Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq: SSYS), a manufacturer of 3D printers and materials for personal use, prototyping, and production, debuted the second generation of its Digital ABS material, named Digital ABS2. The new material, designed for Stratasys PolyJet 3D Printers, is designed to enable users to produce thin-walled models with high dimensional stability. It is now available in ivory in addition to the existing green color.

Enhanced software increases the material’s rigidity, durability and functionality of thin wall elements. This is aimed at improving form, fit, and assembly for prototyping or production applications.

In addition, the material’s rigidity makes it ideal for 3D printing cores and cavities for use in low-volume injection molding applications using thermoplastics. Benefits include sharper edges, which hold up better, and the improved ability to 3D print small parts such as pins and other thin features that are strong enough to handle the high stresses of the injection molding process.

“In addition to general purpose applications, Digital ABS2 is ideal for prototyping consumer electronics and other consumer goods, including small appliances and cell phones, which require high stability with thin-wall geometries,” says Fred Fischer, director of materials and applications product management at Stratasys.

Stratasys PolyJet digital materials are composite materials created by simultaneously jetting two distinct PolyJet materials. The two are combined in specific concentrations and structures to provide unique mechanical properties and to provide a closer look, feel and function to the end-product. Stratasys Digital ABS materials combine high-temperature resistance with enhanced strength and stability to produce models that can sustain high impact.

Digital ABS2 is available for Objet Connex systems.

For more information, visit: www.stratasys.com/materials/polyjet/digital-abs

Published in Stratasys

Afinia, a division of Microboards Technology LLC, a leader in specialized printing solutions for 3D printing and rapid prototyping introduces its Value-Line of ABS Filament for 3D printers. Value-Line is an economic alternative supply for 3D printing that features consistent performance in multiple colors.

“The explosion of 3D printers in the market has created an enormous demand for alternative supplies that are cost-effective and reliable” said Aaron Pratt, Afinia’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We feel that the industry will benefit from having a supplier with filament that is dependable and competitively priced.”

Currently 14 different colors are available, ranging from white to black. Red, blue, green, orange, pink, and silver are among the most popular. Two new glow-in-the-dark filaments (green and blue) have also been introduced.

The filament is designed to work with Afinia’s H-Series 3D Printers, but works equally as well in many of the other desktop 3D printers on the market. The filament is an industry standard 1.75mm and is delivered on a 2.2 lbs. (1 Kg) reel. “In testing, we assessed the qualities of many suppliers of filament. What we found was a significant variation in diameters and melting points, which lead to inconsistent feeding and melting during the extrusion process. Since Afinia’s stated mission is to commercialize 3D printing for the everyday consumer, standardizing the supplies was a top priority,” said Pratt.

Afinia’s reputation for reliability extends beyond its supplies. The H-Series 3D Printer has rapidly earned a reputation for being the first finished product in the desktop 3D printing space. It is fully functioning, out of the box, managed with a single software interface, and backed by the best technical support available. “Previous to the H-Series, users were forced to compromise in one or several aspects of their 3D printing experience. Equipment came partially or wholly unassembled; printing was initiated by running a cluster of open-source software pieces, online technical support was slow and unresponsive, and phone support was nonexistent,” said Pratt.

Afinia, a division of Microboards Technology LLC, is a leader in specialized printing solutions. Our twenty-year history includes leadership in CD/DVD disc duplication and labeling. Our most recent launch builds on our mechanical and electrical expertise by offering the H-Series of 3D Printers. Afinia H-Series 3D Printer is the affordable, portable, “Out of the Box 3D Printing Experience”. The Afinia H-Series 3D printer uses inexpensive, high-quality plastic filament to create 3D models. Custom-designed 3D printing software is easily installed and ready to use. The H-Series is ideal for engineers, educators, and hobbyists.

For more information, visit: www.afinia.com

Published in Afinia

Any avid cyclist knows that to beat the pack on the road or mountain trail you've got to be fast; you've got to pay attention to every detail, and you've got to push every limit. And your bike has to keep up. Trek, the name trusted by competitive and leisure cyclists worldwide, applies these same principles to designing new parts for its top-class bicycles. It uses Objet Connex multi-material 3D printer to speed through design iterations and confirm the fit and function of bike parts early on in the design process - reducing lead times from 28 days to just 1 day, saving precious time to market.

Using the Objet Connex500 multi-material 3D printer, designers in Trek's Prototype Development Group can now print a fully-functional 3D bike part they can use on their bikes in just one day, instead of waiting four weeks for a CNC part. With the prototype parts printed in Objet's new ABS-like material, engineers can test the fit and function in the toughest real-life conditions. They can insert a 3D printed prototype into a working bicycle and take it out on the trail to test performance - early on in the design cycle, when it's easier and cheaper to adjust the part design.

Objet multi-material 3D printing wins the day… And more

In 2010, When Trek was searching for a new solution for rapid prototyping new bike parts, a demonstration of the Objet Connex500's multi-material 3D printing capabilities made it Trek's ultimate choice. Trek's team were particularly impressed with the machine's unique ability to print both rigid and flexible materials together into a single prototype - enabling their designers to achieve a closer look, feel and function of their intended end-products.  

Then, after working with the Objet Connex500 for a short time, additional benefits soon came to fore.

"Our designers have a whole new world to work with for prototyping, says Mike Zeigle, Manager of Trek's Prototype Development Group. "Printing with Objet is much less time-consuming and more cost-effective than using our CNC machines for this purpose; it has reduced our prototype lead times from 4 weeks to just 1 day and in many cases to just hours. With the Objet Connex multi-material 3D printer our engineers can produce multiple design iterations, perfecting our design, way beyond what they could have done if we just relied on CNC parts."

We've got great examples of something that starts out as an Objet part, goes into a CNC part, is fabricated, and then goes on to either a world cup or championship level Trek bicycle, all made with an Objet part from the start."

For more information, read the case study at: www.objet.com/pages/case_studies/consumer_goods/trek

Published in Objet

Stratasys Inc., maker of 3D printers for prototyping and producing plastic parts, introduced a static dissipative ABS material for items sensitive to electrostatic charge.

ABS-ESD7 is a new material for use by Fortus additive manufacturing systems. The material has static dissipative properties for applications where a static charge can damage products, impair performance or cause an explosion.

Unlike most thermoplastics, ABS-ESD7 prevents a buildup of static electricity, so it can’t produce a static shock.

Besides eliminating static shock, the ESD material eliminates another common static electricity problem: the attraction and buildup of particulate, such as dust or powders, which can degrade product performance.

ABS-ESD7 is also beneficial when designing products that avoid attracting atomized liquid, such as medicine inhalers, which must deliver the entire drug dose to the patient and not leave mist clinging to inhaler’s internal surfaces.

The material will be most useful for manufacturers that wish to create assembly aids that hold, handle, or carry their electronics safely.

Primary applications include:

* Carriers and organizers for electrical components
* Fixtures for electronic component assembly
* Production line and conveyor parts

Other applications include:

* Product design and validation for:
* Electronic product enclosures
* Electronics packaging material
* Powder or mist conveying or dispensing

“ABS-ESD7 was engineered in response to a strong demand from our additive manufacturing system owners,” says Stratasys Business Development Director Fred Fischer. “In a survey, over 50 percent of owners expressed a need for ESD materials for creating assembly aids, prototypes, or production parts.”

ABS-ESD7 will run on Fortus 400mc and Fortus 900mc FDM systems. It is comparable in operation to its non-ESD counterpart, ABS-M30, from Stratasys. All mechanical properties of ABS-ESD7 are within five percent of the ratings for ABS-M30. Orders are being taken now for ABS-ESD7, and material canisters will begin shipping in September.

ABS-ESD7 is available immediately for contract manufacturing jobs through Stratasys’ RedEye On Demand digital manufacturing service. The service can offer either a single prototype or production runs of up to 1000 parts or more. Small jobs can be shipped in 1 to 5 days.

For more information, visit: www.fortus.com/stratasys.aspx?id=8622

Published in Stratasys

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