For anyone who may be unaware, the annual AMUG (Additive Manufacturing User Group) Conference is the premier gathering for additive manufacturing system users around the globe. I emphasize users because it is the only AM conference dedicated to the individuals who operate the equipment as a primary job function. In fact, that is a requirement for anybody who registers for the event as an attendee. This is unique compared to the many other 3D printing-focused shows that welcome the media, investors, marketers, suppliers, etc. The exception to this is the first two evenings which are home to an ‘expo’ portion of the conference where the sponsors and exhibitors can showcase their latest products and interact with the body of user group members.
This year Stratasys (who is a platinum sponsor for the event) used the opportunity to make all their H1 2019 new product announcements – which includes some bold new things you need to hear about.
SLA Platform Announcement
Sure to send shockwaves through the industry, Stratasys has announced that they will be bringing an all-new, entirely homegrown, SLA (Stereolithography) system to the marketplace.
In case you aren’t aware, the SLA process is uniquely different from the FDM and Polyjet processes that have propelled Stratasys the top position in the world of additive manufacturing equipment OEM’s.
The SLA process is characterized by using a scanning laser to selectively harden an open vat of photocurable resin one layer at a time. This announcement adds significant context to Stratasys’ acquisition of Solid Concepts Inc. (now Stratasys Direct Manufacturing – SDM) back in 2014 where this new platform was originally conceived. This system has been used in support of and put through its paces by SDM as a printing services organization for several years now. It is finally ready for prime time and ready to replace the industry’s aging fleet of SLA products.
The New Stratasys V650 Flex
Described as the SLA system designed for SLA operators by SLA operators, this system will undoubtedly be the most user-friendly SLA workhorse in the space. The first units are scheduled to be ready for shipment to US customers starting in May of 2019.
Stratasys’ fused deposition modeling (FDM) is the process that started it all. It has served as the gold standard for all who have had the desire to print highly functional components in the world’s highest performance, engineering grade thermoplastics for the last three decades.
F120 Benchtop FDM 3D Printer
In true Stratasys form, they have managed to raise the bar again by offering the world’s most user-friendly benchtop FDM system, the new F120.
This system comes at a price that is ideal for enterprises of all sizes and area of focus eliminates the barrier to entry for customers who are inexperienced or unsure about the best value for money in a noisy, confusing, entry-level printer market. By re-purposing the upper cabinet and motion control assembly from the proven successful F123 series printers this will be a much better option than the other “low-priced” printers that require high amounts of time and loss of productivity for those who operate them.
The new F120 features a build volume that is 10 inches cubed, prints in ABS and ASA model material, features SR-30 soluble support, and serves .007, .010, and .013-inch layer thicknesses. System orders will be ready to book on April 1st and the first units are expected to ship in June 2019.
Stratasys’ J750 printer reshaped the face of Stratasys’ polyjet platform when it was announced just three years ago. With the ability to print using 6 different model materials simultaneously it created the ability to produce millions of colors and material combinations simultaneously. The limitation to color printing on this platform is, however, the lack of color printing standards but, that will become a thing of the past with their latest announcement.
Pantone® validated colors
Stratasys has announced that the J750 and J735 will soon be the world’s first 3D printer capable of printing colors validated by the pantone organization for 1-click matching of printed parts to existing Pantone® registered colors; the same ones used to define colors on products we use every single day. This will be enabled at no cost to all existing J750 and J735 system owners through a GrabCAD Print software upgrade that will be available on June 13th.
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