At RAPID + TCT Stratasys have unveiled a demo of a new 3D printing system aimed at low volume production and mass customization. The Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator is composed of multiple cells that allow uninterrupted production of 3D printed parts.

Render of the modular cells in the Stratasys Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator. Image via Business Wire

Render of the modular cells in the Stratasys Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator. Image via Business Wire

Stratasys’ vision of the future

Stratasys’ Continuous Build is an FDM 3D printer that ejects parts upon completion. Multiple print jobs are directed automatically to cells using an integrated cloud system, requiring minor human-input.

Explaining the system Scott Crump, Stratasys Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, says,

The Stratasys Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator is an important milestone in the company’s long term vision to make additive manufacturing a viable solution for volume production environments. It combines our FDM print quality, GrabCAD control and monitoring, and a new multi-cell, scalable architecture to create a breakthrough manufacturing platform.

3D printed parts feeding our of the Stratasys Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator. Photo by Michael Petch

3D printed parts feeding our of the Stratasys Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator. Photo by Michael Petch

In addition to the demo machine, Stratasys have revealed 3 companies who have had beta access to the system. These are the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), OEM supplier In’Tech Industries, Inc., and advanced manufacturer FATHOM.

Desktop Metal reseller network

Stratasys has also announced a strategic partnership for product distribution of Desktop Metal machines.

Desktop Metal has caused waves in the industry since announcing details of its first two metal 3D printing machines. In the partnership Stratasys resellers will now be able to sell Desktop Metal printers, both the Studio System, for desktop use, and the Production System, catered to industrial applications.

Stratasys were an earlier investor of Desktop Metal’s, who also received investment from Google’s venture arm and BMW i Ventures.

Ilan Levin, CEO of Stratasys, made reference to this as he said,

As one of the early investors in Desktop Metal, we realise customers are seeking additional ways to incorporate metal into their essential design and manufacturing processes. Today’s announcement takes this commitment one step further – empowering global manufacturers and engineers to expedite product development cycles by producing both plastic and metal parts in office-friendly and production-based environments.

While CEO of Desktop Metal, Ric Fulop, said he expected the partnership to broaden accessibility to their metal 3D printing systems. While the partnership is currently focused on distribution, this could change in the future.

3D Printing Industry are reporting live from RAPID + TCT 2017 and will have more on the Stratasys release later. To be first with our update sign up to the 3D Printing Industry newsletter, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

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Featured image: The Stratasys Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator at RAPID + TCT 2017. Photo by Michael Petch 

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