Rutland Plastics, a UK-based supplier of injection molding machines, has acquired a Stratasys Fortus 380mc Carbon Fiber Edition (CFE) 3D printer from SYS Systems to develop fixtures and tooling for its robotics and functional prototyping. This is in addition to the Stratasys Objet350 Connex 3D printer which it has been using for its in-house prototyping service since 2011.
Simon Grainger, Design and Project Engineering Manager at Rutland Plastics, said that 3D printing offers more design flexibility, allowing them to design end-of-arm tooling and jigs and fixtures for their specific purpose. Besides, its complexity does not increase cost.
The Stratasys Fortus 380mc CFE works with ABS-alternative ASA and FDM Nylon 12CF, a carbon-fiber reinforced thermoplastic of high fatigue resistance and stiffness, containing 35% chopped carbon fibers. FDM Nylon 12CF is integral to the manufacturing process due to its strength and lightness. It can be used for functional prototyping, end-use parts, rugged tooling, and replacing low-volume metal parts.
Grainger said that the Fortus 380CFE is ideal as it can print 30% carbon filled nylon, which is excellent for producing end-of-arm tooling. It is strong, durable and lightweight, allowing robots to run faster and maximize payload.
Rob Thompson, Sales Manager at SYS Systems, said that they were delighted to tailor a specific 3D printing solution for Rutland Plastics’ needs and look forward to seeing them build on their already considerable success.
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