Stratasys Ltd. said it’s expanding its 3D printer lineup to include a model that prints only a carbon fiber-based material.
The company said that it began shipping the Fortus 380mc Carbon Fiber Edition machine last week. The model is being offered at $70,000 in the United States.
“Customers wanted a machine that prints carbon fiber all day and we want it affordable,” Pat Carey, a Stratasys senior vice president, said on a conference call. “It’s the result of very intense customer demand.”
Carbon fiber is both light and strong. The material is seen as an alternative for metal parts. Stratasys said its high-end printers and carbon fiber printing material have been used by the Team Penske NASCAR race team to produce lightweight mirror housings.
The company (Minneapolis and Rehovot, Israel) said it spent five months developing the cheaper, carbon fiber-only model. Stratasys said markets for the new machine include automotive, defense, aerospace, medical and oil and gas.
Stratasys previously offered carbon fiber printing on high-end machines in the $200,000 to $350,000 range.
The company had displayed the new model at the Rapid + TCT Show in Fort Worth, TX, in April. The printer’s build chamber is 14 x 12 x 12” (355 x 305 x 305 mm).
Because the new machine only prints one type of material, “This is a very simple machine with less cost,” Carey said.