After much anticipation, Stratasys has today announced the launch of its newest PolyJet 3D printer: the J55. The new system is marketed as an office-friendly and cost-effective 3D printing solution for designers. Despite its lower price point, the system still delivers on all fronts: with high-resolution printing, rapid print rates and multi-material capabilities.
The J55 is ideal for design applications because of its multi-material and multi-color capabilities. The new system can print up to five materials at once and in nearly 500,000 colors, including transparent colors, PANTONE certified hues and many more. The system is particularly interesting because it integrates a rotating build platform with a fixed print head, which simplifies system maintenance and improves reliability.
Designed specifically for in-office use, the J55 has a compact footprint (0.43 meters square) and a relatively large build volume (22 liters) to maximize productivity. The system is also quiet, operating at under 53 decibels—similar to household refrigerators—and integrates a ProAero air extractor for odorless and clean 3D printing. This means it can be used in virtually any office setting without disruptions.
“We developed this innovative new 3D printer to truly transform the product development process for product designers and engineers everywhere,” commented Omer Krieger, Executive Vice President of Products at Stratasys. “Not only does the J55 fit the budget of virtually any product design team, but the quality of the parts you can 3D print are best in class. It’s so simple that anyone can set it up and use it, and it’s so quiet you’ll forget it’s running.”
Chief among the new system’s applications is the production of visual prototypes, which resemble the final product closely in shape, color and texture. The printer can simulate a range of material surface textures for optimal effect, including wood, leather or fabric. This capability is valuable for designers to demonstrate to stakeholders exactly what a product will look and feel like—without extensive manufacturing and post-processing required.
“There is no way to validate 2D designs without a realistic 3D model, it’s simply not possible,” said Tony Guard, the director of innovation and industrial design at Cincinnati-based Kinetic Vision, a company that develops products for businesses in consumer electronics, aerospace, medical and more. “My jaw dropped when I saw what the machine could do. We can validate products faster with form, color, finish, graphics, everything. We can offer our clients tangible 3D printed models that represent a final retail product, faster than we ever could before.”
For a streamlined workflow, the J55 system is fully supported by GrabCAD Print software and can easily import common CAD files as well as 3MF format files. Stratasys is also adding support for 3MF color workflow with Luxion Inc.’s KeyShot rendering software. This capability is now in beta and is expected to be released in late 2020.
The new J55 3D printer itself is expected to begin shipping in July 2020, and Stratasys is taking orders for the multi-material PolyJet system now.