Multicolour production is a game changer
The Objet500 Connex3 colour 3D printer can produce parts with virtually unlimited combinations of rigid, flexible, and transparent colour materials as well as colour digital materials – all in a single print run.
This ability to achieve the characteristics of an assembled part without assembly or painting is a significant time-saver.
It helps product manufacturers validate designs and make good decisions before committing to manufacturing, and brings products to market faster.
“Stratasys’ goal is to help our customers revolutionize their design and manufacturing processes,” says the firm’s CEO David Reis.
“I believe our Objet500 will transform the way our customers design, engineer and manufacture new products. In general, and with the Connex technology in particular, we will continue to push the envelope of what’s possible in a 3D world.”
Engineers at beta user Trek Bicycle in Wisconsin (USA) are using the printer for assessment and testing of accessories such as bike chain stay guards and handlebar grips prior to actual production.
“The Objet500 changed the way we manufacture at Trek, augmenting our traditional, time-consuming CNC processes with fast, iterative and realistic prototyping and functional testing,” says Mike Zeigle, manager of Trek’s prototype development group.
“Now we produce bicycle parts that look and feel like production parts.
“We are particularly excited about 3D printing our models directly in colour. This gives our designers the ability to graphically display colour contact pressure map data on rider contact parts like seats and grips.
“We are also working on doing the same with FEA & CFD stress data on structural bike components.”
Similar to a 2D inkjet printer, three colour materials – VeroCyan, VeroMagenta and VeroYellow – are combined to produce hundreds of vivid colours.
These colour materials join Stratasys’ range of PolyJet photopolymer materials including digital materials, rigid, rubber- like, transparent, and high temperature materials to simulate standard and high temperature engineering plastics.
Its new printer also features six palettes for new rubber-like Tango colours, ranging from opaque to transparent colours in various shore values to address markets such as automotive, consumer and sporting goods and fashion.
“Since its introduction in 2007, the Objet Connex printing platform has paved the way for the development of advanced 3D printing materials with unique mechanical and thermal properties,” says Stratasys’ VP of product marketing and sales operations Igal Zeitun.
“As the first true multi-purpose 3D printer, we believe the Objet500 is in a league of its own.
“It enables you to dream up a product in the morning, and hold it in your hands by the afternoon, with the exact intended colour, material properties and surface finish.”
The Objet500 Connex3 multicolour 3D printer.
A pre-production cycle helmet 3D-printed on the Objet500.
Photos / Stratasys.