For years, 3D printing company Stratasys has been a dominant figure in the FDM 3D printing sector. More recently, it has broken into other AM technology areas, pioneering its own PolyJet printing process and even developing a new metal AM technique. Today, the company makes its first moves into the stereolithography (SLA) segment with the launch of its new V650 Flex SLA 3D printer.
The new 3D printer offers users the benefits of working with a large-scale system that is highly configurable for printing a range of resin materials. For instance, the V650 Flex printer is backed by sciences company DSM and its range of Somos SLA resins. The printer and resins, which have been verified and tested extensively by Stratasys (for over four years at Stratasys Direct Manufacturing) are fit for producing high quality, durable parts for a range of prototyping and end-use applications.
“While stereolithography is one of the original 3D printing processes—mainly used to create master patterns or large concept models quickly and accurately—customers have been challenged by restricted systems that can’t be configured and materials at a high cost-per-part,” commented Omer Krieger, EVP Products, Stratasys.
“The V650 Flex is the result of customer demand around the world wanting a better solution—fully configurable to match the specific application and use-case,” he added. “The solution is truly one of the first large-scale systems for creating reliable, high-quality parts across design concepts, validation, investment casting, tooling, and injection molding.”
The V650 Flex 3D printer boasts a large build volume of 508 x 508 x 584 mm (20 x 20 x 23”) and comes with interchangeable resin vats. The printer reportedly has a runtime of over 75,000 hours and has been used at Stratasys’ service bureau, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, to produce upwards of 150,000 parts. The machine’s reliability and production capacity, along with its compatibility with DSM’s Somos materials, make it suitable for industries such as aerospace and automotive, which require high performance, complex parts.
“From the high-performance demands of automotive and aerospace industries to the durability and flexibility requirements of consumer goods, customers worldwide rely on Somos materials to create the highest-performing additive manufacturing prototypes and tools,” said Hugo da Silva, VP of Additive Manufacturing at DSM. “Stratasys’ entrance into the stereolithography segment is really a game-changer for the industry. Our collaboration allows customers to have greater access and flexibility for development of durable and reliable prototypes and tooling using stereolithography 3D printing.”
The V650 Flex’s open vat configuration comes equipped and ready with recipes for a range of commercial DSM Somos resins. The materials, which are available directly from Stratasys, include Somos Element, an antimony-free resin ideal for investment casting patterns; Somos NeXt, a resin with the look, feel and performance of a thermoplastic; Somos PerFORM, a high-temperature, resistant and rigid resin ideal for tooling or wind tunnel testing; and Somos Watershed XC 11122, a clear, water-resistant resin with properties similar to ABS and PBT.
Notably, the 3D printer is supported by Stratasys’ expert end-to-end and on-demand service, easing the adoption process and making sure that the machine is being used to its fullest potential.
“The Stratasys on-demand network of service personnel and resellers is designed to enable customers to achieve much more through stereolithography than they have in the past,” added Krieger. “The fact that the V650 Flex printer is configurable and the resins already verified allows end-users to reach design precision previously unavailable in yesterday’s stereolithography solutions.”
The V650 Flex 3D printer is being presented this week at AMUG in Chicago.