Technologies like Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) are commonly known by both the most experienced, and novice, manufacturers. However, a vast number of professionals are not as aware of the use cases for Stratasys PolyJet technology. In this blog, I focus on PolyJet printers and the three leading industries that use this remarkable advancement in additive manufacturing.
Consumer Goods Industry
Concept modeling, rapid prototyping, injection modeling and functional prototyping are all applications used within the consumer goods industry to help companies speed up their design cycle. While these can also be printed on FDM printers, Stratasys PolyJet technology allows engineers and designers to provide more realistic models with multiple materials, surfacing, finishes and details. It even allows you to go from design to prototyping in hours, instead of days. In the image below, you can see three different concept models printed with a Stratasys Objet 30 Pro PolyJet printer: a light blue seashell, a transparent wrench and a transparent guitar neck.
By creating functional prototypes that look and feel like finished products, large and small companies can convey ideas internally across departments and to clients in a way that a computer model can't. For example, if look closely at the wrench, you will see both the worm gear and teeth of the top piece. Rather than trying to describe how this works, the clear components instantly give a visual idea of how the tool functions. PolyJet 3D printed models can also be used to show focus groups a prelaunch model, convey packaging design with a realistic prototype or to highlight product details and features before sending to production.
One of the unique characteristics of PolyJet printers is its multi-material capabilities. Being able to print engineering plastics, combinations of colors and specialty materials such as rubber-like or biocompatible makes the Connex3 or J750 great for medical applications like preclinical testing.
There are numerous medical companies that routinely use PolyJet technology to prepare and assist in surgery, medical devices, hospitals and pharmaceuticals. One organization has partnered their printer with additional software to turn MRI scans of skulls into a full-size print. The print is then used to carefully plan out their operations before performing life-changing surgery on young children. Similarly, medical devices are also able to be prototyped and tested by using bio-compatible materials, which are approved for prolonged tissue contact up to 30 days. Temporary components can be implemented to assist the healing of broken bones, surgery recovery and various other procedures. This ability also makes PolyJet printing an essential part of the dental industry. With highly detailed, bio-compatible printed molds, many companies are able to scan and print a near perfect fit of a person's teeth, with little to no guesswork.
Commercial Products Industry
Commercial manufacturers around the world use PolyJet technology to produce detailed prototypes, molds and production models. With over 360+ color shades, texture mapping and endless combinations of color gradients, transparency and flexibility, the Stratasys J750 is ideal for commercial industries. This PolyJet technology gives one-stop realism without post-processing being the perfect 3D printing solution for designers and manufacturers.
One of the most advantageous uses of PolyJet printers is the ability to produce highly detailed parts, as evident in the pictures. With printing accuracy down to 0.1 mm (0.0039 in.) and layer thickness of 16 microns (0.0006 in.), parts can be printed with little to no post-process finishing. Plus, Stratasys offers a large variety of materials for PolyJet printers. You can create models with opaque materials from the Vero family, flexible materials from the Tango family, rubber-like materials in Shore A values, translucent tints, transparent VeroClear or Digital ABS and Digital ABS2. The endless options allow for photorealistic color placement and can help take any company in the commercial industry to the next level.
Not sure which 3D printing technology fits you and your company's needs best? Check out our On-Demand webinar to learn more!