The new Objet500 Connex3 3D printer from Stratasys has the ability to print out in numerous materials and mixtures of materials, as well as the ability to mix three different colours to make hundreds of colours. A truly revolutionary moment within the industry.
The Objet500 allows them to print our near exact 3D models of their vehicles, scaled down to 33%. From wheels, to emblems, to shifters, to tailpipes, the printer can produce extremely accurate models of them all.
This allows designers to see exactly what a vehicle will look like before it is actually manufactured. They also use the printer to print out actual life sized models of parts for the vehicles as well.
Nearly every part will be prototyped as scaled down versions, so that designers can assess their creations on an actual real world model.
The accuracy of the Objet30 3D Printer enables Bentley to take a full-size part and scale it down to produce a one-tenth scale model. Once they have approval at this scale, they can move onto their larger Objet500 Connex 3D Printer to produce one-third scale models, full-sized parts as well as parts that combine different material properties without assembly.
If you were to read the following statement from the early 20th century by W.O. Bentley, the company’s founder, the use of these printers would certainly make sense:
The company’s objectives are to build a fast car, a good car, the best in its class. Maintaining this tradition for automotive excellence and prestige is a fundamental focus for Bentley as it combines innovative technologies with traditional craftsmanship at every stage of development and production.
This is without a doubt the future of prototyping. The Objet500 by Stratasys allows Bentley, and will allow many other manufacturers to prototype using multiple materials within one print, saving time and material, and most importantly, creating a near perfect final production.