26th August 2021
Built for industrial-grade 3D printing, the Stratasys F370 can print with four different materials simultaneously, and presents an affordable entry point that starts making a return on investment from Day 1.
But what are some of the materials that the F370 can print with, and what are their uses?
PLA is a material that, for prototyping, is as economical as it is useful. The thermoplastic itself is biodegradable, made from renewable sources, and comes in a range of opaque and translucent colours. It’s ideal for fast prototyping and is a low-cost resource for drafting concepts and parts during the prototyping stages of your work.
It also bears a low melting point, meaning the F370 needs to generate less heat – and therefore power – to use it. Despite its attractive economic factors, it is stiff and durable, able to make stable parts with complex geometries.
This ABS plastic holds electrostatic dissipative properties which ensures its role in a variety of industries. Carbon nanotubes feature in the material, which prevent static build-up. This makes it ideal as a housing for electronic components.
Since static charges can damage products or even cause explosions in the wrong environments, ABS-ESD7 is also highly useful in transportation and for industrial equipment. Lack of static build up keeps it clear of dust and powder that would otherwise cling to the surface, further enhancing its reliability in its roles.
A resilient polyurethane with flexibility and stretch that holds fantastic resistance to tearing and abrasion. TPU 92A is ideal for applications such as tubes, hoses, and ducts that need to be strong and rigid with some pliability.
The expensive and time-consuming moulding or casting methods used to typically create elastomer parts can be overcome with an F370 printing in TPU. Parts made from this material have fantastic elongation at break at up to 552% on the XY axis, making them highly durable.
The F370 is unique in that it is the only Stratasys printer that can print with Diran 410MF07 material. Diran is a nylon-based thermoplastic possessing a 7% mineral fill by weight. It is tough with high impact strength, and combines that with an invaluable resistance to hydrocarbon-based chemicals.
Diran has a smooth and lubricious finish, making it ideal for creating jigs, fixtures, and tooling for applications that require a non-marring finish between tool and workpiece. With this material in its roster, the F370 is an ace up any manufacturing business’s sleeve.
As with all FDM printers, the Stratasys F370 has applications ranging from prototyping all the way through to manufacturing tools and factory floor devices.
Colourful ASA and PLA plastics allow for quick and efficient prototypes. The plastics’ strengths make them suitable for functional concepts too, allowing for snap fit casings and durable hinges.
In-house 3D printing slashes the costs and lead times of outsourced prototyping, shifting costs from hundreds of pounds down to tens, and days of waiting into just hours.
For more direct applications on the shop floor, jigs, fixtures, and soft jaws can be made as needed using Diran and ABS plastics. Tough as they are, thermoplastics bear no risk of scratching workpieces due to their relative softness and so make ideal materials for such applications.
Similar strengths apply to their uses for general tooling. Thermoplastic tools dramatically reduce the weight of traditional metal tools. When used for functions such as end-of-arm tooling, this allows machines to function with an actual increase of efficiency, and all whilst being replicable in house when the time comes for replacements.
Storage for 3D printing capabilities is simple. The only physical storage space required for a F370 is for the spools of filament used to print. The rest can be left up to ‘digital inventory’, as the designs for parts exist on CAD files and thus can be stored in on-site servers or remote cloud-based applications.
GrabCAD Print, Stratasys’ proprietary software for 3D printers, unlocks further convenience and support. Remote job monitoring and scheduling, automatic file repair, multiple printer control, and much more is possible using a computer or mobile device.
Speaking of software, the Stratasys F370 is the only printer in the F123 Series to come bundled with Insight. Insight offers high-end oversight and greater control of your print jobs, such as specifying build parameters like the style of interior fills and support material.
The F370 presents all of these advantages with an affordable price point. For companies who haven’t yet joined the Industry 4.0 solution to agile manufacturing, it is the perfect starting point.
SYS Systems are here to help. We are a Stratasys Platinum Partner with a wealth of experience in the 3D printing sector, and we’ll be attending TCT 3Sixty this September. Come and see us – or better yet, register your details for a chance to win an ultimate Ferrari driving experience at Silverstone!