Way back in January of this year, Stratasys introduced the world to their new Objet500 Connex3 multi-material 3D printer. The printer, which is capable of mixing up to three different materials at varying amounts to form a near infinite pallet of possible ‘digital materials’, immediately garnered media attention. Some of the earliest print examples blew us away, and the printer has sold incredibly well in the early going, according to reports. The ability to fabricate an object within a single session, featuring multiple colors and material properties, has attracted many companies who never would have considered adopting 3D printing into their prototyping or production processes. With that said, at a price tag north of $250,000, the Objet 500 Connex3 3D printer certainly isn’t for every company out there.
Today, Stratasys has announced the launch of two new machines, the Objet500 Connex1 & Connex2 3D printers to their Objet500 lineup. All three Objet500 machines are very similar in terms of build volume, size, and weight. It’s the capabilities, and likely the price tags which will be the biggest differences. It is assumed that Stratasys is trying to expand the market for these incredible triple-jetting machines, by offering different levels of 3D printers. For those who could not afford the Connex3, maybe the Connex2 or Connex1 printers will fit into their budgets.
“Following the launch of the Objet500 Connex3 earlier this year, we saw the demand for additional multi-material 3D printers that can address a variety of applications in prototyping and manufacturing, such as tooling and molding,” explains Stratasys’ Senior Product Marketing Manager Ron Ellenbogen. “We were able to build on the success of our triple-jetting technology and expand the Objet500 Connex family with two 3D production systems that we believe set new standards for 3D printing price performance.”
This machine can use 14 different photopolymer base materials in order to print objects with up to three different materials in a single build. Like the Connex3, the build envelope is 500 x 400 x 200 mm (19.7 × 15.7 × 7.9 in.). One feature which may not seem to be a major selling point, but will prove to be incredibly worthwhile is its ability for the hot swapping of material cartridges in the material cabinet. This allows for an 8 cartridge capacity, and the ability to swap out cartridges during a print.
This machine offers a bit more than the Connex1, as it can combine up to two of the 14 possible base materials to form new digital materials. There are 120 different two-component digital material combinations available on this machine, with 27 different material properties. Like the Connex1, this machine will also allow for hot swaping of material cartridges.
Both new 3D printers offer compatibility with materials which feature properties such as transparency, opaqueness, flexibility, and rubber-like textures. Just like the Connex3, these machines all have the following specifications:
- Build Size: 490 × 390 × 200 mm (19.3 × 15.4 × 7.9 in.)
- Printer Weight: 948lbs
- Printer Size: 1400 x 1260 x 1100 mm
- Print Resolution: 16-micron
- File Format: STL, OBJDF and SLC File
These printers will add depth to the offerings of Stratasys, expanding the market to smaller businesses, while offering a wider selection to the market. The Objet500 name already has recognition within the industry, and the company seems to be firing on all cylinders. Let’s hear your thoughts on these two new triple-jetting machines in the Objet500 forum thread on 3DPB.com.
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