If Stratasys' vision plays out the manufacturing facilities in the future may just resemble today's data centers with racks and rows of systems.
Stratasys is launching a technology demonstrator--an additive manufacturing system that's not available for sale, but being developed with customers--that takes cues from data and cloud and could scale custom part making.
The demonstrator signals a new to additive manufacturing that offers multiple cells, in a rack, operator intervention and architecture that resembles modern IT formats.
Tim Bohling, marketing officer of Stratasys, said that the demonstrator "is designed to expand the additive manufacturing market." Stratasys is developing the technology using various tools it already has on the market. Those tools go include the Fortus FDM engine, GrabCAD 3D software and knowhow from other projects.
Stratasys' demonstrator prints plastic parts in a scalable and reliable way. Stratasys claims 99.9 availability with automatic failover and redundancy in 1x3 cell and 3x3 cell configurations.
According to the company, the technology being demonstrated is being developed with a series of customers tackling several use cases.
Roger Kelesoglu, of sales enablement at Stratasys, said the company's approach to its demonstrator is important for scale as well as distributing workloads. As demand increases so can capacity.
While Stratasys' approach takes cues from cloud computing and , the additive manufacturing system doesn't require any cooling or power systems.
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