1 of 3
2 of 3
3 of 3
Multi-material 3D printed industrial part from the ProJet 5500X
Never one to disappoint as far as headline-making is concerned, 3D Systems was arguably one of the most talked about companies on the first day of EuroMold 2013 (December 3rd-6th).
After teasing the baying press the day before the event with news of a major announcement, CEO Avi Reichental took to the stage and unveiled 3DPRINTING 2.0 with a slew of major launches. For those of you whose heads are still spinning after this avalanche of industry news - TCT Magazine has taken the trouble to put together a digest.
ProJet 4500 & ProJet 5500X
3D Systems already revealed its gargantuan EuroMold stand - complete with 3D printed band and an army of black-sweatered 3D Systems experts to educate, entice and enlighten attendees - would feature "game-changing" 3D printing technology including the full-colour, durable plastic ProJet 4500 printer and ProJet 5500X, a large-format, multi-material composite printing in a single print. And this next wave of advancement in the 3D printing industry's timeline has been kicked off by the industry giant itself with a dozen intriguing launches.
Vice-President of Product and Channel management at 3D Systems Buddy Byrum said of the ProJet 4500: "Leapfrogging from monochrome to full-colour functional plastics redefines the possible for designers, engineers, architects, marketers and artists. For the first time ever, users can get directly out of a 3D printer real-use parts, vibrant models, and functional prototypes in full colour, quickly, accurately and affordably," adding that the ProJet 5500X allows "designers and manufacturers alike are sure to discover new degrees of freedom".
ProX 950 SLA & ProX 500 SLS 3D printers
One of the 3D printer launches that has been causing the most stir among the crowd in Frankfurt was the announcement of the immediate availability of both the "green and affordable" ProX 950 SLA 3D printer and the ProX 500 SLS 3D printer.
The former is a stereolithography machine equipped with 3D Systems' PolyRay printhead technology that can build parts up to 10 times faster than other 3D printers and is aimed at the "most demanding" aerospace, medical device and industrial use cases. 3D printer inventor and 3D Systems founder Chuck Hull stated: "Our customers have been asking for more and bigger functional parts made from engineered performance materials and the ProX 950 delivers. This new, large-format industrial printer magnifies our speed, accuracy and affordability advantages, making it the clear choice manufacturing platform for our customers."
The latter is a 3D printing machine that delivers hard-wearing parts with greater precision in a compact system. Designed for manufacturing, the ProX was designed in parallel with 3D Systems' new DuraForm ProX material, which promises injection mouding-quality finished products with smooth surfaces. 3D Systems Chief Impact Officer Kevin McAlea said: "With higher production throughputs, better material yields and greater parts precision, the ProX 500 is the first to deliver flexible just-in-time 'injection moulding-like' parts quickly and economically."
Compact ProJet 1200
3D Systems announced its compact, economical ProJet 1200, a new $4,900 (£2,987, €3,600) micro-SLA 3D printer aimed at design offices and shops such as jewellers and producers of small electrical components. The machine even has the capability to produce precision parts for dental applications. The machine's footprint is about the same as a kitchen gadget and it promises economy not only in terms of desktop space, but in materials and preparation time thanks to the all-in-one cartridge and integrated curing cell.
ProX 300 direct metal printer
Metal additive manufacturing is becoming a major sphere of interest for many 3D printer users looking to build durable, aesthetically pleasing and precise finished items. 3D Systems' ProX 300 direct metal 3D printer is the first fruits of the Phenix Systems acquisition and claims to be the only industrial-grade direct metal platform was especially designed for demanding workshops and manufacturing floors.
Geomagic Capture and Print
3D Systems recently announced the launch of Geomagic Capture, the 3D printing industry's integrated 3D scanning-based design and inspection system. Along with the launch of Geomagic Capture comes Geomagic Print, a universal print driver for the ProJet & ProX 3D printers, which will be available across 3D Systems' entire portfolio before the end of the second quarter of 2014.
3DPRINTING 2.0 advanced materials
Naturally, along with the shiny new hardware and software, the 3DPRINTING 2.0 revolution also brings with it advanced materials. DuraForm ProX - as mentioned above - was developed alongside the ProX 950 SLA and ProX 500 SLS 3D printers, while VisJet FTX Green material for the ProJet 1200 was also unveiled by 3D Systems today. The industry juggernaut was proud to announce the new class of VisJet C4 Spectrum materials as the ideal investment for high-performance engineering composites and in addition to the DuraForm ProX and VisJet FTX, the family also features VisJet multi-materials for the ProJet 5500X 3D printer.
Moreover, 3D Systems is launching two new materials for the ProJet 5000m VisJet M5-X and VisJet M5 Black.
And everything else
3DPRINTING 2.0 brings with it its own philosophy, 3D Systems' own mission statement of bringing 3D printing into the public consciousness and ensuring widespread access.
This is reflected in 3D Systems; showcase of Quickparts, a cloud-based design-to-manufacture service powered by the full spectrum of 3D Systems' technologies and augmented by state-of-the-art traditional manufacturing methods.