While Stratasys may be one of the oldest and biggest 3D printer manufacturers in the industry, part of their success is certainly due to the fact that their printers are continual works in progress, even well after they’ve been released. A printer isn’t just a printer – it’s a full 3D printing solution, and Stratasys continually supplements their printers with tools, enhancements, and specialized packages to help customers get the most out of their products.
The Fortus 900mc is Stratasys’ most advanced large-scale FDM printer, and, according to the company, the most powerful FDM system available. A few months ago, they introduced the Fortus 900mc Acceleration Kit to make the printer even faster, particularly for very large parts, and this week they’ve unveiled a new package to further augment the capabilities of the 900mc.
The Manufacturing Aids Package is aimed at customers using the 900mc to create custom manufacturing tools, such as jigs and fixtures. 40 hours of design work by Stratasys Professional Services went into creating the kit, which is a materials-and-services package that promises to make tool fabrication easy. It includes six canisters of thermoplastic build material, including Nylon 6, Stratasys’ newest engineering-grade material.
Nylon 6 is one of the most widely used thermoplastic materials in traditional manufacturing, and Stratasys has specially engineered it for 3D printing, ensuring the proper balance between the material’s mature properties and the controlled shrinkage that takes place in FDM 3D printing. It combines the strength of Stratasys’ ULTEM 9085 resin with the toughness of their FDM Nylon 12 – another material commonly used in traditional manufacturing and optimized by Stratasys for FDM 3D printing.
In addition to Nylon 6, the Manufacturing Aids Package includes polycarbonate (PC) and ASA thermoplastics – the latter which is available in 10 colors. Three canisters of Stratasys’ new SR-35 advanced soluble support material are also included. SR-35 replaces SR-30, offering extended bath life and faster dissolve time than its predecessor. Finally, the package includes extra extrusion heads and build sheets, plus the option to extend the Fortus 900mc’s factory warranty by two years.
“3D printing jigs and fixtures enables manufacturers to improve these tools’ usability and ensure their availability,” said Sanja Wallace, Stratasys Senior Director, Product Management and Marketing. “The ability to design a manufacturing aid specifically for a given task and produce it on demand is a huge benefit. And producing these tools from lightweight thermoplastics instead of metal makes them much easier to use and more cost-effective to produce.”
The Manufacturing Aids Package will begin shipping in mid-November of this year. Current Fortus 900mc owners can contact their sales representatives for more information. Stratasys is currently exhibiting at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), which is running until September 17; stop by and visit them at Booth N-60.