The UK’s Manufacturing Technology Center (MTC) has added a new piece of technology to its additive manufacturing fleet: a Fortus 450mc 3D printer from Stratasys. The industrial FDM system will further enable the Coventry-based independent research organization to meet the production demands of UK manufacturers.
The MTC and Stratasys have worked in collaboration since 2017: over the past few years the research organization has adopted a range of Stratasys’ printing technologies, including various PolyJet solutions and the large-scale Objet1000 3D printer. Now, Stratasys’ Fortus 450mc 3D printer rounds out the MTC’s Stratasys offering.
“We have been very impressed with our PolyJet 3D printers, and adding an FDM-based solution to the line-up is a natural evolution as we look to expand our production-grade additive manufacturing capability to develop early stage new solutions for UK manufacturers that can then be passed on to the supply chain,” explained Hoda Amel, Senior Research Engineer at MTC. “Most notably, we now have access to a wide range of high-performance thermoplastic materials that enable us to explore multi-composite parts and complex tooling for engineering applications that continue to be sought by customers.”
Among the new thermoplastic materials being used at the MTC with the Fortus 450mc printer are Stratasys Antero 800NA and ULTEM resin. These materials will enable MTC and its partners to meet production part requirements in terms of high temperatures and chemical exposure, while also unlocking design freedom.
In addition to using the FDM 3D printer to produce parts for UK manufacturers through the National Center for Additive Manufacturing, the MTC will also utilize the Fortus 450mc internally, for rapid prototyping and to replace aluminum tooling in its robotics and automation department.
Yann Rageul, Strategic Accounts Director at Stratasys, commented on the printer acquisition, saying: “The MTC’s latest investment expands their ability to deliver more value when addressing specific demands across more and more traditional production applications on behalf of those operating at the coal-face of UK manufacturing.”
As part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVM), the goal of the MTC is to provide UK manufacturers and businesses with access to state-of-the-art technologies and R&D facilities. By offering a center in which companies can explore technologies such as 3D printing, the MTC hopes to promote new and innovative solutions across the UK manufacturing sector. Today, the MTC has partners from across the UK’s aerospace, rail and automotive sectors.