Is your current prototyping process costing you more time and money than it should?
Bring higher quality modeling in-house at your team’s elbow, and straight into the design process. Using traditional production methods is costing your product development teams time and money.
Quality model shops have a long queue and large price tag, traditional modeling by hand is laborious and time consuming, and outsourcing comes with a laundry list of communication headaches, IP theft concerns, and extra costs.
From perfecting products to applying concepts learned in the classroom, Stratasys can help you realize any number of design ideas. The new J55 introduces a rotating print platform for outstanding surface finish and printing quality, and features multimaterial capabilities and material configurations for both industrial and mechanical design.
The Stratasys J55 3D Printer is a huge leap forward for accessible, full color 3D printing and allows designers to have multiple iterations of a prototype ready and at their fingertips throughout every phase of the design process.
Enhanced 3D printing capabilities include – static print head, rotating build tray, UV LED illumination technology, new material cartridge design, and more. The full reliability and quality of PolyJet technology created for an office or studio environment, at an affordable price.
Designed for consistent, stable performance, the J55 requires zero mechanical calibrations and features a “ready-to-print” mode, so you can make ideas a reality without interruption.
Click the link below to download the product brochure and learn how this innovative new machine is revolutionizing the world of additive manufacturing.
You haven’t really lived in the world of 3D printing until
you’ve had a part fail spectacularly due to open faces, self-intersecting faces
or inverted normals. Your part ends up looking more like modern art than
technical part. Or perhaps the design you have in mind has great geometry but
you wish that some parts could have regions that are dense and strong while
other regions would work with minimal infill.
One of this blog post about GrabCAD
Print software, we covered the basics of setting up and printing a part;
now we’ll look at several of the advanced features that save you set-up time
and result in better parts.
Behind the Scenes Repairs
Stratasys GrabCAD Print software, available as a free download, is crafted for users setting up solid models for 3D printing on Stratasys FDM and PolyJet printers. Once you’ve started using it, you’ll find one of its many useful advanced features is the automated STL file-repair option.
Most people still create solid models in CAD software then convert
the file to the industry-standard STL format before opening it in a given 3D
printer’s own set-up software. Every CAD package works a little differently to
generate an STL file, and once in a while the geometry just doesn’t get
perfectly meshed. Triangles may overlap, triangles may end up very long and
very skinny, or the vector that signals “point in” or “point out” can get
Traditionally, the 3D printer set-up program reacts to these
situations by doing one of two things: it prints exactly what you tell it to
print (producing weird holes and shifted layers) or it simply refuses to print
at all. Both situations are due to tiny errors in the conversion of a solid CAD
model to a tessellated surface.
GrabCAD Print, however, gives your file a once-over and
immediately flags sections of the model in need of repair. You can see a
color-coded representation of all the problem areas, choose to view just some
or all, and then click on Automatic Repair. No hand-editing, no counting layers
and identifying sections where the problems reside – just a click of the
virtual button and all the problem regions are identified, repaired and ready
for the next processing steps.
CAD vs. STL: Do So Much More with CAD
GrabCAD Print also uniquely allows users to bring in their models in the original CAD file-format (from SolidWorks, Autodesk, PTC, Siemens, etc.) or neutral formats, with no need to first convert it to STL. For FDM users, this means GrabCAD recognizes actual CAD bodies, faces, and features, letting you make build-modifications directly in the print set-up stage that previously would have required layer-by-layer slice editing, or couldn’t have been done at all.
For example, with a little planning ahead, you can bring in
a multi-body CAD model (i.e., an assembly), merge the parts, and direct GrabCAD
to apply different parameters to each body. This way you can reinforce some
areas at full density then change the infill pattern, layout, and density in
other regions where full strength is unnecessary.
Here’s an example of a SolidWorks model intended for
printing with a solid lower base but lighter weight (saving material) in the
upper sections. It’s a holder for Post-It® notes, comprising three individual
parts – lower base, upper base and upper slot – combined and saved as an
Here was my workflow:
1 – I brought the assembly into GrabCAD and merged all the
bodies, selected an F370 Stratasys FDM printer, chose Print Settings of acrylonitrile
butadiene styrene (ABS) and 0.005 inches layer height, and oriented the part.
2 -To ensure strength in the lower base, I selected
that section (you can do this either in the model tree or on the part itself) and
opened the Selection Settings menu at the right. Under Body>Advanced, I
chose Solid Infill and slid Rigidity to High.
3 – Then I selected the upper base, chose Hexagram,
and changed the Infill Density to 60%.
4 – Lastly, I selected the upper slot section, chose
Single Dense, and changed the Infill Density to 35%.
5 – With all three sections defined, I clicked on Slice
Preview, sliced the model and used the slider bar on the left to step through
each section’s toolpath. For the screenshots, I turned off showing Support
Material; the yellow bits indicate where seams start (another parameter that
can be edited).
Here is each section highlighted, with screenshots of the
parameter choices and how the part infill looks when sliced:
So that you can really see the differences, I printed the part four times, stopping as the infill got partway through each section, then letting the final part print to completion. Here are the three partial sections, plus my final part:
Automated Hole Sizing Simplifies Adding Inserts
But like the old advertisements say, “But wait – there’s
more!” Do you use heat-set inserts a lot to create secure connections between
3D printed parts and metal hardware? Planning ahead for the right hole size,
especially if you have different design groups involved and fasteners may not
yet be decided, this is the feature for you.
In your CAD part model, draw a hole that is centered where
you know the insert will go, give it a nominal diameter and use Cut/Extrude so
that the hole is at least the depth of your longest candidate insert. Now bring
your part into GrabCAD Advanced FDM (soon all these features will be available
in a single Model Interface) and go to Selection Settings in the right-hand
This time, click on Face (not Body) and Select the inner cylindrical
wall of your hole. Several options will become active, including Apply Insert.
When you check that box, a new drop-down will appear, giving you the choice of
adding a heat-set insert, a helicoil insert or a custom size. Below that you
select either Inch or Metric, and for either, the appropriate list of standard
insert sizes appears.
Choose the insert you want, click Update in the upper middle of the GrabCAD screen, and you’ll see the hole-size immediately changed (larger or smaller as needed). The new diameter will match the required oversized dimensions for the correct (melted into place) part-fit. You can even do this in a sidewall! (For tips on putting inserts into FDM parts, particularly with a soldering iron, see Adding Inserts to 3D Printed Parts: Hardware Tips.)
Note that this way, you can print the overall part with a sparse infill, yet reinforce the area around the insert to create just the right mass to make a solid connection.
To document the selected choices for whoever will be doing
the insert assembly, GrabCAD also generates a numbered, manufacturing-footnote that
lists each insert’s size; this information can be exported as a PDF file that
includes a separate close-up image of each insert’s location.
GrabCAD Print keeps adding very useful functions. Download it for free and try
it out with template versions of the various Stratasys 3D printers, then email
or call us to learn more.
is a globally recognized provider of Numerical Simulation, Product Development
and 3D Printing products and services. For more information on Stratasys
printers and materials, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taking risks attempting to capture design intent at the end of the process requires a lot of post-processing (coloring, assemblies, a mix of technologies, etc.) – when its too time consuming, expensive and late to make changes or correct errors. Stratasys PolyJet 3D printing technology is developed to elevate designs by realizing ideas more quickly and more accurately and taking color copies to the next level.
By putting realistic models in a designer’s hands earlier in the process, companies can promote better decisions and a superior final product. Now, with the Stratasys J8 Series, the same is true for prototypes. This tried and tested technology simplifies the entire design process, streamlining workflows so you can spend more time on what matters –creating, refining, and designing the best product possible.
PADT is excited to introduce the new StratasysJ826 3D printer
Based on J850 technology, the J826 supplies the same end-to-end solution for the design process and ultra-realistic simulation at a lower price point. Better communicate design intent and drive more confident results with prototypes that realistically portray an array of design alternatives.
The Stratasys J826 3D Printer is able to deliver realism, shorter time to market, and streamlined application thanks to a variety of unique attributes that set it apart from most other Polyjet printers:
High Quality – The J826 can accurately print smaller features at a layer thickness of 14µm to 27µm. As part of the J8 series of printers it is also capable of printing in ultra-realistic Pantone validated colors.
Speed & Productivity – Three printing speed modes (high speed, high quality & high mix) allows the J826 to always operate at the most efficient speed for each print. It can also avoid unnecessary down-time associate with material changeovers thanks to it’s built-in material cabinet and workstation.
Easy to Use – A smooth workflow with the J826 comes from simple integration with the CAD format of your choice, as well as a removable tray for easy clean up, and automated support creation and removal.
Are you ready to learn how the new Stratasys J826 provides the same quality and accuracy as other J8 series printers at a lower cost?
Provide the requested information via the form linked below and one of PADT’s additive experts will reach out to share more on what makes this new offering so exciting for the enterprise design world.
If seeing is believing, holding something this vivid is knowing for sure.
The Stratasys J735 and J750 deliver unrivaled aesthetics to your brightest ideas and boldest ambitions with true, full-color capability, texture mapping and color gradients.
3D print prototypes that look, feel and operate like the finished products in multiple materials and colors without sacrificing time for intricacy and complexity. Better communicate designs with vivid, realistic samples, and save on manual post-processing delays and costs.
Stratasys J735 and J750 printers are PANTONE Validated™
This validation makes the Pantone Matching System (PMS) Colors available for the first time in a 3D printing solution. It provides a universal language of color that enables color-critical decisions through every stage of the workflow for brands and manufacturers. It helps define, communicate and control color from inspiration to realization.
Color matching to Pantone Colors in a single click
GrabCAD Print software provides a quicker, more realistic expression of color in your models and prototypes, saving hours over traditional paint matching or iterative color matching processes.
Adding Pantone color selection increases the color gamut found within the GrabCAD Print Application and simplifies the color selection process
Designers can access the colors directly from GrabCAD Print, selecting Pantone within the Print Settings dialog box. From within this view the user can search for their desired Pantone color or select from the list.
Multiple material selections
This means you can load up to six materials at once, including any combination of rigid, flexible, transparent or opaque materials and their components.
Double the number of print nozzles
More print heads means you can produce ultra-smooth surfaces and fine details with layer thickness as fine as 0.014 mm—about half the width of a human skin cell.
Discover how you can achieve stronger realism and color matching thanks to the Pantone Validation available on the Stratasys J750 & J735.
Contact the industry experts at PADT via the link below for more information:
This post is the eleventh installment in our review of all the different products and services PADT offers our customers. As we add more, they will be available here. As always, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to email@example.com or give us a call at 1-800-293-PADT.
When it comes to delivering accurate, robust, and feature-rich additive manufacturing, commonly called 3D Printing, to professional users, one brand of systems stands above all the rest: Stratasys. For over a decade PADT has been a reseller of these outstanding machines in the four-corners states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. In fact, our leadership position in the Additive Manufacturing space is built on the foundation of our sales and support history with Stratasys.
Stratasys, The World Leader in Additive Manufacturing
There is one simple reason why Stratasys is the world leader in Additive Manufacturing systems and why so many of our customers keep buying Stratasys systems: They Work. The whole point of 3D Printing is that you can go from a computer model to a real part as quickly and easily as possible. Stratasys has created a complete set of hardware, material, and software to make that happen. For hardware, they offer two additive manufacturing technologies: FDM and PolyJet.
FDM, or Fused Deposition Modeling, is the most common technology because it is reliable, accurate and builds strong parts. FDM was invented by Stratasys over 25 years ago and still forms the foundation of their product line. It is a layered deposition process that melts a variety of plastics that are then extruded through a nozzle to draw the shape of each layer. From the desktop MakerBot machines to the industry favorite FORTUS 900, there is a machine that works for every need. Recently, we have been selling a large number of F370’s to new an existing customers. FMD systems come in a variety of sizes, speeds, costs, and most importantly, material options. And best of all, the majority of FDM systems come with Stratasys’ patented soluble support material that makes support removal as easy as dropping your part into a cleaning system. These days, establishing an online business is one of the easiest paths to financial freedom, and Amazon is one of the best places to do it. Simply put, Amazon is the most visited and popular online marketplace today. There are just so many opportunities for you to seize. However, because of the many benefits to selling on Amazon, the market can be quite competitive. Putting up your products for sale on Amazon is no guarantee that you’ll make sales. The process of generating income from your Amazon business is more difficult than what most internet marketers would have you believe. Like any other business worth doing, whether online or offline, there are skills and processes to learn if you’re going to make a profit on Amazon. Just getting your products listed on the site will require lots of complicated steps. After you overcome that hurdle, you will have to carry out more measures to ensure that your shop will produce the most profit possible. There are many articles online that can help you learn how to start an Amazon FBA business. However, relying on these articles will lead you to another roadblock—how to weed out the bad advice from the good. If you want to take the easy route, what you need to do is to find established, tried and tested marketing techniques that are proven to bring your business to the top. This is when the Amazon Selling Machine course comes into play. You can also visit https://imminentbusiness.com/amazing-selling-machine-review/ for better information.
If you need greater refinement, the ability to change material, or color, then PolyJet technology is your ideal solution. The power of PolyJet is that it uses inkjet print heads to deposit tiny dots of liquid material on a build layr. That material is then hardened with an ultraviolet lamp. What is cool is that you can have multiple inkjet print heads and therefore deposit a mix of material within a given layer. This allows you to make parts with very hard, or very soft material in the same build. Or, to mix clear and colors in the same build. Our customers use Polyjet printers to make everything from accurate medical models of organs to molds for plastic injection molding. No other 3D Printing technology is as versatile as the PolyJet machines from Stratasys.
The PADT Sales Experience
Lots of people sell 3D Printers. We know because we have been doing it for over fifteen years. And as the technology has become more popular, more and more people are getting into the industry. Our experience and technically driven sales approach is why customers keep coming to PADT when they have so many choices. Our sales team is not about this months sales goal. They are about building, and more often than not, growing our relationship with customers new and old. We are all about understanding what you really want to get done, and then finding the right combination of Additive Manufacturing system, accessories, and software that will make it happen.
That expertise comes from the fact that we have been running a 3D Printing service since 1994. We know the real world of Additive Manufacturing. No other reseller can bring our expertise and experience to your aid.
Support that Goes Above and Beyond
Once you purchase a system, your journey with PADT hits full swing. Our engineers will help you install, train your users, and then be there when you need us for maintenance and repair. Or simply to answer your questions. We recently won a series of competitive situations where customers had a choice of who to hire to support their Stratasys systems. They chose PADT over other solutions for one simple reason: we know what we are doing and we really do care. Our team has driven through snow storms, stayed with machines late into the night, and personally shipped replacement parts just so they could get customer’s machines back online and running as quickly as possible.
Talk to PADT about your Additive Manufacturing Needs
Regardless of what systems you currently have, or if you don’t have any 3D Printing capability in-house, now is the time to talk to PADT. We have never had a better offering of solutions in terms of price, performance, and variety of capability. We are helping universities establish labs, Aerospace companies 3D Print hardware for launch vehicles, and consumer products companies shorten their design cycle. It may be time for you to upgrade or add a new material or technology. Or maybe you just need some accessories to get more out of the equipment you have. Regardless of where you are in your Additive Manufacturing journey, PADT is here to help you get more out of your investment.
This post is the sixth installment in our review of all the different products and services PADT offers our customers. As we add more, they will be available here. As always, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 1-800-293-PADT.
If there is one service that most people connect PADT with it is our 3D Printing Services. We have been making prototypes for companies using this ever-advancing technology since we started the company in 1994. As 3D Printing has become more popular and entered the mainstream even beyond engineering, what 3D Printing means to people has changed as well. Along with that, people’s understanding of exactly what it is we do in this area has drifted a little from what goes on. In this month’s installment of our “Getting to Know PADT” series, we will work to provide insight into what 3D Printing Services are and how they can benefit your company.
What is “3D Printing” and “3D Printing Services?”
To start, it should be called “Additive and Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping Services, ” but people search for “3D Printing” so that is what we call it. 3D Printing is the common name for what is technically referred to as Additive Manufacturing, or AM. Most physical parts are made (manufactured) by casting or shaping material into a shape you want, removing material from stock to get the shapes you want, and/or combining physical parts you get by the other two methods. Instead of these well-proven methods, AM creates a part by building up material one layer at a time. That is why it is called additive – it adds layers of material to get a shape. Here is an older blog article showing the most common technologies used in AM.
The advantage of this approach is that you just need one machine to make a part, you can go straight from a computer model to that part, and you are not held back by the physical constraints of traditional processes. These features allow anyone to make a part and to make shapes we just could not create before. At first, we only used it for prototypes before parts were made. Then we started to make tools to make final products, and now 3D Printing is employed to manufacturing end-use parts.
In the world of mechanical engineering, where 3D Printing is heavily used, we call companies that use additive manufacturing to make parts for others 3D Printing Service Bureaus or 3D Printing Service Providers. Therefore, the full process of doing manufacturing using the technology is called: 3D Printing Services.
The critical word in that last sentence is “full.” Sending a computer model to a 3D Printer is just one of many steps involved in Additive Manufacturing. When the service is employed correctly, it includes identifying the right type of additive manufacturing to use, preparing the geometry, setting parameters on the machine, printing the parts, removing supports, cleaning the parts, sanding, applying a surface finish treatment, and then inspection and shipping. Anyone can send a part to a printer; the other steps are what make the difference between simply printing a part, and producing a great part.
What Services does PADT Offer?
Additive Manufacturing covers a wide range of technologies that create parts one layer at a time, using a variety of approaches. Some extrude, some harden, some use an inkjet print head, and still others melt material. What they have in common is creating solid geometry one layer at a time. Each technology has its own unique set of advantages, and that is why PADT offers so many different 3D Printing technologies for our customers. Each of these approaches has unique part preparations, machine parameters, and post-printing processes. Each with a unique set of advantages. The key to success is knowing which technology is best for each part and then executing it correctly.
Currently, PADT’s 3D Printing Services Group makes parts for customers using the following technologies. Each one listed has a brief description of its advantages. See our website for more details.
As a proud reseller for Stratasys systems, we feel strongly that the two primary technologies from Stratasys, FDM and Polyjet, are the best for customers who want to do Additive Manufacturing in-house or as a service provider. When customers need something different, they can come to PADT to take advantage of the unique capabilities found in each technology.
How is 3D Printing with PADT Better?
The difference is in what we know and how to execute the complete process. As a provider of 3D Printing services for over 23 years, very few people in the industry even come close to the amount of experience that we bring to the table. We also know product development and traditional manufacturing, so when a customer comes to us with a need, we understand what they are asking to do and why. That helps us make the right recommendation on process, material, and post-processing.
A few differentiators are:
We know our machines
We know our materials
We offer a wide range of plastic and metal materials
Employees who are enthusiastic and dedicated to providing the right solution.
In addition to all of these things, PADT also offers On-Demand Manufacturing as a Carbon Production Partner. We combine Carbon’s DLS technology with our existing and proven manufacturing processes to provide low volume manufacturing solutions for plastic components.
We are also always looking at the latest technologies and adding what our customers need. You can see this with the recent addition of systems from ConceptLaser, Carbon and Desktop Metal systems.
Next Steps and Where to Learn More
The very best way to learn more about PADT’s 3D Printing services is to have us print a part. The full experience and the final product will explain why, with so many choices, so many companies large and small count on us for their Additive Manufacturing. If you need to learn more, you can also contact us at 480.813.4884 or email@example.com.
PADT is excited to introduce the newest polyjet material available from Stratasys, Agilus30! Agilus30 is a superior Rubber-like PolyJet photopolymer family ideal for advanced design verification and rapid prototyping.
Get more durable, tear-resistant prototypes that can stand up to repeated flexing and bending. With a Shore A value of 30 in clear or black, Agilus30 accurately simulates the look, feel and function of Rubber-like products. 3D print rubber surrounds, overmolds, soft-touch coatings, living hinges, jigs and fixtures, wearables, grips and seals with improved surface texture.
Agilus30 has applications in a number of areas, including:
Tooling needing rubber-like characteristics
Overmolding & many more!
Want to know more about PolyJet’s toughest flexible material to date?
Join PADT’s 3D Printing Application Engineer James Barker along with Stratasys Materials Business Manager Ken Burns for a presentation on the various benefits and attributes that Agilus30 has to offer, which machines are compatible with it, and how companies are making use of it’s unique capabilities.
Is PolyJet MED610 truly biocompatible? And what does that mean anyway?
A couple of months ago, our product development team contacted me to see if I could 3D print them a small bio-compatible masking device that was needed for temporary attachment to an invasive device prior to insertion for surgery. That led me to investigate all the different bio-compatible materials we did have access to at PADT on our FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) and PolyJet machines. Given the tiny size and high detail required in the part, I decided to opt for PolyJet, which does offer the MED610 material that is claimed to be biocompatible. As it so happens, we have an Objet Eden 260V PolyJet machine that has been dedicated to running MED610 exclusively since it’s installation a year ago.
We printed the mask, followed all the post-processing instructions per supplier recommendations (more on that later) and delivered the parts for further testing. And that is when I asked myself the questions at the top of this post.
I set off on a quest to see what I could find. My first stop was the RAPID conference in (May 2016), where the supplier (Stratasys Inc.) had a well-staffed booth – but no one there knew much about MED610 apart from the fact that some orthodontists were using it. I did pick up one interesting insight: one of the engineers there hypothesized that MED610 was not very popular because it was cost-prohibitive since its proper use required machine dedication. I then went to the Stratasys Direct Manufacturing (a service bureau owned by Stratasys) booth, but it turned out they don’t even offer MED610 as a material option for service jobs – presumably because of the low demand for this material, consistent with our own observations.
So I took a step back and began searching for all I could find in the public domain on MED610 – and while it wasn’t much, here is the summary of my findings that I hope help anyone interested in this. I categorize it in three sources of information: claims made by the supplier, published work on in vitro studies and finally, some in vivo animal trials. But first, we must ask…
What does it mean for a Material to be Biocompatible?
A definition by Williams (The Williams Dictionary of Biomaterials, 1999) is in order: “Biocompatibility is the ability of a material to perform with an appropriate host response in a specific application.” So if PolyJet MED610 is to be called biocompatible, we must ask – what application do we have in mind? Fortunately, the supplier has a recommendation.
MED610 was launched by Objet in 2011 (Objet was acquired by Stratasys in 2012) as a biocompatible material, ideal for “applications requiring prolonged skin contact of more than 30 days and short-term mucosal-membrane contact of up to 24 hours“. Stratasys claims that parts printed according to Objet MED610 Use and Maintenance Terms were evaluated for biocompatibility in accordance with standard “DIN EN ISO 10993-1: 2009, Biological Evaluation of Medical Devices-Part 1: Evaluation and testing within a risk management process. This addresses cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, delayed hypersensitivity, and USP plastic Class VI, which includes the test for irritation, acute systemic toxicity and implantation”. Unfortunately, the actual data from the biocompatibility study conducted by Objet have not been made publicly available.
It is important to remember that Stratasys publishes a “Use and Maintenance Terms” document that details the steps needed not just to clean the part after printing, but also on the proper setup of the machine for ensuring best chances of meeting biocompatibility requirements. These are published online at this link and include a 3 hour soak in a 1-percent NaOH solution, a 30 min soak in IPA and multiple water jet rinses, among other steps. In other words, the claimed biocompatibility of MED610 is only valid if these instructions are followed. These steps are primarily driven by the need to completely remove supports and any support-residue, but it is not clear if this is needed if a part can be printed without supports. Given such strong process dependencies, it is only to be expected that Stratasys provide a disclaimer at the end of the document clarifying that the users of their machines are responsible for independently validating biocompatibility of any device they make with MED610.
The next question is: have there been any relevant published, independent studies that have used MED610? In my search, I could only find two instances, which I discuss below.
Primary Human Cells Response (In Vitro)
In a recent (January 2016) study published in the Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering, Schmelzer et al. studied the response of primary human cells to four 3D printed materials in vitro: ABS, PC, PLA and MED610 – the only such study I could find. All samples instead went through a 100% ethanol brief rinse and were washed 5 times with de-mineralized water – this seems like a less stringent process than what the supplier recommends (3 hour 1-percent NaOH solution soak, 30 minutes IPA soak and 10 times waterjet blasting) but was designed to be identical across all the materials tested.
There were some very interesting findings:
Different cells had different responses:
MED610 had the most negative impact on cell viability for keratinocytes (epidermal cells that produce keratin) – and the only material that showed statistically significant difference from the control.
For bone marrow mesenchymal (stem) cells, a different effect was observed: direct culture on ABS and PC showed significant growth (7X compared to control) but MED610 and PLA showed no significant effect
Surface Roughness influences cell attachment and proliferation:
In agreement with other work, the authors showed that while rougher surfaces promote initial cell attachment, subsequent cell proliferation and overall cell numbers are higher on smoother surfaces. The MED610 samples had rougher surfaces than the FDM samples (possibly due to the use of the “matte” finish option) and could be one of the contributors to the observed negative effects on cell viability, along with the leached contents from the specimen.
Glaucoma Drainage Device (In Vivo, Rabbit studies)
The devices were printed on a Connex 350 PolyJet machine, after which the supports were removed from the devices with a water jet and “were repeatedly washed and inspected for consistency and integrity.” Tubes were attached with Silicone adhesive and the entire assembly was then “washed and sterilized with a hospital-grade hydrogen peroxide system before use”. The researchers did not examine the cellular and extracellular reactions in great detail, but did conclude that the reactions were similar between the MED610 device and the more standard polypropylene injection-molded device.
A short video recorded by some of the researchers as part of a Bioprinting course also provides some details into the 3D printing aspects of the work done.
In conclusion, the question I posed at the start of this post (Is PolyJet MED610 truly biocompatible?) is too simplistic. A process and a material together are not sufficient – there are procedures that need to be defined and controlled and further and more importantly, biocompatibility itself has to be viewed in the context of the application and the specific toxicity and interaction demands of that application. And that brings us to our key takeaways:
MED610 is only recommended at best for applications requiring prolonged skin contactof more than 30 days and short-term mucosal-membrane contact of up to 24 hours and there is no data to dispute the suppliers claim that it is biocompatible in this context once all recommended procedures are implemented
The work done by Australian researchers in using PolyJet MED610 for devoloping their Glaucoma Drainage Device in animal trials is perhaps the best example of how this material and the technology can be pushed further for evaluating designs and hypothesis in vivo when really fine features are needed. Stratasys’s FDM PC-ISO or ABS M30i materials, or other FDM extrusion capable materials like PLA, PCL and PLGA may be better options when the resolution allows – but this is a topic for a follow-on blog post.
More in vitro work needs to be done to extend the work done by Schmelzer et al., which suggests that MED610 potentially has leachables that do impact cell viability negatively. Specifically, effects of surface finish (“matte” vs “gloss”) and sterilization on cell viability is a worthwhile follow-on step. In the interim, MED610 is expected to perform well for mucosal membrane contact under 24 hours (and why this is a great technology for dental guides and other temporary in-mouth placement).
If you have any thoughts on this matter or would like to collaborate with us and take advantage of our access to a PolyJet printer that is dedicated to MED610 or other bio-compatible FDM materials, as well as our extensive post-processing and design & analysis facilities, please connect with me on LinkedIn or send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and cite this blog post.
Schmelzer, E., Over, P., Gridelli, B., & Gerlach, J. (2016). Response of Primary Human Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stromal Cells and Dermal Keratinocytes to Thermal Printer Materials In Vitro. Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering, 36, 153-167.
Ross C, Pandav S, Li Y, et al. Determination of Bleb Capsule Porosity With an Experimental Glaucoma Drainage Device and Measurement System. JAMA Ophthalmol.2015;133(5):549-554. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2015.30.
We wanted to see what 3d printing looked like from the inside of the machine so our new intern, Diserae Sanders, placed a GoPro inside our Connex500 during a print job. The item being printed is a demo bicycle pedal printed in multiple materials.
This video is the first in a series we plan to do on 3D printing. If there is something you would like to see us do a video on, please post it in the comments below.
The first three pallets are built using TangoPlus combined with combinations of VeroCyan, VeroMagenta and VeroYellow. These new pallets allow for the printing of a range of colors and translucent tints in nine Shore A values (Shore A 27-95).
Three additional pallets using TangoBlack Plus and combinations of VeroCyan, VeroMagenta and VeroYellow allow for users to blend a wide range of subtle vibrant-to-dark shades into the same part with TangoBlack Plus in seven Shore A values.
The final four palettes that were introduced offer additional combinations of VeroWhite and VeroBlack with either VeroCyan, VeroMagenta or VeroYellow allowing for users to build sophisticated prototypes in a range of subtle grays alongside muted or vibrant color.
The addition of these ten palettes combined with their existing palettes allow for virtually limitless combinations of flexible, rigid and translucent colors in one print job.
“The Objet500 Connex3 is the only 3D printer that combines colors with multi-material 3D printing. The ability to mix rigid, flexible, transparent and opaque colors offers users unprecedented versatility to design and perfect products faster,” says Stratasys Director of Materials & Applications Fred Fischer. “By extending the range of material options available, users can improve workflow speeds and enhance efficiency.”
These new options are available immediately to Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer owners through a free software update.
With all the opening and moving of offices we failed to notice that our crack sales team sold all of our demonstration 3D Printing and rapid manufacturing machines out from underneath us. This made it easier to move, but hard on customers who wanted to see these systems in action. So we took the opportunity to not only replace the FDM systems in our offices, but to also add Objet30 Pro desktop printers in our New Mexico and Colorado offices. In the past we only had Polyjet systems in our Tempe facility.
If you are not familiar with the advantages of Polyjet 3D Printing when compared to FDM or other technologies, contact us to arrange a visit to our Littleton, Albuquerque, or Tempe offices to not only see these machines in action, but to also see sample parts we have made on them.
PADT has been in this prototyping business for a while, even before we called the machines that make physical parts directly from computer models a 3D Printer. When we started it was rapid prototyping and we have purchased maybe a dozen machines for our own use, and sold several hundred to our customers. As the cost of these systems comes down and the number of people interested in having their own 3D Printer goes up, we thought it would be a good time to share our experience with choosing systems with the community.
Here are six things that every person should do when they are shopping for a 3D printer. We even recommend that you write these down and fill out a form before you contact the first vendor.
Thing 1: Understand What you will use your Parts For
This seems obvious. You would not be looking for a 3D printer unless you knew you needed one and you knew what you needed it for. But in reality it is very easy to get caught up in how powerful and just plane cool this technology is and you start thinking about what you can do, and you forget what you need to do. The best way to approach this is to not think about which technology you may end up with, that will point you in one direction or another. Just assume you push a button and a prototype of your part comes out. What would you actually use it for?
The key here is to be honest. If the reality is that your receptionist really likes models of Japanese Anime characters, and you plan on making models of such in an attempt to get her attention, then be honest about that. You need a printer with the detail and perhaps color capability for that. But if you really think about it you probably need one to make patterns for doing custom composite layups, so your use will be very different and the so will the system you need. She probably will be just impressed with your layup tooling. Well, maybe not but your boss will.
Our experience tells us that customers often get hung up on features that they get excited about, but when you look at the end use of their prototypes, they really do not need some of those features. We have seen people buy a machine because it was the only one that did this one thing they got fixated on. But in the end, they only make two prototypes that need it a year and the other 137 prototypes they make are kind of sucky. Make a list of all the uses and put a guess next to them that shows the percentage of parts that fit into that use. A typical example would be:
35% Mockups for design reviews
25% Models for the machine shop and vendors to help them plan machining
15% Fixtures for testing
10% Consumer testing and marketing mockups for ad campaigns
10% Fit models to build
Thing 2: Benchmark the Machines on your Geometry
When we run into someone that is unhappy with their 3D Printer, three out of four timeswe find out that it just does not perform like they thought it would. And if we dig deeper we find out that when they were shopping for a printer, they just looked at parts that the various vendors gave them. Demo parts. They never made a variety of their own typical parts. This is especially true if they ended up buying a lower cost machine.
Here is a secret of every person selling a 3D Printer, that probably is no secret to you. They pick the demo parts they show you because those parts look really good on their technology. And if you are not closely familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of each technology, there is no way for you to know that the parts they showed you may be the only parts that actually look good on that technology.
Get four or five parts that are typical parts that you would prototype, and have them made on each technology. Even if the vendor tells you they can only afford to make one sample part for you (with the cost coming down the margins on these machines is low so few in the business can do a bunch of free parts for every potential sale), go ahead and pay money to get your geometry made. You may be shocked by the results, especially on some of the newer low cost machines.
Thing 3: Ignore Hype or the Herd
Any fast growing industry has a lot of hype, and a lot of mob pressure to go with one technology over another. 3D Printing is no different, and in fact it is worse because this technology is so cool and interesting. The problem with hype and herd mentality is that the company with the best public relations people or with the “hippest” story gets all the attention regardless of the technology. And it feeds on itself. They get more attention because they got more attention.
A case in point is the recent introduction of a hand-held fused deposition modeling system. Very cool, lots of hype and interest. But really, who could use that for real work? Even a hobbyist is going to struggle with making anything useful with a tool like that. But there is a lot of hype around it right now and a huge amount of interest. I’ve had a taxi driver mention it to me when he asked what I do.
It is human nature to want to be part of something big. So it is hard to push that aside and look at each 3D Printer you are evaluating on its own merit. Not what the press is saying, not what other people are touting, not what is the newest and flashiest. We are talking basic “make me a useable part” here. Look at it with basic and non-influenced eyes.
Thing 4: Calculate the Total, Long Term Cost
Of all the things listed here, this may be the hardest to do. There are so many costs that go into making prototypes. The initial cost of the machine is small compared to all the other costs. What we recommend you do is make a spreadsheet and list cost items in the first column, and create rows for each 3D Printer you are looking at, then fill it out. We like to put in the cost over three years.
Here are some cost items we recommend people include:
Facility modification costs
Build and support material
Labor to prepare jobs
Labor to post process jobs
Facility square footage for machines, cleaning equipment, material storage, etc…
Scrap rate cost (some systems have a higher scrap rate, you need to include the cost of lost time and material because of that)
Thing 5: Honestly Prioritize the Features you Want and Need
It is always a good idea to make a “want” and “need” list, regardless of what you are purchasing. When you are dealing with a set of technologies with so much buzz around it, we feel it is doubly important. Sitting down and making a list, then justifying it to someone else clarifies what you should be looking for more than anything.
We also recommend that you prioritize the list. Marking things as Want and Need is a first step, then every one of those should also be ranked in order of importance. You can use a point scheme or you can just put them in order from most to least. This will help you sort through the gee-whiz stuff and truly understand where the value of your investment in 3D Printing can be found.
Needless to say, it is critical that you finish Thing 1, and refer to it, when completing this step.
Thing 6: Figure Out what is Good Enough, then Ask for More
OK, maybe this one sounds like a sales pitch: “You know what you really want, but really, trust me, you need more.” Experience tells us that this is actually true. When you are talking 3D Printing we run into customer after customer that felt the system they purchased was “good enough” for their needs then they realize it does not do what they need. And in most cases it is because they really needed a bigger machine, or they needed a more robust material than they thought.
The last thing you want to do is invest in a 3D Printer then six months later try and turn it in to get one that is bigger, faster, more precise, or that runs a better material. Now you are still paying for the more expensive system and you wasted money on the less expensive one. Be honest, upgrade in the beginning to what you really need in the long run not what you think you can get by with in the short run. Because, in the end, you will save money and have better parts.
Doing the Six Things and Getting that 3D Printer
You know you want one. You actually probably need one. We have been doing this for a long time and almost every customer that has made an intelligent investment feels like the investment has been a positive one. And by intelligent investment, we do not want to imply that they bought a system from PADT (although statistically that may be true). What we have found is that these companies took their time, they used some variation of the steps listed above, and they treated their purchase as a long term investment.
You too can make a smart choice and make in-house 3D Printing part of your company, job, or even hobby. PADT is here ready to help you with that choice. We can show you the complete line of fused deposition and Polyjet 3D Printers from Stratasys. We can also provide some advice on what we think is a good fit for your needs, and help you capture data for the six things we have outlined here. And don’t forget, we have a full 3D Printing services offering, with all the major systems and materials. So we can show you the advantages of all of them by providing you with your outsourced parts while you look for an in-house solution.
PADT is proud to announce that we are officially certified to resell the full line of Stratasys products, including the newly added Polyjet 3D Printers from Objet. We were very pleased when Objet and Stratasys decided to merge to become the new Stratasys, and we have been waiting patiently for the legal merger to take place, and then for the two organizations to merge their businesses. Now that wait is over and PADT just completed our sales and support training for the Polyjet product line and we can offer it to customers in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada.
Here is a family photo of the line:
As you can see, they start with small desktop systems and work their way up to the monster Objet1000, a true beast of a machine capable of printing parts up to 39 inches long!
There are two key characteristics that really sets these systems apart: The variety of materials available and the precision of the parts they make.Because the Polyjet systems use ink-jet printer heads, they lay down small droplets of photocurable material. So the resolution of each layer can be up to 600 dpi, and the layers themselves can be very thin, as thin as 16 microns.The same ink-jet technology also allows for the use of such a wide variety of material. Over 100 different materials can be made by mixing two different materials during the build. This allows materials the have the properties of ABS, Polypropylene, rubber, or transparent plastic. And materials can vary on a given layer or from layer to layer.Another set of ink-jet heads allow for the deposition of a water soluble support material, that is easily washed away to make the post processing of parts made on a Polyjet machine simple and fast.
We cold go on and on about this technology, or you can see it for yourself. As we mentioned, this technology is not new to PADT, so we know a lot about it and are eager to share what we have learned over the years. If you want to learn more, simply contact us and we will be ready to answer your questions, show you some machines, and help determine if Polyjet technology is the right fit for you.
You can also check out our new Polyjet product pages, where you can find brochures and videos that give a lot more information.
And look for more information on this blog as we share stories, tips, and hints on the use of these systems.
It is now official. Stratasys and Object have completed their merger to form a company worth over $3.0 Billion. Actually, as we prepare this update it is up to $3.37B. Obviously the markets thing this merger is a good thing.
And now Stratasys has a new logo and what we think is a great slogan: “For a 3D World”
As a long time Stratasys distributor and a user of Objet’s and Stratasys systems in our rapid prototyping services business, we are very familiar with both product lines and look forward to the synergy of the merger. These are two truly complimentary product lines.
Right now this merger will have no impact on how we do business with our existing customers for any of the product sales or services we offer, including sales of new systems, maintenance of existing machines, material ordering, or prototyping services with either FDM or PolyJet. As the two companies combine organizationally we will keep everyone informed.
Learn more about the Stratasys line of Mojo, uPrint SE, Dimension, and FORTUS 3D Printers here.