Although the company has been struggling in the stock market lately, 3D printing giant 3D Systems is certainly not giving up its leading role in the industry. In fact, the company is doubling up by introducing and announcing a series of new products and deals that are expected to significantly strengthen the company’s portfolio lineup giving them the broadest set of additive manufacturing software, services, and technologies in the industry – enabling them to address the widest array of customer applications across industries.
The announcements include new production plastic and metal materials, expansion of its leading suite of workflow software, next-generation of printing systems enabling customers to scale from prototyping to production using the same materials, and a new professional services capability leveraging the company’s 30 years of additive manufacturing experience, advanced applications expertise and global footprint.
“We believe these announcements change the game for our customers and the industry by providing customized solutions to help customers overcome obstacles to adopting additive manufacturing,” VJ said. “The innovation and capabilities we are announcing today will significantly accelerate our strategy to help customers move from prototyping to production, vertical to vertical, bridging the chasm between traditional and additive manufacturing.”
Next-Generation Production Platforms for Plastics and Metals
Heading the list of innovations unveiled by 3D Systems is the industry’s first scalable, fully integrated production platform for plastic and metal parts, providing manufacturers the first true factory solutions for durable, repeatable end-use parts at any scale.
The company’s new Figure 4TM modular, scalable platform produces small, plastic parts with up to 15x throughput improvements versus competitive offerings, and up to 20% lower cost than traditionally manufactured parts and operations. The Figure 4 platform, based on original drawings from industry founder and current 3D Systems Chief Technology Officer Chuck Hull, will range from standalone configurations with prices starting around $25,000 to highly-customized, in-line production systems over $1 million.
3D Systems also unveiled a next-generation additive metal platform for high productivity factory production of metal parts of all sizes, including seamless large parts and the largest diameter parts available in the industry. The new DMP 8500 Factory Solution features integrated powder management and a closed-loop system to ensure uniform, repeatable part quality – providing customers with a lower total cost of operation (TCO).
Similar to Figure 4, the new DMP 8500 Factory Solution has a modular design that reduces required capital equipment and maximizes utilization. The new additive metal platform is engineered to enable manufacturers to scale, manage peak manufacturing runs and require minimal user involvement to deliver leading operational efficiency in a factory environment.
New Professional Services Group and Cloud-Based Serviceability
In order to help customers integrate additive technologies into their manufacturing ecosystem, 3D Systems announced the introduction of 3D Systems Professional Services to deliver a range of offerings from consultative services to implementation and uptime services. The new group leverages the company’s more than 30 years of domain expertise across the broadest portfolio of 3D technologies and manufacturing workflow software, its applications engineering expertise and global technical support footprint.
The company also announced 3D ConnectTM, a cloud-based software solution to deliver proactive and predictive serviceability for production environments of all scales, from standalone to hybrid manufacturing environments. Initially, 3D Connect will enable remote service and printer fleet support. The software will be integrated on new and select current systems beginning in early 2018.
New Materials and SLS System Extends Leadership in Plastics
3D Systems has also bolstered its current line of leading SLS production systems with the ProX SLS 6100, as well as introduced three new nylon materials — adding to its broad portfolio of production SLS materials. The new ProX SLS 6100 delivers larger parts than competing systems and an industry-leading TCO.
New production SLS materials include DuraForm FR1200 fire retardant nylon, DuraForm EX BLK nylon 11 and DuraForm AF+ aluminum-filled nylon. These new materials increase 3D Systems’ portfolio of SLS production materials to 11.
The new ProX SLS 6100 expands the company’s leading family of SLS printers designed for tough, high-resolution end-use parts and functional prototypes. The system features automated material handling and advanced 3D SprintTM software to optimize part builds, and is aggressively priced against competing systems.
In addition to bolstering its SLS family, the company also introduced new rigid and engineering-grade materials for its MultiJet Printing (MJP) platform that are more durable and produce lower cost functional prototypes than competing systems. The new engineering materials offer tough, ABS-like and durable, polypropylene-like properties, with mid-low modulus, high elongation and high impact strength. A new rigid gray material offers high contrast that is exceptional for viewing fine details. In addition, several of its rigid materials are certified USP Class VI and pass ISO 10993 for use in medical device applications.
New Entry-Level Industrial Desktop Delivers Leading Part Quality
The company is entering the industrial desktop 3D printing category with the introduction of the FabProTM 1000, an entry-level production printer created for engineers and designers, as well as jewelry artisans and fabricators. The FabPro 1000 – powered by best-in-class software – easily fits on a desktop and delivers exceptional part quality and speed with lower total cost of operation. At less than $5,000, the FabPro 1000 is up to four times faster and delivers up to 40 percent lower part cost over other competitors.
New Customer, Strategic Partner to Accelerate Momentum
BMW selected 3D Systems’ On Demand Manufacturing Services to produce parts that BMW will use for design and functional prototypes. With this new 3-year contract, 3D Systems will address roughly 80 percent of the German auto manufacturer’s prototyped parts needs. Finally Sanmina, a global manufacturing solutions provider, was selected by 3D Systems to provide manufacturing services for the Figure 4 family of products. In addition, Sanmina will work with 3D Systems to expand the role of additive manufacturing within its own operations.