3D printing realism: Stratasys hails breakthrough with its multi-material, any colour, J750 printer

Stratasys has launched its most advanced 3D printer to date. The J750 is able to produce prototypes and parts with the widest range of material properties and colours of any printer available on the market.

The machine offers a mix and match of six base materials, which can formulated in to any number of recipes to produce rigid to flexible polymers that can be anything from opaque to transparent. The aim is to produce realistic parts overnight that do not need post processing, to speed up concept iterations, improve design decisions, and ultimately to get product innovation to market faster.

Stratasys machines are predominately used for prototyping at present, the company hopes the J750 will help it expand the use of the technology for jigs and fixtures applications as well as to produce end use parts.

Roger Kelesoglu, product manager at Stratasys, said: “We want the prototype to look like the first off parts from the production line. And it has to work like the final product.”

The J750's one-stop realism is supported with a streamlined workflow beginning with the all new PolyJet Studio. The software's intuitive interface allows users to simply choose materials, optimise the build, and manage print queues. Assignment of colours, transparencies and rigidity is eased via familiar design controls. Colour textures can also be loaded via VRML files imported from CAD tools.

Smartphone and consumer electronic case manufacturer Otterbox was a beta customer of the J750 and spoke about its capability. Brycen Smith, engineering technician supervisor for the company, said: "We've used 3D printers for years but nothing has come close to revolutionising our design and ideation process the way the Stratasys J750 has.

"Stratasys allows us to innovate in ways we never thought possible and gives us the ability to create true product-matching prototypes and to cut down the time necessary to bring products to market. The Stratasys J750 is a game-changer for both OtterBox and the 3D printing industry."

The Stratasys J750 means designers and engineers can physically experience true product prototypes within hours of developing an initial concept for immediate design and function validation with internal stakeholders and end users. Design decisions can be made instantaneously and with full confidence to help accelerate product delivery.

The Stratasys J750 also minimises downtime associated with material changeovers. It features a large, six-material capacity, and keeps the most used resins loaded and ready for printing. The newly designed, state-of-the-art print heads means simulated production plastics, like Digital ABS, can be 3D printed in half the time of other Stratasys PolyJet systems. As 3D printed models are delivered complete with full colours, colour textures and multiple materials, no time is wasted on painting and assembly.

Josh Claman, chief business officer at Stratasys, said: "With its one-stop realism, the J750 is quite simply a game changer. By combining full colour with multiple materials and a streamlined workflow, it recalibrates the impact of 3D printing in the product development cycle. Informed design decisions can be made immediately after the concept stage. The time saved by eliminating the painting and assembly process can lead to faster product delivery times. The J750 is a multi-purpose system that can also produce production tools, manufacturing moulds, teaching aids, and other models - truly raising the bar in 3D printing versatility.