By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
For many designers, making your own 3D-printed part has been such a tease mainly because the expense of a good system was simply too high for the old budget. While there had been attempts at lower cost units, there were issues. Some units did not measure up in terms of technology, or “low cost” was accurate only if compared to the going price of everything else. That situation is what Stratasys set out to relegate to the additive manufacturing archives.
The new Mojo is a professional-grade 3D printing system that, Stratasys says, is the lowest-priced professional-grade 3D printer on the market. So, the first question is: “What’s ‘professional grade?’” Well, Mojo is a Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology-based printer. FDM is the technology used in the company’s high-end production-level and functional prototyping systems, such as its Fortus and Dimension lines. With Mojo’s FDM technology, print layers can be as fine as 0.007-in. thick, and the build envelope is 5x5x5 in. The materials are durable ABS plastic. That technology, those specs, and that material mean good parts, good details, and good size — aka professional grade.
Close readers will ask: “FDM technology-based?” Yeah, Mojo incorporates some ideas that make it an FDM system for everyday desktop use. For example, you unpack the box, load the materials, install the software, plug in the power (nothing fancy with the power), and start printing. That takes 30 minutes if you recycle the box. Its Print Pack of materials comes with a new print head each time, so you literally pop out the old material container and print head then put in the new ones.
Low cost. Alas, I will not mention the actual price because your SPAM filter might get set off, but it’s well publicized on the Stratasys website. Suffice to say Mojo is more than a brew at your local tavern, but it’s about the price of a good engineering workstation with all the fixings. And that includes a support removal system, software, and a materials pack to get you up and running.
Or you can lease a full Mojo system for a monthly amount that is less than what you blew on that date with someone who doesn’t return your calls. Stratasys, BTW, will return your calls, but you probably won’t have to call them since the whole idea of Mojo is to make printing in 3D a simple, easy reality for everyone.
So, if you have wanted your own professional-grade 3D printer but it all seemed too dear, Mojo seems like the affordable system you’ve hoped for. Take a look at the video from the link over there to see what kind of partner Mojo 3D printing can be for your design processes.
BTW, Scott Crump, CEO of Stratasys and the guy who invented FDM, makes an appearance in the video. Recently, the readers of TCT Magazine in the UK voted him as one of the top 20 most influential people in the rapid technologies industry. Having met Mr. Crump a few times (he’s tall and has a thing for old VWs), I can attest that Mojo seems to me to be the realization of his vision for additive manufacturing that he’s articulated since he worked on his patent decades ago. That is another reason why I ask you to check out this 3-minute video.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering