Stratasys latest designs and architecture mimic data centers and may be able to scale custom manufacturing.
ByLarry DignanforBetween the LinesMay 9, 2017 — 15:30 GMT (23:30 GMT+08:00)Topic:Innovation
If Stratasys vision plays out the manufacturing facilities in the future may just resemble todays data centers with racks and rows of systems.
Stratasys is launching a technology demonstrator–an additive manufacturing system thats not available for sale, but being developed with customers–that takes cues from datacenterand clouddesignsand could scale custom part making.
The demonstrator signals a newapproachto additive manufacturing that offers multiple cells,3D printersin a rack,minimaloperator intervention and architecture that resembles modern IT formats.
Tim Bohling,chiefmarketing officer of Stratasys, said that the demonstrator is designed to expand the additive manufacturing market. Stratasys is developing the technology using various tools it already has on the market. Those tools go include the Fortus FDMprintengine, GrabCAD 3Dmanagementsoftware and knowhow from other projects.
Stratasys demonstrator prints plastic parts in a scalable and reliable way. Stratasys claims 99.9 availability with automatic failover and redundancy in 1×3 cell and 3×3 cell configurations.
According to the company, the technology being demonstrated is being developed with a series of customers tackling several use cases.
Roger Kelesoglu,directorofglobalsales enablement at Stratasys, said the companysmodularapproach to its demonstrator is important for scale as well as distributing workloads. As demand increases so can capacity.
While Stratasys approach takes cues from cloud computing andclustering, the additive manufacturing system doesnt require anyspecialcooling or power systems.
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