One of the biggest impediments to widespread 3D printer adoption by smaller businesses is the fact that many individuals are ignorant when it comes to how 3D printers work, and how to use one. Speaking to various individuals at the Inside 3D Printing Conference in Santa Clara last week, I found that a large number of people had considered purchasing a new machine now that they had seen several in action. One individual told me, “I get it now,” referring to her newly found understanding of this up-and-coming technology.
As with any new technology, there is an inherent fear among those who don’t understand it. Stratasys seems to realize this, and has thus launched a new initiative: the ‘Try Before You Buy’ program. This new initiative seeks to provide businesses, both small and large, the ability to try out a 3D printer prior to deciding whether or not it’s the right fit for their company.
The offer, available via authorised Stratasys Ideas Series resellers, is being made possible in the Uk by reseller ArtSystems. For those of you wanting to try out a $300,000 Stratasys Objet500 Connex 3 printer, you are out of luck. This offer is good only for their more affordable uPrint SE Plus 3D printer.
For those unfamiliar with this printer, it is based on FDM technology. Using a proprietary ABSplus filament, this machine can print objects up to 8 x 8 x 6 inches in size, with a layer thickness of .254 mm (.010 in.) or .330 mm (.013 in.). Additionally the SE Plus utilizes Stratasys’ SR-30 soluble as a support material and runs on their CatalystEX Software.
The offer is good for a 10-day trial period and comes with a few caveats. ArtSystems will provide the delivery and installation of the machine to any UK mainland location at a cost of £399. If the printer is purchased, then any subsequent charges will be waived. One roll of support material, a roll of ivory as well as two base filaments, and a pack of eco tablets will be included with the trial machine. If used these materials must be paid for in full by the business or individual trialing the machine. According to the rules of the program, the printer must be returned in its dedicated case undamaged, with all its original accessories within 14 days of installation.
While 10 days of use is not enough for a businesses to get fully acquainted with the machine, this time frame will certainly allow for adequate testing, and trial and error. After 10 days a business should have a fairly decent idea if such a printer is something which could be beneficial for them to purchase. If they do decide to purchase the machine, it will cost them around $20,900. Those within the UK can register for the free trial here.
Let us know if you have taken part in this ‘Try Before You Buy’ program. Discuss in the Stratasys uPrint SE Plus Trial forum thread on 3DPB.com.