3D Printers

Stratasys Expands its Objet500 Connex Range & Its All about Multi Materials

A busy product release day for Stratasys – following the introduction of the new UV material, the company has alsointroduced two new models to its Objet500 Connex line of industrial grade 3D printers — the Objet500 Connex1 and Objet500 Connex2 Multi-material 3D Printers. These two new platforms join the Connex3, which was released earlier this year, in January, demonstrating multi-colour material options. Like the Connex3, these two new models feature Stratasys’ unique and proprietary triple-jetting technology and are focused on multi-material capabilities.

The triple-jetting technology is designed to allow the user to build products with up to three different materials in a single run, as well as provide options for mixing multiple material droplets to form new digital materials, the aim being to offer designers and manufacturers extended versatility for materials, functionality and product realism capabilities.

According to Stratasys the Objet500 Connex1 comes equipped with a large build envelope that can build a part up to 19.3 in. x 15.4 in. x 7.9 in. (490mm x 390mm x 200mm) or a mixed tray of smaller parts and can produce parts from three diverse materials in a single production run. This allows users to create assemblies with components formed from three different materials, or it can produce components that contain both rigid and flexible materials, such as rubber-like Tango and rigid Vero material. A larger material cabinet contains eight cartridges, resulting in more unattended run time and fewer material changeovers than previous models. Hot swapping – or reloading material and support cartridges while the 3D printer is operating – allows for continuous part production.

The Objet500 Connex2 is a multi-material 3D printer that enables users to combine transparency, durability and flexibility in one part, Stratasys reports. It has all the capabilities of the Objet500 Connex1 plus the ability to combine droplets from two base materials to produce new materials or “Digital Materials.” Digital ABS, for example, is the most durable material available for the Stratasys PolyJet process and is often used to produce mold cores and cavities for short-run injection molding. With more than 100 material options, Connex2 users can produce a variety of Shore A values in the same part with rigid or clear components, or can combine Digital ABS with pure Tango for strong over-molded handles and grips.

The end of the year is only going to get busier for Stratasys too, I have it on good authority that there is going to be a host of new products unveiled at Euromold by the company. Just last week, Andy Middleton, General Manager for Stratasys EMEA, told me to expect the company’s “biggest Euromold ever.” The company is ramping up production and R&D, as evidenced, at least in large part, by its new 4,000 square metre facility in Germany. And they’re holding some even bigger news over for next year too! But you didn’t hear that from me ….

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