The Most Bizarre 3D Printer Promo Yet: A Free 3D Printer, With One Big Catch

By on February 28th, 2016 in Event

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Zortrax has launched a very unusual sales campaign to promote their popular M200 desktop 3D printer. 

Until March 4th, the company is literally offering their well-regarded desktop 3D printer, the M200, for free – so long as you purchase no less than 56 spools of Zortrax plastic filament first! 

They’ve priced this bundle at USD$2,030. But is this a good deal? Let’s do some arithmetic:

The regular listed price for the M200 is USD$1,990, slightly less than the sale price. 

The massive 56 spools of filament is not selectable. It’s composed of a pre-set selection as follows: 

  • 28 spools of Z-ABS – 5x Yellow, 5x Red, 5x Blue, 5x Warm Grey, 8x Pure White
  • 3 spools of Z-GLASS Transparent
  • 3 spools of Z-PETG Black
  • 3 spools of Z-HIPS Grey
  • 18 spools of Z-ULTRAT – 3x Green, 2x Yellow, 2x Red, 2x Blue, 2x Pastel Pink, 3x Pastel Yellow, 2x Neon Orange, 2x Nude
  • 1 spool of Z-PCABS Ivory

List pricing for these is: 

  • USD$21.90 each for 28 spools of Z-ABS = USD$613.20
  • USD$49.90 each for 3 spools of Z-GLASS = USD$149.70
  • USD$49.90 each for 3 spools of Z-PETG = USD$149.70
  • USD$49.90 each for 3 spools of Z-HIPS = USD$149.70
  • USD$49.90 each for 18 spools of Z-ULTRAT  = USD$898.20
  • USD$69.90 for 1 spool of Z-PCABS = USD$69.90

The total for all this is, guess what, USD$2,030.40, almost the identical price for the printer+plastic bundle!  

According to the arithmetic, this is in fact an incredibly good deal: the 3D printer is, essentially, free of charge. And it’s a very good printer, too. 

But is this something you should actually do? While the 3D printer is good and the plastic filament quality is also good, there is the question of quantity. Would you actually use all that plastic? For some busy users, certainly this would be the case. But for many people, it’s possible you might end up with a pile of unused filament. 

Let’s pull out the calculator once again.

All the spools have shipping weight of 1.1kg, suggesting you’re getting about 1.0kg of plastic on each. 

The 28 spools thus provide you with a staggering 28kg of filament. 

Typically printing 1kg of plastic filament on most desktop 3D printers takes something between 40-60 hours, depending on extrusion speeds, stops & starts, but let’s say it takes 50 hours to burn through a 1kg spool. 

In total, the spools purchased should get you something close to  1,400 hours (or about two months) of solid, continuous 3D printing. I’m hoping you don’t do this all at once! 

That number of hours is interesting, as it is likely close to the useful lifetime of a typical, casually operated desktop 3D printer. Most people do not operate their 3D printer continuously; in fact, most desktop units are not designed for such rigorous use and may fail. 

My thought is that if you purchased this bundle, you’re essentially buying the machine and ALL OF THE PLASTIC YOU’LL EVER USE. The exception being a requirement for a peculiar color or material that just happens to be excluded from Zortrax’s bundle. 

Oh yeah, there’s one more catch. 

Shipping Costs. 

This bundle is an astonishing 86kg in total (189 lbs), so the shipping costs are significant. Depending on your location, you might see shipping costs exceed USD$400, adding somewhat to your total payment. However, remember that if you were to actually use 56 spools of plastic filament during the lifetime of the machine, you would surely pay an equivalent or more shipping charges on spools anyway. 

Is it a good deal? Yes. Get one before March 4th. 

Via Zortrax

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!