The list of major players in rapid prototyping and 3D printing is not a very long one. In fact, if you try to count them with your fingers, you wouldn’t need to use both hands. In that tightly packed corner, a new super pact was formed when 3D Systems acquired Z Corp. this January. Another one emerged last month when Stratasys and Objet came together. That leaves essentially two big names — 3D Systems and Stratasys — as the principle movers of the industry. In this podcast recorded, Jon Cobb, Stratasys’ executive VP of global product marketing, and Bruce Bradshaw, Objet’s director of marketing, clarified the reasons behind the merger and addressed some questions on post-merger operations. Continue reading
It’s been a little more than a month since executive editor Steve Robbins and I journeyed to Redwood City, California, and delivered a 3D printer to DE Rapid Ready Sweepstakes winner Maegan Spencer, a R&D engineer at Avinger Inc. So last week, I returned to find out how Maegan has been using her prize, a uPrint SE 3D Print Pack. Continue reading
What Stratasys CEO Scott Crump called “an exciting day for Stratasys and Objet” began around 7:30 AM Central Time this Monday, April 16. It was the day the two companies announced their handshakes to come together and form a 3D printing powerhouse, estimated to be valued at $1.4 billion. Continue reading
Just a few months ago, 3D Systems snatched up Alibre, a low-cost CAD package that’s gaining ground among makers and hobbyists. This week, the company signed an agreement to buy Z Corp, a competing 3D printer vendor with color-printing technology.
Among competing rapid prototyping vendors, Z Corp distinguishes itself with machines that can print 3D models in multiple colors — an advantage for those using 3D printing for sales and marketing or those using it to study finite element analysis results. Z Corp also offers a line of 3D scanners — portable, handheld devices that can capture the shape of objects in point clouds.
When the transaction closes, Z Corp’s printers and scanners are expected to bolster 3D Systems’ lineup, which spans from low-cost, hobbyist-friendly models (BotMill, RapMan, ProJet, and V-Flash) to professional, production-capable models (ProJet, iPro, sPro, and VX brands). Continue reading
3D printer maker Objet Geometries seems to be following a two-year release cycle for its Connex brand. In 2007 the company released Objet500 Connex, followed by Objet350 Connex in 2009. This year, it released Object260 Connex. Described as a “compact, affordable” cousin of its predecessors, Objet260 is distinguished by its ability to jet two materials at the same time.
According to Objet, “This technology allows users to select from a large range of composite materials when building 3D models, such as Objet’s recently released ABS-like material. The system can also print a model replica made of up to 14 individual materials in a single print run.”
In the product spec sheet, Objet explains, “From a base of 14 cartridge-ready materials, users can create up to 51 composite, digital materials based on various combinations of the original 14.” The option to mix materials will be crucial for those who need to mimic components with different textures and tensile strengths in their prototypes.
The printer measures 1,200 x 735 x 870 mm (47 x 28 x 34 inch). The build tray measures 260 x 260 x 200 mm (10 x 10x 7 inch).
With the new model, Object is targeting the medical equipment, consumer electronics, and consumer goods industries. With a comparatively smaller form factor and lower price, Object also hopes to attract research institutes.