Stratasys Unveils New Technology for Production Scale 3D Printing

Selective Absorption Fusion technology will power new H Series 3D printers as Stratasys targets market for 3D-printed mass production parts.

Selective Absorption Fusion technology will power new H Series 3D printers as Stratasys targets market for 3D-printed mass production parts.

Stratasys Ltd. shares details about its upcoming line of powder bed fusion-based 3D printers. The new H Series Production Platform will be powered by Selective Absorption Fusion technology specifically designed to address volume manufacturing. Commercial availability of 3D printers based on SAF technology is currently expected in the third quarter of 2021.

SAF is a new industrial-grade additive manufacturing technology that delivers production level throughput for end-use parts. 

The SAF technology uses a counter-rotating roller to coat powder layers onto a print bed and prints absorber fluid to image the part layers.  The imaged layers are fused by passing an IR lamp over the entire span of the print bed. SAF technology executes these key process steps in the same direction across the print bed to provide a uniform thermal experience—and part consistency—for all printed parts regardless of their placement in the build.

Powder Management 

SAF technology’s Big Wave powder management system ensures the powder is always distributed across the whole print bed, maintaining a large, thermally stable wave of powder. Any overflow powder is quickly recirculated, minimizing powder thermal exposure and reducing powder aging. The result is less fresh powder required and lower operational costs.

Efficient Energy Absorption Fluid

SAF technology is used to selectively jet high energy-absorption HAF fluid onto areas of a layer of powder-form material in just one full-width pass. Industrial piezo-electric print heads jet single or multiple drops of the fluid to produce either fine detail or large areas. The technology supports high-specialty, functional fluids to process a broad range of powders. Infrared energy is radiated to fuse the selected areas and the underlying particles. Tight thermal control avoids warping, quality fall-out, and reduces peak temperatures required in the bed.

“3D printing is increasingly transforming production in industries around the world as companies seek to move with more agility and efficiency, which is why we have put production parts at the heart of our business strategy,” says Omer Krieger, Stratasys’ executive vice president of product strategy and corporate development. “SAF technology represents a significant innovation that opens up new opportunities to address applications in industries such as automotive, consumer goods and electronics, and industrial equipment. As a result, we will enable a shift of many applications from traditional manufacturing and also enable the creation of products that can only be produced additively.”

According to an internal Stratasys market analysis, manufacturing applications show the most potential for growth in the 3D printing industry, reaching approximately $25 billion by 2025. In fact, CONTEXT estimates that polymer powder bed technology-based printer revenues are set to see a compounded growth rate of 21% per year from 2020 to 2024. Together with FDM and Origin P3-based 3D printers, Stratasys is well-positioned to serve the majority of manufacturing applications, from tooling to end-use parts across multiple industries.

Stratasys is developing the SAF-powered H Series Production Platform to expand the applications it can serve across multiple industries. The technology can process various materials, such as polyamides and elastomers.

More information about SAF technology is available online. Stratasys will host a live conversation on LinkedIn and Facebook on April 7, during which Stratasys leaders and Professor Neil Hopkinson, director of technology at Xaar 3D and original inventor of the technology behind SAF, will share more information and take questions about the technology, its development history and its role in the Stratasys portfolio, and take questions.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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