The H Series Production Platform is powered by ‘Selective Absorption Fusion’ (SAF) technology, an evolution of the High Speed Sintering (HSS) process developed by Hopkinson at Loughborough University, and will be made commercially available in Q3 of 2021. It follows Stratasys taking up a 45% stake in Xaar 3D, who had licensed HSS technology, in 2019 and helps to round out its polymer 3D printing portfolio which has recently been bolstered by the acquisitions of RPS and Origin. The company believes it is now ‘well-positioned to serve the majority of manufacturing applications.’
SAF has been designed to ‘meet the needs of volume manufacturing’ and has been developed through more than 10 years of research, building on the original ideas behind HSS and removing sources of variability in the process. It works by using a counter-rotating roller to coat powder layers onto the print bed, before industrial piezoelectric print heads deposits absorber fluid to image the part layers which are fused with the passing of an infrared lamp over the entire print bed.
Key improvements to the process from when it was known as High Speed Sintering include a process architecture that sees all fused particles on the bed surface experiencing the same time and temperature profile regardless of their placement in the build, as well as the Big Wave powder handling system. Big Wave has been designed to maintain a thermally stable mound of powder when distributing material across the bed with any overflow powder being recirculated quickly to minimise powder thermal exposure and reduce powder ageing. This is said to result in less fresh powder being required and lower operational costs.
These advancements have been added in a bid to ensure SAF’s consistency is at the required level to be accepted in volume production environments. The technology is also compatible with a range of polymer materials, such as polyamides and elastomers, with Stratasys looking to lean on its existing partnerships to introduce materials to market quickly.
“3D printing is increasingly transforming production in industries around the world as companies seek to move with more agility and efficiency, which is why we have put production parts at the heart of our business strategy,” commented Omer Krieger, Stratasys Executive Vice President of Product Strategy and Corporate Development. “SAF technology represents a significant innovation that opens up new opportunities to address applications in industries such as automotive, consumer goods and electronics, and industrial equipment. As a result, we will enable a shift of many applications from traditional manufacturing and also enable the creation of products that can only be produced additively.”
Want to discuss? Join the conversation on the Additive Manufacturing Global Community Discord.
Get your FREE print subscription to TCT Magazine.