Stratasys Unveils High-End, Multi-Material 3D Printer

Stratasys is known worldwide as being at the forefront of the 3D printing world, with a host of printers ranging from desktop models to high-end industrial boxes designed for corporate use. The company is once again in the spotlight with the recent unveiling of its new Objet500 Connex3 multi-material 3D printer.

The company says the printer is capable of churning out projects not only using different materials but in a multitude of colors, as well. The 3D printer features triple-jetting technology that allows users to combine droplets of three base materials to create objects that can be made with multiple levels of rigidity, flexibility, and transparency in an unlimited combination of colors and shades. This eliminates the need to print different parts made of different materials that then need assembly, which saves an incredible amount of time when rapid prototyping is needed.

The printer is equipped with only three colors, including VeroCyan, VeroMagenta, and VeroYellow, that are combined to create an almost unlimited amount of color shades, which are then transferred to the PolyJet photopolymers. If that wasn't enough, the Objet500 Connex3 will also feature six palettes of rubber-like Tango colors ranging in hues from opaque to transparent for projects from the automotive field to sporting goods, which should be available by the second quarter of this year.

The printer is already available. However, it doesn't come cheap with a steep price of $330,000, which means hobbyists and home-based project designers will undoubtedly have to wait for a more viable option to hit the market.

The slideshow below shows a series of rings inside multicolor toys. They are printed in the configuration in one print session. Stratasys officials told Design News that a thin plastic support piece is broken internally, after printing, to allow movement of the rings. The guitar was printed in 10 hours in several components on the same printer. The cabinet near the guitar shows off other multi-color parts printed with Stratasys's new line. And finally, I tried to show the materials example strip that goes from extremely flexible, like a jelly, to harder plastic. All made on the same printer.

Click on the photo below to start the slideshow.

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