December 10, 2015
Connex PolyJet’s ability to make parts using multiple materials has been cool since its beginning. A key to the technology is that it can jet two base model materials in combination to build parts. Recently, Stratasys extended PolyJet technology with its introduction of the Connex3 series of multi-color, multi-material 3D plastics printers that deploy three jets. Today’s Check It Out link offers a document describing this new PolyJet technology in colorful detail.“Objet500 Connex3: How to Maximize Multi-Material and Color Possibilities” from Stratasys takes a high-level, non-technical look at the potential of its new PolyJet technology. For current users of Connex PolyJet units, this paper should demonstrate that many items on your wish list are now reality. If you’re researching an investment in additive manufacturing or considering working with a service provider offering Objet500 Connex3 technology, this paper answers the many questions about what’s in it for you.
It opens discussing colors and properties. With the Connex3 introduction, Stratasys added three new base colors to its material mix — cyan, magenta and yellow — as well as newly engineered combinations of other base materials. This means you have about a gazillion combinations to work with. As well, there’s a range of colors for rubber-like materials not just colors for durable plastics.
As for properties, an Objet500 Connex3 printer lets you use three base materials simultaneously. This allows you to make things like rubber-overmolded parts with ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). Further, you can create composite materials from three resins, enabling you to blend material properties in a single component.
The paper really hits an intriguing stride at page 6 when it turns to how Connex3 PolyJet printing works. The idea here is to provide you with a broad outline of the mechanics, working with materials and color palettes as well as the workflow. Interestingly, the Connex3 series works with both STL and VRML files. The latter retains the CAD designer’s color selections, eliminating the need to designate colors on your own.
“Objet500 Connex3: How to Maximize Multi-Material and Color Possibilities” also has a ton of images of nifty 3D prints, a chart representing the color-blending capabilities of the Objet500 Connex3 as well as a number of tips and tricks for current users. In short, both users of Connex PolyJet units and the curious will get a lot out of this paper. Hit today’s Check It Out link to download your complimentary copy.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering