SOLIDWORKS World 2017 has barely opened, but already the announcements are rolling out, and they’re big. At a press conference this afternoon, Stratasys unveiled their new FDM-based F123 (F170, F270 and F370) series, three fast, versatile machines designed to make professional rapid prototyping more productive for design workgroups. According to Stratasys, one F123 series printer can be used for the entire prototyping workflow, from concept verification to design validation to final functional performance.
The series is also accessible enough to be used by anyone, regardless of their level of 3D printing experience. Recent surveys taken by Stratasys revealed that design workgroups want to see accessibility, ease of use and material choice when considering adopting 3D printing technology as part of their product design and development process – and the F123 series delivers all three.
“It’s pretty powerful having this much capability in a single system that sits right in our work space. We’ve tried lower-end 3D printers in the past, and to be honest, they’re dimensionally inaccurate. The Stratasys F370 matches the CAD input every time with accurate, high quality prototypes,” said Jesse Hahne, Partner, Center for Advanced Design. “The key for us to fast-track product development is getting physical samples in front of our customers as soon as possible. With our new Stratasys F370, we’re able to get brand new iterations in a matter of hours. This rapid prototyping solution has truly become a member of our team.”
Stratasys collaborated with industrial design company Designworks, part of the BMW group, to create the exterior design of the F123 series. According to Stratasys, the series was designed with office and classroom environments in mind, and its features echo those found on the most user-friendly desktop printers, despite its high-end, advanced industrial capabilities.
“Our inspiration for the design of the Stratasys F123 Series was advanced robotics. Just as robotic tools of the future will adapt to their envisioned usage environment, we worked with Stratasys to create a look, feel and ergonomic design for the F123 Series that would offer expertly crafted user interactions,” said Andre de Salis, Creative Director of Designworks. “The Stratasys F123’s striking metal cladding expresses the performance, durability and refinement of the 3D printer to bring a new level of excitement and accessibility to professional 3D printing.”
The series can be operated remotely from any computer in a shared workgroup setting, and build progress can also be monitored from mobile or portable devices. A touchscreen user interface makes operating the printer simple, and installing and replacing material is also quick and easy.
The F123 series consists of three models:
- Stratasys F170, with a build area of 10″ x 10″ x 10″
- Stratasys F270, with a build area of 12″ x 10″ x 12″
- Stratasys F370, with a build area of 14″ x 10″ x 14″
All three models can be used to print three to four different materials in ten colors depending on application. The series features a new Fast Draft Mode for quick, low-cost conceptual prototyping in PLA, while production-grade ASA and ABS can be used to produce strong, stable and repeatable parts. Engineering-grade PC-ABS (only available with the F370) can be used for parts that require the highest levels of strength and impact resistance.
“Today there is a vast market opportunity in product prototyping that we feel is not being addressed by current 3D printing systems. The launch of the Stratasys F123 Series targets these product design workgroups, industrial designers, engineers, students and educators who demand a professional quality rapid prototyping solution that’s simple to use, produces reliable, engineering-quality results, integrates perfectly within an office or lab setting, and is affordable to own and operate,” said Zehavit Reisin, Vice President, Head of Rapid Prototyping Solutions, Stratasys. “As the company that invented FDM, Stratasys brings a rich pedigree to the F123 Series, providing our customers an optimal balance between usability and high performance.”
Stratasys, a longtime member of the SOLIDWORKS Partner Program, also announced a GrabCAD Print Add-In for SOLIDWORKS, which will allow users to estimate and 3D print parts for multiple Stratasys systems – including the F123 series – without leaving the SOLIDWORKS environment, giving the printers access to the full community of SOLIDWORKS design and engineering professionals. The add-in also eliminates the aggravation and wasted time of file conversion and STL preparation, allowing users to work with almost any kind of CAD file.
If you’re at SOLIDWORKS World this week, you can stop by and check out the F123 system, which employs 15 new Stratasys patents, at the company’s booth #701. You can also learn more by taking a look at this video from Stratasys reseller Cimquest. Discuss in the F123 Series forum at 3DPB.com.[All images taken onsite at SOLIDWORKS World 2017 by Sarah Goehrke for 3DPrint.com]