Stratasys Employs 3D Printing to Make Giant Comic-Con Creature

MINNEAPOLIS and REHOVOT, ISRAEL   – Stratasys has collaborated with the Stan Winston School of Character Arts, Legacy Effects, Condé Nast   Entertainment and WIRED to create a 14-foot tall giant creature that was showcased at the  Comic-Con International 2014  conference. The conference last week in San Diego, California. 

The giant creature was designed by artists at the Stan Winston School. Engineers and technicians at Legacy Effects — the studio that brought to life Iron Man, Avatar, Pacific Rim and RoboCop characters worked closely with Stratasys to build dozens of 3D-printed parts to create the character.

“Everything about the giant creature project was ambitious, including size, weight, delivery schedule and performance requirements,” said Matt Winston, co-founder of the Stan Winston School. “Without the close involvement of our partners at Stratasys, whose 3D printing technologies are, in our view, revolutionizing not only the manufacturing industry but the entertainment industry as well, none of it would have been possible.”

More than one third of the giant creature was 3D printed, including the chest armor, shoulders, arms and fingers. A variety of Stratasys 3D printers were employed in the build process, including the Fortus 900mc, which uses FDM 3D printing technology to build durable parts as large as 36 x 24 x 36 inches 

The parts were created using ABS-M30 thermoplastic material, which has excellent mechanical properties suitable for functional prototypes, jigs and fixtures and production parts.

In addition to 3D printed parts, the creature integrates a variety of video and sensor technologies that offered attendees at the event, as well as fans online, a unique interactive experience with the character 

“The main advantage to 3D printing was going directly from a concept design to an end use, physical part, helping avoid any interpretation by hand or casting in a different material,” said Jason Lopes, lead systems engineer at Legacy Effects. “There is a reason why Legacy Effects has always been a Stratasys house, and this giant creature build shows why.”

During last year’s Comic-Con International, the Stan Winston School and Legacy Effects also collaborated with Stratasys, WIRED and YouTube to introduce an interactive robot suit, which incorporated several 3D printed parts primarily for the robot’s facial structure.

 “3D printing is opening up an entirely new world of possibilities in nearly every industry, including entertainment,” said Gilad Gans, President, Stratasys North America. “The giant creature represents the perfect marriage of technology and art coming together in an innovative way.”

Rumors and Speculation Swirl – Is Stratasys (SSYS) About to be Bought Out?

I hate getting caught up in the rumor mill, but at the same time this could be major news. There are a few sources indicating that Stratasys may be about to be bought out. Takeover chatter started back in February and ssys-1quickly died out within days. Bloomberg at the time, suggested that Hewlett Packard or Seiko Epson Corp could have interest in the company. However, Stratasys’ stock was trading at $121 per share in February, making it a bit too expensive for acquisition consideration.

Here we are a few months later, and rumors have once again begun to pick back up. This morning Theflyonthewall.com reported that there were takeover rumors spreading through the market. Also, RanSquwk sources noted unconfirmed takeover interest in Stratasys today.  Active call volume on the stock also suggests that  traders  are taking positions for a large price movement in the future. Shares of Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) hit a low for the day, at $90.41 per share at around 10:50 AM EST. Within a 30 minute period, shares spiked 3.4% to $93.49, as rumors began making their way to those trading the stock.

Walmart has been a company whose name has been thrown around in regard to these latest rumors. Last week at the Code Conference their CEO, Doug McMillon was quoted as saying the following, regarding possible acquisitions. (Note that these comments were made within minutes of McMillon stating that he was very interested in 3D printing.)

“It’s clear we need to change, and we need to change fast,” said Mr. McMillon.“We’ve been more acquisitive lately, especially for talent. Our pace of acquisitions, I think, is going to accelerate.”

When asked specifically if any of these acquisitions would be related to 3D printing, McMillon’s reply was, “it might make sense.”

ssys-feat

Stratasys is trading well under its all time high of $138.10 earlier this year, and has a market cap of approximately $4.5 billion, one that’s lower than that of key rival 3D Systems. Becuase of this, there may not be a better time for an acquisition than right now. It will be very interesting to see if these rumor develop futher over the next week or two, or if they fizzle out like those of the past. One thing is clear however, and that is that an acquisition of Stratasys would instantly turn any acquiring company into one of the leaders within the 3D printing space, both from a consumer and manufacturing standpoint. What do you guys think? Is a Walmart, or another major corporation about to acquire Stratasys? Let us know your opinion in the Stratasys takeover rumor forum thread at 3DPB.com
[Image Source: NASDAQ.com]

Stratasys and Objet Join Forces to Form a $1.4 Billion 3D Printing Colosus

To show the potential of 3D printing, Stratasys printed an assembly of a turbine using its technology.

In the webcast announcing the merger, Stratasys and Objet showed their complementary product lines.

What Stratasys CEO Scott Crump called “an exciting day for Stratasys and Objet” began around 7:30 AM Central Time this Monday, April 16. It was the day the two companies announced their handshakes to come together and form a 3D printing powerhouse, estimated to be valued at $1.4 billion.

“We are bringing together two of the most innovative and respected players in the field to create a global leader in a high-growth industry,” noted Crump in the announcement to the press. Together, Stratasys and Objet would account for an installed base of 20,000 3D printing systems, supported by more than 260 distributors, resellers, and agents, Crump said in the webcast on the same day. “Together, we aim to remain at the forefront of innovation,” he vowed.

The merger will take place as a 100% stock-for-stock transaction. Upon completion of the merger, Stratasys shareholders will own 55% of the new firm, and Objet shareholders 45%. The new company will operate under the name Stratasys Ltd. It will operate with dual headquarters in the U.S. and Israel.

In March, Objet filed documents with U.S. regulators to raise $75 million through an IPO, but the merger now takes precedence over its previously planned IPO.

Stratasys’ product line includes high-end 3D production systems (Fortus line), midrange 3D printers (Dimension line), and affordable 3D printers (uPrint line). In addition, Stratasys also operates the RedEye division, which offers on-demand rapid prototyping services.

Objet offers no equivalent to Stratasys’ RedEye services. Its product lines include the Connex, Eden, and desktop 3D printer families. Its most affordable products, the desktop printers, are priced beginning at $19,900. By contrast, Stratasys’ uPrint series, the lowest priced of the company’s offerings, begin at $15,900. It’s unclear if the new company plans to offer both product lines, which used to compete with each other.

In the webcast announcing the pending merger, both Stratasys and Objet managements expressed their desire to pursue cost-avoidance and cross-selling opportunities, but no specific details were revealed.

The merger of Stratasys and Objet is preceded by a similar one between 3D Systems and Z Corp., completed in January 2012. In a market dominated by relatively few players, the Stratasys-Objet merger and the 3D Systems-Z Corp merger set the stage for the emergence and confrontation of two powerhouse 3D prototyping systems makers.

As 3D printer manufacturers like Stratasys and 3D Systems explore additional revenue opportunities beyond the professional market, they’ve also begun courting the consumer market, specifically the maker market.

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