Accuracy and Repeatability Rivals Injection Molding
MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 7, 2008 - (NASDAQ: SSYS) Stratasys announced it has begun commercial shipment of its new FDM 900mc direct digital manufacturing machine. The company says it has taken a record number of orders for its large-format machines.
"We presold 17 units - much more than expected," says FDM product manager, Patrick Robb. "We underestimated early demand for a system used in DDM applications.
Historically, Stratasys additive fabrication machines were used strictly for rapid prototyping, but the 900mc was developed specifically for use in direct digital manufacturing (DDM) applications. The machine is designed to serve this growing trend in low-volume manufacturing, especially in the automotive, aerospace, consumer product, and heavy industry markets.
All 17 units will be used in direct digital manufacturing applications for either end-use parts or fabrication & assembly tools, and some of them will double in high-end functional prototyping applications.
FDM 900mc Accuracy and Repeatability Rivals Injection Molding
"The FDM 900mc program is exceeding Stratasys expectations in several ways," says product manager Patrick Robb, "in sales, in prospect interest, and in machine performance."
The 900mc development program was driven to produce high standards of accuracy & repeatability. With a confidence factor of greater than 99%, the 900mc has a accuracy rating of +/- .005 inch [or +/-.0015 inch per inch, whichever is greater] (+/- .127 mm [or +/- .0015 mm per mm whichever is greater]). "This rivals injection molding for accuracy and repeatability," says Robb. "For low-volume production, it's a more cost-effective technique than traditional manufacturing."
Accuracy Study Details
The Stratasys quality department completed an FDM 900mc accuracy study, using three FDM 900mc machines, and building 144 standard test parts with 27 measurements per part, for a total of 3888 measured dimensions. Results revealed that dimensions were 99.9% in specification, or in other words, only one in one thousand measurements did not fall within the specification.
"The FDM 900mc sets a new benchmark for Stratasys high-end system performance in throughput, accuracy, repeatability and part quality," says product marketing manager, Fred Fischer. "This machine's precision lets it rival any competing rapid technology process as well as traditional processes for low volume manufacturing and prototyping."
Note: achievable accuracy is dependent upon the specific geometry.
Stratasys Inc., Minneapolis, manufactures additive fabrication machines for direct digital manufacturing (a.k.a rapid manufacturing), 3D printing, and rapid prototyping. It also offers part manufacturing services through its RedEye RPM business unit. According to Wohlers Report 2008, Stratasys supplied 44 percent of all additive fabrication systems installed worldwide in 2007, making it the unit market leader for the sixth consecutive year. Stratasys patented and owns the process known as fused deposition modeling (FDM®).
The process creates functional prototypes and end-use parts directly from any 3D CAD program, using ABS plastic, polycarbonate, PPSF, and blends. The company holds more than 180 granted or pending additive fabrication patents globally. Stratasys products are used in the aerospace, defense, automotive, medical, education, electronic, and consumer product industries. On the Web: www.Stratasys.com.