Photo-polymer Jetting System from Stratasys Competes with 3D Systems "Viper"MINNEAPOLIS—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Aug. 31, 2004— (Nasdaq: SSYS) Rapid prototyping system maker, Stratasys, says that since offering the Eden333 PolyJet(TM) (photo-polymer jetting) system in North America, PolyJet installations have increased 150 percent. The increase occurred over the 9-month period from October 2003 through June 2004.
Last year Stratasys became the North American distributor for PolyJet rapid prototyping systems, manufactured by Objet Geometries, Ltd., Israel. Stratasys handles all distribution and support activities, including marketing, installation, training, and maintenance.
"Here in North America, PolyJet sales haven't been as strong as in other parts of the world," says Stratasys product manager Fred Fischer. "What was needed was an established sales and support channel, which Stratasys offers -- In our first 9 months we increased installations to over 50."
Industry consultant Todd Grimm of T.A. Grimm & Associates commented "PolyJet is a good process that's gaining wider acceptance due to the exposure and support Stratasys offers. The Eden333 is very competitive with the Viper stereolithography system. I'm not surprised that the Eden's sales have grown, and I expect it will do well competing with the Viper."
"PolyJet's key selling points -- a safe and clean process, high resolution, and fast process speed are very important to users," says Fischer, "which is why I believe PolyJet technology could make the traditional vat-and-laser processes obsolete someday."
Safe, Clean Process: PolyJet resin comes in sealed cartridges that are safe and clean. While each model layer is built, it is simultaneously cured with UV light. When models are removed they are fully cured, meaning users aren't exposed to liquid resin throughout the modeling process. In contrast, the Viper has an open vat of resin and the models are not fully cured when removed, so safety is a concern.
High Resolution: In a process similar to ink jetting, the Eden333 jets out liquid photo-polymer resin in fine layers to build a model. Layer resolution is the finest among the major system providers. Layers measure only 16 microns (0.0006 in.) which results in a superior surface finish smoothness. The Viper's minimum layer thickness measures 0.025 mm (0.001 in.).
Fast Process Speed: All steps from setup to finished model determine process speed. The Eden333 requires virtually no time beyond the modeling process itself and a quick hand wash to remove support material. In contrast, models built on the Viper need draining, resin stripping, curing, benching and considerable time for manual support removal. This typically makes the overall process much slower than the Eden. In addition, the Viper's build speed slows dramatically when in the resolution mode most comparable to the Eden333.
Toymaker, Hasbro's rapid prototyping manager John Mullen says, "With stereolithography, models were taking us a day or more to produce. Cleaning, curing, support removal and benching were the bottleneck. Using PolyJet, parts come and go in hours. I build them, pop them off the tray, wash them off, and they're ready to be shipped."
PolyJet's advantages complement the strengths of Stratasys' core technology - FDM (fused deposition modeling). FDM is known for building models with superior strength, and it can build functional prototypes, using real engineering thermoplastics. Combined FDM and PolyJet packages offer users what Stratasys calls "the best of both worlds" in rapid prototyping - PolyJet for detail and surface finish among the finest available - and FDM for prediction of end-product function.
To view a short video or get a free CD showing how PolyJet and FDM can work together and how they're used at Medtronic's spinal product division, Sofamor Danek, go to: www.Stratasys.com/BestOfBothWorlds.(It may be necessary to copy and paste this link into your Internet browser's URL address field)
Stratasys Inc, Minneapolis, manufactured 37% of all rapid prototyping systems installed worldwide in 2003, the highest percentage of any manufacturer, according to Wohlers Report 2004. The company patented the rapid prototyping process known as fused deposition modeling (FDM(R)). The process creates solid models directly from 3D CAD files using ABS plastic, polycarbonate, PPSF or other materials. Stratasys manufactures rapid prototyping systems for use by OEMs such as aerospace, automotive, defense, medical, and consumer product makers.
All statements herein that are not historical facts or that include such words as expect, anticipates, project, estimates, believe, or similar words are forward-looking statements that we deem to be covered by, and to qualify for, safe-harbor protection covered by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Except for the historical information herein, the matters discussed in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These include the continued market acceptance and growth of our Dimension and FDM product lines, the size of the 3D printing market, our ability to penetrate the 3D printing market, our ability to maintain the growth rates experienced in this and preceding quarters, our ability to introduce and market new materials such as polyphenylsulfone, the market acceptance of this and other materials, the impact of competitive products and pricing, the timely development and acceptance of new products and materials, our ability to effectively and profitably market and distribute the Eden, and the other risks detailed from time to time in our SEC Reports, including the reports on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2004 and on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2003.
FDM is a registered trademark of Stratasys, Inc. PolyJet is trademark of Objet Industries, Ltd.
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Stratasys, Minneapolis Joe Hiemenz, 952-906-2726 Email Contact www.stratasys.com