Stratasys introduced the new F900 Production 3D Printer, which is the third generation of the company’s flagship FDM system (previously known as Fortus 900). Features include an MTConnect-ready interface with production-ready accuracy and repeatability. The company also introduced an upgraded J750 – with up to 500,000 color capabilities and a new J735 polyjet system.
The F900 is built on the Fortus 900mc platform, one of today’s most-widely used AM systems for high-end additive manufacturing. It is available in a new series of three solutions: the F900, the F900 AICS (Aircraft Interiors Certification Solution), and the F900 PRO.
Building on the versatility of the F900 to support a wide range of applications, the following two versions of the F900 extend the platform into a series of specialized products to meet the unique needs of production, supported by high repeatability.
The Stratasys F900 Aircraft Interiors Certification Solution (AICS), announced at the Paris Air Show, is the first-of-its-kind solution delivering the performance and traceability required for flight-worthy parts. The Stratasys F900 PRO is a production-grade system, ready to produce parts with the highest FDM repeatability and performance in ULTEM 9085 resin. It includes all the benefits and value of the AICS product, and it extends the high repeatability developed for AICS to all industries.
“What’s really exciting about this development is that Stratasys is showing how additive manufacturing has finally reached the level of repeatability and performance required for final part production,” says Keith Kmetz of consulting firm, IDC. “With the introduction of the F900 Production 3D Printer and the focus on industry standards and standardization, Stratasys is helping to advance this technology from its prototyping and tooling roots to a true industrial additive manufacturing system.”
Owners of existing Fortus 900mc systems can upgrade to any of the three current F900 systems. In addition to Nylon 12 CF being offered on the Fortus 900 and 450 systems, Stratasys’ manufacturing services division, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, is also now offering parts built with FDM Nylon 12CF, ideal for functional prototypes and production parts in high-requirement applications.
Stratasys is also offering this high-performance material on a specialized Fortus 380 and now has a family of 3D printers in a range of price points that can build with Carbon Fiber Nylon 12. Stratasys expects the Fortus 380 CF to ship in Q2 – Q3.
More polyjet and more colors
Designed to shrink development cycles and time-to-market, the enhanced Stratasys J750 3D Printer and the new Stratasys J735 3D Printer enable designers and engineers to build highly realistic prototypes with streamlined design-to-prototype workflows, thus decreasing both time-to-market and time-to-revenue.
Now offering in excess of 500,000 color combinations via a new vivid color package, highly accurate color matching, and advanced clear with texture functionality – the PolyJet-driven systems create prototypes that look, feel and operate like finished products. Eliminating costly requirements for painting, assembly, or post-processing – both systems shrink prototype cycles by producing parts that are both reliable and consistent, print-after-print. Enhanced GrabCAD Print software – now also available for the Connex3 3D Printer – further improves workflows and functional prototyping for parts requiring ABS-level plastic simulation and tear-resistant rubber-like parts.
“With the new vivid colors solution on the J750 3D Printer, we are able to produce prototypes with incredible realism, such as the transparent multi-color covers for our tail lights. This can offer the texture and color-matching requirements to meet our design approval process,” says Reinhard Schiechel & Dr. Tim Spiering, Audi Model shop and 3D printing center. “This ability to produce transparent multi-color prototypes that so closely mimic the final part, in a single print, might significantly reduce time and cost required for each design process. Consequently, we could free capacities to run through more iterations and improve overall design, while accelerating our time-to-market.”
The newly advanced J750 and J735 are engineered to power prototype creation in industries ranging from automotive and consumer goods to research and education. Building true representations of final products for successful design verification, functional performance testing and fit/form applications, both PolyJet 3D Printers simulate parts with full color and textures – ranging from rigid to flexible, transparent to opaque. Additionally, two new materials – VeroYellowV and VeroMagentaV – deliver enhanced red/orange/yellow colors with next stage translucency, a perfect match for consumer goods and models used to represent automotive lights and housing. These advanced colors are available both on the J750 and J735 3D Printers – and now the Connex3 3D Printer.
“Some of the biggest challenges designers and manufacturers face are 3D printed prototypes that fail to deliver the realism necessary to make them actionable. The advanced Stratasys J750 and newly announced Stratasys J735 3D Printers were engineered to eliminate these roadblocks,” said Rich Garrity, President Americas, Stratasys. “When combined with a GrabCAD Print solution that further improves design-to-3D print processes – it’s now easier than ever before for manufacturers to create better prototypes, more accurately and on-demand. This shrinks the entire design-to-final part manufacturing process.”
The power of PolyJet is actively being used by award-winning stop-motion animators at LAIKA – who count on Stratasys to ensure naturalistic facial animation for its puppets – as seen in such critically-acclaimed films as “Coraline” and “Kubo and the Two Strings.” According to Brian McLean, Director of Rapid Prototype for LAIKA, enhanced colors and voxel-level control are essential for the characters in their unannounced, and highly anticipated new stop-motion animated film.
“Being able to have a 3D printer like the Stratasys J750 that’s dimensionally-accurate, repeatable and with an improved range of color has allowed us to break down creative, and technical barriers,” McLean noted. “For our next film, unannounced, we used Stratasys’ new color 3D printing technology and another voxel slicing software package. This combination of hardware and software allowed us to achieve a level of detail and subtlety in facial animation that was previously unattainable.”
Taking the power of the Stratasys J750 and J735 3D Printers – and now the Connex3 – one step further is GrabCAD Print™, allowing designers to 3D print directly from native CAD formats and saving time typically used to convert and fix STL files. The software also has the new ability to 3D print VRML files to power more realistic textures, images and graphics on-part. Detailed views of model, tray and slice preview further shrink time-to-design to make adjustments before going to final 3D print.