Stratasys is creating a cloud-service platform that contains expandable, server rack-like modular 3D printer items configured below one software program platform to work concurrently to mass produce components.
The meeting line-style 3D printing platform will reside each in Stratasys’ personal amenities in addition to on the premises of enterprise companions who can use the brand new Steady Construct 3D Demonstrator system to construct their very own components or permit clients to make use of it for their very own manufacturing wants.
Every 3D “print cell” (a person 3D printer) within the array can produce a unique print job to allow mass customization in quantity manufacturing environments. Further print cells will be added at any time to the scalable platform, and there’s no theoretical restrict to the variety of cells, in keeping with Tim Bohling, chief advertising and marketing officer at Stratasys.
“Any buyer can resolve how they’d prefer to implement this,” Bohling mentioned throughout a press and analyst briefing final week.
The Steady Construct 3D Demonstrator system is below growth with Stratasys growth companions, who’re at the moment piloting the know-how. These companions embody the Savannah College of Art and Design and manufacturing components producers Fathom and In’Tech. Each In’Tech and Fathom already supply 3D printed components as a service.
Roger Kelesoglu, director of NA Gross sales Enablement at Stratasys, mentioned one subject dealing with Fathom is the power to scale past manufacturing runs of 400 components utilizing additive manufacturing know-how. The Steady Construct 3D Demonstrator will allow manufacturing runs of larger than 1,000 components.
“The Stratasys 3D Steady Construct Demonstrator is enabling us to look to the long run the place our store can appear to be a 3D printing server farm the place there are simply rows and rows of Stratasys 3D Steady Construct Demonstrators,” mentioned Wealthy Stump, Fathom co-founder and principal.
Stratasys executives didn’t say when the Steady Construct 3D Demonstrator could be accessible for buy or for common use as a service.
The smallest Steady Construct 3D Demonstrator array consists of three 3D printers working in unison. Every print cell can create gadgets as much as 5-in. x 5-in. x 5-in. in measurement.
“Actually, the cloud-based software program permits the connectivity between these items to current this digital capability and specificity to the place jobs are requested,” Bohling mentioned.
When a buyer sends a producing request to the Stratasys Steady Construct 3D Demonstrator, it isn’t going to a selected machine however to a cloud service that may map that request throughout arrays, whether or not in a single location or distributed throughout many manufacturing websites, Bohling mentioned. The system gives 99% availability to cloud clients.
“Our growth clients at present have Steady Construct 3D Demonstrators on premise. On the college, college students might submit half requests on-line to be printed and decide up accomplished 3D prints,” Kelesoglu mentioned. “Our clients utilizing the methods for manufacturing components run the methods on premise and maintain packaging, delivery and dealing with components they produce for his or her clients as required.”
The Steady Construct 3D Demonstrator modules used Stratasys’ production-class Fortus FDM Printer know-how. The Fortus FDM printer extrudes thermoplastic filament layer by layer atop each other to create an object.
“With the confirmed print engine know-how that powers our present Fortus line of 3D printers, we are able to guarantee we’re delivering a component high quality that can be utilized at present in…manufacturing purposes,” Bohling mentioned.
As print jobs are accomplished, the components eject into bins beneath them and the subsequent job within the queue mechanically begins. If a single print cell fails, the job is mechanically rerouted to the subsequent accessible cell.
The printers use GrabCAD 3D printing software program. Job requests are merely CAD-generated .stl recordsdata which are submitted to the cloud for printing.
Goal purposes for the 3D Demonstrator embody service bureaus, fast prototyping facilities, and quantity manufacturing environments that may profit from half manufacturing with out tooling and from zero-inventory provide chains.
Whereas sending components designs to a service supplier raises the problem of mental property privateness and safety, Kelesoglu mentioned the 3D CAD designs or STL recordsdata processed via the Steady Construct 3D Demonstrator cloud “is safe and never accessible by different clients.”
“Because of its cloud-based structure, manufacturing as a service with 3D printing is now a actuality, as customers positioned anyplace can ship jobs at any time for speedy manufacturing,” Scott Crump, Stratasys founder and chief innovation officer, mentioned in an announcement. “With this announcement, Stratasys is starting to shut the hole between additive and standard manufacturing, combining the advantages of each to convey new worth to our clients.”