Despite a growing interest in 3D printing and 3D printing technology, many businesses are still wary of bringing 3D printers into their workflow. While the costs in technology and materials are dropping, often companies still need to maintain a person on staff who can maintain and manage the 3D printer. In-office 3D printers also tend to come with costly service contracts, tech support and the cost of disposing or recycling waste material. So in order to avoid these drawbacks and costs, many smaller companies, especially those that don’t require regular use of a 3D printer, are turning to the growing market of online 3D printing services.
When the world’s largest 3D printing company Stratasys combined Solid Concepts, Harvest Technologies and RedEye into a single company, they formed one of the largest additive manufacturing service providers in the market. Stratasys Direct Manufacturing combined 25 years of experience to offer their customers a full rage of additive and subtractive manufacturing options, including CNC machining and Stereolithography (SL) services. In order to provide them access to the market’s most extensive selection of advanced SL materials Stratasys Direct Manufacturing has formed a partnership with additive manufacturing materials developer Somos. This is the second collaborative move announced this week for Somos.
“Together with Stratasys Direct Manufacturing we’ll accelerate Stereolithography material development like never before. Stratasys Direct Manufacturing’s customers have already used Somos materials in some exciting and potentially life-saving applications, like customized and intricate heart models that improve the safety and efficacy of surgical procedures, so we’re eager to see what incredible SL parts users develop next,” said Somos Business Director Melissa Lutz.
The Somos partnership will double Stratasys Direct Manufacturing’s SL production capacity, allowing them to complete and deliver large-scale projects more quickly. They will also be collaborating closely with the Somos development team to beta test new advanced materials before they hit the market. The partnership agreement allows Stratasys Direct Manufacturing to offer the industry’s most extensive offering of Somos materials and enables them to give their customers access to a nearly limitless number of rapid prototyping applications.
“We made this move to meet customers’ strong demand for Somos materials that the rapid prototyping services industry wasn’t fulfilling. We’re excited to build on Stratasys Direct Manufacturing’s legacy of Stereolithography excellence by giving customers materials that have the power to enable more life-changing innovations,” said the Director of Product Management for Stratasys Direct Manufacturing Chuck Alexander.
In addition to helping them develop and test brand new materials, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing is now offering four advanced Somos SL material options. Somos NeXt is a highly detailed SL material that offers the look, feel and performance of a standard thermoplastic that is ideal for larger prototypes. Somos ProtoGen 18420 is high temperature stable, highly accurate and humidity resistant material. The colorless Somos WaterClear Ultra 10122 is an advanced material that is well-suited for transparent applications like lenses or electronic covers. And the Somos WaterShed XC 11122 material is capable of producing highly detailed, water-resistant parts that have a smooth surface with great clarity.
Stratasys Direct Manufacturing offers their services all over the world from their seven manufacturing facilities throughout the United States. The new line of Somos SL materials are now available to their customers, and companies interested in their services can learn more on the Stratasys Direct Manufacturing website. Discuss further in the Stratasys & Somos forum over at 3DPB.com.