As the RAPID + TCT 2021 event kicks off at McCormick Place in Chicago for its 30th year, pioneering 3D printing manufacturer Stratasys announced new innovative material offerings, an expanded software partner ecosystem, and showcased all its new polymer 3D printing systems available to the U.S. market. A global leader in polymer 3D printing solutions, Stratasys highlighted today at the RAPID + TCT Show solutions for advancing additive manufacturing (AM) at a production scale.
As companies return to life after Covid-19, supply chain stress tests will become a new normal. However, 3D printing solution providers like Stratasys expect their manufacturing systems and products to change that. In fact, Stratasys CEO Yoav Zeif emphasized that the business is ready to address this new normal by helping customers “imagine what’s possible for your own organization” and “come away from this week’s show inspired and ready to go.” The executive was one of the first speakers to address an in-person audience during day one at RAPID on September 13, 2021.
Stratasys is showcasing a suite of its systems at the RAPID event exhibit booth (E8201), now available for the U.S. market, including its lowest cost, multi-material PolyJet 3D printer, the J35 Pro, released in June 2021; the new Origin One, meant for production-scale printing of end-use manufacturing applications, and the new FDM F770 3D printer, both released in August 2021.
Although they were released just weeks ago, the latest systems are already being leveraged by manufacturers. For example, Daikin Applied, a company that makes advanced commercial and industrial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, is using the F770 3D printer to print batches of end-use parts for HVAC cabinets and claims to have achieved a 93% time savings over purchasing custom injection molded spacers. Others, like Midwest Prototyping, an additive manufacturing service bureau in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin, rely on the Neo Series of printers to produce concept models and prototypes, which the company described as easy to use and advantageous.
“We are at the forefront of the shift to full-scale additive manufacturing, powered by 3D printing, with our best-in-class solutions for the entire product value chain,” said Stratasys Americas President Rich Garrity. “That’s why every system in our booth introduces innovation well beyond our offering at the last RAPID conference in 2019. Our systems are supported by the broadest materials ecosystem, Industry 4.0 software strategy, and our best-in-class industry expertise of over 30 years.”
Today, the brand announced the addition of three new material products for its lineup of new manufacturing systems, the H350 and Origin One 3D printer, along with a new Origin Open Material License (OML) for the Origin One. Stratasys revealed its SAF-powered H350 3D printer last August, specifically designed for the mass production of end-use parts with consistency. Initially, Stratasys created the High-Yield PA11, a sustainable material derived from 100% bio-based castor beans for use with the H350. In addition, in 2022, PA12 (also known as Nylon 12) will also become an option.
In AM, PA12 is the go-to material for prototyping. Still, PA11 has been much more widely used in traditional volume production of end-use parts due to its higher ductility, higher impact, and higher fatigue resistance. According to Stratasys, “PA12 provides dimensional stability, chemical resistance, and impact strength.” As a result, it has been used across various AM printing technologies for creating jigs and fixtures, tooling, and functional end-use parts.
Stratasys has further expanded its materials ecosystem with two new products created in partnership with Henkel’s Loctite, a global leader in industrial adhesive solutions, for the Origin One. First is the Dura56, a durable, impact-resistant photopolymer, which the company describes as having an exceptional surface finish and a low cost per kilo. The material was created to address applications with high material consumption and for functional applications where aesthetics and robustness are critical. Stratasys claims Dura56 is ideal for end-use parts such as housings, parts with mating features, or class A surfaces.
The second material for the Origin One printer is Loctite’s 3D IND405 Clear, a one-part semi-rigid 3D printable clear photopolymer resin that provides a smooth surface finish, good impact resistance, and elongation, stated Stratasys. In addition, parts printed in IND405 can be polished to an optically clear finish. The material can be machined, tapped and polished, and is ideal for microfluidic devices and guide overlays, with qualities comparable to unfilled polypropylene.
Additionally, the company is introducing the OML for its Origin One system, which is expected to ship this year. With the Origin OML software toolkit, advanced print users and material companies will develop, beta test, and experiment with custom workflows and new materials. The key to OML is that users will be able to override light, temperature, force, velocity, and pressure on a layer-by-layer basis for ultimate control over the print process. Designed to help materials companies and super-users accelerate iterations of material formulations, OML can help engineers push products to market in weeks instead of years.
Another new addition to the business’ continually expanding portfolio is a new partner for its GrabCAD software. The GrabCAD Partner Program is an ecosystem of software providers connected to Stratasys technology to provide customers with end-to-end additive solutions. During RAPID, Stratasys revealed a new ally, the industry’s leading AM workflow software developer, AMFG. The company joins featured partners Siemens, Link3D, Identify3D, Indusintel, Vistory, and Teton Simulation.
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