Our second entry in our multi-part blog series, Demystifying Euromold 2014, continues to analyze activity from additive manufacturing industry giants (and some players flying more under the radar). In Part 1, we talked about who we think was the most potentially impactful company at the show –Prodways. We also covered the biggest name in 3D printing, 3D Systems, and their newest announced machines.
In Part 2, we’re taking on two more of the most influential names in the industry, with Stratasys announcing a gaggle of updated printers in existing product lines, and EOS showing off its new M290 machine and talking consulting services.
So, without further ado, here’s our take on two more of the biggest names in additive manufacturing.
Stratasys Sticks to Its Guns with Polyjet and FDM, Bringing High End Capabilities to More Users
Stratasys is a company that makes calculated, precise strategic decisions. Sometimes this is to its advantage, and sometimes it can be to its detriment.
At Euromold 2014, the company unveiled eleven new printers based on existing platforms and product lines, greatly expanding the availability of some its technology’s best features. While the company really isn’t breaking much new ground, it doesn’t really have to. Polyjet and FDM are two very well established technologies, and the company is one of the best at maximizing their capabilities and continuing to grow them while competitors look to new technologies. The new printers at Euromold are a calculated and decisive move to stick to its guns, and it’s a good one.
Multi-material polymeric printing is an often under-appreciated facet of 3D printing technology. Maybe that’s because previously it was very costly to truly make the most of, with the most well-rounded multi-material systems from Stratasys residing mostly at the production level. But there is likely a lot of demand for printers that can utilize multi-material printing in a meaningful way from businesses that can’t necessarily afford an Objet Connex2 or Connex 3 system. That’s changing, however, as the new Objet 260 and 350 are available in Connex 1, 2, and 3 configurations.
And let’s not forget about the new Objet30 Prime, a fully featured desktop 3D printer of the PolyJet variety. Now usable with 12 materials, including bio compatibles, and featuring a draft print mode perfect for desktop user’s demands, the Prime is a nice addition to the lower end of the PolyJet line.
For Stratasys at Euromold 2014, it all comes down to doing what they do best, but making sure that everybody in the growing market for 3D printers can access the absolute best their print technologies can offer. While metal 3D printing gets a lot of love in regards to the ‘future’ of additive manufacturing, let’s not forget about all the incredible things that creators of these technologies have been able to get out of their machines.
EOS Shows Off M290, New Polyamide Material, Showcases Growth and Outcome-Focus
A native to Euromold’s home country of Germany, EOS took a similar approach to Stratasys by not straying from the path that has led to its worldwide success. Just one year after announcing its highly successful M280 system, this year the company showed off its predecessor, the M290. Although on the surface it might appear the M290 simply offers a greater build volume than the 280 and not much more, the reality is that EOS is improving the accessability and usability of all its metal printers. While some developments the company is working on in this regard weren’t stressed at Euromold specifically, EOS is definitely planning on metal additive manufacturing being its developmental focus in the future.
EOS also announced a new material, a Polyamide with true black color. While EOS’ thermoplastic-utilizing customers will no doubt appreciate the release of the new PA 1102 black material, its announcement doesn’t really move the needle for the industry in any meaningful way.
Finally, the most interesting -and in my opinion potentially impactful –focus from EOS at Euromold was on the launch of its new consulting services that focus on customer outcomes for additive manufacturing. Utilizing application specialists, EOS’ focus with these services is to expand customer utilization of its products (especially the new M290 and the M400). Although this might sound kind of run-of-the-mill, I for one am very supportive of any manufacturer that views customer outcomes in additive manufacturing as a cornerstone of business growth. This is the type of initiative that will power the additive manufacturing industry to achieve the lofty growth projections that many are predicting.
Overall, a sort of mixed bag for EOS at Euromold 2014. I kind of expected something more earth-shattering to be revealed en-masse, such as the development of a quad-laser M400, or new developments in process-monitoring for metal printing that are set to be integrated early next year. EOS is doing plenty to stay at the forefront of the industry, but a lot of it may still be behind the scenes.