The J55 is the latest in a long line of Polyjet printers in the Stratasys family. With a revolving printing platform, this printer marks a change that promises to revolutionize the industry. To get a sense for how, looking at the similarities and differences helps to comprehend the capabilities of the J55. For an overview of the printer, check out one of our previous blog posts.
Circular Build Platform
The most defining characteristic of the J55 is the circular build tray. This is a departure from previous Stratasys Polyjet machines and brings great promise for becoming an industry staple. Previous Polyjet machines and indeed most every machine in the industry relies on a stationary build platform and a mobile print head. The J55 is the opposite, with a stationary print head at the top of the machine and a rotating build platform. Technically the print head does move to reach the inner, middle and outer swaths of the build tray, but the unidirectional movement is expected to reduce the maintenance compared to previous polyjet machines. The rotating build platform also reduces wasted movements in the machine, leading to faster print jobs.
Maximum Build Area
Visualizing the build area on a circular build tray is a bit more difficult, but comparing it to something known makes it much easier. The first thing to note is that the print area isn’t a circle, but actually an annulus (a 2D ring-shape, like a flat donut). The best comparison I could think of is a 12 inch vinyl record.
The inner radius of the annulus is 60mm, which is very close to the radius of the label on a 12in vinyl. The outer radius of the annulus is 229mm, which is about 50% more than the radius of the vinyl, which has a radius of 150mm. For those using the Imperial system, that’s about an 18in outer diameter and a 4.5in inner diameter for the print area.
The height of the build volume is 7.362 inches or 18.7 cm, which leads to 1340 in3 or 22000cm3 for maximum volumes. Those volumes don’t mean much on their own, so I calculated the theoretical largest rectangle the J55 can hold. The dimensions of the largest rectangle are 145mm by 177mm by 187mm (or 5.70in by 6.96in by 7.36in).
Removable Build Tray
While removing the tray with a bunch of tall print jobs on them is not recommended (the build tray is around 15lbs), the ability to remove the tray from a polyjet machine was a feature only seen on the 260 line previously. This makes scraping the support residue off the tray a breeze.
Different from other Polyjet printers which have multiple layer thickness settings, the J55 simplifies with a single layer thickness of 18.75 µm. For context, that’s about the width of 4 human red blood cells in a line.
Simultaneous Jetting Materials
The J55 makes it easy to remember the number of simultaneous model materials being jetted in a print. Any guesses? It’s indeed five! Technically there are 6 jetted materials including support material.
Full Color Capability
With VeroPureWhite, VeroMagentaVivid, VeroCyanVivid, VeroYellowVivid and VeroClear loaded in the J55 there are nearly 500,000 color combinations! Even though there isn’t VeroBlack loaded, the J55 allows for colors to be mixed to create black, allowing for full-color printing. The J55 also brings PANTONE certified colors to the mix and the newest version of the slicer software, GrabCAD Print, allows for X-Rite color profiles to be selected, bringing an even greater color accuracy to the J55.
These are just a few of the advantages of the J55 solution. More broadly, adopters of the J55 can expect to see:
- Stunning print quality with full-color capabilities. This includes transparent prints and simulated wood, leather, and other textures.
- Reduced time to market with the easy-to-use interface GrabCAD Print software and overnight/remote printing capabilities.
- A quieter and smaller footprint, allowing the J55 to be in the office safely and unobtrusively.
If you have any questions about the J55, feel free to reach out! Happy printing 🙂
Application Engineer, Manufacturing Solutions
Computer Aided Technology, Inc