At the start of this month we saw close to a dozen new 3D printers announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV. That was the week for consumers to ingest all the new printers aimed towards the home. Now that we are at the end of January, Stratasys has made a major announcement geared towards the manufacturers, right at the start of SolidWorks World 2014, which is held in San Diego from now until Wednesday the 29th. They have announced the Stratasys Objet500 Connex3, which is a groundbreaking machine.
The Objet500 Connex3 is the worlds first 3D Printer that combines multiple colors and multiple materials within one print. The printer features triple-jetting technology, to release droplets of 3 different materials into one print. This means there are technically nearly an infinite number of material combinations that can be printed. The same goes with colors. Like a regular inkjet printer, this 3D Printer features 3 different colors, VeroMagenta, VeroCyan, and VeroYellow, which can be combined to produce, literally hundreds of colors.
Over the last few months, several companies have been involved in a private beta testing of the machine, and the reviews have been incredible. One company which has been testing it out is Trek Bicycle in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Mike Zeigle, the manager of their prototype development group, who has been using the printer to produce bike chain stay guards claims that the Object500,
changed the way we manufacture at Trek, augmenting our traditional, time-consuming CNC processes with fast, iterative and realistic prototyping and functional testing. Now we produce bicycle parts that look and feel like production parts. We are particularly excited about 3D printing our models directly in colour. This gives our designers the ability to graphically display color contact pressure map data on rider contact parts like seats and grips. We are also working on doing the same with FEA & CFD stress data on structural bike components
This is truly a feature rich printer that has upped the anti, surely pushing the competition even further. Here are the specs:
6 Color Pallets
Vero family of translucent to opaque color materials
Tango family of rubber-like flexible materials, translucent and opaque
Digital ABS: ivory, green
Digital ABS2: ivory, green
High Temperature: RGD525
Support Material: SUP705
Horizontal build layers down
to 16-microns (0.0006 in.)
20-85 micron for features below 50 mm; up to 200 micron for full model size (for rigid materials only, depending on geometry, build parameters and model orientation)
490 x 390 x 200mm (19.3 x 15.4 x 7.9 in.)
Stratasys’s CEO David Reis, described the announcement as follows:,
I believe our new Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer will transform the way our customers design, engineer and manufacture new products. In general and with the Connex technology in particular, we will continue to push the envelope of what’s possible in a 3D world.
The price of this 3D printer, you may be wondering? Just $330,000. Talk about this printer here: http://3dprintboard.com/showthread.php?1537-Multi-Material-Color-ObJet500-Connex3-3D-Prnter-By-Stratasys