As part of its SHAPING WHAT’S NEXT™ campaign, 3-D printing leader Stratasys has partnered with Boeing, Ford and Siemens on new 3-D printing technologies with the goal of advancing additive manufacturing for end-use parts. One of the technologies, which the company will unveil at the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), is the “Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrator,” which represents a new way to build lightweight parts faster than ever.
Stratasys says the Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrator is designed to “revolutionize the 3D printing of composite parts.” The company worked with Siemens to develop the technology by combining its additive manufacturing processes with Siemens’ industrial motion controls and product lifecycle management (PLM) software.
The demonstrator uses an 8-axis motion system that allows for precise, directional material placement for strength while dramatically reducing the need for support strategies that would make production slower. This will help many businesses overcome the labor and geometric constraints that come with composites production.
According to Stratasys, this will redefine how future lightweight parts will be built, and provides a glimpse into how this technology could be used to accelerate the production of parts made from a wide variety of materials.
“Stratasys is building on our success in manufacturing with applications such as manufacturing aids, injection molds and composite tooling, and leveraging our relationships with innovative industry leaders to further extend the applicability of additive manufacturing in demanding production environments,” said Ilan Levin, CEO of Stratasys. “We view the level of factory integration, automation, and performance monitoring potentially offered by these new demonstrators as catalysts for the transformation to Industry 4.0. Stratasys invites all visitors to IMTS to see these new technologies, as well as our field-proven industrial additive manufacturing solutions, in action.”
Stratasys is also working with Boeing and Ford on its Infinite-Build 3D Demonstrator, which it says turns the traditional 3-D printer concept on its head with an “infinite-build” approach that prints on a vertical plane for nearly unlimited part size in the build direction. It is designed to address the requirements of aerospace, automotive and other industries that require large, lightweight, thermoplastic parts.
For more information about the new technologies, check out Stratasys’ video below: