For a design engineer, what is the best way to validate a CAD model? The most effective and efficient way is to use a 3D printer to rapidly produce a prototype. With a PolyJet 3D printer, for example, a designer can not only verify a design, but can also receive feedback on the look and feel of the physical prototype, or part.
PolyJet 3D printing is an extremely precise and detailed additive manufacturing technology that uses photopolymers to build up layers of material to create the desired part. The most technologically advanced PolyJet 3D printer, the Stratasys J750, was released earlier this year. The J750 gives design engineers greater capabilities that can improve the product development process even more. It is a step above the already industry leading precision 3D printing technology Stratasys offers.
The J750 can combine up to six different PolyJet materials at once to create virtually unlimited color schemes and texture combinations. The machine is also extremely practical. One of the biggest challenges associated with PolyJet technology can be the time and costs related to material swaps. The J750 has six material bays. This drastically reduces the need to swap out materials. Users can build six different parts at the same time, all of the parts consisting of different materials. The other big selling point of the J750 is an industry leading warranty. If any issues were to happen to the machine, the J750 offers an industry-leading Diamond replacement warranty from Stratasys, which includes a print head replacement.
When Stratasys released the J750, one of the first companies to test out the 3D printer was OtterBox, the mobile phone and tablet case maker. At OtterBox, fast design validation is key to getting products in the hands of their customers. The J750 gives the OtterBox design team a tool that can print prototypes that can be used to test a part’s fit, form, and function. OtterBox also takes advantage of the J750 advanced color mapping technology to produce cases that have the exact same colors, patterns, and textures as the mass produced cases. “Without [the J750] we’d be in a world of hurt. It’s a huge cost saving. I can’t even quantify it — dollars, time. Huge,” said Brycen Smith, Engineering Technician Supervisor at OtterBox.
Think about the challenges design teams can overcome in the product development process using the Stratasys J750. The time and costs associated with tooling a mold to shoot a prototype can be a long process. With the J750, design teams can quickly produce multiple concept models within hours. With that type of agility, management approvals for design concepts can be made quickly and the manufacturing team can get to work faster.
Join us at our upcoming webcast “Improving Product Development with the J750 3D Printer” to learn more.
About the Author
Rob Stipek is an additive manufacturing marketing specialist at Fisher Unitech. Having worked in the manufacturing technology industry since 2010, he has an extensive background with multiple manufacturing applications including injection molding, simulation, and 3D printing. He writes about ways in which additive manufacturing is being applied in multiple industries to improve on engineering processes and increase innovation.
Image courtesy of Stratasys.