Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS), a leader in polymer 3D printing solutions, led off a slew of announcements across AM hardware, materials and software segments with the launch of 16 new materials across three of its AM technologies (SAF, FDM, and Origin P3 photopolymerization). Overall, the new materials include Stratasys Validated third-party filaments for FDM 3D printers, and a variety of open, exploratory materials for the P3-based Origin One 3D printer that can be used with an OML – Open Material License (including Mechnano Formula1 ESD), and polypropylene for SAF technology on the H350 3D printer.
Stratasys CEO Dr. Yoav Zeif said the expanded material options open up more compelling additive manufacturing use cases for Stratasys customers. “When customers identify opportunities for how polymer 3D printing can transform their manufacturing, we want them to have the confidence that Stratasys has the solutions – that’s what leaders do,” he said. “With five 3D printing technologies that address the vast majority of the industrial polymer market and an open software ecosystem across the entire digital thread, our growing material ecosystem means customers are getting more materials faster, allowing them to quickly turn their additive manufacturing ideas into reality.”
First validated third-party filaments for FDM
Stratasys is partnering with materials providers Covestro, Kimya, and Victrex plc to make Stratasys Validated materials available for Stratasys FDM printers, starting with the Fortus 450mc platform. This is a gigantic shift in the company’s strategy and one that reflects (and better caters to) the rapidly evolving nature of the industrial filament extrusion market. These third-party filaments have been validated by Stratasys with basic reliability testing to accelerate the expansion of material options available in the marketplace.
The new third-party filaments for FDM include high-performance polymers such as Arkema/Kimya PEKK-SC, a semi-crystalline PEKK thermoplastic polymer based on KEPSTAN by Arkema; and VICTREX AM 200, a semi-crystalline LMPAEK thermoplastic filament compatible with soluble support. Reinforced and specialty polymers include Covestro PA6/66 GF20 FR, a flame-resistant, glass fiber composite material; engineering polymers include Kimya PC FR, a flame-resistant polycarbonate material, while new standard grade polymers include HIPS high impact polystyrene. The Validated third-party filaments are expected to ship before the end of the year.
Stratasys has also introduced a new material at the highest-performance Stratasys Preferred tier. FDM Nylon-CF10 is a strong, carbon fiber composite material that is expected to be available by the middle of the year.
OML open exploratory materials for Origin One
Stratasys also continues to expand the use cases served by the Origin One 3D printer by giving customers access to novel materials through an annual Open Material License (OML), which Stratasys introduced last fall. Stratasys has identified eight new materials for the OML program that unlock end-use applications with demanding requirements.
Materials developers contributing new Open materials to the program include Covestro, Evonik, Arkema, Forward AM from BASF, Mechnano, Tethon 3D, Liqcreate, and polySpectra. The materials include photopolymer resins for molding, casting, high-temperature, ceramic, electrostatic dissipative (ESD), and elastic applications. The materials can be purchased directly from material partners or their distributors and are designed for advanced users for testing, development, and end-use parts with exotic or novel properties.
Polypropylene for SAF on the H350
Additionally, polypropylene for SAF technology is now ready to be used on the H350 3D printer from Stratasys, which is designed for volume production of 3D printed parts. Polypropylene is a versatile, flexible and extremely popular polymer. Its higher ductility and chemical resistance, as well as its ability to be sterilized, makes it suitable for a wide variety of applications, such as interior and exterior automotive parts, prosthetics, and consumer goods.
Together with PA12 (also known as Nylon 12), which Stratasys announced in September 2021, polypropylene for SAF awill expand the material set for the H350 printer from the initial Stratasys High Yield PA11, a sustainable material derived from 100% bio-based castor beans. PA12, the single most popular material in industrial 3D printing today1, provides geometric accuracy, chemical resistance and stiffness for machine components, communications industry applications, and prototyping. Both PA12 and PP are expected to be available later in 2022.
Stratasys now provides a progressively managed open-material ecosystem for the industry’s most comprehensive polymer additive technologies, delivering the broadest range of optimized and validated materials. Through GrabCAD Print software, customers will now have access to system print parameters to refine material capabilities as needed, optimizing part performance. All Stratasys Preferred materials and Validated materials for Stratasys systems are available for purchase through Stratasys and reseller partner channels.
Stratasys is leading the global shift to additive manufacturing with innovative 3D printing solutions for industries such as aerospace, automotive, consumer products and healthcare. Through smart and connected 3D printers, polymer materials, a software ecosystem, and parts on-demand, Stratasys solutions deliver competitive advantages at every stage in the product value chain. The world’s leading organizations turn to Stratasys to transform product design, bring agility to manufacturing and supply chains, and improve patient care.