HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
CAD/CAM Corner
3D Printer From Objet Serves Up Materials Mix
7/9/2012

The Objet30 Pro produces high-quality prototypes with a choice of seven different materials and functional properties, including the company's VeroClear transparent material for simulating glass.   (Source: Objet Technologies)
The Objet30 Pro produces high-quality prototypes with a choice of seven different materials and functional properties, including the company's VeroClear transparent material for simulating glass.
(Source: Objet Technologies)

Return to Article

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/2  >  >>
naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
amazing function for the price
naperlou   7/9/2012 9:56:14 AM
NO RATINGS
Beth, just like all other electronic devices, these are coming down in price and increasing in features.  Our school district spent $30K a year or two ago for a 3D printer for the STEM program.  There are three high schools in the district, and they share the printer.  It is a useful tool.  But now it looks like they could have something better for much less.  Well, I guess the next one they buy will be something like this.  You would be suprised at what these students are coming up with.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: amazing function for the price
Beth Stackpole   7/9/2012 11:44:26 AM
NO RATINGS
At $30K for a single printer, the school system could now purchase three pretty comparable units for the three high schools. Your district is foresighted enough to invest in this technology and I'm hoping my school district will soon do the same. This technology is sure to captivate kids and inspire them to do great things.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: amazing function for the price
Rob Spiegel   7/9/2012 6:09:17 PM
NO RATINGS
Another amazing 3D printer, Beth. How about the costs once you purchase the printer? Do these machines cost much to run? Is there much maintenance involved?

Greg M. Jung
User Rank
Platinum
Size and Price is Right
Greg M. Jung   7/9/2012 6:56:52 PM
NO RATINGS
Glad to see Objet coming out with a smaller, economy version.  I really liked the fine part detail from the previous version of this printer and I anticipate this product will produce good detail as well.

Material replacement costs can be a little on the pricey side, but prudent use of the machine and the savings in development time can certainly help offset these expenditures.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: amazing function for the price
Charles Murray   7/9/2012 8:07:12 PM
NO RATINGS
Kids will definitely find applications for 3D printers when the price hits the right point. Remember when people asked why they would need a PC? In the beginning, the standard response was, "You can store recipes with it." Luckily, we've found other applications for PCs since then.

btwolfe
User Rank
Gold
Re: amazing function for the price
btwolfe   7/10/2012 9:55:24 AM
NO RATINGS
Maintenance and material costs for these printers, at least Objet, are really high. A full set of print material is about $800 for 2kg of solid and support material, and yearly "maintenance" is about $4000. You have to buy new materials every year because it expires, and you'll probably need the maintenance because the printers break easily.

We have had an Objet printer for 3 years now and it's been down about 30% of the time. When the system is working it produces quality parts, but the maintenance and operational costs are prohibitive. If a school system wants a 3D printer, they should look at other lower-maintenance systems.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: amazing function for the price
Rob Spiegel   7/10/2012 1:13:48 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks for the info, BTWolfe. Given all those expenses, has it been worth the investment for you? What $$ does it save that would have been spent elsewhere?

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: amazing function for the price
Beth Stackpole   7/10/2012 1:29:43 PM
NO RATINGS
@BTWolfe: I've heard similar reports about the high cost of maintenance and materials for 3D printers, not just Objet models. That's definitely something engineering groups need to consider when shelling out for the technology.

 

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Price clarification
Beth Stackpole   7/10/2012 1:33:32 PM
NO RATINGS
I just want to clarify a point around pricing on this printer. The base model in the Objet30 Pro series starts at $19.9K, but this particular model, which is higher end and delivers more material choices in addition to other functionality, starts at $43K. So I was mistaken earlier when I said Naperlou's school district could buy three of these for the price of one 3D printer it purchased earlier. Sorry for any confusion.

btwolfe
User Rank
Gold
Re: amazing function for the price
btwolfe   7/10/2012 1:46:25 PM
NO RATINGS
The frustration and lost time working with our 3D printer has really soured my opinion of the technology, but I suspect it has more to do with this mfg and associated service reps than with the technology itself. We had one problem where the ribbon cable connecting the print head to the rest of the printer was scraping against a sharp edge inside the printer and eventually failed, but Objet said it was not a manufacturing defect, so wouldn't cover repair costs. This reflects poorly on the company, IMO.

Aside from those difficulties, it's really convenient to have a design and "just" print it. I say "just" because there's a non-trivial amount of pre and post processing to get a usable model out of these printers. On the preprocessing side, you save your solid model to stl format, run ObjetStudio to place and orient the model on the print table, and then spin up the print manager to start printing. On the post processing end, you have to scrape the part off the table, clean the printer (table, print heads, etc) and then clean the part, which requires a high pressure wash station. It takes about 30 minutes minimum plus print time for a single run.

Whether these printers are worth the trouble of ownership probably depends on your application. If you're doing parts that can be easily machined by a 3-4 axis CNC mill, you'd probably be better off using a service such as FirstCut which can get parts to you in 1-3 days. However, more complex parts are going to be pricey for prototyping. It's also really handy for small, non-structural parts that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive if machined, even in quantity.

I think that if Objet had better quality control and support I would be inclined to favor 3D printing, but unless it's just a vendor problem, I don't think the technlogy is there yet.

Page 1/2  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from CAD/CAM Corner
XYZ, Rabbit, and Disney innovate on the 3d printer in different ways -- from price point to using materials such as yarn.
MIT students modified a 3D printer to enable it to print more than one object and print on top of existing printed objects. All of this was made possible by modifying a Solidoodle with a height measuring laser.
Siemens released Intosite, a cloud-based, location-aware SaaS app that lets users navigate a virtual production facility in much of the same fashion as traversing through Google Earth. Users can access PLM, IT, and other pertinent information for specific points on a factory floor or at an outdoor location.
New software from Carnegie Mellon allows 2D objects -- digital photos, old photos, and even paintings -- to be manipulated in 3D using models found online.
Sharon Glotzer and David Pine are hoping to create the first liquid hard drive with liquid nanoparticles that can store 1TB per teaspoon. They aren't the first to find potential data stores, as Harvard researchers have stored 700 TB inside a gram of DNA.
Design News Webinar Series
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Sep 8 - 12, Get Ready for the New Internet: IPv6
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service