Stratasys to showcase the potential of 3D printing for composite production

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This year?s Composites Europe will see Stratasys demonstrate its latest 3D printing solutions for composites. Visitors to the stand?will learn how a host of industries can enjoy?time and cost efficiencies when implementing additive manufacturing throughout their production operations. Stratasys will showcase the versatility of its FDM and PolyJet technologies for the entire product development process, from fully-functional prototypes, to tooling and final production parts. A number of key customers such as Eckhart, IDEC and Wehl & Partner, Santa Cruz and McLaren will be represented on stand.

High-performance, cost-effective composite tooling
For composite tooling applications, 3D printing offers a compelling business case compared to traditional tooling methods. Stratasys?s development of high-temperature materials, as well as the increased throughput of its FDM production-level 3D Printers, enable the manufacture of complex lay-up / sacrificial tools in hours or days, rather than the weeks or months it would take with traditional manufacturing.

On stand, Stratasys will display a number of customer examples which showcase how durable, yet lightweight 3D printed composite tools are being ultilized across a range of industry sectors. One such example is a Santa Cruz bicycle featuring a number of carbon-fiber parts produced using 3D printed tools. Using Stratasys FDM 3D printing, the high-end mountain bike manufacturer is able to rapidly produce fully-functional prototypes and iterate more designs fast than ever before, which has streamlined its overall design process. In addition, the company has overcome the limitations of traditional tooling for low volume composite production by 3D printing high-performance composite tools on-demand ? resulting in accelerated time-to-part, at a fraction of the cost.

Another key customer represented on stand will be IDEC and Wehl & Partner, a leading Spanish provider of composite solutions for aerospace. Using it?s Stratasys F900 Production System and ULTEM?1010 resin, the company produced a preform tool in less than sixty hours, a dramatic 67% reduction compared to traditional methods.

Tailored solutions, innovative results
Operating live on stand will be Stratasys? flagship solution for the composites industry, the Fortus 380 Carbon Fiber 3D Printer. The Fortus 380CF features Stratasys? high-performance Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber thermoplastic material. Containing 35% chopped carbon-fibre, Nylon 12CF 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 enable engineers to explore the transition from traditional metal parts to 3D printed plastic composites. The high stiffness-to-weight ratio of FDM Nylon 12CF is ideal for functional performance testing demands in automotive, aerospace, recreational goods, and industrial manufacturing sectors.

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