Stratasys On the cutting edge of additive manufacturing

Editor: Eric Culp

Stratasys’ key developments in the last 15 years.

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The company’s latest printer features a unique triple-jetting technology that combines droplets of three base materials.
The company’s latest printer features a unique triple-jetting technology that combines droplets of three base materials.
(Source: Stratasys)

As competition in the additive manufacturing (AM) industry grows, Stratasys has continued to jump from strength to strength, building on its reputation as one of the leading manufacturers in 3D printing.

Its leadership in the industry was cemented following the merger of two leading additive manufacturing technologies. In 2012, Objet Ltd., a pioneer of PolyJet technology, and Stratasys Inc., the founder of Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), merged to form the corporate entity Stratasys Ltd. The company has since launched a number of 3D printers and materials, pushing the boundaries of 3D printing and meeting ever-growing customer requirements.

Early this year, Stratasys launched the world’s first, and only, color, multi-material 3D printer – the Stratasys Objet500 Connex3. It features a unique triple-jetting technology that combines droplets of three base materials to produce parts with virtually unlimited combinations of rigid, flexible, and transparent color materials – all in a single print run. This ability to achieve the characteristics of an assembled part without assembly or painting is a significant time-saver and a game-changer for product design. It helps product manufacturers validate designs and make good decisions earlier before committing to manufacturing, resulting in better products coming to market faster than ever before.

The company continues to drive the adoption of 3D printing for direct manufacturing applications utilising the durability and heat-resistance of its FDM and Digital ABS PolyJet materials. In particular, our high-performance ULTEM 9085 material is fast becoming the household choice for producing fully-functional prototypes and end-use parts, especially prevalent in industries such as aerospace and automotive where our customers are 3D printing everything from fixed wing parts to end-use engine components.

We have also seen an exciting development in the world of injection moulding whereby our customers are beginning to adopt 3D printing for the production of tools for low volume production. Advances in our PolyJet materials, namely our Digital ABS offering, has enabled our customers to 3D print tools that can withstand the heat and pressure of an injection molding machine for prototype parts in the final product material.

(Source: Stratasys)

Recent customer examples include German manufacturer, Seuffer, and Northern Irish manufacturer of water and heating systems for mobile applications, Whale Pumps. Both companies have seen a reduction in lead times for the production of injection mould tools for prototype parts by up to 97% since introducing Stratasys 3D printing into its tooling process. This is a fast-growing application and we will continue to work with our customers to gain further manufacturing efficiencies using our 3D printing technology.

As a whole, 3D printing has jumped from being solely a tool used in product development in the design cycle to one deployed across the supply chain in almost all walks of life. Today, 3D printing puts the power of prototyping and manufacturing in everyone’s hands, from the “maker” community of home 3D printing enthusiasts to small, medium and large companies, and Stratasys is at the heart of this.

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