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Stratasys shows off AM for composite production at JEC World 2018

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Stratasys will demonstrate the capabilities of additive manufacturing for composite production – from composite tooling applications to final part production at the upcoming JEC World. As the only additive manufacturing solutions provider at the show, visitors will have the unique opportunity to see the Fortus 450mc Production 3D Printer running live on the stand, demonstrating the ability to rapidly address high-temperature composite applications in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional production methods.

Sacrificial tooling and composite lay-up tools

Stratasys’ development of high-temperature materials, as well as the increased throughput of its Production 3D Printers, enable the manufacture of high-temperature lay-up / sacrificial tooling in hours or days, rather than the weeks or months it would take to produce and procure tooling made from traditional methods. 3D printed tooling also offers disruptive cost-savings compared to traditional tooling materials and numerous other less quantified benefits, such as dramatic weight savings.

Visitors to Stratasys’ stand will discover how these durable, yet lightweight 3D printed composite tools are being utilised across a range of industry sectors. Visitors will hear real-life customer examples exemplifying the benefits of additive manufacturing for composite production, including McLaren Racing, Edalis, Swift Engineering, and Champion Motorsport Porsche – all of which enjoy dramatic time and cost savings of up to 90%.

Final production parts with 3D printing composite material

Stratasys will highlight its unique FDM Nylon 12CF material, the industry’s first FDM composite 3D printing material, The carbon fiber-filled thermoplastic contains 35% chopped carbon fiber and is strong enough to replace metal, allowing designers to develop more practical and functional designs. Stratasys will demonstrate how the impressive mechanical properties of FDM Nylon 12CF enables engineers to explore the transition from traditional metal parts to 3D printed plastic composites.

This is being exemplified by the Dutch 3D service bureau, Visual First, who is using FDM Nylon 12CF carbon-filled thermoplastic to replace metal machine parts for its customer, The Chocolate Factory. This has significantly reduced machine downtime, ensuring production line continuity for the company. In fact, the replacement time of broken machine parts has been reduced from one month to one week using Stratasys additive manufacturing compared to traditional handmade metal replacements, with cost reductions of 60%.

As part of JEC World’s application showcase program, Stratasys has had two parts selected for display in the ‘Auto’ section of the ‘Innovation Planets’ area. Stratasys will display a sacrificial tooling application developed for Champion Motorsport Porsche and a composite fairing lay-up tool. These will be on display to visitors throughout the duration of the show and Stratasys experts will be at hand to answer any questions.

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