Z Corp is one of the leading companies in the rapidly expanding 3D world. It began as a project at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the early 1990’s. In just over two decades, Z Corp, “maker of breakthrough 3D printing, rapid prototyping and 3D scanning technologies”1, has become one of the world’s largest suppliers of 3D printers and scanners which are capable of turning an idea into a 3D, tangible object. Z Corp aptly derives its name from the z axis which adds the dimension of depth to an otherwise flat, 2D object. In March 2007, Tom Clay, then CEO of Z Corporation, stated that the mission of the company is “to introduce high speed, low cost, full color 3D printing to all users of 3D data”2.
Z Corp has its headquarters in Burlington, Massachusetts with additional offices in Denmark and Japan. It provides over 60 countries with high-speed 3D printers and scanners capable of producing intricately detailed 3D objects using starch or plaster-based powders combined with binding agents. Its products are sold under the brands, ZBuilder, ZPrinter and ZScanner. Its technology is being used in education, entertainment, health care and manufacturing.
In 2011, Z Corp along with VIDAR Systems, was acquired by 3D Systems for $137 million. Building upon their mission statement in 2007, Z Corporation CEO John Kawola said, “Our vision is to help designers create more ideas, more communication, and more innovation; and joining 3D Systems enables to us deliver on that promise even faster. We intend to make multi-color 3D printing accessible to far more designers, provide a more complete customer experience, rapidly advance new applications, and build the foundation for a new generation of Z Corporation innovations.”3 On January 3, 2012, Z Corporation became a subsidiary of 3D Systems Corporation.
As of June 2013, Z Corp offers six 3D printers, composites for the ZPrinter product line, and powerful, easy-to-use 3D software to create the full-color CAD files needed by the printers. These printers, non-hazardous build materials and software are safe and office friendly. The printers offer the fastest print speeds in the industry with the capability to produce multiple full-color models in hours at about a fifth of the cost of other technologies. Due to the fact that Z Corp offers 3D printing that is quiet, safe with no need for dangerous cutting tools and odor and free of toxic chemicals, Z Corp has become one of the favorites in the 3D printing world.