3D Printing Becomes Easier Than Ever


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Two major announcements in 3D printing involve a merger between two suppliers and a new system that makes rapid prototyping more affordable and easier than ever. First is the merger agreement between Stratasys, Eden Prairie, Minn., a maker of fused deposition modeling (FDM) systems; and Objet of Israel (U.S. office in Billerica, Mass.), a supplier of inkjet 3D printers. The new firm will be called Stratasys and will have dual headquarters in Eden Prairie and Israel.

Second, Stratasys recently launched its Mojo desktop FDM system, billed as “the market’s lowest-priced professional-grade complete 3D printing system” and the first costing under $10,000. (Most run $15,000 to $20,000, not counting the support-removal device.) The Mojo 3D Print Pack is a complete system including the Mojo printer, material cartridges, and a support washout system. It takes only 20 min to set up and be ready to go (no plumbing required). No training is needed, either, thanks to the Print Wizard software. The printer measures 25 x 21 x 18 in. and weighs only 60 lb. Max. part size is 5 x 5 x 5 in. Resolution (7-mil layers) “matches the finest feature detail we do today in 3D printing,” says Stratasys.

The ABS material comes in a bag that holds 80 cu in., enough to last around 2 months in typical use. Bags of both ABS and the water-soluble support material are loaded into the printer. What’s novel is that the material packages include the print head, similar to an inkjet cartridge for a paper printer. The washout system resembles a 1-gal coffee pot with a magnetic stirrer in the base. The support remover comes in packets that dissolve in water and can be emptied safely down the drain, Stratasys says. Price is $9900, or it can be leased for as little as $185/mo.

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