3D Systems releases an arsenal of new products, including a new range of 3D printing systems, enhanced materials, and cloud-based software.
Originally founded back in 1986, a lot has changed since 3D Systems first entered the 3D printing market. The South Carolina-headquartered company has pioneered additive manufacturing technology for quite some time, but has struggled to maintain its lead position as younger entities aim for the top spot.
However, this week, the 3D printing titan is reminding everyone that even an old dog can learn new tricks, announcing a vast range of products that will likely better position the company for the future. 3D Systems is rolling out new offerings that aim to deliver customized solutions to customers. The portfolio expansion includes new plastic and metal materials, enhanced workflow software, and new 3D printing systems.
“We believe these announcements change the game for our customers and the industry by providing customized solutions to help customers overcome obstacles to adopting additive manufacturing. The innovation and capabilities we are announcing today will significantly accelerate our strategy to help customers move from prototyping to production, vertical to vertical, bridging the chasm between traditional and additive manufacturing,” says Vyomesh Joshi, CEO of 3D Systems.
3D Systems Expands Hardware Portfolio With Array of New Printers and Materials
Earlier this year, the company unveiled the impressive Figure 4 3D printing platform. This system is modular and scalable, producing plastic parts at up to 20 percent lower cost than traditional manufacturing methods. Now, 3D Systems is also aiming for the metal 3D printing market, releasing the new DMP 8500 Factory Solution.
Similarly to the Figure 4, this metal 3D printer also has a modular design that optimizes both performance and cost. It features integrated powder management and a closed-loop system, ensuring repeatable part quality and lowering production expenses.
3D Systems is also fortifying its line of SLS 3D printing systems with the ProX SLS 6100. This system offers large print volume capabilities, automated material handling, and utilizes 3D Sprint software to optimize part builds.
Alongside the advanced SLS 3D printer are three new nylon materials. The trio includes DuraForm FR1200 fire retardant nylon, DuraForm EX BLK nylon 11, and DuraForm AF+ aluminum-filled nylon. In regard to materials, 3D Systems has also introduced rigid and engineering-grade materials for its MultiJet Printing platform.
Perhaps most impressively, the 3D printing giant is also lifting the curtain on the FabPro 1000, an entry-level and desktop-sized production printer. This machine is targeted towards engineers, designers, jewelry artisans, as well as fabricators. The FabPro 1000 will be priced at under $5,000. According to 3D Systems, it’s up to four times faster and offers 40 percent lower part cost over competing hardware.
3D Systems Announces Cloud-Based Software and New Partnerships
Outside of the bolstered hardware portfolio, 3D Systems is unveiling a new professional services group for consultation. Additionally, the company is planning to release 3D Connect. This is a cloud-based software that will service production environments of all scales, from standalone to hybrid manufacturing environments. The solution enables remote service and printer fleet support, and will be integrated on 3D printing systems in early 2018.
Lastly, the 3D printer manufacturer is announcing new contracts with BMW and the global manufacturing solutions provider Samina. For BMW, 3D Systems will produce around 80 percent of prototyped parts. Meanwhile, Samina will integrate the Figure 4 system into its services, increasing the presence of additive manufacturing within its operation.
With the massive roll out of new products, it’s clear that 3D Systems is aiming to reclaim the professional 3D printing throne. By expanding their portfolio to meet more specific customer demands, the 3D printer manufacturer is refitting its business model to try and stay ahead of the curve. Whether it pays off or not remains to be seen. But, either way, this laundry list of developments will likely offer solace to both shareholders and the industry as a whole.