Last year, 3D printing experts signaled an increase in their business for end-part production. Now, they are sharing more direct-manufacturing customer success stories at the recently held Formnext conference and exhibition.
At the end of 2014, CEO David Reis described the Stratasys strategy, which included growing direct digital manufacturing (DDM). Throughout 2015, the company released products and showcased customers and partners who demonstrate and support this move to increased digital manufacturing.
In the first half of 2015, the company launched the updated Objet 1000 Plus—an upgrade to the company's largest format system that supports more materials and uses an improved, faster build process. The improved build times resulted from analyzing and optimizing the build process to remove unnecessary movements. The print speeds are up to 40 percent faster than the Objet 1000.
Productivity is more than faster printing. The Objet 1000 Plus with its large print envelope and multiple material capabilities provides greater flexibility to customers in organizing builds. For example, it allows clients to print prototype and final parts within the same build. In part, this is because the Objet 1000 Plus can use more than 100 materials, and up to 14 materials can be used in a single build cycle. New materials added to the selection include Stratasys' Endur Digital materials. The Endur materials combine two resins in a single material to produce parts with different material properties.
Stratasys enhanced manufacturing capabilities with material canisters, namely the Xtend 500 Fortus Plus, which is five times larger than standard canisters. The significance is seen in having much longer, unattended build durations. The Fortus 380, 450 and 900 MC systems can all use the larger canisters for production runs. The increased material capacity allows systems to run unattended for almost a week.
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