The Three Types of 3D-Printing User – Which One Are You?

15th August 2018

Here at SYS Systems, we like to think we know our onions when it comes to 3D-printing.

We have been at the forefront of the additive manufacturing movement for more than a decade, supplying and supporting the full range of world-leading Stratasys products.

While others have come and gone, we have has stood the test of time. Our team of experts are passionate about their mission to help businesses of all sizes make better products more efficiently, all the while pushing the boundaries of innovation.

With rapid prototyping capabilities backed up by intelligent software, a vast array of material and colour options and an appreciation for every budget, bespoke Stratasys systems are facilitating the on-site production of ever-more realistic models and end-use parts.

It’s not a question of if our technologies could improve the way you work – it’s a question of by how much.

Our experience over the past 10 years and more has told us that users of 3D-printing technology fall into one of three general categories – read on to discover which profile matches you.

Wherever you sit we guarantee to deliver the right solution, just as we have done for our customers in the examples below…



Infrequent need, a lack of time, limited knowledge – there are many reasons that some businesses favour using a bureau over in-house 3D-printing.

However, thanks to so many recent major advancements in the technology, we can prove there’s a better way.

In addition to the immediate time and cost savings of removing the outsourcing process, Stratasys systems employ versatile and intuitive design-to-print software to create low-cost parts in an ever-growing range of high-class materials, with ultimate accuracy and reliability.

No major training requirements, a streamlined design function and improved models on demand –an on-site machine is the fastest, most efficient and most cost-effective route to get your products to market.

For ESCHMANN, a leading designer and manufacturer of operating tables, operating theatre equipment and infection control systems, 3D-printed prototypes play a key role in the product development process.

3d-printing eschmann

However, the Sussex-based firm quickly realised that using outside agencies to create its 3D models was not only expensive, but lengthened the design, prototype and consultation process considerably.

Mechanical Engineering Manager Mick Gray said: “Due to increasing volumes of designs that needed to be 3D printed and the intricacies  often required, we undertook a search for a high-quality, cost-effective 3D printer that would enable us to bring this important function in-house and deliver an economical return on our investment.”

It settled on a Stratasys Objet30 Pro, which through PolyJet technology combines the accuracy and versatility of a high-quality rapid prototyping machine with the convenience and small footprint of a desktop 3D printer.

Mr Gray added: “Now, in-house, we are able to create finely detailed physical objects directly from digital data that are virtually identical to the real thing in terms of size, shape, colour, texture and weight.

“It has helped to slash our design-to-production times, ensured the successful fine-tuning of product designs, saved a lot of money on using outside agencies and is well on its way to giving us an even quicker return on investment than we anticipated.”



Once a business has discovered the benefits of an in-house 3D printer, they tell us without fail that they would never again be without one.

The next challenge is to help them reach their maximum potential by improving functionality and extending their capabilities – and that’s what we do best.

Whether it’s stronger and more temperature-resistant materials, an increased print tray volume, more consistent part quality or a faster build, best-in-class Stratasys technology supplied by SYS Systems turns good operations into truly great ones.

Glasgow-based design and engineering agency FILAMENT PD has clients ranging from individual start-ups to multi-nationals and, with the help of 3D-printing, helps each to bring their new products to market.

3d-printing filament pd

The rapid growth of the company forced it to rethink its strategy for meeting increased demand, leading to a decision to expand its additive manufacturing capabilities by trading in its desktop solution for the Stratasys F170 and FDM technology.

Co-founder Craig Lynn said: “The F170 is a workhorse. We know when we place a print on, no matter how big it is or how many parts are on the bed, it will print 100 per cent of the time.

“We’re able to produce the 3D CAD model, load it on and the machine will be printing overnight, so it means our designers are actually getting parts produced and are able to get their hands on and test these parts the next day.

“It keeps the development cycle moving at speed, which you certainly need when you’re working on not just one development project but on a number of them at the same time.

“If we were to rewind and go back to when we purchased our first machine, certainly with the experience we’ve had with the F170 to date we would have gone for something like it earlier in the life of the company.”

*Watch the video –



An increasing number of the most successful companies on the planet are advocates of 3D-printing.

As they continue to employ more complex and bespoke applications than ever before, experienced users must position themselves at the cutting edge of the latest technological developments to remain ahead of the competition.

Working with SYS Systems means access to the very highest-quality thermoplastics available, such as aerospace-grade ULTEM, as well as ultra-realistic rapid prototyping materials offering full colour and multiple texture options.

Our aim is to help organisations achieve advanced manufacturing on a whole new level.

HERMAN MILLER has been producing iconic and award-winning office furniture for more than 100 years, exporting its top-class products across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


Keen to remain at the forefront of innovation, it first invested in on-site 3D-printing in the form of the Stratasys uPrint for its small parts, but still had to outsource the process for its larger and more complex creations.

That all changed when it acquired a Fortus 400 system. Its impact was such that the company quickly brought in a second machine, the Fortus 450, to further reduce product development time, supplement prototyping processes and support the growth of the business.

Now, instead of waiting five to 10 days for outsourced 3D-printed parts, components can be accurately produced overnight ready for testing, using many of the engineering-grade and high-performance thermoplastics employed in traditional manufacturing processes.

Stefan Kogut, R&D Workshop Lead at the firm’s Portal Mill facility in Melksham, said: “Gone are the days of having to work our designs around the limitations of traditional manufacturing processes.

“Among the many production parts to benefit is the cradle, which forms the back of an office chair. Despite it being a large nylon part, we have managed to print it with ease on the Fortus.

“In our test labs we can now model, build and test within a very short timeframe.”

*Watch the video:


**Professional and affordable 3D-printing – with our ‘trade in, trade up’ scheme, we will give you the full price back against your old 3D printer when you upgrade to a new Stratasys model – find out more by clicking here.

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