As RAPID + TCT kicks off this week, the many companies in attendance are already unveiling their latest products. Stratasys always makes a good showing at trade events, and RAPID is no exception – the company has a plethora of new and improved products to share with the public. It was two years ago that Stratasys introduced the J750, an extraordinarily fast multi-color machine that sped up prototyping and opened up new possibilities for users. Now the company has enhanced the 3D printer further, alongside introducing a new machine called the J735.
Users can now take advantage of more than 500,000 color combinations through a new color package, along with highly accurate color matching and advanced clear with texture functionality. The two systems create prototypes that look, feel and perform like finished products, giving manufacturers an excellent feel for what they can expect from a final product. Painting, post-processing and assembly are not required, greatly speeding up prototyping cycles.
“With the new vivid colors solution on the J750 3D Printer, we are able to produce prototypes with incredible realism, such as the transparent multi-color covers for our tail lights. This can offer the texture and color-matching requirements to meet our design approval process,” said Reinhard Schiechel and Dr. Tim Spiering, Audi Model shop and 3D printing center. “This ability to produce transparent multi-color prototypes that so closely mimic the final part, in a single print, might significantly reduce time and cost required for each design process. Consequently, we could free capacities to run through more iterations and improve overall design, while accelerating our time-to-market.”
Two new colors, VeroYellowV and VeroMagentaV, are now available, offering enhanced red, orange and yellow colors with next stage translucency, well-suited for consumer goods and models used to represent automotive lights and housing. The colors are available on both the J750 and the J735, as well as the Connex3.
“Some of the biggest challenges designers and manufacturers face are 3D printed prototypes that fail to deliver the realism necessary to make them actionable,” said Rich Garrity, President Americas, Stratasys. “The advanced Stratasys J750 and newly announced Stratasys J735 3D Printers were engineered to eliminate these roadblocks. When combined with a GrabCAD Print solution that further improves design-to-3D print processes – it’s now easier than ever before for manufacturers to create better prototypes, more accurately and on-demand. This shrinks the entire design-to-final part manufacturing process.”
The 3D printers are backed by GrabCAD Print, which now has the ability to 3D print VRML files to power more realistic textures, images and graphics on-part. Speaking of GrabCAD, Stratasys is also introducing a new feature called Jigs and Fixtures for GrabCAD Print, which simplifies and automates print preparation for rapid tooling applications. The software embeds application expertise, automates several complicated and time-consuming processing steps, and eliminates the need for multiple programs within the workflow, according to Stratasys.
Jigs and Fixtures for GrabCAD Print expands upon the capabilities offered in Stratasys Insight, streamlining the toolpath planning process, increasing ease of use, and reducing time and costs to create jigs and fixtures. By accepting native CAD designs, the part’s original design intent is maintained, eliminating the need for users to convert their CAD file to an STL.
The software is easy to use; it does not require extensive design and processing knowledge and is suitable for even first-time users. The simple, intuitive software simplifies workflow by automating key CAD functionalities used for jigs and fixtures design, such as auto-generating toolpath instructions, and it significantly reduces tedious file preparation tasks. You can learn more about the new software here. Stratasys is currently looking for beta customers; if interested, contact the company here and select “Jigs and Fixtures” when completing the form.
Finally, Stratasys is now offering an expanded number of 3D printers that are compatible with carbon fiber composite material. These include the new F900 Production 3D Printer, the third generation of the company’s flagship FDM system. The F900’s features include an MTConnect-ready interface with production-ready accuracy and repeatability. Built on the Fortus 900mc platform, the F900 is available in three versions: the F900, the F900 AICS (Aircraft Interiors Certification Solution), and the F900 PRO.
The F900 AICS is a first-of-its-kind solution offering the performance and repeatability required for flight-worthy parts, while the F900 Pro is a production-grade system utilizing ULTEM 9085 resin. It includes all of the benefits of the AICS system and expands them to other industries.
“What’s really exciting about this development is that Stratasys is showing how additive manufacturing has finally reached the level of repeatability and performance required for final part production,” said Keith Kmetz of consulting firm IDC. “With the introduction of the F900 Production 3D Printer and the focus on industry standards and standardization, Stratasys is helping to advance this technology from its prototyping and tooling roots to a true industrial additive manufacturing system.”
Owners of existing Fortus 900mc systems can upgrade to any of the three current F900 systems.
The F900 systems can 3D print with Carbon Fiber Filled Nylon 12 (Nylon 12CF), as can the Fortus 450 systems and the new specialized Fortus 380, expected to ship in the second or third quarter of 2018. Stratasys Direct Manufacturing is also offering parts 3D printed with Nylon 12CF.
If you’re at RAPID this week, visit Stratasys at Booth #1104.
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