What do users want from their rapid prototyping systems? More speed is a given for a technology with "rapid" in its name. Users also want systems to cost less, especially those entry-level modelers used to evaluate design concepts. And they want better high-end systems — better in terms of dimensional accuracy and material choices. The latest offerings from Stratasys Inc. cover all these bases. For example, the new release of the company's Vantage fused deposition modeling system, features resolution increases and offers users the ability to run any three of the five polymeric build materials that FDM supports (see http://rbi.ims.ca/4919-511). And the company has recently come out with other improved systems. One improves the capabilities of a fast office modeler. Another offers unprecedented metal-part capabilities. And a third system, this one from the company's Dimension 3D Printing Group, reaches new lows when it comes to price.
Table of contents: Metal Maker Speed Rises Prices Fall
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
Engineers at the University of San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering have designed biobatteries on commercial tattoo paper, with an anode and cathode screen-printed on and modified to harvest energy from lactate in a person’s sweat.
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