Continuous-Build 3D Demonstrator Unveiled by Stratasys

This modular 3D printing system is targeted to low-volume continuous production and mass customization.

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At last week’s RAPID & TCT Show in Pittsburgh, a 3D printing system unveiled by Stratasys represents a significant advance in low-volume, continuous production using additive technology. Target environments include ones that can benefit from zero tooling production, zero inventory supply chain and rapid prototyping labs.

The Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator, for which commercial availability has yet to be announced, has nevertheless been undergoing significant Beta testing at manufacturers, designers, and university labs. Check out the general video about the system below.

Also, take a look at this excellent example of In’Tech Industries use of this novel technology. This supplier of rapid prototyping/additive manufacturing, engineering services, tooling services, and injection molding, wanted to expand its 3D printing offerings to create a bridge to production solution for its OEM customers.

The automated workflow of the Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator enabled In’Tech to offer same- or next-day delivery of identical or mixed parts that would eventually be injection molded, helping the company dramatically improve customer service without adding additional staff. 

 

Based on FDM technology, the new platform is comprised of a modular unit with multiple 3D print cells working simultaneously and driven by a central, cloud-based architecture. In setting new standards in additive manufacturing throughput, the Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator can make parts in a continuous stream with only minor operator intervention, automatically ejecting completed parts and commencing new ones.

Each 3D print cell can produce a different job to help enable mass-customization projects. Additional cells can be added at any time to the scalable platform to increase production capacity as demand requires. Automatic queue management, load balancing and architecture redundancy reportedly further lead to accelerated thoughput as jobs are automatically routed to available print cells. If a single cell fails, the job will be automatically rerouted to the next available cell.  

Scott Crump, Stratasys; co-founder and CIO, noted:

“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, GragCAD control and monitoring, and a new multi-cell, scalable architecture to create a breakthrough manufacturing platform.”