Stratasys Inc., a global leader in applied additive technology solutions, unveiled Evolve Additive Solutions, a spin-off of its Selective Toner Electrophotographic Process or STEP technology. The technology being developed since the past 10 years as an incubation project finally saw the light of the day.
What started as an incubation project at Stratasys, is now being formed into a separate company with an aim to bring the revolutionary new technology to the market. With a special focus on the commercialization of the technology, the dedicated management team aims to deliver high-volume additive manufacturing at speeds higher than any commercially available additive manufacturing process.
One of the greatest challenge of the 3D printing technology is its incapability to mass produce products. Traditional manufacturing technologies are far superior in functionality than any available additive manufacturing technology in this respect. The benefits of material, quality, and economies of scale achieved by traditional manufacturing are still a major factor hampering the growth of additive manufacturing. The STEP technology, built on Stratasys’ path-breaking expertise in the additive manufacturing field, is aimed at producing parts at a cost, quality and scale comparable to traditional processes. STEP technology will deliver high-volume production runs unmatchable by any available additive manufacturing process.
The STEP technology, which combines the time-tested 2D imaging technology, is patented and developed by Evolve. The technology precisely aligns the incoming layers and superior binding process creates a final part that is fully dense with properties resembling injection moulded parts.
Specifically, STEP technology introduces a new range of features, such as:
- Engineering-grade thermoplastic materials (amorphous and semi-crystalline)
- Printing speeds 50 times faster than any available additive manufacturing solution
- Cost and surface finish comparable to traditional manufacturing
- Isotropic properties resemble those offered by injection moulding in all directions
- Capable of Multi-material printing within the same layer
At the launch, Stratasys CEO, Ilan Levin said, “As an independent company, Evolve will best be able to focus on the advancement of the technology, provide the entrepreneurial environment and management equity incentives suitable for early stage efforts and drive the customer relationships and partnerships to foster further development and initial market adoption. As an equity stakeholder, we look forward to collaborating with Evolve and supporting this initiative to help make it a success.”
CEO of Evolve Additive Solutions and co-inventor of STEP, Steve Chillscyzn said, “We are excited to introduce Evolve Additive Solutions and proprietary STEP technology. We believe the STEP technology is uniquely positioned to bridge the gap in the market not yet addressed by additive or traditional manufacturing technologies.”
He added, “It is the first-of-its-kind technology offering an additive method for mass production. It’s designed to deliver the benefits of additive, while handling high-volume production. And we’re confident in the Evolve team’s ability to make this technology a success.”
STEP technology is designed for automated manufacturing and factory-floor integration. It enables usage of production-grade thermoplastic materials for high-volume applications like consumer, automotive, medical and industrial.
Noted Industry Consultant Todd Grimm commented, “Evolve’s STEP process is interesting because it brings a completely new approach to production environments using additive manufacturing, yet it prints using production grade thermoplastics, which is what manufacturers are most familiar with when producing parts conventionally. Having had the opportunity to get a glimpse early on, it’s very encouraging to see how Evolve has progressed the development of the STEP process.”
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