Target applications include education labs and environments that can benefit from zero tooling production and from a zero inventory supply chain. The Demonstrator isn't yet commercially available, but is being used by several Stratasys customers, officials said.
The Demonstrator can provide "smart, stable, reliable plastic part manufacturing vs. typical injection molding," Americas president Rich Garrity said in Pittsburgh. "Whether you need 100 parts a week or 500 a day, you can capture more of the market with zero tooling."
The system's cloud-connected infrastructure also offers "a new level of automation," he added. "You can eliminate the impact of print failures."
"This isn't just a concept — it's not just printers assembled on a shelf," Garrity said. "It's already being used at multiple locations every day."
Stratasys co-founder and chief information officer Scott Crump added that the Demonstrator "can be characterized as an expansion of automation across our Fortus print engines" and as "a logical extension of our technology."
The firm also has seen "some interest" from the custom injection molding market in areas where traditional injection molding "wasn't as economical," according to Chief Marketing Officer Tim Bohling.
Stratasys, which is based in Minneapolis and in Rehovot, Israel, had three customers at the event that were already making use of the new Demonstrator.
Specialty manufacturer Fathom of Oakland, Calif., is making FDM (fused deposition molding) parts, but prior to the Demonstrator couldn't get production levels "above the hundreds," according to general manager Dylan Oliver.
"There's a need for higher demand, so [the Demonstrator] will fill a niche for us," he said.