It was only a few months ago that Stratasys introduced its latest PolyJet system, the J826, at 3DEXPERIENCE World 2020. This week, it’s unveiling the new J55 3D printer, which costs roughly a third of the price of the company’s enterprise-class PolyJet systems (100K versus $260k) giving product design teams fast, full-color, office-friendly 3D printing in one package.
“We developed this innovative new 3D printer to truly transform the product development process for product designers and engineers everywhere. Not only does the J55 fit the budget of virtually any product design team, but the quality of the parts you can 3D print are best in class. It’s so simple that anyone can set it up and use it, and it’s so quiet you’ll forget it’s running,” said Omer Krieger, Executive Vice President of Products at Stratasys.
The J55 is unique in many ways, starting with a patented, first-of-its-kind rotating build platform with a fixed print head that makes maintenance easier and increases reliability. Something else that’s increased is the machine’s output, even though its footprint is smaller at 4.6 sq. ft. This fact, coupled with ultra-quiet operation and ProAero filtration for odor-free operation, makes the J55 a great solution for product design offices.
In developing the J55, Stratasys prioritized a simpler print workflow for designers. The 3D printer is supported by GrabCAD Print software, so that multiple common CAD files, like CATIA, Inventor, PTC Creo, Siemens NX, and SOLIDWORKS, and 3MF files, can be imported easily. Additionally, Stratasys is adding support for the latest 3MF color workflow for the first time through the use of KeyShot 3D rendering software from Luxion Inc.; this capability is currently in beta testing and is planned for later this year.
“We know that the risk and time involved with traditional prototyping simply doesn’t work anymore, yet there’s no room for compromise on design. Designers can and should do a lot more prototyping in-house, from initial concept modeling to highly realistic final prototypes,” said Tim Greene, a 3D printing research director at IDC, about how the product design process needs to change in order to match the current industry. “It’s just been a matter of bringing enterprise quality to a design shop’s price point and workspace. And now we’re there.”
Stratasys says that the J55 was created as a “smaller but equally capable complement” to its enterprise J8 series. The system offers the same great detail and resolution as the rest of the series, its 3D printed models match the color, finish, material, and shape of final products, and the entire design process is supported with same day send-to-print and little post-processing required.
Tony Guard, the Director of Innovation and Industrial Design at Kinetic Vision, stated, “There is no way to validate 2D designs without a realistic 3D model, it’s simply not possible.”
The Cincinnati-based company, designated an “essential business” during the COVID-19 pandemic, employs 175 people and creates products for businesses of all sizes, ranging from startups to Fortune 50 companies, in many industries, including aerospace, consumer electronics, medical, and packaged goods. Kinetic Vision is using the new J55, but with employee capacity so low, it seemed setup would be difficult. But Guard says a single employee, with remote support from Stratasys, was able to do it.
“My jaw dropped when I saw what the machine could do. We can validate products faster with form, color, finish, graphics, everything. We can offer our clients tangible 3D-printed models that represent a final retail product, faster than we ever could before,” he said. “I’d love the J55 to be our secret strategic advantage, but I don’t think it will be a secret for long.”
The J55 mixes productivity and realism so that users can achieve fast, full-color, and realistic designs. It offers high fidelity and full CMF (color, material, finish) capabilities, including five high-performance PolyJet materials, including support, that can be printed at the same time – allowing operators to avoid downtime due to material changes. The printer enables nearly 500,000 X-Rite-based color profiles, multiple textures, PANTONE validated color, and transparency with VeroClear material; VeroUltraClear will available later this year.
Other specs include:
- remote monitoring
- 22-liter maximum build volume
- accuracy of ±100μ
- hands-free soluble support removal
- 503 lbs
Orders are being taken now for the new Stratasys J55 3D printer, which is expected to ship in July 2020. Check out the video here to learn more about the J55.
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