3D Printer Maker Stratasys Expands Automated Support-Removal Process for Polycarbonate Material
Low-labor process speeds up prototyping and production of
(NASDAQ: SSYS) Stratasys
says it will expand its WaterWorks soluble support material to be
compatible with its polycarbonate build material (PC-10) for Fortus 3D
This shaver is shown before and after soluble support material was dissolved. (Photo: Stratasys)
Previously, WaterWorks soluble support material was available
exclusively for the company's ABS-based material formulations.
The soluble support material — SR-100 — allows automated, hands-free
removal, resulting in more efficient prototype and part production.
SR-100 soluble support material will also enable a finer layer
thickness. By combining PC-10 build material with SR-100, users can now
produce parts in 0.005 in. (0.127mm) layers, for finer feature detail
and smoother surface finish. This layer thickness setting was previously
unavailable for PC-10.
Beta test user Joe Gibbs Racing previously used PC-ABS because it was
the strongest material that could be coupled with soluble supports.
Combining the SR-100 soluble support structure with polycarbonate build
material allows JGR to use the more robust polycarbonate. This enables
JGR to use its Fortus machine for more applications, giving it a faster
return on investment.
JGR Design Engineer Brian Levy says he likes the superior mechanical
properties of polycarbonate. The team makes a polycarbonate filter
component with the FDM process, using the PC-100 soluble supports.
"The soluble material is more efficient to remove than the old
break-away supports, so we're now using polycarbonate regularly," Levy
says. "All of our cars have the PC filter component, and they use them
The soluble support material eliminates the process of manual removal
with hand tools. The dissolved support material is washed away in a
solution of heated-water and cleaning agent. It can take as little as
30-120 minutes to dissolve an SR-100 support structure in an agitation
or ultrasonic tank.
The SR-100 soluble support material will be available for the Fortus
360mc, Fortus 400mc, Fortus 900mc, Fortus eV and Fortus eT systems.
SR-100 is expected to ship in Q1 2012.
Stratasys Inc., Minneapolis, is a maker of additive-manufacturing
machines for prototyping and producing plastic parts. The company
markets under the brands uPrint and Dimension 3D Printers and Fortus
Production 3D Printers. The company also operates RedEye On Demand, a
digital-manufacturing service for prototypes and production parts.
Stratasys manufactures 3D printers for Hewlett Packard, which it sells
under the brand Designjet3D. In 2011 Stratasys acquired 3D printer maker
Solidscape Inc. According to Wohlers Report 2011, Stratasys had a 41
percent market share in 2010, and has been the unit market leader for
the ninth consecutive year. Stratasys patented and owns the Fused
Deposition Modeling (FDM®) process. The process creates
functional prototypes and manufactured goods directly from any 3D CAD
program, using high-performance industrial thermoplastics. The company
holds more than 285 granted or pending additive-manufacturing patents
globally. Stratasys products are used in the aerospace, defense,
automotive, medical, business and industrial equipment, education,
architecture, and consumer-product industries. Online at: www.stratasys.com
Fortus, Dimension, FDM and Stratasys are registered trademarks of
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statements regarding projected revenue and income in future quarters;
the size of the 3D printing market; our objectives for the marketing and
sale of our Dimension(R) and uPrint(R) 3D
Printers; our support removal systems; and our Fortus(R) 3D
Production Systems, particularly for use in direct digital manufacturing
(DDM); the demand for our proprietary consumables; the expansion of our
paid parts service; and our beliefs with respect to the growth in the
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our business include our ability to penetrate the 3D printing market;
the success of our distribution agreement with HP; our ability to
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to introduce, produce and market consumable materials, and the market
acceptance of these materials; the impact of competitive products and
pricing; our timely development of new products and materials and market
acceptance of those products and materials; the success of our recent
R&D initiative to expand the DDM capabilities of our core FDM
technology; and the success of our RedEyeOnDemandTM and other
paid parts services. They also include statements about future financial
and operating results of our company after the acquisition of Solidscape
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include our ability to successfully integrate and market Solidscape
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do so, even if our beliefs and expectations change. In addition to the
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to the risks and uncertainties described more fully in our current
report on Form 8-K filed in connection with the completion of our
acquisition of Solidscape and in our reports filed or to be filed with
the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our annual reports on
Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.
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Source: Stratasys Inc.
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