Home > News > Content
Prototyping/production System Is 'entry-level'
Mar 17, 2008

An additive fabrication system for prototyping and direct digital manufacturing is designed for users with demanding applications that require accuracy and repeatability, but not high speed.

Stratasys has introduced an additive fabrication system for prototyping and direct digital manufacturing applications. The company launched the FDM (fused deposition modelling) 360mcT system at the Medical Design and Manufacturing (Pacific Design) Show in Anaheim, USA. The FDM 360mc is designed for users with demanding applications that require the same accuracy, repeatability, and material specifications of more expensive FDM systems, but who do not need as much speed or as many features.

FDM product manager at Stratasys, Patrick Robb, said: 'The FDM 360mc is even lower-priced than our Vantage i.

It's now the least expensive system in our high-performance line, yet it has all the accuracy and repeatability of our high-end FDM 400mc.T.' He added: 'It offers direct digital manufacturing and accurate prototyping with an easy-to-realise return on investment for almost any production operation or development group.

With some of the more expensive '3D printers' priced in the US$50,000 to US$75,000 range, the FDM 360mc will compete with them on price, yet remain in a league above them in output quality'.

* Tighter positional accuracy - the performance of the FDM 360mc is the result of technology innovation and manufacturing process improvements in the extrusion head gantry, which enabled it to be straighter and stiffer.

This enables the extrusion head to hold a tighter positional accuracy that can produce parts with a higher tolerance.

These innovations were introduced in August, 2007, on the FDM 400mc.

The FDM 360mc builds with ABS-M30, which offers substantial improvements over standard Stratasys ABS across a number of mechanical properties including tensile strength, impact strength, and flexural strength.

ABS-M30 mechanical properties for strength are up to 67% stronger than standard Stratasys ABS, expanding capabilities for functional testing or building production parts.

The FDM 360mc comes standard with a build envelope of 14 x 10 x 10in (356 x 254 x 254mm), which is upgradeable to 16 x 14 x 16in (406 x 356 x 406mm).

Along with this upgrade comes two more material canisters bays, for a total of four bays (two build material and two support material).

The larger build envelope and the additional material canisters enable users to run larger builds, said Stratasys to manufacturingtalk.com.

When the first material canister is empty, an auto-changeover function loads the second canister and continues the build process uninterrupted.

This allows users to leave the machine unattended for long periods of time.

Available slice thicknesses are 0.005in (0.127mm), 0.007in (0.178mm), 0.010 in (0.254mm), and 0.013in (0.330mm).

The FDM 360mc will begin shipping immediately.

* About Stratasys - Stratasys Incorporated, Minneapolis, USA, manufactures additive fabrication machines for prototyping and direct digital manufacturing.

It also offers prototype and part manufacturing services.

According to Wohlers Report 2007, Stratasys supplied 41 percent of all additive fabrication systems installed worldwide in 2006, making it the unit market leader for the fifth consecutive year.

Stratasys patented and owns the rapid prototyping process known as fused deposition modeling (FDM).

The process creates functional prototypes and end-use parts directly from any 3D CAD program, using ABS plastics, 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.