, CEO of Zortrax, explains that it is also the company’s comprehensive offering that makes it attractive to customers: “We provide our customers with a complete, comprehensive ecosystem that includes everything they need to achieve the best in their business.”
He joined the company in 2017 with the task of listing the company on the stock exchange, but his scope of responsibility was then expanded and in 2021 he was appointed CEO. He is also one of Zortrax’s shareholders.
Reliable and Customer-Friendly
Zortrax products are used by thousands of customers across a wide range of industries, from architecture and medicine to automotive, engineering, industrial prototyping, and fashion with configuration for desktop or industrial applications. The products are offered through a network of over 130 partners operating in 90 countries on six continents.
Mr Babula points out that the company is constantly extending its portfolio with new materials intended for specific applications but continues to stick to the principles of the highest quality, reliability and user-friendliness.
An example of this approach is Zortrax’s flagship product, the Zortrax M200 3D Printer, which has collected many awards, including ‘Good Design’ by the Institute of Industrial Design in Warsaw in 2019; the Golden A’Design Award in Industrial Design Category 2018; in 2017, it also won the first annual 3D Printing Industry Award, where it was recognized as number one in Personal 3D Printer of the Year.
Now with an upgraded design the Zortrax M200 Plus stands out for its reliability, efficiency, and precision combined with its reasonable price. The printer works in an integrated system and comes with a wide selection of professional materials with a variety of qualities and colours.
“User-friendliness is key for us when developing new products, as our customers are experts in their own field but are not 3D printing geeks. They need a tool for their everyday business.”
“They want a device that is reliable, user-friendly and one that provides all they need in one place. Our ecosystem is complete but not closed, so it can also use third-party materials if needed. With our coherent system, users can work faster and more efficiently, and operate the system by just pressing a button.”
Expanding Into Space
Zortrax products have already been introduced by world-leading organisations such as Bosch, Toyota, LG, Microsoft, Faurecia, Philips, Gillette, Stihl, Caterpillar. and Henkel, but the company has also reached companies from sectors significant for the future development of the planet and mankind, such as e-mobility, medicine, and space.
“Our printing solutions have been used by NASA and the European Space Agency in prototyping tools for the asteroid redirect mission, spacewalks and other requirements such as designing and manufacturing satellites,” says Mr Babula, pointing out that 3D printing is very important in space where weight is a key factor.
“It is much easier to have one or two 3D printers on a space mission, in other words, just a few kilogrammes of material, than to have a variety of tools and spare parts on board.”
In medicine, Zortrax’s 3D printers are not used only for educational purposes but also for surgical procedures. “3D printing has a huge potential in medicine as well as in veterinarian science and dentistry, where digitisation is very rapid. Additive manufacturing is not used only for medical devices but also within innovative projects related to 3D printed medical implants that respond to each patient’s specific needs.”
Mr Babula also affirms that the company is progressing in as sustainable a manner as possible. “From the business point of view, we choose materials that are recyclable, are long-lasting and very reliable and as such come with a small carbon footprint.”
“But you can also look at 3D printing from the general point of view of sustainability and economics. Companies that used 3D printing to change their business model would become much more sustainable, eliminating the need for warehouses and global transport costs – they would only need to send a file to their local representative. Needless to say, the reduction in their carbon footprint would be significant.”
He reflects that in addition to sustainability, the second major trend in the sector that is gaining strength is a focus on compatible materials that could be used for bone replacement or tooth implants, or hopefully, even tissue or organ implants.
“The industry is looking at novel materials, engineering materials, as some geometries that cannot be achieved using traditional methods can be manufactured using 3D printing.”
At the Forefront
Speaking about the current business position, Mr Babula admits that although the company has not been spared some of the problems related to supply chain disruptions, its biggest challenge at the moment is insufficient production capacity.
“To meet increasing demand, we are considering setting up a new manufacturing site in Poland. We are also looking at the US market, which is growing rapidly. The plan is to perhaps have a subsidiary or a joint venture with one of the US industry leaders so that we can be closer to our American customers and respond quickly to their needs.”
The 3D market has grown by 555% over the last 8 years and as such, has been one of the most dynamically developing industries on a global scale. Zortrax, with its clear competitive advantages, is set to capitalise on this development, continuing to grow with the industry, and striving to be at the forefront of the global 3D printer sector.