Leading 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys revealed it has shipped its 35,000th industrial FDM 3D printer to date. The significance of this figure depends on what we mean by “industrial”. For Stratasys, this term probably means that the count does not include Makerbot branded machines, which leaves room for the F123 line systems, which we usually consider “professional-grade”.
According to data collected by 3dpbm Research for the upcoming report on the Polymer AM market, there were 56.781 material extrusion 3D printers, priced $10,000 and higher, installed globally, in 2021. Even considering that several out of those 35,000 are no longer operational, it is safe to say that the majority of professional to industrial extrusion 3D printers installed globally are Stratasys products.
Stratasys founder Scott Crump invented FDM technology more than 20 years ago. After completing several acquisitions, Stratasys continues to be the largest 3D printing company for revenues in the world today.
Today Stratasys’ industrial FDM 3D printer offer has progressively evolved from several product lines (Dimension, uPrint, Fortus) to include fewer, more precisely targeted systems under the F line brand. The top-of-the-line system today is the F900 (formerly Fortus 900mc), with the top-selling Fortus 450 system as the only one still maintaining the Fortus brand.
The F777 and F123 systems were introduced to bring reliable 3D printing capabilities at a more accessible cost, in order to compete with the growing quality of generic FFF systems. Stratasys also offer the F900 AIS package specifically for aerospace interiors:
The Stratasys Aircraft Interior Solution (AIS) with the Fortus 900mc or F900 gives aerospace companies a faster, more streamlined process, providing all the necessary tools, documentation and training needed to guide aerospace producers through the process for qualifying additive manufactured aircraft parts.
Stratasys FDM printers working PEKK materials have also been used to produce several interior parts for the Orion capsule, currently in development at Lockheed Martin Space. Stratasys is providing the public with baseline material qualification data for Antero 840CN03 filament material in collaboration with Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Metropolitan State University of Denver.
The release of this qualification data allows those in the industry to use the material for additively manufactured aerospace parts, such as those on the Orion spacecraft, using Stratasys production-grade 3D printers.