Stratasys has launched the next generation of its office friendly machines, the F123 Series, replacing the Dimension and lower-end Fortus machine.
Comprised of three machines, the F123 Series brings a new take on what the company was founded in, building prototype parts using filament-based build technology.
We got a chance to learn a little bit more about the machines while out at SolidWorks World, so here’s the skinny.
The new machines are intended for office use and come in three different models (the F170, F270 and F370). That all important build volume is the key differentiator between them, with the F170 having 10 x 10 x 10, up to 14” for the largest machine.
Another key differentiator here are the material options. While we’re used to Stratasys’s machines printing with the likes of ABS or a PC/ABS blend (or indeed, Stratasys’s ASA material), this is the first time that it has offered PLA as an option (this has traditionally been the sole preserve of the Stratasys Makerbot products).
The machines has 4 material bays, so you can run with a couple of build options (colours or different materials) as well as the soluble supports.
Build speed looks to be faster and the company is claiming in some instances, build times are 20-30% quicker compared to previous models.
At the launch, a beta test customer backed up with these times and it has given his team not only the ability to crank out models more quickly, they’re also able to make a little bit more margin on an prints quoted as part of customer projects.
The Stratasys F123 range looks well thought out, but what’s going to be interesting is the price. The entry level for these machines is quoted as ‘sub $20,000’, less than anyone in the room was expecting.