Tech Support: 888-223-3334

CADD Edge 3D Printing Blog

EASTEC Highlights: PolyJet 3D printing and FDM High Resolution

Posted by Juan Carlos Gandiaga on May 26, 2015 at 3:57 PM

Watch CADD Edge application engineer Juan Carlos Gandiaga show you two demonstration pieces we had on display at the EASTEC 2015 show in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

EASTEC Highlights: PolyJet 3D printing and FDM High Resolution

He first showed our 3D printed CADD Edge and EASTEC combined logo, which was selected for the logo exhibition. It has a range of Shore A values within the part, in addition to variable transparency. This was printed on a PolyJet system with Connex3 technology.

Juan Carlos also explains two parts that compare the highest resolution in both PolyJet (16-micron layer thickness or 0.0006") and FDM at 0.005" layer thickness. While the PolyJet part has higher layer resolution, the FDM part shows similar visible resolution on the fine details, holds to similar accuracy and has the advantage of true engineering plastic strength. FDM printers that can handle the 0.005" layer thickness and ASA material start with the Stratasys Fortus 360mc and new Fortus 380mc 3D printers.

3D Printing for Medical Webinar


HP Multi Jet Fusion Car Lift VS PolyJet Digital ABS 3D Printing

Posted by Marcus Weddle on May 22, 2015 at 12:00 PM

MJF-PolyJet-liftsAs we reported on earlier, HP’s announcement last year of a new 3D printing technology, Multi Jet Fusion, warranted some fact checking. For this post, we’re focusing on part strength.

Claim: HP's technology is uniquely strong and prints fast

The source of the claim is an HP video1 showing a 3D printed chain link—about the size of a fist—lifting a car. Yes, it’s a great video to dramatically show strength. The inferred claim, however, is that the speed of printing this part plus its strength are unique to HP's technology.

Of course, the best comparison would be to simply replicate a similar demonstration, but using current production technology. Well, that's exactly what we want to share with you! Watch the video below.


Keep in mind that while HP’s technology is said to be coming next year, the Stratasys 3D printing technology in this van lift video is available today. In fact, it has been available for several years!

About PolyJet 3D Printing Technology

What we’re talking about is PolyJet 3D printing technology by Stratasys, and specifically the Digital ABS material available on Objet Connex2 and Connex3 printers (it’s also available on earlier Connex machines and the new Objet1000 Plus). What's great about PolyJet is it's fast—using similar inkjet-like print heads to HP's upcoming technology.

CADD Edge could print the link shown on our office-friendly Objet260 Connex in an afternoon. While we admit this isn't as fast as claimed by HP's version (30 minutes), that's still a turnaround perfect for design-test-iterate cycles. Keep in mind that for manufacturing purposes, multiple links can be created on the same build tray (notice in the video two links are printed). Putting the link on the new Objet1000 Plus would allow for even faster prints and quite a large number of parts batch-printed with its 39.4"x31.5"x19.7" build tray.


More Features

While we are all for displays of strength, Digital ABS is a versatile material with several other benefits. One of those is the ability to withstand the rigors of low-run injection mold processes—something that a Nylon material (what HP’s printer reportedly initially will use2) likely wouldn’t stand up to.

Need more strength than ABS? Stratasys FDM printers offer stronger materials including the ultimate high-strength thermoplastic: ULTEM.

So while we don't dispute the direct claims of HP's video as the Multi Jet Fusion technology, we would suggest that existing PolyJet technology has speed and strength—and is available today.

Ready to see the technology in person? Come to our Connecticut Open House event on June 4th. Or visit our booth at an upcoming trade show (click here for the schedule).

1HP Video “HP Multi Jet Fusion Technology 3D Printed Chain Lifts Car” 
2Gigaom article “HP promises a fast enterprise 3D printer for 2016 that will cost…something” end of article

3D Printing Open House Connecticut


Design & Manufacturing New England, 3D Printing Highlights Video

Posted by Juan Carlos Gandiaga on May 19, 2015 at 3:47 PM

Earlier this month, CADD Edge exhibited at Design & Manufacturing New England. Watch as applications engineer Juan Carlos Gandiaga takes you though three examples of 3D printing from the show:

Design & Manufacturing New England, 3D Printing Highlights Video
  • 3D printed Boston downtown model, printed on our Stratasys uPrint FDM 3D printer right in the booth. The printer uses ABS in a variety of colors for durable and functional parts.
  • Objet Connex3 heart. This is one of many parts that’s very impressive in person, so be sure to visit one of our future events to see it yourself! The heart contains three materials, but with mixes for a range of Shore values, color and transparency.
  • Prototyping on Objet printers. Juan Carlos shows two examples: one is a headlamp with post-processed parts for realistic prototyping, including the circuit board and LEDs. He also shows a part before and after post-processing using the extreme performance ULTEM material.

Watch the video to learn more!

3D Printing for Medical Webinar


3D Printing Sacrificial Cores for Carbon Fiber Composite Layups

Posted by Juan Carlos Gandiaga on May 4, 2015 at 3:29 PM

Carbon-Fiber-tube-and-coreWe want to tell you about a great application for our Stratasys FDM printers: 3D printing sacrificial cores. This is perfect for creating composite parts (such as hollow carbon fiber auto parts) with higher precision than traditional methods. Perhaps the best part is that it doesn’t require much complexity or expense on the 3D printing side, and the results are arguably better than you get with traditional methods. You’re getting the end-use part, in the real composite material, but with more design flexibility and smooth surfaces inside and out.

Here’s a quick explanation of how 3D printing sacrificial cores works (or watch the videos below). It all starts with the end-use part, say a carbon-fiber turbo inlet tube for a car, being designed in 3D CAD. The hollow part is then filled in the CAD system to make a solid core model. It’s this core as a mold—not the end-use tube—that we will 3D print.


Our core CAD model is now 3D printed in a soluble material. If you’re familiar with FDM printing, you’ve probably already guessed that we can simply use the “support” material for the model itself. Typically, support material is used during printing to support overhangs, but then gets dissolved away after the part is removed. Here, we actually keep the support material, because it’s our mold for wrapping in carbon fiber. It’s as easy as clicking an option in the FDM printer software! You can choose a solid mold fill, or sparse for faster printing and quicker removal.

So our 3D printed soluble core part is now printed and ready for composite layup and curing. What’s great about the 3D printed core is it can have complex geometry that would be difficult or impossible to create using traditional core methods. After the carbon fiber (with the 3D printed core inside) is cured, the soluble core is dissolved away.

The result? An end-use part carbon fiber tube that looks smooth on the outside and inside—all thanks to 3D printing. Ready to learn more? Watch these videos and see the process in action!

After seeing this application, you might start thinking of ways to incorporate this technique on your process. From large-scale parts, like seen in these videos, to small scales such as 1mm diameter soluble cores can be achieved. Here’s a bit more detail on why this technique is actually better than the traditional method.

Why 3D Printed Sacrificial Cores Are Better (Big Benefits)

Typically, sacrificial cores are made from eutectic salt, ceramic or urethane. These options present several challenges:

  • Can limit part geometry
  • Requires machined tooling to make
  • Uses harsh removal procedures

The impact of 3D printing soluble cores on manufacturing and time will be noticeable at any scale:

Average lead time savings: 50% – 85% from design to final part

Average cost savings: 75% – 95% from design to final part

Core-carbon-fiber-wrappedReduced labor:

  • Less tooling and setup
  • No bonding of composite sections
  • Hands-free core manufacturing

Improved composite parts:

  • Single-piece construction
  • More features, including integrated hardware
  • Control over surface finish and accuracy
  • Core only: part’s internal surfaces
  • Core and mold: part’s internal and external surfaces

Lower risk:

  • Minimal investment
  • Easier to modify
  • Greater durability
  • Improved consistency
  • Higher part yield

Ready to learn more? Contact us to discuss how you can create more robust, complex cores that result in composite parts with improved performance and functionality!

3D Printing Webinar Recordings

3D Printing at 2015 Design2Part Show: ASA, Digital ABS and Nylon

Posted by Marcus Weddle on April 28, 2015 at 9:57 AM

Last week CADD Edge exhibited 3D printing at the Design2Part show in Pennsylvania. Watch this video as Kevin Billett gives you some highlights!

Highlights Video
  • 16-inch tall Lincoln statue. Printed on the Fortus 450mc in ASA ivory at .010” layer height.
  • FDM finishing samples. Using post-processing, FDM parts can be painted or vapor smoothed for different effects.
  • PolyJet for prototype molding. The unique properties of the Digital ABS material—unique to Objet printers with PolyJet technology—gives users the ability to print low-volume injection or blow mold tooling.
  • Nylon material for jigs and fixtures. The FDM Nylon material is a great fit for both jigs/fixtures and snap-fit assemblies. Here, Kevin shows a part that combines both.

Click the video to watch!

Video Thumbnail-hidden

PolyJet Essentials Webinar


Video: Objet Eden260VS 3D Printer Perfect for Architects and Fine Feature Detail

Posted by Marcus Weddle on April 17, 2015 at 3:14 PM

Stratasys Fine Detail Interlaced 3D Printed BraceletThe stunning detail of PolyJet 3D printing technology is even better now with the new Objet Eden260VS printer. It retains the fine detail of 16-micron layers, but allows for delicate details and internal structures that simply weren't possible before.

The difference is SOLUBLE SUPPORT. 3D printed parts need support structure for overhangs and internal voids, with those supports being removed after the print completes. With PolyJet, this means a water jet will remove the supports, but this process can damage very thin details. That's no longer a problem with the use of soluble supports. The part goes into a gentle bath that dissolves away the supports--even from small internal cavaties--automatically.

This new printer is perfect for architects seeking the ultimate in fine-feature detail, both in the structure and even environmental features to make more realistic presentation models. For prototyping, designers have a powerful new tool that retains the smallest intricate details in the final printed part.

Watch the video for more information and examples of part files printed on the new Objet Eden260VS 3D printer. This printer offers several Vero colors with soluble support and a 10"x10"x8" build size. The printer can run other materials, such as rubber-like Tango, with traditional support.



Welcome to the 3D Printing Blog

Posted by Kevin Shayne on April 17, 2015 at 2:10 PM

PolyJet-Essentials-LP-1I’d like to welcome you to CADD Edge's revitalized 3D Printing blog. In the past, we combined our 3D Printer blog content and our general 3D CAD information and news. However, as you surely have noticed, we have been developing some great stories, news, case studies, and more, specifically focused on 3D printing. This means that it’s time for 3D printing content to stand alone.

3D-heart-sidebarThis post is more informative than anything as there’s nothing required for you to do except sit back and enjoy our new posts. If you were subscribed to the 3D CAD blog you will continue to receive that blog as always, and we’ve auto subscribed you to the new 3D Printing blog. If you are not yet subscribed to our 3D CAD blog, feel free to sign up for that one as well (which can be found here If you do not wish to receive our 3D Printing blog, simply click the button below to unsubscribe. We hope you stick around as we have great and interesting things in store.


Attend 3D Printing Events in New York, Philadelphia and Hartford

Posted by Marcus Weddle on April 10, 2015 at 12:01 PM

Eden260VS-cathedral-coin-smallWe’d like to invite you to several 3D printing events in the New YorkPhiladelphia, and Hartford areas. Each of these is an opportunity to learn how 3D printing is having a positive impact on a diverse range of industries. In addition, there will also be the opportunity to ask questions and get hands-on with parts and printers.

Next week CADD Edge will be in New York, NY for 3D Print Week. We have two special events:

  • Friday, April 17th, 10:30am: Primer on PolyJet. This event, at the Inside 3D Printing Show, will show you the advantages in resolution and flexibility that PolyJet technology provides versus all other 3D printing technology. Register >>
  • Friday, April 17th, 1pm: The Essence of Ultimate Design. Join us at the Courtyard Marriott New York for a combination of presentations on CAD tools for virtual testing/analysis and 3D printing applications that you may not have heard about. Register >>

In two weeks, we’ll be in Philadelphia, PA with another Ultimate Design event:

  • Thursday, April 23rd, at 1pm: The Essence of Ultimate Design. The topics will be CAD and 3D printing, but with a focus on CAD integration and manufacturing using 3D printing. Register >>

For those in the Hartford, CT area, mark your calendars for May 8th for an Open House event!

  • Friday, May 8th, 9am-3pm: 3D Printing Open House. We will have several scheduled 3D printing and CAD presentations along with kiosks giving you full access to a range of FDM and PolyJet printers. This is a tremendous opportunity for anyone curious about 3D printing. Register >>

We look forward to meeting you at one of these events! If you aren’t able to attend, we have regular webinars too, which give you easy access to learn more about how 3D printing can work for your organization. Take a look at our upcoming and recorded 3D printing webinars here.


Top 3 Challenges Buying a Consumer 3D Printer for Commercial Use

Posted by Walter Garvey on April 2, 2015 at 3:55 PM

With the recent growth of home and hobby 3D printers, we sometimes hear companies say, “We’re thinking of getting into 3D printing, but we're going to start with a consumer printer because it won't be as big of an investment.”

While we’re engineers and tinkerers at heart ourselves, and we appreciate the attempt to reduce risk, our experience is companies always wind up disappointed by this approach—and wish they had used the time to get productive with a commercial solution.

So is a consumer 3D printer a good stepping-stone to a commercial solution? Let’s look at the top 3 challenges that a company trying to rely on a hobby printer faces.

Challenge #1: Repeatability

Oreck-video-thumbnail When you hit Print, how often will you get a completed part? If you haven't experienced a hobby-level printer, this might seem like an odd question, but the reality is that these printers don’t have anywhere near the reliability you need in a commercial setting.

Depending on your perspective, waking up to see how your print did overnight and finding a bird’s nest of plastic instead of your 3D printed design can either be disappointing or exciting. If you’re a hobbyist, you now get to troubleshoot what happened and learn to fix it. But if you’re a business, you probably just lost a day of time-to-market and lost productivity as you labor to troubleshoot the problem.

Another repeatability component is that a consumer printer, even when fed an identical source CAD file, will have slight print variations, such as varying layer thickness. In a commercial setting, variations make parts unsuitable for applications where accuracy is required. On the other hand, commercial printers have the combination of precision and accuracy to the extent that companies like Oreck are using 3D printed parts to calibrate their CMM for First Article Inspection—that simply wouldn’t be possible with a hobby printer.

Challenge #2: System Maintenance

Home printers need constant maintenance and repairs, such as dealing with print head clogs and calibration. Who is the technician? You are, of course! However, for a commercial printer there are some simple maintenance tasks per run, but they are quite simple and will greatly reduce unexpected machine downtime.

What the commercial side offers is comprehensive maintenance. CADD Edge customers receive regular preventative maintenance visits and support help—including the rare case where a machine is down for a critical part where we can print on our systems for you. Our support team is highly regarded in the region, with hundreds of 3D printing customers and thousands on the CAD side.

Challenge #3: Calibration

Ask a consumer printer owner about their method of calibration—it’s probably something they’ve spent a lot of time perfecting, because it is challenging. Commercial printers have heated build chambers (for FDM printers), and all of them perform self-calibration for each run. Simple, accurate and best of all—no one at your company has the unofficial job title “3D printing babysitter.”



Each of these three challenges may seem small on their own but, when you add them up—it’s no way to help your business become faster to market, save costs by eliminating outsourcing and speed up the design process by offering up numerous iterations, all in-house.

Yes, we appreciate the concept of reducing initial investment risk through trying a hobby printer. Yet companies who have tried this tell us that in short order they’re frustrated by repeatability, calibration and maintenance issues—not to mention the lack of meeting their business needs. Wasn’t that the reason for getting into 3D printing in the first place?

There are better ways to reduce risk. If you’re doing manufacturing, one of those is through using an entry-level commercial printer for jigs and fixtures. This is simple, easy application lets you ease into 3D printing and opens the options for other departments to get involved.

We find companies who take this approach are soon so productive with the printer they’re ready to add on, instead of feeling burned out from maintaining a consumer-grade system.

Ready to learn more? Watch one of our on-demand webinars.

3D Printing Webinar Recordings


CADD Edge Helps SOLIDWORKS with 3D Printed TV Remote Control Fixture

Posted by Marcus Weddle on March 9, 2015 at 10:44 AM

The team at Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS came to CADD Edge and asked if we could help them show how easy it is to use 3D scanning, 3D CAD and 3D printing to rapidly create a custom fixture. Of course we said, “Yes we’d love to help!”

With help from new SOLIDWORKS CEO Gian Paolo Bassi, CADD Edge did the 3D design and production of the 3D fixture so Bertrand Sicot, Dassault Systèmes’ Vice President Sales, Value Solutions, could demonstrate how 3D printing can resolve a simple problem on the home front...the misplaced remote control. This humorous video is sure to spark some ideas for your own applications.

CADD Edge Helps SOLIDWORKS with 3D Printed TV Remote Fixture

Check out the result: a video that uses 3D printing to create a remote control fixture "before the next show starts." Notice that the resulting part has a built-in rotational element complete with angle stops, a locking mechanism and a perfect fit to the “work” being fixed in place—Bertrand Sicot's remote control.

We used our Stratasys Dimension 1200es, an FDM printer with engineering-grade ABS plastic, which is perfect for an application like jigs and fixtures! The process of 3D scanning the target part, designing the fixture in CAD, and 3D printing was completed in a few hours--and just in time for Bertrand to catch his favorite show.

Ready to learn more? Watch our webinar focused on 3D printed jigs and fixtures. It’s an excellent application that you can utilize today, and get up to speed on for integrating more 3D printing uses in the future.


  3D Printing Webinar Recordings


Subscribe by Email


Request a Quote