With a theme of 'speed' for TCT 09, Objet Geometries, Europe will present the UK exhibition debut of its latest rapid prototyping solution, the Connex350. The 3D printer provides an entry-level system into multiple-material prototyping, designed to save time and money as well as shortening time-to-market by producing complex and overmoulded prototypes in a single build.
"In this challenging economic climate the market is demanding added value and a differentiated service from suppliers," said Chris Baker, sales manager, Objet Geometries UK. "Connex capabilities, pioneered by Objet's Connex500, were previously the domain of larger bureaux or high-end in-house prototypers. Now the opportunities have been extended to all."
The new solution maintains the Connex family's unique ability to produce 3D models by simultaneously printing multiple materials with different mechanical and physical properties, but offers lower investment cost with a build volume of 350 x 350 x 200 mm. All other features of the Connex500 are maintained, including Digital Material capabilities that enable two polymers to be mixed during printing, simulating overmoulding or providing different material characteristics such as variable shore hardness.
"Visitors to TCT will be impressed by the advantages of the Connex350TM," said Baker. "It offers the completely unique ability to rapid prototype complex parts and assemblies. Using multiple materials all in a single build brings customers much closer to realising the final product at an earlier stage."
The Connex350TM has a build tray of 350 x 350 x 200 mm allowing it to print multiple small objects or single larger products. "Although the Connex500TM is still the obvious solution for larger applications, our research shows that the Connex350 format is ideal for the needs of a large percentage of bureaux and internal design departments," said Baker. "By designing a product specifically for these needs, we have made Connex technology more affordable to a wider range of companies."
Printing 16-micron, high-resolution layers, the Connex350 jets UV curable polymers to produce smooth and durable surfaces, exceptionally fine details and a high-quality surface finish. Featuring patented PolyJet Matrix Technology, the combination of a variety of materials from rubber-like flexible to rigid, allows users to produce prototypes for a wider range of applications than any competitive system.
"For manufacturers, industrial designers or their suppliers who want to reduce the cost of product development cycles and dramatically shorten time-to-market, the Connex350 is a perfect fit," said Baker.