Stratasys recently had the opportunity to answer this question in a recent webinar.
For medical applications, Stratasys offers two types of printers.
It’s Fuse Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3d printer essentially uses an extrusion head that heats up plastic filament and then lays it down one layer at a time.
According to Stratasys, FDM is especially functional for prototypes. It’s a single material printer that uses thermoplastics. Thus, it functions with simple ABS up to a high-technology plastic called Ultem 1010 that offers very high heat deflection properties and can be sterilized. Ultem is also smoke-free and chemical free in terms of off-gassing.
Stratasys also offers ABS, M30I, a nylon materials, and polycarbonate materials as well.
The other type of printer is the multi-jetting PolyJet printer. PolyJet 3D Printing works similarly to inkjet printing, but instead of jetting drops of ink onto paper, it jet layers of curable liquid photopolymer onto a build tray.
The UV cured liquid polymers are proprietary to Stratasys. They each have proprietary properties and different customization capabilities. The polymers can simulate material that’s a soft rubber-like to material that is more rigid.
Another specialized material is digital ABS that can be used for creating injection molds. It can build injection molds capable of producing 50 to 100 parts on an order for parts for medical testing verification and validation.