Apr. 13, 2015 | By Alec

While Stratasys has grown to become an undisputed leader in the manufacturing of industrial-quality and superbly accurate 3D printers since its humble beginnings in Minnesota in 1989, the company is clearly not resting on laurels. For Stratasys has just announced a brand-new 3D printer, a machine that has been improved upon in every area of 3D printing relevance: speed, quality, print size, multi-material printing an efficiency. Its name? The Large-Scale Objet 1000 Plus 3D printer.

Now whenever we hear of industries adopting 3D printers for the manufacturing of end products, whether it’s the automobile, medical, aircraft, aerospace or military sector, we automatically assume they’re relying on Stratasys 3D printers, rather than the desktop models us hobbyists enjoy. The simple truth is that their machines are one of the most versatile and highest quality 3D printers on the market. In those sectors even prototyping often relies on these types of printers. And in terms of the expanding 3D printing revolution in the manufacturing market, the release of a new and improved Stratasys machine is certainly good news.

As Stratasys has revealed in a press release (and at their booth in the ongoing technology convention Hannover Messe 2015 in Germany), their brand newObjet1000 Plus 3D production system is set to bring qualities to the table that can be of added value in any manufacturing industry. ‘Simply put, this high performance dynamo gets everything right. It combines large-scale 3D printing with an expanded multi-material palette, accelerated print speeds, high resolution and lower cost per part to meet a wide range of demanding manufacturing applications,’ they write.

And the shared statistics definitely seem to corroborate that bold statement. For the Objet1000 Plus 3D Production System features a tremendous build space of 1000 x 800 x 500 mm (or 39 x 31 x 19 inch), which can be used to combine various prints, materials and operations in a single 3D printing session. It can even make prototypes and end-product manufacturing tools simultaneously, while being up to 40% faster than its predecessor Stratasys machine.

A prototyped part made with this new 3D printer.

Moreover, the Objet1000 Plus offers reduced post processing options that reduce production times and doesn’t need hands-on work. ‘The washable support material is quick and simple to remove with a specially designed water jet system, and for most applications the smooth, multi-material PolyJet parts require no polishing, rubberizing or painting,’ Stratasys writes in its press release. Finally, it’s a very efficient machine that promises to have significantly lower costs per part.

Ron Ellenbogen, who is the Product Marketing Director at Stratasys, was absolutely ecstatic about the machine’ capacities. ‘The Objet1000 Plus brings exceptional versatility to the world of large scale 3D printing.  It is a multi-purpose 3D Production System, the first of its kind to combine large print sizes and multiple materials to produce parts from a wide assortment of different materials at accelerated print speeds and super fine resolution,’ he says. ‘It also simplifies the workflow and makes it possible for manufacturers, designers and engineers to efficiently create industrial 1:1 scale prototypes, large production tools or low volumes of complex small parts – all with excellent surface finish, precision and fine details.’

Especially remarkable is the machine’s wide range of useable materials. In fact, users can choose from more than a hundred 3D printable materials. 'The range of materials is quite extensive. From rubber-like materials to Digital ABS to various Shore A levels, up to 14 material properties are possible on a single part. And many parts can be produced with varying properties in a single run,’ Ellenbogen adds. It can even 3D print objects in the polypropylene-like Endur, which essentially combines two resins in a single 3D printable material that boasts a very diverse range of material properties. It is a perfect material for manufacturing durable prototypes for repetitive testing and even for production parts.

Ron Ellenbogen.

Ellenbogen therefore believes that this machine tackles several problems typically associated with 3D printing by industrial companies. ‘First of all you can 3D print large parts, like precise check gauges and large jigs and fixtures over 1 meter in length in one build, eliminating the need to split large files in CAD and later assemble the parts. Secondly, you can 3D print many same or different small parts in one simultaneous job or even 3D print small detailed parts or injection molds in the free space around a large part to reduce the average print time and cost per part. Small parts added this way take no extra printing time,’ he argues.

Furthermore, part size shouldn’t be a problem anymore, while the enlarged build space doesn’t negatively affect printing speeds. ‘The print area is efficiently traversed with a new optimized print block movement that reduces printing time by up to 40 percent than its predecessor for optimal performance, particularly for large parts built diagonally across the tray,’ he adds. Even unattended 3D prints won’t have to worry users thanks to this system.

This interesting collection of features should ensure optimal 3D printing performances, and Ellenbogen says that customer response has so far been great. ‘One of our customers, a service bureau with high capacity needs for a wide range of applications, is using the Objet1000 Plus to rapidly produce high quality prototypes, jigs and fixtures for leading automotive and aerospace customers,’ he says. ‘Another customer, in the automotive industry, is using the Objet1000 Plus for rapid prototyping car parts. In both cases, the system is delivering impressive results in terms of higher printing speeds and an improved work flow. There is hardly any need for post-processing.’

As with all Stratasys 3D printers, just the matter of a price tag remains. While no exact some is currently known, you can expect it to be far too expensive for any hobbyist or start-up, as this machine has been specifically built with large and heavy industries in mind. Nonetheless, this machine is excellent news for 3D printing as a whole, as the Large-Scale Objet 1000 Plus 3D printer will doubtlessly entice more companies to switch to this revolutionary manufacturing technology. If you happen to be in the neighborhood, be sure to check out the machine for yourself at the Stratasys booth at the Hannover Messe 2015 (in Hall 7 Stand A40), which opens today and closes on 17 April. 



Posted in 3D Printers


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3D wrote at 4/13/2015 2:09:05 PM:

Yes, Objet machines are great but I can't see the need for printing that large with such expensive materials. Those models in the pictures are better for FDM type printers. Objet is great for smaller special models that require exotic materials and exceptional resolution. And even those machines are still priced above many companies' budgets..

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