E-clusives: Disrupting the 3D Printing World

August 25, 2016 No Comments
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Stratasys Unveils Two New Machines

By Nancy Huddleston

toc_eclusives50pxStratasys Ltd. of Eden Prairie is planning to turn the 3D printing world on its head with the introduction of two new machines it has developed to meet the needs of the factory of the future.

Stratasys Ltd. of Eden Prairie is planning to turn the 3D printing world on its head with the introduction of two new machines it has developed to meet the needs of the factory of the future.

“Welcome to the future of FDM, 3D printing, and additive manufacturing,” proclaimed Scott Crump, co-founder of Stratasys, at the opening of a press conference on Tuesday, August 23. The new machines were previewed for the media and investors this week and will be introduced to the manufacturing world at IMTS 2016 in Chicago, Ill., from September 12 – 17.

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Here’s a look at the new machines:

  • Infinite-Build 3D Demonstrator: Designed to address the requirements of aerospace, automotive, and other industries for large lightweight, thermoplastic parts with repeatable mechanical properties. The system turns the traditional 3D printer concept on its side with an “infinite build” approach which prints on a vertical plane for practically unlimited part size.
  • Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrator: Integrates Stratasys’ core additive manufacturing technologies with Siemens’ industrial motion control hardware and design-to-3D printing software capabilities. It operates using an 8-axis motion system that enables precise, seamless, and directional material placement.

Ilan Levin, CEO of Stratasys, said both machines will address the way the market is changing. “Additive manufacturing is maturing and a lot of work goes into qualifying the applications. We were an early investor in this area and today we are seeing the fruits of that labor,” he said.

The traditional FDM process, which was vertical, is now horizontal on the Infinite-Build 3D Demonstrator, which enables the creation of wider and longer parts. Additionally, the machine has unique tool changing capabilities and processes for quality control systems. The ability to make parts of unlimited length breaks a lot of barriers, according to Stratasys, and will “transform manufacturing” to “open doors to high-value automation.”

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Built in collaboration with Boeing and Ford Motor Company, the Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrator is envisioned also to have widespread uses in the aerospace and automotive industries, but in the oil and gas and medical use industries, as well. The machine uses composite materials to make seamless, strong, yet lightweight, parts. It also reduces the time needed for composites production – which has traditionally been constrained by labor-intensive processes and geometric limitations.

Andreas Saar, Vice President of Manufacturing Engineering Solutions for Siemens, said the partnership with Stratasys is the wave of the future. “We are driven by the Internet of Things and big data, so companies have to evolve and understand the impact of these things to them. Digitalization is a huge challenge,” he said, adding that speed, time to market, efficiency, and quality all factor into equation. “Addressing these major changes that influence us will determine if we are a leader in manufacturing or not.”

pm_endmarkorg-e1320337214275For more detailed information, go to: http://www.stratasys.com/imts2016.


Nancy Huddleston is the editor and publications manager of Precision Manufacturing Journal, the trade magazine of the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association.

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