Stratasys makes a wide range of industry-leading materials for its FDM additive manufacturing machines that meet stringent testing standards. It also has a strong selection of validated materials that have undergone basic testing. But for those who want or need to branch out further, it is now possible to use almost any polymer material for your project.
You may have a bespoke project that requires specific materials, or work at a large company that is keen to widen its materials supply base to guarantee continuity of supply. Or perhaps you work at a research institute that wants to experiment with specialist materials.
Whatever your need for the widest possible selection of materials, the Stratasys’ open materials ecosystem lets you combine the repeatability, accuracy and reliability of the Fortus 450mc with its new software called OpenAM. This lets you modify build parameters such as flow rate, oven temperature, tool path end volume and many more to get the best possible performance from the open-source material you are using.
How to use open-source FDM materials
To make use of open-source materials, you need a Fortus 450mc with a hardened extrusion head. This gives the machine the ability to cope with the extra demands that some of the third-party materials place on it. You then purchase a OpenAM license to be able to use the advanced software features, which is available as an annual subscription or as a one-time, perpetual licence.
Once you have that in place, the material you want to use needs to be fed into a Fortus material canister along with an EEPROM chip.
This chip contains the information the machine needs to print the material successfully. A selection of generic chips are available for different base materials such as ABS, ASA, PC, PEI, PEKK and PA12. These generic chips contain default starting build parameters, along with maximum and minimum ranges for the base material profiles. These help save time by reducing print failures as you change the parameters to optimise the material for your printed part.
To help get you started, this is all available as a package from Laser Lines, along with a highly detailed OpenAM Tuning guide filled with workflow suggestions, best practices, how to guides and troubleshooting ideas.
Get in touch with us on 01295 672599 or email email@example.com if you would like to upgrade your Fortus 450mc machine to use any FDM material or discuss how using third-party materials could benefit your business.