Stratasys expands full-colour 3D printing offering with hardware and software launches

Stratasys has announced the launch of two new full-colour PolyJet 3D printing systems and two software products for users in the packaging and research fields.

The company has developed these new hardware and software offerings in a bid to help designers and engineers bring new products to market faster.

Among the new products Stratasys has announced is the J35 Pro 3D printer, which brings the multi-material and multi-colour capabilities of the J Series to a desktop system suitable for office environments. The J35, per Stratasys, is capable of producing concept models and high-fidelity and functional models, with a wide variety of grayscale colours and Vero UltraClear materials being incorporated into prints with complex geometries and intricate details. The materials available for J35 Pro include DraftGrey, VeroUltra White S, VeroUltra Black, Vero ContactClear Bio-Compatible, Elastico Clear, Elastico Black and Digital ABS Plus.

Up to three materials can be used in a single print run, while the J35 machine is also said to be silent when operating, odour-free and requiring little maintenance thanks to a unique rotating build tray. The machine is also supported by the GrabCAD Print software, which allows users to import designs using native CAD files or 3MF file formats. It is expected to begin shipping in September.

“It is very exciting to bring this level of multi-material 3D printing capabilities into the design and engineering office environment – designers and engineers can now harness the power of their imagination and bring their ideas to life without having to leave their workstation,” commented Shamir Shoham, Vice President of Design for Stratasys. “Our customers can now create the best and most innovative solutions for their customers, all without being reliant on outsourcing, worrying about lost IP, time consuming modelling or simple 2D renderings. With the J35 Pro, we put the power to print into their hands.”

“By bringing the J35 pro into our office, we can now create the models and prototypes in-house, in a day – giving us the ability to iterate, correct errors and more efficiently verify designs with our customers,” added Yaniv Adir, Project Manager for Taga Innovations, a manufacturing engineering firm based in Israel. “This printer has allowed us to revolutionise the way in which we do business. By creating functional and realistic models in house, decision makers receive something they can hold in their hands, move and articulate – leading to quicker and smarter decision making.”

In addition to the J35 Pro, Stratasys has also introduced the J55 Prime system which is said to ‘go beyond full-colour printing’ with new materials that enable ‘tactile, textual and sensory capabilities’ on top of the capabilities full-colour PolyJet technology already boasts.

Among the new materials are the Elastico Clear and Elastico Black materials, which are also compatible with the J35 Pro and offer flexible, soft-touch printing that simulates the look, feel and function of rubber-like products. Vero ContactClear, another material available for the J35 Pro, offers translucency and is designed for prolonged skin or bodily contact, while Digital ABS Ivory is suitable for high impact designs like moulds, fixtures and functional prototypes. Finally, the VeroUltra family of materials enables the printing of ultra-opaque colours and introduces 2D level graphics and text, as well as ‘vibrant and accurate colours with better plastic simulation.’

Expected to start shipping in July 2021, the J55 Prime allows users to print in over 640,000 distinguishable colour combinations and match more than 1,900 PANTONE Colours, Solid Coated and SkinTones with Stratasys CMYK colours.

“With the new J55 Prime state-of-the-art materials, designers can dream big, imagining the possibilities and actually bring them to life with realistic looking and feeling materials; if they can dream it, they can print it,” said Shoham. “Our customers will also realise other benefits from these new materials including a reduction in time spent on manual modelling and the ability to present a client with multiple colour or pattern iterations of a product prototype, leading to better productivity, less re-work and increased end product satisfaction.”

The J55 Prime machine is set to be one of three Stratasys J Series machines compatible with the company’s new packaging software solution via GrabCAD Print. Also able to be paired with the J8 Prime and J7 system, the packaging software solution allows engineers to design packaging prototypes in high-transparency, full-colour and high-fidelity, simulating textures and realistic colour-combinations of final packaging products. With these capabilities, users will be able to print simulated glass bottles and add labels with sharp text and images that meet 2D graphics labelling standard. They will also be able to incorporate simulated products or fillings, like cosmetics, makeup or liquids, to add to the realism of the final product.

Stratasys is also introducing the PolyJet Research Software Package which is set for release in September 2021. Combined with GrabCAD Voxel Print, users will be able to define the data volumetrically for each 3D voxel through the entire model, giving them an advanced level of control at a microscopic scale to enable higher resolutions, fine-tuned colour placement and shore value transitions within a single part.

This product has been developed to ‘provide users with increased flexibility’ over the print process, and allows users to print with air voids and embed objects into a print. Stratasys says researchers will also be able to use the software to experiment with 4D printing, whereby a 3D printed object undergoes a transformation due to the influence of another material or outside element.

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