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Objet: “Office-Able” 3D Printers

Sam Green, Creative and Content Manager at Objet, spoke with Replicator World about his company and the sorts of 3D printers they produce.  Objet merged with Stratasys earlier this year. 

 Objet was one of the original innovators within the 3D printing industry.  Their founders set out to revolutionize the way designers and manufacturers prototype products.  As Mr. Green states, “all Objet’s 3D printers work on the inkjet principle – that is they use print heads to jet liquid photopolymers that harden in UV light upon the build tray.”

Objet24 3D Printer

Objet currently produces three distinct lines of 3D printers: Objet Desktop, Objet Eden, and Objet Connex.  Mr. Green explains their basic differences quite easily.  “The Objet Desktop line features smaller build sizes ideal for desktop and smaller offices and come with a range of between 1 and 7 materials.  The Objet Eden line [includes] larger, industrial level 3D printers with a choice of up to 17 different materials including both rigid and a family of rubber-like materials.  The Objet Connex line consist [of] the same build sizes as our other 3D printers, but unlike the other lines [they] are able to mix and simultaneously deposit different materials at the same time to the same part.  This ability to mix two materials to produce different composites brings the range of possible material combinations for the Connex to 107 to date, and 14 material properties to the same part in one print job.”

Mr. Green was eager to discuss Objet’s (and in turn, the entire 3D printing industry’s) growth during the last several years: “Compared to our original systems, today’s Objet 3D printers are faster, higher resolution, more accurate, easier to use, with a much greater choice of build sizes and with a far greater choice of materials and material properties.” 

Knives?  Glasses?  Faucets?  “The possibilities are almost endless…”

He went on to add: “The Objet range of 3D printers can print virtually any product idea that you have in mind, ranging from small electronic hand-held devices to shoes and sports accessories, engineering parts, larger consumer goods, jigs, fixtures, transparent glass-like parts, functional parts such as clips and joints, etc…  The possibilities are almost endless.  Of course we are limited by the size of the build trays, but these bigger parts can be 3D printed in parts and then assembled.”

Mr. Green added that the only challenge “has been to find a means of making [3D printed models/prototypes] from the 3D CAD designs easily and to effectively represent the final product.”  (In order to share the 3D printed objects)

Objet30 Scholar

However, Mr. Green went on to explain his vision for a 3D printed future.  “As 3D printers become smaller and more ‘office-able’ in future we will see more and more 3D printers in every department and maybe even every desk in large design and manufacturing labs.  We envision a time when every designer and engineer will have access to their own 3D printer in the workplace very much like they do to a paper-feed printer today…. We see 3D printing becoming mainstream in the business arena.  That means a 3D printer will become an indispensable part of product development, in every office, department, and organization that is involved in designing, producing, and manufacturing real products.”

But Mr. Green still marvels at the wonders Objet’s printers can already create.  “My personal favorite [Objet created object] is the gear cube – it’s a cube made up of interlocking gears that is printed in a single step within the Objet 3D printer and comes out already fully assembled.  You can play with it for hours!” 

Images Courtesy of Objet

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