FDM: One of the Keys for Stratasys Success in 3D Printing
Nowadays, in the industrial manufacturing world the competition between companies is fierce. The current trend is to continuously reduce their lead-time and costs in order to increase their efficiency. A very powerful company in this sector is Stratasys, an American company that takes advantage of new technologies using different materials such as plastics in their speciality: 3D printing. This process used to be an interesting possibility for the future of manufacturing but with Stratasys, 3D printing is already a reality. Using the FDM technology (Fused Deposition Modeling), they have achieved any manufacturing company’s main goal: increasing their efficiency by reducing their costs and lead-time (they reduced it up to a 93%). Stratasys has a wide variety of FDM 3D printers and one example is the Fortus 900mc, a FDM 3D printer able to use different thermoplastics, that belongs to their production series and that can reach an accuracy of ± 0.09 mm (± 0.0035 in). Different implementations of this technology are the transformation of a truck piece made of 28 metallic components into one made of one single plastic component. Not only they reduced costs and producing time but also its weight. Another example can be seen in the aircraft industry, where the manufacturing of the Dassault Falcon jet used to cost $ 60.000 and last for 98 days while now it costs $2500 and lasts for 2 days.: Furthermore, Stratasys did not stop there. This company has just launched their product Robotic Composite 3D, a robotic arm with a 3D printer that results in an 8-axis 3D printer with both subtractive and additive capability. With this, they have created the first 3D printer that can be implemented in an assembly line. This will be for sure a big breakthrough for automation. We have seen with the article than any process can be improved, so why don’t you help us solve this challenge? Check out our challenge!