I was invited to visit our printing facility this week and as I'm quite a techno-freak that was an opportunity I couldn't miss! Armed with a videocamera and a head full of questions my colleague Michelle and I spent a good afternoon there (a video report will follow soon!).
It was fascinating to see how the objects materialized layer by layer although it was an agonizingly slow process - I'm sure it'll be even better to see the entire thing on video in fast-forward
For now, I'll share some pics of our printer and of a 'tray' with some finished models:
Our trusty Stratasys FDM 400mc
A tray full of designs
The brown stuff that looks like molten sugar is the 'support material'; it'll be washed away in a hot bath with solvent afterwards. Support material is needed because you can't print in the air, and fragile pieces would break off if you didn't use it.
The production room was immensely hot and noisy. We were both quite happy when we left the facility and walked into a snow-storm (a snow-storm by Dutch standards, that is)!