3D Printers

3D Printing with FDM: How it Works

A 3D printer is a machine that creates objects from plastic or other materials using an additive manufacturing process. Additive manufacturing produces objects in a succession of layers from the bottom, up. This is the opposite of traditional subtractive manufacturing processes, which produce objects by cutting material away from a block to create the shape desired. The term 3D printer was a trademark of Stratasys Inc, which, in 1999, allowed it to enter the public domain and become a generic industry term.

A 3D printer simplifies and accelerates the process of making prototypes and finished goods. The 3D printing process is so easy and yet so powerful that both home-based businesses and Fortune 500 companies count on it. Installations range from a single machine in a hobbyist’s basement to manufacturing centers with dozens of systems.

How does a 3D printer work? Beginning with computer-aided design (CAD) data, which defines a tool path, the 3D printer extrudes and deposits molten thermoplastic in layers to build the part from the bottom up. This makes very complex parts easy to produce.

Stratasys manufactures several lines of machines, including 3D printers and their big brothers, 3D production systems (or production 3D printers). This includes the Dimension® , uPrint®, Fortus®, Objet® and Mojo® product lines. At the core of each system is fused deposition modeling, or FDM Technology™. Stratasys FDM machines create functional parts by extruding and depositing thermoplastic materials in layers.

This guide will walk you step by step through the FDM process.

3D Systems Brings 3D Printed Lifestyle to Comic-Con International in San Diego

ROCK HILL, South Carolina, July 21, 2014 – 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced today that it will showcase its premier entertainment brand, Gentle Giant Ltd, and 3D printing for comic and entertainment enthusiasts with consumer offerings and applications on Cubify at 2014 San Diego Comic-Con, at Booth 3513. The company’s Gentle Giant brand creates visual effects for movies including Star WarsThe Walking Dead, and Marvel, and uses the authentic digital content from the films to bring experiences to consumers with high-end collectibles, jewelry and action figures.

Expanding its entertainment offerings, 3DS will also showcase the 3D printed lifestyle to entertainment enthusiasts and comic geeks alike with home 3D scanners, printers and apps that let you become your own action figure or movie character. The booth will also contain limited edition collectibles as well as host other events such as demonstrations of Cubify digital sculpting software, micro model giveaways, book signings and photo ops. The following highlights will be present:

3D Systems Announces Latest Webinar on Direct Metal Printing

ROCK HILL, South Carolina, July 17, 2014 – 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced today a new webinar titled: Metal Technology, Inc. and English Racing Push the Envelope with Direct Metal Printing from 3D Systems. Scheduled for Tuesday July 22, 2014, at 11:00 am Eastern Daylight Time, the webinar will reveal how technicians from English Racing and engineers from Metal Technology (MTI) rapidly transformed an idea into reality. They 3D printed it in 17-4 PH Stainless Steel,  installed it on the vehicle’s engine, and only 3 days later the vehicle was successful in track testing.

English Racing, based in Washington state, tunes and races high-performance cars. The team’s Mitsubishi Evo was exceeding oil pressure limitations at high RPMs, a situation that had already destroyed several engines. The team at English Racing had an engineering solution but could not justify a costly and time-consuming casting process to test out the idea. Instead, they turned to MTI in Albany, Oregon for a solution. MTI employed its newly-acquired ProX 300 Direct Metal Printer from 3D Systems to print the necessary parts.

3D Printers vs. 3D Production Systems: 10 Distinguishing Factors to Help You Select a System

By Joe Hiemenz, Stratasys, Inc.

When planning to purchase an additive manufacturing system, buyers will find capabilities and a price range wider than products from most any industry. Systems can range from several hundred dollars for a hobbyist unit to nearly $1 million for some high-performance systems. It’s no wonder there is confusion with respect to the product segments.

This paper addresses the capabilities, roles and positioning of systems geared for professional use. Beginning with the most basic information — the definition of 3D printers — this white paper positions the two product classes.

While clarifying the “typical” roles and strengths of each, it also shows that there is overlap between the 3D printers and their bigger brothers, sometimes referred to as 3D production systems. 

As additive manufacturing system prices have decreased, interest has swelled in owning a system to produce rapid prototypes, patterns, tooling and manufactured goods. Further fueling that interest is an increase in the number of technologies, systems and options available. Choice is the operative word, and those choices include entry-level systems priced below $15,000 (USD) as well as machines selling for more than $900,000 (USD).

3D Systems Ranks 13th in Forbes 100 Most Innovative Growth Companies

ROCK HILL, South Carolina, July 8, 2014 – 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced today that the company ranked number 13 in Forbes’ list of the most innovative companies with a market capitalization under $10 billion. This distinguished ranking singles out the top 100 companies that demonstrated continued growth through innovation. 

The Forbes list is generated annually by measuring an “innovation premium” using a proprietary formula in collaboration between Forbes and Credit Suisse.

“Ranking 13 on this distinguished Forbes’ list of the most innovative companies underscores our commitment to accelerated innovations that advance 3DPRINTING 2.0 targets,” said Avi Reichental, President and CEO, 3DS. “We are committed to making 3D printing affordable, fast and capable of meeting the most demanding performance requirements for a wide range of industrial manufacturing cases, personalized healthcare applications as well as desktop design and consumer needs.”

3D Systems Bespoke Technology Receives International Design Excellence Awards Recognition

ROCK HILL, South Carolina, July 2, 2014 – 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced today that two of its Bespoke design applications have been awarded by the 2014 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) from the IDSA and Core77. Both the 3D printed personal Ekso robotic exoskeleton and Bespoke Braces for hand and wrist were recognized, with the Ekso being awarded Bronze in the Social Impact category.

Recognizing excellence in all areas of design enterprise, these Design Awards celebrate the richness of the design profession and its practitioners. By recognizing the design inspiration of 3DS’ personalized medical device teams, the awards highlight the rapid progress being made in personalized healthcare for a variety of medical industries by 3DS.

3D Systems Announces Conference Call and Webcast to Discuss Second Quarter and Six Months 2014 Results

ROCK HILL, South Carolina, July 1, 2014 – 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced today that it plans to hold a conference call and simultaneous webcast to discuss its financial results for the second quarter and first six months of 2014 on Thursday, July 31, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time.  The company expects to release these financial results and to file its Form 10-Q on July 31, 2014.

Date: Thursday, July 31, 2014

Time: 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time

Live webcast: www.3dsystems.com/investor

3D Systems Announces New iSense 3D Scanner

ROCK HILL, South Carolina – June 25, 2014 – 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced today that its iSense™ 3D scanner for iPad is immediately available for pre-order on Cubify™ and through affiliated retailers, resellers and distributors with commercial shipments to commence in the second half of July. Previewed at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, the iSense is ideal for physical photography on the go, empowering users to easily capture and readily 3D print their memorable moments. Powered by 3DS’ popular Sense 3D scanning software, the iSense scans wirelessly in seconds for an easy capture experience.

As the newest addition to 3DS’ consumer offering, the iSense fully integrates with the Cube® family of consumer and prosumer 3D printers and also offers direct upload options to Cubify for cloud printing in a range of materials including Ceramix, Aluminix and Clear.

3D Systems Showcases Its Make.Digital Initiative through Key Partnership Announcements at First Ever White House Maker Faire

ROCK HILL, South Carolina, June 18, 2014 – 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) today announced several key partnership commitments that extends its Make.Digital initiative to democratize digital craftsmanship at the first-ever White House Maker Faire. Hosted by President Obama, the White House Maker Faire will bring together students, entrepreneurs and everyday citizens who are using digital fabrication tools to launch new businesses, learn vital skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and fuel the renaissance in American manufacturing.

Through its Make.Digital initiative, 3DS is making several commitments to support the White House Maker Faire and its mission to provide more Americans with access to STEM learning tools and curriculum:

3D Systems’ Founder Chuck Hull Receives 2014 European Inventor Award

ROCK HILL, South Carolina, June 17, 2014 – 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced today that Chuck Hull is the recipient of the 2014 European Inventor Award in the non-European countries category in recognition of his invention of the original 3D printing technology, Stereolithography (SLA®). Presented annually by the European Patent Office (EPO), the award honors inventors who have made significant contributions to technological progress and the advancement of society.

Hull’s pioneering work in additive manufacturing has led to the birth an entirely new industry.  In addition to his invention of Stereolithography, Hull also co-created the gold standard in 3D printing connectivity with CAD formats, the STL file format. Beyond his 18 European patents for which he was recognized today, Hull holds 76 US patents and 14 Japanese patents.  As the EPO suggests, 3D printing technology “could one day become one of the biggest advances in manufacturing since the industrial revolution.”

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