Stratasys has launched its first stereolithography 3D printer, the V650 Flex, which has shown at the Additive Manufacturing User Group show in Chicago earlier this month.
Stereolithography uses photopolymer resins contained in a vat, which are then exposed to ultraviolet light to create a thin slice of an object, that can then be built up layer by layer. This method is capable of producing detailed parts reasonably quickly though it can be expensive.
The V650 Flex has a relatively build volume of 508 x 508 x 584mm. It uses interchangeable vats and an adjustable beam that is said to produce detailed parts. The printer works via a touch panel developed in parallel with SolidView build preparation software. There are smart power controls and Adaptive Power Mode for automated adjustment of laser power, beam size and scan speeds for optimum build performance.
Omer Krieger, executive vice president of Products for Stratasys, commented: “The V650 Flex is the result of customer demand around the world wanting a better solution – fully configurable to match the specific application and use-case. The solution is truly one of the first large-scale systems for creating reliable, high-quality parts across design concepts, validation, investment casting, tooling, and injection molding.”
Stratasys has partnered with the materials science company DSM to verify DSM’s Somos resins for use with this printer. This includes Somos Element, an antimony-free stereolithography resin specifically designed for producing strong, stable investment casting patterns with fine-feature detail and very low residual burnout ash. There’s also Somos NeXt, which provides the accuracy of stereolithography with the look, feel and performance of a thermoplastic, and Somos PerFORM, for applications that require strong, stiff, high-temperature resistant parts, such as tooling and wind tunnel testing. Another option is Somos Watershed XC 11122, a clear solution for designers looking for ABS and PBT-like properties for stereolithography – producing highly detailed, dimensionally stable, optically-clear parts with water resistance.
Hugo da Silva, vice president of Additive Manufacturing at DSM, commented: “Stratasys’ entrance into the stereolithography segment is really a game-changer for the industry. Our collaboration allows customers to have greater access and flexibility for development of durable and reliable prototypes and tooling using stereolithography 3D printing.”Stratasys has already tested the printer through its direct manufacturing service bureau, where it says the printer has racked up over 75,000 hours and more than 150,000 parts.
You can find further details on the V650 Flex at www.stratasys.com.