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New Rapid Prototyping Material Blend:
PC-ABS to Be Previewed by Stratasys at EuroMold


NASDAQ: SSYS) Rapid prototyping system maker, Stratasys, says it will preview a new modeling-material blend, PC-ABS, at the EuroMold show, on December 1 - 4 in Frankfurt. It will be shown in Halle 8, at the alphacam stand M 10 / L 11. The material is expected to be officially released in the first quarter of 2005.
PC-ABS is a blend of polycarbonate (PC) and ABS plastic. Although the blend is widely used to manufacture today's plastic products, it has not been available for rapid prototyping.

Manufacturers choose to make products from a PC-ABS blend because it combines the strength of PC with the flexibility of ABS. With the new material, manufacturers of PC-ABS products have the advantage of modeling from the same material as their end-products. It will allow them to better-predict the mechanical properties of end-products composed of PC and ABS blends.

The blend's introduction has been anticipated among rapid-prototyping industry observers, and it has been especially awaited by makers of toys and electronic equipment. The blend is significantly stronger than ABS, and feature detail is similar to that of Stratasys ABS modeling material.

The new material is compatible with the company's WaterWorks water-soluble support material, which permits hands-free support-removal that shortens the modeling process. Because of the soluble supports, PC-ABS allows excellent feature detail, design freedoms, and single-build assemblies.

PC-ABS comes in a black color only and is for use with the following T-Class systems: FDM Titan, FDM Vantage S, and FDM Vantage SE. When the material is officially released, two layer-thickness settings will be available: 0.005 and 0.010 in. (0.127 and 0.245 mm). A 0.007 in (0.178 mm) layer thickness is planned for the future.

To use the new material, existing users must be updated to the most current software configurations. To determine if their system is compatible with PC-ABS, readers should contact their sales representative. PC-ABS will sell for the same price as Stratasys polycarbonate modeling material.

The Stratasys T-Class platform allows the use of high-temperature, high-performance engineering thermoplastics. Stratasys FDM systems require no special facilities or venting and involve no nuisance, dangerous, or hazardous materials or by-products. Because FDM rapid prototyping systems use popular thermoplastics such as ABS, PC, and sulfone, they are becoming recognized for their ability to rapid manufacture end products, both for short production runs and custom products.

Stratasys Inc, Minneapolis, manufactured 37% of all rapid prototyping systems installed worldwide in 2003, the highest percentage of any manufacturer, according to Wohlers Report 2004. The company patented the rapid prototyping process known as fused deposition modeling (FDM(R)). The process creates solid models directly from 3D CAD files using ABS plastic, polycarbonate, PPSF or other materials. Stratasys manufactures rapid prototyping systems for use by OEMs such as aerospace, automotive, defense, medical, and consumer product makers. These rapid prototyping systems are also used for rapid manufacturing and rapid tooling applications.

WaterWorks is a trademark, and FDM is a registered trademark of Stratasys, Inc.

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