A good sign for the Additive Manufacturing (AM) industry is the number of prototype service providers reporting purchases of new equipment and materials. It looks like more engineers are turning to prototyping, whether it’s in house or outsourced.
One of the more recent reports comes from Cideas, Inc., Crystal Lake, IL, a rapid prototyping, direct digital manufacturing (DDM) and 3D printing company, bought two Fortus 900mc 3D production systems from Stratasys Inc. The Fortus 900mc has a build envelope of 36 in. x 24 in. x 36 in. Noted Mike Littrell, president, this purchase is a direct response to an increased demand from existing as well as new customers requiring larger 3D printed thermoplastic and end-use parts that offer a high level of accuracy, durability and repeatability.
This purchase enables Cideas to offer new materials, such as the exotic plastic Ultem 9085, which lets you create more complex and larger 3D printed end-use parts quickly, without the expense imposed by other methods, such as CNC machining. Cideas offers seven material choices for the 900mc, but the focus is on Ultem 9085, which is a good match for the automotive, medical and aerospace industries due to its high heat deflection, chemical resistance and FST (flame, smoke and toxicity) rating.