Mul­ti­colour pro­duc­tion is a game changer

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - 3D TECHNOLOGY -

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.

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