As a fabrication and manufacturing company, Midwest Composite Technologies is continually increasing its capabilities through the use of the latest technologies. Due to the company’s growth, it recently purchased six FDM systems—three Fortus 400mc machines and three Fortus 900mc machines from Stratasys—putting the company at eighteen 3D printers.
The new Fused Deposition Modeling systems adds to the company’s industrial design, prototyping, and production capabilities, whether in subtractive manufacturing using CNC Machining Centers or additive manufacturing using a variety of 3D printer technologies.
Both the Fortus 400mc and Fortus 900mc can use the full spectrum of materials available, including ABSi, ABS-ESD7, ABS-M30, ABS-M30i, ASA, PC-ABS, PC-ISO, PC, Nylon 12, ULTEM-9085, and PPSF PPSU. The Fortus 400mc has a build size of up to 16-in. x 14-in. x 16-in., while the Fortus 900mc offers the largest build size of 36-in. x 24-in. x 36-in. The machines can produce parts that require high-performance, biocompatibility, static dissipation, or resistance to heat, chemicals, or UV radiation.
FDM technology builds parts layer-by-layer from the bottom up through heating and extruding thermoplastic filament. All it takes is an STL file ported from a CAD system, which is then imported into the FDM system software. The system software allows the user to determine tool path for the printer. This is why years of design and manufacturing expertise, like that of Midwest Composite Technologies is essential to producing the best part in the shortest period of time. With experienced build designers, a customer often saves on post-production finishing.
FDM technology is clean and simple to use, and is supported by production-grade thermoplastics that are mechanically and environmentally stable. Furthermore, complex geometries and cavities that would otherwise be problematic become practical while using FDM technology.