Stratasys rolls out next-gen 3D printing tech
Two new 3D printing systems will help address manufacturing challenges in the automotive and aerospace industries.0
Stratasys is looking to revolutionize the 3D printing world by addressing some of the core manufacturing issues in the aerospace and automotive industries. Called “demonstrators”, these advanced additive manufacturing technologies will help customers build on current systems to make more advanced and stronger parts.
The Stratasys Infinite-Build 3D Demonstrator was designed for large lightweight, thermoplastic parts with repeatable mechanical properties. The system uses an “infinite-build” approach which prints on a vertical plane for practically unlimited part size in the build direction.
Boeing was a key player in helping develop this technology. The aerospace giant is currently using the Infinite-Build 3D Demonstrator to explore the production of low volume, lightweight parts.
The aerospace industry is constantly looking for new ways to reduce the cost and weight of aircraft structures.
“The Stratasys Infinite-Build 3D Demonstrator enables products to be made at a much larger and potentially unlimited length, offering us a breakthrough tool to add to our robust additive manufacturing processes,” says Darryl Davis, President, Boeing Phantom Works.
The automotive industry can also benefit from this technology. Ford is working with Stratasys to test and develop new applications applications for automotive-grade 3D printed materials that were not previously possible due to limited size, enabling and accelerating innovative automotive product design.
“3D printing holds the promise of changing automotive design and manufacturing because it opens up new ways to innovate and create efficiencies in production,” adds Mike Whitens, director, Vehicle Enterprise Sciences, Ford Research & Advanced Engineering. “We are excited about the future opportunities that the scalable and versatile Infinite-Build concept can unlock, and look forward to collaborating with Stratasys to help achieve our goals.”
Stratasys has also developed a Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrator with help from Siemens. The two companies have been working closely together to make 3D printing a viable and indispensable component of production manufacturing. The Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrator integrates additive manufacturing tech with industrial motion control hardware and design-to-3D printing software capabilities provided by Siemens.
This demonstrator 3D prints by using an 8-axis motion system that enables precise, directional material placement for strength while also reducing dramatically the need for speed-hindering support strategies.
“By working closely with Stratasys on motion control and CNC automation, Siemens is helping to create a flexible, multi-function manufacturing workflow that puts 3D printing firmly in the factory,” says Arun Jain, VP, Motion Control, Digital Factory US, Siemens.
Stratasys is partnering with industry leaders and develop innovative technology that expands industrial additive manufacturing capabilities.
“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,” explains Ilan Levin, CEO, Stratasys.
The Infinite-Build and Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrators being featured in technology demonstrations, at IMTS 2016.