Bigger, Faster, Stronger – The Stratasys F123 3D Printer Series

by Tyler Reid

The office friendly 3D printer series with production-level features

The Stratasys F-Series (170, 270 and 370) was released early 2017. Since that time, it has been our most popular machine within the Stratasys lineup amongst all of our FDM and PolyJet 3D printers.

What’s so different about the Stratasys F123 3D Printer Series?

First of all, the F-Series is a completely new platform from Stratasys. It was totally redesigned with a focus on reliability, usability, and affordability. If you are in a confined space or an office environment, you can still deliver parts that are up to 14 x 10 x 14 inches.

Also, we compared F-Series prints to the prints that were coming off the old uPrint machines and the old Stratasys Dimension and the Fortus 250 machines—the F-Series prints are superior in every way.

All three machines in the Stratasys F-Series can print as fine as 5000th of an inch. (Prior machines could only print as fine as 10000th of an inch in this same category.) We’ve also got multiple materials available on the same platform, which we’ve never had before.

So taken altogether the parts are bigger, the machines print faster, and the parts are stronger because we have multiple material options.

The Real Missing Link

The F-Series machines are sort of the missing link between the Stratasys entry and production level machines with the 370 being the one that bridges the gap the most.

All the F-Series machines print in three different materials ABS, ASA, and PLA. However, the F370 also prints in PC-ABS. The 370 also includes the ability to use the Insight processing software which is the same software that we use on the Fortus machines. So it’s kind of that go between for customers who don’t need all of the engineering grade materials like nylon, polycarbonate, ULTEM but do need the extra capacity to print, the extra size, and the ability to process the internals of the part.

Build size for the F370 is 14 x 10 x 14. The Stratasys F170 comes in at 10 x 10 x 10 inch build envelope and it carries one cartridge of model material and one cartridge of support material. When we step up to the F270, we get a larger build size, it’s 12 x 10 x 12 inches, and it has two cartridges for the model and two cartridges for support. So it has double the printing capacity of the F170.

Changing Tips and New Tray Design

Also, with the F-Series, we can change materials, and we can change resolutions without necessarily changing the tips or the heads. So I can print one build at 10000th and then the very next build I can print at 5000th, and I’m not going to have to go through the process of changing heads or changing tips; it’s just going be a one minute process. The trays look similar to the uPrint in the Fortus 250 machines, basically a plastic, reusable tray. But these trays have more registration features built into the table so it will fold flatter in Z. They’re thinner, which means they’re a lot more flexible. It makes breaking parts off the trays much easier, and they’re all self-aligned as well.

Purge Tower Allows Faster Printing

To print faster, we moved away from using multiple purges. We used to purge regularly especially when we were switching from model to support material. Then the machine always took a lot of time to move over to the purge area, swipe the tips, purge the material and then continue printing.

Now we are using a purge tower. It’s on the right-hand side of the build tray, and it allows faster printing with less “junk” finding its way into your part. Now, it all ends up in the purge tower.

If you have further questions about the Stratasys F123 Series, please contact me, or check out our website: http://www.goengineer.com/products/f123-series/.

This entry was posted in 3D Printing, blog on by .

About Tyler Reid

Tyler is the Manufacturing Application Manager at GoEngineer and a SOLIDWORKS Certified Expert. Having earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Utah, Tyler worked in the medical industry for several years as a SOLIDWORKS user before joining GoEngineer in 2010. His interests lie in machine tools, manufacturing methods, and witnessing these interests while visiting customer’s facilities.

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