ZMorph Ups Laser Engraving Capabilities

By on March 13th, 2020 in Hardware

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The PLH3D-6W-XF at work on the ZMorph VX [Image: Opt Lasers]

The PLH3D-6W-XF at work on the ZMorph VX [Image: Opt Lasers]

Multi-functional 3D printers offer just that — multiple functions. As the technologies progress, so do the capabilities possible for desktop fabrication.

ZMorph’s 3D printers don’t just 3D print; they’re also CNC machines and laser engravers. The ZMorph VX was designed for functionality. As the company’s CEO has told us, these are not toys: they’re professional-level tools.

ZMorph Multitool

As CEO Maciej Nawrocki told me when I asked him the place of multitool machines in the desktop fabrication market:

“It is a natural fit. But only when you can deliver a professional level of performance from each proposed functionality. And this is where we are with the VX model which can 3D print, CNC mill and laser cut and engrave on a professional level in proven by our engineers’ applications.”

What really sets ZMorph apart, he said, is “A professional performance level of each proposed functionality. There were many trying to have a multi-tool but these were usually multi-toys due to too many trade-offs in product design, its sturdiness, and reliability.”

Adding to the performance level now is a more powerful laser head — more than twice the wattage of the base laser head included with the VX.

ZMorph And Opt Lasers

The PLH3D-6W-XF installed on the ZMorph VX [Image: Opt Lasers]

The PLH3D-6W-XF installed on the ZMorph VX [Image: Opt Lasers]

ZMorph has joined forces with fellow Polish company Opt Lasers to increase laser engraving speeds and allow for more powerful operation — including marking steel.

The new kit, catchily named the PLH3D-6W-XF engraving laser head, is a 6-watt blue laser. The standard laser included with the VX is a 2.8-watt laser (also from Opt Lasers).

The more powerful PLH3D-6W-XF is designed for plug-and-play operation with the ZMorph VX, attaching quickly to the system, ready for action.

“After an hour of continuous operation, the head’s temperature rises only by 2-3 °C,” Opt Lasers notes.

“The PLH3D-6W-XF engraving laser head from Opt Lasers is built based on the powerful NUBM44 Nichii 6W blue laser diode. It is equipped with a dedicated microcontroller as well as an efficient fan that provides cooling and protects laser optics from smoke generated during use. Moreover, the aluminum cover helps in dissipating heat and protects against external factors.

Users are able to engrave a wide range of shades, as the head allows them to change laser resolution and power by adjusting the size of the beam. They can also use different modes of operation, by switching lenses. The kit also includes an adapter cable and safety goggles with CE approval.”

The 6W laser retails for $799. It’s not a cheap attachment, but if it offers the professional level of performance indicated, isn’t unreasonable.

Soothing music accompanies a demo of the laser head working to quickly make a relatively simple desktop project: a box from a flat piece of cardboard, accomplished in just over a minute.

Opt Lasers offers a variety of laser heads, including kits for other CNC machines and 3D printers — like the Prusa i3 MK3S.

As ever, 3D printing isn’t just 3D printing. A 3D printer is a tool in a fabrication toolbox — and sometimes is a few different tools.

Via Opt Lasers

By Sarah Goehrke

Sarah Goehrke is a Special Correspondent for Fabbaloo, via a partnership with Additive Integrity LLC. Focused on the 3D printing industry since 2014, she strives to bring grounded and on-the-ground insights to the 3D printing industry. Sarah served as Fabbaloo's Managing Editor from 2018-2021 and remains active in the industry through Women in 3D Printing and other work.