null  User manual
RESEARCH GUIDE
3D PRINTING SOLUTIONS
M AT E R I A L S , T E C H N O L O G I E S A N D P R I N T E R S : H O W T O M A K E T H E R I G H T
C H O I C E F O R Y O U R O R G A N I Z AT I O N A N D U S E C A S E
3D PRINTING SOLUTIONS
INTRODUCTION AND CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION
Are you a part of an engineering team that needs to bring
products to market faster? Are you a product designer striving for
CONTENTS
TECHNOLOGIES 03
FDM ®
P OLYJET™
greater innovation or customization? Or are you an educator who
S TEREOLITHOGRAPHY
wants to boost engagement with exciting classroom projects?
LASER SINTERING
METAL POWDER BED FUSION
No matter what sparked your interest in professional 3D printing,
this guide can be your starting point. We’ll help you ask the
MATERIALS 11
right questions while offering enough information about each
STANDARD PLASTICS
technology and material to set you on the right path.
ENGINEERING PLASTICS
HIGH-PERFORMANCE PLASTICS
PHOTOPOLYMERS
METALS
“The adoption of 3D printing as an engine for
growth and innovation is reaching levels where
the potential for disruption is becoming very real.”
Dr. Phil Reeves, Vice President,
Stratasys Expert Services
OPERATIONS 17
WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE OPERATIONAL GOAL?
WHAT SKILLS DO YOU HAVE IN HOUSE?
WHAT T YPE OF WORK ENVIRONMENT DO YOU HAVE?
BUDGET 22
GUIDING QUESTIONS
TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP
BUILD YOUR BUSINESS CASE
2
TECHNOLOGIES
WHAT WILL YOU 3D PRINT?
In this section, you’ll learn how each technology works, where
it excels, and what materials are available. Because 3D printing
is an area of constant change and rapid innovation, we’ll cover
FDM
P OLYJET
what we know best: technologies and materials developed
at Stratasys and those we’ve adopted to service the diverse
needs of our customers.
S TEREOLITHOGRAPHY
LASER SINTERING
METAL POWDER BED FUSION
3
TECHNOLOGIES
GUIDING QUESTIONS
QUESTIONS TO GUIDE RESEARCH
WHAT IS YOUR GOAL?
Identify the primary problem you want to solve, and use it as a lens to guide your research. Professional 3D printing encompasses a wide
range of materials, technologies and capabilities. By keeping your ultimate goal top-of-mind, you can stay focused on what’s relevant and
avoid information overload.
EX AMPLE GOALS:
• I want to test more design ideas in less time.
• I want to explain my ideas to colleagues or investors
more clearly.
• I want to lead exciting classroom projects that promote
sustained student engagement or foster
interest in STEM subjects.
• I want to improve customization for products I
already produce.
• I want to produce something that has proven impossible or
impractical with other manufacturing methods.
• I want to create custom objects for use as tools, controls or
variables in academic research.
• I want to support other manufacturing or
production processes.
• I want to produce functional prototypes to correct errors and
make improvements earlier in the design process.
4
TECHNOLOGIES
QUESTIONS TO GUIDE
YOUR RESEARCH
In-house or outsource? We’ll help you weigh your options.
WHAT WILL YOU 3D PRINT?
If you already know what you want to 3D print, ask yourself how it needs to look, what it needs to do, where it needs to function and how
long it needs to last. Consider those requirements as you assess each technology and material.
What does it need to look like?
What does it need to do?
Where does it need to function?
If aesthetics are important, consider both
The use may dictate the need for tighter
These factors will determine your need
the materials you’ll need and the steps you’ll
tolerances or tougher materials.
for specialized material properties like UV
have to take to get the desired result.
•Does it need to be realistic, and what
does that mean to you?
•Do you need to print in multiple colors
and materials?
•Do you need to achieve the
glossy surface finish of an injection
•Will it simply communicate an aesthetic
concept, or will it need to function like
your finished product?
•Will it need to hinge, snap, or bear a load?
resistance, biocompatibility, or high heatdeflection temperatures.
•Will it need to stand up to heat
or pressure?
•Will it be used outdoors?
•Will it be in prolonged contact with
the human body?
molded product?
How long does it need to last?
Some 3D printing materials are very
functional over a short period of time and
others can maintain their mechanical
properties for years.
•Will you use the part one time, or will it
need to withstand repeated use?
5
CONCEPT
MODELS
FULL-COLOR
MODELS
MULTI-MATERIAL
MODELS
FUNCTIONAL
PROTOTYPES
MOLDS AND
PATTERNS
JIGS AND
FIXTURES
TECHNOLOGIES
FDM
“To keep Ducati at the forefront of engine design, we
sought a technology that could make accurate, durable
prototypes quickly. FDM was the only solution that could
meet our requirements. The machines were as easy to
install as a printer and they now constitute an integral part
of our design and manufacturing process.”
PRODUCTION
PARTS
Piero Giusti, R&D CAD Manager, Ducati
FDM Technology
Synonyms and similar technologies: fused deposition
modeling, fused filament fabrication, plastic jet printing,
filament extrusion, fused filament deposition, material
deposition.
FDM systems and related technologies are by far the
most accessible and widely used form of 3D printing, with
variations found at the consumer level, the industrial level,
and everywhere in between. 3D printers based on FDM
technology build parts layer-by-layer from the bottom up
by heating and extruding thermoplastic filament, most
commonly, ABS.
Production-level systems work with a range of standard,
engineering and high-performance thermoplastics with
specialized properties like toughness, electrostatic dissipation,
translucence, biocompatibility, UV resistance, and high heat
deflection. This makes FDM ideal for a range of applications
from classroom projects and basic proof-of-concept models
to lightweight ductwork installed on commercial aircraft.
FDM works for a wide variety of applications from concept models to
demanding production parts.
While it can’t produce microscopic layer lines,
FDM offers a choice between speed and
resolution. Choosing coarser layers means larger
parts can be built more quickly.
FDM PERFORMANCE SCALE
LAYER
RESOLUTION
OK
THIN
WALLS
OK
SURFACE
FINISH
GOOD
EASE
OF USE
OUTSTANDING
Support: Soluble, breakaway
Durability, reliability, familiar materials, easy support
removal, office-friendly operation.
Visible layer lines, anisotropic strength
(weaker along layer lines)
6
CONCEPT
MODELS
FULL-COLOR
MODELS
MULTI-MATERIAL
MODELS
FUNCTIONAL
PROTOTYPES
MOLDS AND
PATTERNS
JIGS AND
FIXTURES
TECHNOLOGIES
POLYJET
PRODUCTION
PARTS
“We use 3D printing technology and
materials to create a lifelike vascular
environment that isn’t achievable any
other way.”
Mike Springer,
Director Of Operations and Entrepreneurship,
Jacobs Institute
PolyJet Technology
Synonyms and similar technologies: multijet printing,
the most sophisticated PolyJet systems can simulate everything
photopolymer jetting
from plastics and rubber to human tissue — and produce a full
PolyJet technology is renowned for its outstanding realism
gamut of colors. Product designers use PolyJet models when
and breathtaking aesthetics. The technology works similarly to
traditional inkjet printing, but instead of jetting ink onto paper, a
print head jets liquid photopolymers onto a build tray where each
droplet cures in a flash of UV light.
Every PolyJet 3D Printer offers sharp precision, smooth
end-product realism is the key to gaining useful feedback from
colleagues, clients, sponsors or investors. But the versatile
technology is also proven irreplaceable in specialized applications
ranging from injection molding to Hollywood special effects to
surgery-planning models.
Compare office-friendly technologies:
FDM and PolyJet.
surfaces and ultra-fine details. And, by combining a variety of
photopolymers in specific concentrations and microstructures,
P O LY J E T P E R F O R M A N C E
Realism, versatility, easy support
removal, office-friendly operation.
UV-sensitivity
LAYER
RESOLUTION
OUTSTANDING
THIN
WALLS
OUTSTANDING
Support: Soluble, water jet
SURFACE
FINISH
OUTSTANDING
EASE
OF USE
VERY GOOD
7
TECHNOLOGIES
STEREOLITHOGRAPHY
Stereolithography
CONCEPT
MODELS
FULL-COLOR
MODELS
MULTI-MATERIAL
MODELS
FUNCTIONAL
PROTOTYPES
MOLDS AND
PATTERNS
JIGS AND
FIXTURES
Synonyms: SLA, vat photopolymerization
Stereolithography (SL) was the world’s first 3D printing technology,
and it remains a great option for highly detailed prototypes that
PRODUCTION
PARTS
require tight tolerances and smooth surfaces. It uses a UV laser to
cure and solidify fine layers of photopolymer in an open vat.
SL PERFORMANCE SCALE
LAYER
RESOLUTION
VERY GOOD
THIN
WALLS
OUTSTANDING
SURFACE
FINISH
OUTSTANDING
EASE
OF USE
GOOD
Support: Breakaway
Precision, surface smoothness
UV-sensitivity, extra post-curing steps
SL is great for prototyping parts that will ultimately be painted
or coated because the models can be finished using the same
materials and processes as the end product. Transparent, heatresistant and moisture resistant materials are also attractive
for medical, automotive and other prototypes that call for flow
visualization, light transmittance or thermostability.
“The great thing about SL plastics is that
they are strong enough to endure vibration
testing to a certain point...We used the
SL [camera housing] prototype for water,
precision of alignment and vibration testing.”
Marcel Tremblay,
Director of Mechanical Engineering, FLIR
Product designers opt for SL models when a quick build time is
crucial, and they can invest time and resources into additional
finishing processes. SL can also produce master patterns for
urethane casting, and investment casting patterns that are used to
produce metal parts for aerospace, automotive, power generation
and medical applications.
Compare photopolymer technologies:
Stereolithography and PolyJet
8
TECHNOLOGIES
LASER SINTERING
“Originally, we would hand-build [UAV] ailerons, and it
would take about 24 manhours each. When we had them
grown in LS through Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, we
had the ailerons designed, built and assembled on the
UAV in three days. LS ... is efficient and, from an aesthetic
standpoint, produces parts that are gorgeous.”
CONCEPT
MODELS
FULL-COLOR
MODELS
MULTI-MATERIAL
MODELS
FUNCTIONAL
PROTOTYPES
MOLDS AND
PATTERNS
JIGS AND
FIXTURES
PRODUCTION
PARTS
Dr. Nicholas Alley, CEO, Area-I
LS is a great option when the geometric
complexity of a part makes it difficult to
produce through other processes or when the
anticipated production volume doesn’t justify
the time and expense of tooling.
LS PERFORMANCE
Many of these chrome interior details were created with laser sintering technology. Parts
were electroplated to achieve a shiny metallic finish.
Laser Sintering
Synonyms: selective laser sintering, SLS, powder bed fusion
Laser Sintering (LS) excels at building components with good
mechanical properties and extremely complex geometries,
including interior features, undercuts, thin walls or negative
draft. It builds parts using a high-powered CO2 laser to
selectively melt and fuse powdered thermoplastics.
LAYER
RESOLUTION
GOOD
THIN
WALLS
GOOD
SURFACE
FINISH
VERY GOOD
EASE
OF USE
OK
Support: None
Tough materials, isotropic properties
(equally strong in all directions)
Limited material options, complex operation,
LS parts can be created from a range of powdered
extra steps to change materials and post-process
polyamide materials, including nylon 11, nylon 12, and
parts, not office friendly
polyamides with various fillers, like carbon fiber or glass
spheres, to enhance their mechanical properties. The
resulting parts are comparable to those produced with
traditional manufacturing methods, and can be watertight,
airtight, heat resistant, and flame retardant.
Compare plastic-melting technologies:
FDM and LS
9
TECHNOLOGIES
METAL POWDER BED FUSION
“This surgical tool has turned our vision of transforming ACL
reconstruction into a reality faster, and someday will hopefully
eliminate repeat knee injuries to keep more athletes off the
bench and on the field.”
CONCEPT
MODELS
FULL-COLOR
MODELS
MULTI-MATERIAL
MODELS
FUNCTIONAL
PROTOTYPES
MOLDS AND
PATTERNS
JIGS AND
FIXTURES
PRODUCTION
PARTS
Dr. Dana Piasecki, Orthopedic Surgeon, DanaMed
DanaMed’s surgical tool was produced at Stratasys Direct
Manufacturing with INCONEL 718.
Metal Powder Bed Fusion
Synonyms: metal powder bed sintering,
Additive metals like ICONEL®, aluminum,
MPBD, selective laser melting, metal laser
stainless steel, and titanium create strong
melting and direct metal laser melting
and durable parts with hard-to-achieve
Metal powder bed fusion (MPBF) can
features like internal cavities, conformal
produce complex geometries not possible
with other metal-manufacturing processes.
MPBD makes low-volume production feasible for complex
metal parts. It can produce thin walls and other features that
are difficult or cost-prohibitive to machine or cast.
Using a precise, high-wattage fiber laser, it
micro-welds powdered metals and alloys
to form fully functional components that are
comparable to their wrought counterparts.
features, thin walls, internal cavities,
undercuts and interlocking components.
These capabilities are ideal for prototypes
and low-volume parts that need to be
consolidated or customized, ruling out
traditional processes like machining
and casting.
M E TA L P O W D E R B E D F U S I O N P E R F O R M A N C E
Compared with machining, MPBS produces
complex parts more cost-efficiently, creates less
waste, and consumes less energy.
Requires a production environment with specialized
LAYER
RESOLUTION
VERY GOOD
THIN
WALLS
OK
SURFACE
FINISH
GOOD
EASE
OF USE
POOR
equipment and skilled labor for support removal
and finishing.
Support: Metal
10
MATERIALS
CONTENTS
STANDARD PLASTICS
If you already you how your part needs to look, what it needs to
do, where it needs to function and how long it needs to last, you’ve
got most of the criteria you need to select a suitable 3D printing
material. We we won’t cover every material there is, but we’ll
address the most popular plastics, photopolymers and metals used
for professional prototyping and production applications.
ENGINEERING PLASTICS
HIGH-PERFORMANCE PLASTICS
PHOTOPOLYMERS
METALS
11
SL
POLYJET
LS
MPBF
MATERIALS
STANDARD PLASTICS
FDM
“Dimensional accuracy and dimensional
stability were critical for the design
verification. The FDM system, with its ABS
plastic, gave us both.”
Tae Sun Byun, Principal Research Engineer,
Hyundai Mobis
The handle and blade guard on this prototype
were 3D printed with ABS plastic.
Standard Plastics
This rake was 3D printed with strong, UV-stable ASA thermoplastic.
The most widely used category of 3D
3D printed parts will bear many similarities
printing materials includes some of the
to their injection-molded counterparts,
same general-purpose plastics found in
so you can accurately test form, fit and
mass-production processes like injection
function before investing in tooling. While
molding. Production-level FDM systems
you should evaluate each material based on
work with several formulations of ABS
the mechanical, thermal, electrical, chemical
thermoplastic that have specialized
and environmental properties you require,
properties like electrostatic dissipation,
you can also leverage what you already
translucency and biocompatibility. They also
know about these familiar plastics.
work with ASA for applications that need
Find detailed specifications at
stratasysdirect.com/materials
better aesthetics or UV-resistance.
S TA N D A R D P L A S T I C S
■ ABS
■ ASA
■ PLA
TENSILE STRENGTH
FLEXURAL STRENGTH
HEAT RESISTANCE
IMPACT STRENGT H
12
SL
POLYJET
LS
MPBF
MATERIALS
ENGINEERING PLASTICS
FDM
“The PC-ABS material provides 70% of the strength
of production ABS, so it’s strong enough for nearly
every prototype. Just as important, we’ve found the
system provides accuracies of +/-0.001 inch per
inch which is sufficient for almost every prototype.”
Randy Larson, Fabrication Shop Supervisor, Polaris
Engineering Plastics
For applications that require higher heat resistance, chemical
resistance, impact strength, fire retardancy or mechanical
strength, production-level 3D printers work with specialized
plastics that meet stringent engineering requirements.
ENGINEERING PLASTICS
■ PC
■ PC-ABS
■ FDM Nylon 12
■ Carbon-fiber
filled nylon 12
TENSILE STRENGTH
IMPACT STRENGTH
■ Glass-filled
nylon 12
■ Nylon 11
■ Nylon 12
FLEXURAL STRENGTH
HEAT RESISTANCE
FDM works with one of the most widely used industrial
thermoplastics, PC, as well as impact-resistant PC-ABS,
biocompatible PC-ISO, and fatigue-resistant FDM Nylon 12™.
LS works with standard nylon 11 and nylon 12 materials and a
variety of reinforced polyamides with specialized properties like
improved tensile strength, heat resistance, biocompatibility, rigidity
or electrostatic dissipation. Specific formulations are FST rated for
use in automotive and aerospace applications, or FDA certified for
food contact.
Find detailed specifications at
stratasysdirect.com/materials
13
SL
POLYJET
LS
MPBF
MATERIALS
HIGH-PERFORMANCE PLASTICS
FDM
“The rugged factory environment often puts high
demands on 3D printing materials and based on our
experience, ULTEM™ 1010 [resin] is fully capable of
meeting the challenge.”
Larry Crano, Automation Specialist
UTC Aerospace Systems
High-Performance Plastics
High-performance plastics offer the greatest temperature
stability, chemical stability and mechanical strength for the
most demanding engineering applications.
Production-level FDM systems work with autoclavesterilizable PPSF, FST-rated ULTEM 9085 resin and
biocompatible ULTEM 1010 resin. ULTEM 1010 resin
is available with food-contact and bio-compatibility
certifications, and ULTEM 9085 resin can be produced
to meet strict aerospace-industry requirements or
custom specifications.
LS technology can also be modified to work at the elevated
temperatures needed to build parts from PEKK. This material
resists chemical deterioration and damage while maintaining
good flexural and compressive strength at temperatures
higher than typical nylon-based LS parts can sustain.
HIGH-PERFORMANCE PLASTICS
Find detailed specifications at
stratasysdirect.com/materials
TENSILE STRENGTH
IMPACT STRENGTH
FLEXURAL STRENGTH
HEAT RESISTANCE
■ PPSF
■ ULTEM 1010 resin
■ ULTEM 9085 resin
14
SL
POLYJET
LS
MPBF
MATERIALS
PHOTOPOLYMERS
FDM
“The first time the entrepreneur sees his idea and
feels it in his hands is a crucial moment. We need to
give him the most realistic prototype possible.”
Michael Librus, CEO, Synergy
Photopolymers
SL has empowered doctors at the Texas Cardiac
Arrhythmia Institute to create accurate models of their
patients’ hearts before performing surgery.
Find detailed specifications at
stratasysdirect.com/materials
Photopolymers are liquid resins that cure
means PolyJet can mimic a wide range
upon exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light.
of materials in a single model. For realistic
Stereolithography (SL) works with single
effects, PolyJet can combine rigid,
photopolymers that mimic the properties
rubberlike, heat-resistant, transparent and
of common thermoplastics like ABS,
opaque materials to produce parts with
polycarbonate and polypropylene. They are
varied color, opacity, hardness, flexibility or
available in clear, grey and white opaque as
thermal stability – and the most advanced
well as a special formulation for investment
system can even produce a photorealistic
casting patterns.
gamut of colors.
PolyJet technology can additionally simulate
Photopolymers are smooth and beautiful,
polypropylene, and can even mimic ABS by
so they’re excellent for prototyping and
combining a heat-resistant photopolymer
work well for certain tooling applications,
with another that has superior toughness. In
too. However, they are UV-sensitive and not
fact, this ability to jet multiple photopolymers
as durable as production-grade plastics.
V E R S AT I L E M AT E R I A L C H A R A C T E R I S T I C S
M AT E R I A L
S I M U L AT I O N S
P O LY J E T
SL
ABS
•
•
POLYPROPYLENE
•
PC
M AT E R I A L
PROPERTY
P O LY J E T
SL
BIOCOMPATIBLE
•
•
•
HEAT RESISTANT
•
•
–
•
TRANSPARENT
•
•
RUBBER
•
MULTIPLE MATERIALS
IN A SINGLE BUILD
•
–
–
PLANT AND ANIMAL
TISSUE
•
–
15
SL
POLYJET
LS
MPBF
MATERIALS
METALS
FDM
“Being able to make design changes and 3D
print new tools within days was extremely
important to helping us perfect the design. We
could get feedback from a doctor, make design
adjustments and send an updated [tool] within a
week – something we wouldn’t be able to do with
investment casting or injection molding.”
Jim Duncan, CEO, DanaMed, Inc.
Metals
Some 3D printing applications require specialized properties that
only metals can deliver. When a high-performance thermoplastic
won’t suffice, additive metals and alloys deliver dense, corrosionresistant and high-strength parts that can be heat treated and
stress relieved.
INCONEL, titanium and cobalt chrome are best-suited for
demanding production applications that require high tensile
DanaMed’s surgical tool before support removal and finishing.
strength. But when speed is key, parts can be built faster with
aluminum than with any other additive metal. And while it also has
good mechanical properties, that quick build time has made it a
M E TA L S
favorite for metal prototypes. Additionally, multiple stainless steel
compositions offer good weldability and corrosion resistance.
As with any material, understanding the differences between
various metal compositions with similar properties will be an
important step when picking a metal for your project.
ULTIMATE TENSILE STRENGTH
ELONGATION
Find detailed specifications at
stratasysdirect.com/materials
HARDNESS
■ Stainless Steel 17-4 PH
■ Stainless Steel 316L
■ Aluminum (AlSi10Mg)
■ ICONEL 718
■ ICONEL 625
■ Titanium (Ti64)
■C
obalt Chrome (CoCr)
16
OPERATIONS
CONTENTS
While you may have identified the ways your organization could benefit
from 3D printing, the path to operational implementation may not be clear.
Do you buy one 3D printer? Do you establish a 3D printing lab? Do you
order parts on-demand? Each route has its unique benefits depending on
SKILLS NEEDED
FACILITY REQUIREMENTS
ANCILLARY EQUIPMENT
your business objectives. In this section, we’ll explain the skills, equipment
and facilities required for each technology, so you can gauge organizational
readiness, and assess what makes sense from an operations perspective.
17
OPERATIONS
GUIDING QUESTIONS
QUESTIONS TO GUIDE RESEARCH
WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE OPERATIONAL GOAL?
Consider the primary business drivers for bringing 3D printing to your organization, and keep them top-of-mind as you assess potential
paths to implementation.
EX AMPLE OPERATIONAL GOALS:
• We need to go to market faster.
• We need to shorten the design cycle.
• We want to attract industry partners to work with our school.
• We need to attract bright employees, students or faculty.
• We need to better customize products we already produce.
• We need to emphasize innovation in our company.
• We want to promote an entrepreneurial culture.
WHAT SKILLS DO YOU HAVE IN HOUSE?
Bringing 3D printers in-house will require some training – and
some technologies may even call for hiring new talent. For FDM
and PolyJet technologies, Stratasys offers training online or inperson through instructor-led courses, webinars and e-learning
modules. We’re also working with colleges and universities
worldwide to prepare the next generation of designers, engineers
and technicians.
If you don’t have the resources to manage a lab, or the expertise
to operate or design for a certain technology, outsourcing
production is a good way to minimize risk and learn more before
dedicating permanent resources.
WHAT T YPE OF WORK ENVIRONMENT DO YOU HAVE?
Some systems are more office friendly than others, but even if
you don’t have the floor space or the ventilation requirements,
you can still take advantage of the more demanding technologies
through service bureaus like Stratasys Direct Manufacturing.
18
OPERATIONS
SKILLS AND TRAINING
FDM
STEREOLITHOGRAPHY
Train on build setup, minor maintenance, machine
Train on build setup, moderate maintenance, machine
operation and finishing.
operation and finishing; knowledge of optical delivery
systems; proper hazardous material handling.
POLYJET
METAL POWDER BED FUSION
Train on build setup, minor maintenance, machine
Train on build setup, moderate maintenance, machine
operation and finishing.
operation and finishing; knowledge of optical delivery
systems, advanced hazardous material handling.
Engineering or science degree is a prerequisite.
Emphasis on mechanical engineering and metallurgy
LASER SINTERING
is suggested.
Train on build setup, moderate maintenance, machine
operation and finishing; significant technical acumen
in materials behavior and optical delivery systems;
knowledge of heat transfer principles will be valuable.
19
OPERATIONS
FACILIT Y REQUIREMENTS
FDM
STEREOLITHOGRAPHY
Any air-conditioned environment; dedicated space,
Dedicated manufacturing space for machine(s);
ventilation and compressed air for larger 3D production
ventilation; specialty multi-stage alcohol treatment bath
systems that process engineering and high-
station with containment.
performance plastics.
POLYJET
METAL POWDER BED FUSION
Air conditioned environment; dedicated space for
Dedicated manufacturing space; ventilation systems
larger systems.
for airborne particulates; ventilated work stations; air
conditioned environment; fireproofing; compressed air;
argon lines run to each machine.
LASER SINTERING
Dedicated manufacturing space for machine; breakout
areas for ancillary processes; access to water for chillers;
special dedicated air handling to remove particulates;
compressed air; nitrogen lines run to each machine.
20
OPERATIONS
ANCILLARY EQUIPMENT
FDM
STEREOLITHOGRAPHY
Support removal system and optional finishing system.
Post-cure oven, wash stations, hazardous waste
disposal and containment, hand finishing tools and
equipment, isopropal alcohol recycling system.
POLYJET
METAL POWDER BED FUSION
Support removal system.
Chillers, static-free vacuums, machine filters, sieving
equipment, metal working equipment (mills, lathes,
band saws, etc), stress relief oven, metalworking/
finishing hand tools.
LASER SINTERING
Media blasters, powder handling equipment, sifters,
powder mixing equipment, chillers, lift carts.
21
BUDGET
CONTENTS
For anyone who needs to build a business case for 3D printing,
we’ll touch on the financial benefits, factors that contribute to total
cost of ownership and alternatives to bringing 3D printers in house.
GUIDING QUESTIONS
TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP
BUILD YOUR BUSINESS CASE
22
BUDGET
GUIDING QUESTIONS
GUIDING QUESTIONS
WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET AND TIMELINE?
If you have a project with a predetermined budget and timeline, you may just be looking for the fastest solution at the lowest cost.
Purchasing parts through a service bureau like Stratasys Direct Manufacturing might be your best option.
WHAT IS YOUR MAIN FINANCIAL OBJECTIVE?
To build a broader business case for adoption, first decide on your top financial objective. Will you reduce costs? Increase revenues?
Focus on one of these benefits and build your case by demonstrating how 3D printing helps you achieve it.
HOW MUCH DO YOU SPEND ON PROTOT YPING NOW?
If you’ll base your business case on cost reduction, you’ll need to know
how much you’re spending now. Be sure to include the time and cost
of tooling production, finishing and assembly. You’ll find opportunities
to save time and money by consolidating parts, eliminating prototype
tooling and reducing manual work.
WHAT REVENUE-GENERATING OPPORTUNITIES DO YOU SEE?
Basing your business case on revenue instead of cost reduction
won’t be quite as straightforward, but if you see significant business
opportunities for greater customization, faster time-to-market, or
innovative designs that can’t be produced any other way, it might make
sense to take this approach.
HOW WOULD YOU BENEFIT BY PROTOT YPING MORE?
How would your business benefit from a faster and more iterative
prototyping process? Could you:
• Detect errors sooner?
• Avoid tooling rework?
• Reduce engineering change orders?
• Improve quality and reduce warranty claims?
• Launch more products?
• Increase market share?
These benefits, while more difficult to predict precisely, may be essential
to your business case.
23
BUDGET
TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP
“For our first FDM machine purchase, we projected ROI in 4 years, but it took only 18 months. For
our second FDM machine purchase we saw ROI in only 9 months. You will never get away from
conventional methods and highly skilled technicians, but you can give them the proper tools and new
technology that can make their job easier and competitive.”
Mitchell Weatherly, Sheppard Air Force Base
If you’re building a business case for purchasing one or more
MACHINE
3D printers, you’ll need to consider more than just the cost of
Professional 3D printers range widely in price, from under
the machine and materials. Facility requirements, associated
$3000 to over $1 million.
labor and service contracts may all contribute to the total cost of
MATERIALS
owning a professional 3D printer.
The cost of materials and the amount you’ll consume
will be a big contributor to your total cost of ownership.
EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES
Some 3D printers can be installed in any office environment, while
others have special requirements.
LABOR
Depending on the technology, you may need a skilled operator
dedicated to your system, or you may be able to train existing
employees in a few hours.
SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE
An annual service contract can help you minimize downtime and
maintain your production schedules while keeping your costs stable
and predictable.
THE COST OF DOING NOTHING
Decision-makers often stick to the status quo. You’ll need to show
them the cost of inaction, whether that’s too many change orders or
a stagnating product line.
UNDER
$10K
FDM
ü
PolyJet
$1050K
$50200K
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
LS
SL
MPBF
$200500K
$500K+
TIME AND LABOR
REQUIREMENTS
M AT E R I A L C O S T S
FA C I L I T I E S A N D
EQUIPMENT NEEDS
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
Figures shown are for informational purposes only and based solely on what we’ve deemed typical. Actual costs will var y based on manufacturer, region, contractual
agreements and other factors.
24
BUDGET
STRATASYS PURCHASE OPTIONS FOR PARTS AND 3D PRINTERS
Partner with Stratasys to access a wide range of 3D printing
technologies, augment your in-house prototyping and production
capabilities -- or both. We offer office-friendly, reliable FDM and
PolyJet technology for purchase through authorized resellers, and
can build parts on demand using FDM, PolyJet, stereolithography,
laser sintering, metal powder bed sintering, and a range of
traditional manufacturing technologies.
ENTRY-LEVEL FDM
MID-RANGE FDM
HIGH-END FDM
Approximate build size
Up to 6 x 6 x 8 in.
(15 x 15 x 20 cm)
Approximate build size
Up to 14 x 10 x 14 in.
(36 x 25 x 36 cm)
Approximate build size
Up to 36 x 24 x 36 in
(91 x 60 x 91 cm)
Parts on demand
REQUEST A QUOTE
Parts on demand
REQUEST A QUOTE
Parts on demand
REQUEST A QUOTE
Buy a printer
CONTACT A RESELLER
Buy a printer
CONTACT A RESELLER
Buy a printer
CONTACT A RESELLER
Printers in this
category
uPrint SE Plus™
Printers in this
category
Stratasys F170™,
Stratasys F270™ and
Stratasys F370™
Printers in this
category
Fortus 380/450/900mc™
Use affordable ABS plastic to create models and
Choose between four thermoplastics to build larger
Choose from a range of standard, engineering
functional prototypes that are durable, stable and
concept models and prototypes in a variety of
and high-performance plastics to build prototypes,
pinpoint accurate. Evaluate form, fit and function
standard or custom colors. Some systems in this
tooling and production parts. Variable layer
in everything from ergonomics to manufacturing
range let you choose between two or three layer
resolution lets you optimize for build speed or
processes — right from your desktop.
resolutions for a faster build or finer detail.
feature detail.
ENTRY-LEVEL POLYJET
MID-RANGE POLYJET
HIGH-END POLYJET
Approximate build size
Up to 11 × 7 × 5 in.
(29 x 19 x 14 cm)
Approximate build size
10 × 10 × 8 in.
(25 x 25 x 20 cm)
Approximate build size
Up to 39 × 31 × 19 in.
(100 x 80 x 50 cm)
Parts on demand
REQUEST A QUOTE
Parts on demand
REQUEST A QUOTE
Parts on demand
REQUEST A QUOTE
Buy a printer
CONTACT A RESELLER
Buy a printer
CONTACT A RESELLER
Buy a printer
CONTACT A RESELLER
Printers in this
category
Objet 24™, Objet 30™,
Objet30 Pro™, Objet 30
Prime™
Printers in this
category
Eden260VS™ or Objet260
Connex3™
Printers in this
category
Objet1000 Plus™, Objet350
Connex3™, Objet500
Connex3™, Stratasys J750™
Choose from several photopolymer options to
build single-material models and prototypes.
Soluble support material can be removed with
water and detergent.
Choose from a wider range of photopolymers to
build single- or multi-material concept models,
prototypes and molds. Systems in this range offer
finer resolution and soluble support material.
Build color and multi-material concept models,
prototypes, molds and tooling in larger sizes or
higher quantities. Systems in this range work with
soluble support material and offer PolyJet’s finest
layer resolution.
25
BUDGET
STRATASYS PURCHASE OPTIONS FOR PARTS ONLY
MID-RANGE STEREOLITHOGRAPHY
HIGH-END STEREOLITHOGRAPHY
Approximate build size
Up to 10 x 10 x 10 in.
(25 x 25 x 25 cm)
Approximate build size
Up to 25 x 30 x 20 in.
(63 x 76 x 50 cm)
Parts on demand
REQUEST A QUOTE
Parts on demand
REQUEST A QUOTE
Choose from several photopolymers to build concept
Choose from a wide selection of photopolymers
models, prototypes and casting patterns. Systems in
to build prototypes, molds, production parts and
this range offer moderate to fine layer resolution.
casting patterns. Systems in this range offer fast
build times and variable layer thickness and beam
diameter so you can optimize part resolution.
MID-RANGE LASER SINTERING
HIGH-END LASER SINTERING
Approximate build size
Up to 12 x 14 x 15 in.
(30 x 35 x 38 cm)
Approximate build size
27 x 15 x 20 in.
(68 x 38 x 50 cm) and larger
Parts on demand
REQUEST A QUOTE
Parts on demand
REQUEST A QUOTE
Choose from several engineering plastics to build
Choose from a wide range of engineering and high-
prototypes, tools and production parts. Systems in
performance plastics to build prototypes,
this range offer fine to moderate layer resolution and
tools and production parts. Systems in this range
require manual material handling and recycling.
offer moderate to fine layer resolution and can
work with specialized material handling and
recycling equipment.
ENTRY-LEVEL METAL POWDER
BED FUSION
MID-RANGE METAL POWDER
BED FUSION
Approximate build size
27 x 15 x 20 in.
(68 x 38 x 50 cm) and larger
Approximate build size
10 x 10 x 10
(25 x 25 x 25 cm)
Parts on demand
REQUEST A QUOTE
Parts on demand
REQUEST A QUOTE
Choose from a wide range of engineering and high-
Choose from a broader range of metals and alloys.
performance plastics to build prototypes,
Using a higher-wattage laser, these systems produce
tools and production parts. Systems in this range
parts with speed and accuracy for prototyping,
offer moderate to fine layer resolution and can
bridge-to-production or final production.
work with specialized material handling and
recycling equipment.
HIGH-END METAL POWDER
BED FUSION
Approximate build size
15 x 15 x 15 in
(38 x 38 x 38 cm)
Parts on demand
REQUEST A QUOTE
Combine high-wattage laser(s) with the largest
build volume available for metal powder bed fusion.
These platforms focus on large part production,
increased throughput, and can include enclosed
powder handling.
26
NEXT STEPS
BUILD YOUR BUSINESS CASE
To designers, engineers and product managers, the value
of additive manufacturing machines for rapid prototyping
is unquestionable. Yet, in spite of the obvious value, it
may not be clear how to convince the management and
accounting departments that the benefits justify the
capital expenditure.
The challenge is two-fold: 1) conveying the value in
objective terms, 2) writing the business case in a style
that executive management embraces and the finance
department understands. To improve the odds of gaining
approval, this white paper offers guidelines and tips for
creating a compelling business case for the acquisition of
additive manufacturing equipment for prototyping.
CONTACT A RESELLER
Our resellers act as true partners and advisors,
providing best-in-class solutions and reliable
expertise. An authorized reseller in your region
can help you select the right 3D printer for your
application and budget, and offer more detailed
pricing information.
REQUEST A QUOTE ON A PART
Stratasys Direct Manufacturing can provide
a quote for your current project, and a
team of experts to support you at every
stage of the product development and
manufacturing process.
EXPLORE CONSULTING OPTIONS
If you’re considering large-scale adoption, learn
how Stratasys Expert Services can help you
identify and scope opportunities unique to your
company and industry.
27
S T R ATA SYS .C O M
HEADQUARTERS
7665 Commerce Way, Eden Prairie, MN 55344
+1 800 801 6491 (US Toll Free)
+1 952 937 3000 (Intl)
+1 952 937 0070 (Fax)
2 Holtzman St., Science Park, PO Box 2496
Rehovot 76124, Israel
+972 74 745 4000
+972 74 745 5000 (Fax)
ISO 9001:2008 Certified
©2016, 2017 Stratasys Inc. All rights reserved. Stratasys, Stratasys logo, FDM and PolyJet are trademarks or registered trademarks of Stratasys Inc., registered in the United States and other countries. ULTEM is a registered trademark of SABIC
or affiliates. All other trademarks belong to their respective owners. Product specifications subject to change without notice. Printed in the USA. BR_3DPrintingSolutions_0117a
For more information about Stratasys systems, materials and applications, call 888.480.3548 or visit www.stratasys.com
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