Jan.20, 2012

Stratasys uPrint SE 3D printer is selected by the Department of Defense (DoD) as classroom technology in its nationwide program "STARBASE youth program". According to a new release from Stratasys Inc., DoD has placed a $1 million order for more than 100 Stratasys 3D printers aiming to raise interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers for at-risk youth.

stratasys uprint se 3d printer

Stratasys says one-half of the 3D printers have shipped to DoD STARBASE, and it expects the remainder to ship before the end of February.

The uPrint SE and SE Plus 3D printers are the replacement of the original uPrint and uPrint Plus and has been packaged with price starting at USD $15,900.

Why the uPrint SE 3D Printer is chosen for the STARBASE youth program? First of all, the uPrint SE 3D Printer is designed for office use which requires only a 25-by-26-inch space but has all the basic features of 3D printer. It is very easy to use and can precisely deposit layers as fine as 0.010" (0.254mm) thick.

Secondly, the uPrint SE 3D Printer is the ninth generation of Stratasys 3D Printers, it uses patented Stratasys FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) technology to print 3D model and its support material. Material spools contain 42 cubic inches of material and allows longer print runs and requires less frequent spool change.

Additionally, the uPrint SE 3D Printer has a waveWash Support Cleaning System that helps you very quickly remove support material hands-free. The uPrint SE 3D Printer series uses Soluble Support Technology (SST) so that the support material dissolves away in a water-based solution.

All these make a perfect combination for an good investment in STEM education.

Here is more from the press release:

The Stratasys announcement comes less than two weeks after the Commerce Department issued a report calling for investment in STEM education. The report says investment in STEM is needed to help the U.S. regain its lead in innovation, which will help fuel economic growth.

"Increasingly, the specific skills embodied in STEM education fuel the innovative processes that are especially valuable to our economy," the report says.

"Engineering is a vital part of our nation's hopeful future," says DoD STARBASE RAC and Co-Founder Barbara Koscak. "We need to instill the concept of engineering early in a child's education."

Through the program, students in grades four through six participate in hands-on activities that emphasize teamwork to explore various STEM-based theories. For example, using PTC Creo computer-aided design software, students design model submarine, land rover, UAV, scalextric car and rocket components and use 3D printers to produce them for functional testing.

"3D printing, also called rapid prototyping, has become a key component of many science and technology curricula across schools nationwide," says Stratasys Education Manager Jesse Roitenberg. "Students apply the knowledge they learn in the classroom to real-life models. When they can actually see, hold and touch the results of their work, it's a very powerful lesson. Looking at the STARBASE curriculum, they're light years ahead."

In November 2011 we reported "Shanghai Government Technology committee in China has issued a call for a proposal to build 100 community hackerspaces with government funding for equipment" - we are wondering which type of 3D printer they are going to choose? Anyway it is great that government in many countries are aware of how important innovation and engineering are for the country's economic growth and willing to support.

Source: Stratasys

Posted in 3D Printer


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Laurie Anne wrote at 10/28/2015 6:33:03 PM:

Hi Jim, I'm looking into the uPrint SE Plus as it seems more affordable than some of the other Stratasys products. I'm wondering if you would be willing to share what your second-choice machine was to help the rest of us? Many thanks in advance,

Jim Ellis wrote at 2/14/2015 8:42:19 PM:

I recently purchased a Stratasys U-Print SE Plus 3D FDM-style printer. I thoroughly researched the low-cost market and, although not low cost by any stretch ($20K), I settled on that model for features and productivity confident that I could compete with the low-cost machines easily. I had plans to print functional machine parts that would compete with fully machined aluminum parts. Since I design most of the products that I sell, I can design based upon using a 3D printed part in place of a customary aluminum part. I designed a “Test Vehicle” (a representative part to demonstrate the use of FDM in place of aluminum) and acquired sample printed parts from several notable machine manufacturers. The Stratasys printer along with the software features and the close proximity of support swayed my decision to the U-Print Se Plus. I received my printer within two weeks and had a very knowledgeable technician do the install and training. What I did not know before I purchased is that Stratasys incorporates a sneaky software trick that is designed to coerce me into buying raw plastic filament from them only at a 20X upcharge! They incorporate a nifty IC chip within the filament feeder of the Filament material cassette. This chip has on its memory a code which corresponds to the amount of filament left on that particular spool. The IC chip is updated with the correct material inventory each time that material is used. This is very handy when you initiate a printing job that will require more material than you have in the material bay. The machine can let you know when your material is empty and it can also let you know that the current amount on the spool is not enough to finish the job in queue. All of this is fine and very handy, however, Stratasys took this IC chip inventory idea one step too far. Once the IC chip reads zero inventory you cannot refill the spool and reset it to 100%. There is no way to reset the onboard inventory number on that chip. The machine will not use a new reloaded spool that has a chip reading zero inventory. The only way reset the chip is to purchase a new chip within a complete spool from Stratasys at a $205.00 per spool price tag. I was not told of this “Gotcha” until the installation was being performed. The installation Technician obviously felt bad for me, but there was nothing he could do about it. I can purchase spools of ABS plastic filament (the same material used in the Stratasys machine) off of Amazon.com for $22-$25 per spool. I can also purchase a “Extrude Bot” machine from extrudebot.com here in Chandler, AZ for $675.00.This machine uses raw (virgin) ABS pellets, the same material that an injection molder would purchase, and extrudes 1.75 mm filament (same that is used on the Stratasys machines) and spools it onto your spool for $5.00 per spool. Stratasys claims that their reasoning is that their ABS “Plus” material is better and will work in the machine with fewer problems. If that is the case, Why not sell me the good material in bulk form (large spool) and give me the ability to reload my spools and reset the IC chips back to 100% inventory? I still use the good material, but I also can realize the full potential of my printer and use it for which I purchased it. Now, I can’t compete with my printer against the smaller printers because they can extrude cheap material for 20X less cost than I can. I can’t even afford to do the simplest jobs because the material cost is too costly. Had I known about the material cost hijack, I would never have purchased the Stratasys machine. I had visions of a fleet of machines in my shop cranking out parts for my many Engineering customers. Unfortunately that hasn’t been the case. This is like buying an expensive CNC milling machine to out-perform the smaller shops that only have manual machines and then find out that you can’t use standard raw materials from the material supplier. You have to purchase special material from the machine manufacturer at an exorbitant price. Who would do that? Stratasys claims that is is like HP who sells you a cheap printer and then sells you the ink at a marked-up price. I contend that there is no comparison with this analogy. I do not sell printed paper. I use printed paper for inter-office communication etc. The 3D plastic, on the other hand, is exactly what I am selling. By jacking up the plastic cost and forcing me to buy it from Stratasys is, not only preventing me from utilizing my printer, but is swaying me from ever buying another machine from them. I am sure the word is getting around to the would-be Stratasys customers who are electing to take their chances with other machines. This could be playing a roll in the fall of Stratasys’ value in the market. After all, it’s all about controlling your costs. Best Regards, Jim Ellis President Credence Engineering, Inc. 237 W. La Vieve Ln. Tempe, AZ 85284 Ph: 480-993-8446 E-Fax: 602-798-8277 Web Site:http://www.credenceeinc.com/

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