RE: Stratasys Super Slow? -I don't think so-

From: Kirk Brown (
Date: Fri Nov 01 2002 - 20:36:03 EET

I have been running a Stratasys machine of some sort since 1998. I also
owned a Sanders Model Maker for a while as well. Once in a while I sub out
work to be done on SLA's, SLS's, and Z-Corp Machines. When my machine isn't
busy and I sub something out to another company, I will build the same part
on my machine just to compare the quality/differences of the parts. In the
last 4 years I have never had a company spit out a part on another RP system
before me (no I don't want to race you). Also parts that an SLA house have
charged say $200 for, I only was charging $60 for. In most cases my
customers couldn't see why they should pay more (yes it depends on what the
project is and what the final prototypes needs to be).

I am using one of the first Stratasys Prodigy systems ever built (serial
number 3, yes the third one sold) also I have never had my machine break
down! Maintenance costs on the machine so far have been $0 since I got the
machine in July of 2000. I think before the end of the year I will need to
purchase a couple light bulbs and a wiper blade and brush. Weekly I vacuum
out the build chamber, monthly I lube the rails and Z-platform screws. I
have made assemblies on my machine that were 36 x 14 x 10 which needed to be
cut into several pieces and printed, then bonded together with an epoxy,
which took about 1.5 weeks (the part was then put into an airplane to check
fit which it did I even have pictures). The same thing on an SLA machine
was quoted out at a higher price and was going to take longer (yes I don't
know what kind of system it was quoted on, nor do I care, I won the bid).

The clean-up on the parts isn't too bad, I have a few tools, pliers,
tweezers, sandpapers, and dental tools. The machine makes no mess, doesn't
smell (like an SLA machine does), and it makes me money. I cannot say 1 bad
word about my Stratasys machine, go ahead and ask me anything about it.

Stratasys Slow? I don't think so. I don't have a propeller on my hat, so I
have never calculated how much material my machine puts out a day, the
machine kicks ass and I love it, yes its just that simple. Yes I have had
people come to me that needed a prototype made 'like yesterday' and my
machine couldn't do it just by me snapping my finger, but really if someone
doesn't know how to plan out there engineering projects that's their fault
(if engineers really worked 8 hours a day this wouldn't happen).

Yes comparing machines is apples and oranges, many threads on this list are
started just so someone can flame a competitive machine. Nobody has made a
machine that can do everything and make everyone happy, and nobody ever will
accomplish that.

How fast does a machine need to be? Once someone makes a machine that's
'fast' it won't be fast enough for someone. Once someone makes a machine
that does 'everything' it won't do enough for someone else.

So in summary of this very, very long email, where I stand is this: For me,
Stratasys is fast, reliable, easy to use/maintain, and is very reliable (did
I already say that?).

Kirk Brown
1990 S. Milestone Dr. Suite A
Salt Lake City, Utah 84104
Direct 801.428.0839
Phone 801.359.6100
Fax 801.359.6169

-----Original Message-----
From: []On
Behalf Of Scott Tilton
Sent: Friday, November 01, 2002 9:54 AM
To: 'Miller, Michael W'; 'RPML www Mail List'
Subject: RE: Stratasys Super Slow?

Interesting method of quantifying output.


So why don't you switch to Glass Filled material for SLS.
Then you can increase your output by . . let's see . .how much more dense is
it . . . 40%

1.4KG per day.

Seriously though, I would love to hear more people's input on the FDM's
capabilities and speed. (or lack there of)

Scott Tilton

 -----Original Message-----
From: Miller, Michael W []
Sent: Friday, November 01, 2002 11:10 AM
To: 'RPML www Mail List'
Subject: Stratasys Super Slow?

Judging from the banter going round on Stratasys' quarterly results, the
main complaint about their product seems to be speed. Just how slow is the
FDM process? As comparison, I usually figure my old sla500's can kick out
roughly 2 kg per day, an sla250 maybe a half kg per day, and an sls2000
maybe 1 kg per day. Any other gripes regarding FDM? .... reliability? ....
maintenance? ....cost? What about the positive aspects? Thanks for
your input!

Disclaimer: Engineer and out the other!
Experience is something you get right after you need it.
Michael W Miller ( 206-655-3289
The Boeing Company M/C 45-17 66-ZA-2320
Rapid Product Manufacturing 655-4366 Lab 655-4365

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