“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 an 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.
FDM 900mc is a trademark, and FDM is a registered trademark, of Stratasys Inc.
Forward Looking Statements
All statements herein that are not historical facts or that include such words as “expects”, “anticipates”, “projects”, “estimates”, “vision”, “planning” or “believes” or similar words are forward-looking statements that we deem to be covered by and to qualify for the safe harbor protection covered by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Our belief that we have the largest part-building service is based on the number of dedicated machines. Except for the historical information herein, the matters discussed in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties; these include the continued market acceptance and growth of our Dimension TM 3D printer line, FDM 200mc,TM 360mc,TM 400mc,TM 900mc,TM Maxum,TM Titan,TM and VantageTM product lines; the size of the 3D printing market; our ability to penetrate the 3D printing market; our ability to maintain the growth rates experienced in this and preceding quarters; our ability to introduce and market new materials such as ABSplus and ABS-M30; and the market acceptance of these and other materials; the impact of competitive products and pricing; the timely development and acceptance of new products and materials; the success of our recent R&D initiative to expand the direct digital manufacturing capabilities of our core FDM technology; the success of our RedEyeRPMTM and other paid parts services; and the other risks detailed from time to time in our SEC Reports, including the our quarterly reports filed on Form 10-Q throughout 2008; and our annual report on Form 10-K filed for the year ended December 31, 2007.