Stratasys unveils two 3D printing production technology demonstrators before IMTS show

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3D printing machine manufacturer Stratasys has launched two technology demonstrations and will show them at next month’s IMTS 2016 show in Chicago (booth N-60).

First, the Stratasys Infinite-Build 3D demonstrator is designed to address the requirements of aerospace, automotive and other industries for large lightweight, thermoplastic parts with repeatable mechanical properties. The Infinite-Build 3D Demonstrator features a revolutionary approach to FDM extrusion that increases throughput and repeatability. The system turns the traditional 3D printer concept on its side to realize an “infinite-build” approach which prints on a vertical plane for practically unlimited part size in the build direction.

Aerospace giant Boeing played an influential role in defining the requirements and specifications for the demonstrator, and is currently using an Infinite-Build 3D Demonstrator to explore the production of low volume, lightweight parts. Ford Motor Company is also exploring innovative automotive manufacturing applications for this demonstrator, and will evaluate this new technology. Ford and Stratasys will work together to test and develop new applications for automotive-grade 3D printed materials that were not previously possible due to limited size, enabling and accelerating innovative automotive product design.

Second, a robotic composite 3D demonstrator combines Stratasys extrusion technologies with Siemens’ motion control hardware and PLM software. It uses an 8-axis motion system that enables precise, directional material placement for strength while also reducing dramatically the need for speed-hindering support strategies.

“Stratasys is building on our success in manufacturing with applications such as manufacturing aids, injection molds and composite tooling, and leveraging our relationships with innovative industry leaders to further extend the applicability of additive manufacturing in demanding production environments,” said Ilan Levin, CEO, Stratasys.

“We view the level of factory integration, automation, and performance monitoring potentially offered by these new demonstrators as catalysts for the transformation to Industry 4.0.

In addition to the Infinite Build and Robotic Composite 3D demonstrators at IMTS, Stratasys will also show 3D printing applications for tooling and manufacturing processes, including 3D-printed jigs and fixtures, composite tooling, mould tooling and production parts.