Stratasys Showcasing Their FDM Processes for Direct Digital Manufacturing

Nancy Anderson
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Stratasys, purveyors of high-quality Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) machines, are touting the use of their machines to make accurate moulds for injected plastic for low-run manufacturing. They’re currently running a promotional article showcasing VCM Suite Australasia’s use of their technology to create moulds for aftermarket auto parts. The article states that VCM reduced their tooling costs from almost $10 thousand for steel moulds to approximately $1200 for production tooling. The ABS-M30 moulds were used to produce 30 parts each with no loss in finish quality.

I’ve used Stratasys’ machines in the past to create some prototype parts on one of their FDM Titans, and if the materials will fulfill your duty requirements for mechanical and thermal stresses, I highly recommend looking into the additive processes. BMW is using these machines to create fixtures on their assembly lines, and to produce lighter, more ergonomic tools and handling jigs for their assemblers.

This is the so-called 3D-printing revolution, and not only are small-, medium-, and even large-scale businesses seeing huge returns and cost savings in design and production, but the technology is starting to make its way into the garage of the amateur maker. Make: Magazine has more on their perennial favourite entry into the additive manufacturing field, the MakerBot.

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Mike Wrightly is mostly diesel fumes and duct tape; he grew up around heavy equipment, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.

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