Leading 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys has revealed that it has shipped its 35,000th industrial FDM 3D printer to date. The significance of this figure depends on what we mean by “industrial”. For Stratasys, that term likely means the tally doesn’t include Makerbot-branded machines, leaving room for systems in the F123 line, which we generally consider “pro-grade”.
According to data collected by 3dpbm Research for the upcoming polymer AM market report, there were 56,781 material extrusion 3D printers, priced at $10,000 and above, installed worldwide in 2021. Even considering that many of those 35,000 are no longer operational, it’s safe to say that the majority of professional to industrial extrusion 3D printers installed worldwide are Stratasys products.
Stratasys founder Scott Crump invented FDM technology over 20 years ago. After making several acquisitions, Stratasys continues to be the largest 3D printing company by revenue in the world today.
Today, Stratasys’ industrial FDM 3D printer offering has gradually evolved from multiple product lines (Dimension, uPrint, Fortus) to include fewer and more precisely targeted systems under the F line brand. The top-of-the-line system today is the F900 (formerly Fortus 900mc), with the best-selling Fortus 450 system being the only one to retain the Fortus brand.
The F777 and F123 systems were introduced to bring reliable 3D printing capabilities at a more accessible cost, to compete with the increasing quality of generic FFF systems. Stratasys also offers the F900 AIS package specifically for aerospace interiors:
Stratasys’ Aircraft Interior Solution (AIS) with the Fortus 900mc or F900 offers aerospace companies a faster, more streamlined process, providing all the tools, documentation and training needed to guide aerospace producers through along the qualification process for additively manufactured aircraft parts.
Stratasys FDM printers using PEKK materials were also used to produce several interior parts of the Orion capsule, currently in development at Lockheed Martin Space. Stratasys is providing base material qualification data for Antero 840CN03 filament material to the public in conjunction with Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Metropolitan State University of Denver.
The release of this qualification data allows industry players to use the material for additively manufactured aerospace parts, such as those for the Orion spacecraft, using Stratasys production 3D printers.