The J750 is Stratasys’ new flagship PolyJet 3D printer, capable of creating some of the most amazing parts and assemblies you can imagine. Here at TriMech, we’ve upgraded to the newest version of the J750 with all of the latest updates, and we’re all incredibly excited to start making new parts that fully take advantage of what this state of the art system can do!
If you’re thinking about getting a Stratasys J750 or the smaller J735 version, first let me congratulate you on what is going to be an amazing purchase, and second let me tell you how easy the install is. The J-series printers ship as two crates, plus a small pallet for any material that you may have bought when the printer was sold, and as soon as your Stratasys technician gets onsite they’ll unwrap the printer and material cabinet and install them. This process will take two to three days typically, but other than working with these technicians on learning what you need to know about your new system, they’ll do everything else. That should give you plenty of time to work on some amazing full color VRML files to print as soon as the machine is ready to go!
If you’ve ever run a Stratasys Connex system before, training is going to be a breeze, as the J750 is incredibly similar when it comes to regular user maintenance and the general running of the machine. The major exceptions to this are:
1) Material replacements get quite a bit easier as you now have a hot-swap mode available.
2) The primary file format that you are going to be working with from now on will mostly be VRML’s (for color data).
3) It won’t hurt to get good with Adobe Photoshop!
If you have never run a Connex system before, don’t get worried; regular maintenance is quite simple to learn, and you won’t feel overwhelmed with too much information all at once. Just pay attention to the information that the installing technician is teaching you, and you should be ready to print a test part by the evening of the second day of the install!
With Great Power Comes Great Software Flexibility
Spider-Man references aside, the thing that really makes the J-series of printers stand out from all others is its capability to print in full color using a variety of materials (Standard Vero Rigids, Semi-Flexible Rigids, Simulated Rubber-like Materials, etc). Our software of choice here to process files is GrabCad Print, and while you can use GrabCad print to import your SOLIDWORKS multi-body part files or multi-part assemblies and assign colors/materials in GC Print, the real upgrade here is in being able to print in full color using VRML image wrapping.
This means that you’re now open to using a variety of software to generate these complex VRML files, and while there are a host of programs out there that you can use for this, we really recommend starting with Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop can open Wavefront Object Files (.obj), VRML’s, STL’s and several other 3D file formats, which you can take and augment as you desire, just like you would in 2D Photoshop. Furthermore, adding images such as company logos to parts is incredibly easy; all you need to do is copy the image onto the part, and flatten that layer onto the 3D object wherever you would like it to appear!
Here’s an example of a high-resolution STL file of a pirate, which I’ve essentially painted in Photoshop since STL files have no color data of their own. After adjusting the colors, you render the 3D layers and export them as a VRML with a .jpeg image, which is all you need to search for when looking to open the files in GrabCad Print!
Artec 3D Scanners: Another Great Source for Full Color VRML's
Some of the most incredible prints that I’ve ever seen have come off of the J-series printers so far (or really any 3D printer, for that matter) have come from scans generated using our Artec 3D scanners. All Artec scanners use color data to capture the geometry of the object that is being scanned, and conveniently store that color data for use when putting this information together in Artec Studio. Once you clean up your scan, this information can be exported as a VRML which can either go straight into GrabCad Print, or they can be brought into Adobe Photoshop and augmented further.
For more information on this process, please check out my colleague Sean Belleau’s article on scanning a painted Jack-O-Lantern for Halloween.
What Can TriMech Do For You?
So, what can we at TriMech do for you using our shiny, brand new J750? Well, that’s up to you! As always, if you have any interest in purchasing a J-series printer and are looking for a sample of what it can do for you, please let us know and we can absolutely put our sales team in touch!
On the other hand, if you really just want to get some parts printed in full color using our J750, we can definitely help you with that as well! This new printer is absolutely available for print service work, so if you can put together a VRML that will take advantage of our printer’s awesome new capabilities, please send it our way!