What do a major Toronto hospital, an international automotive supplier and a 3D printing service bureau have in common? They have all recently purchased Stereolithography (SLA) equipment from Agile Mfg. and have stopped or significantly reduced their use of FDM™.
The hospital purchased a Viper SLA machine about a year ago and fell in love with the medical grade, detailed, accurate, smooth and high productivity of the SLA materials and technology. Ultimately they decided to lose their 3d printing training wheels and they got rid of their Fortus™ printer. There is just no reason to use FDM™ now that they have SLA.
The automotive supplier purchased a ProJet 6000 Crossover SLA printer from Agile after years of using FDM™ technology. They did a comprehensive comparison between SLA, FDM™ and PolyJet™ to verify which technology could satisfy their accuracy and functional testing requirements. SLA was selected. Now they use the SLA technology non-stop with unbeatable productivity and have seldom use their FDM™ machine.
In 2012 a 3D printing service bureau purchased a large format SLA machine from Agile, they also have Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology from Agile Mfg., FDM™, and PolyJet™. When asked to rank which technologies by usage and popularity they ranked them as follows: SLA, followed by SLS, then FDM ™ and finally PolyJet™. Their clients like the smooth functional plastic parts from SLA, robustness of SLS, plastics by name in FDM and then Objet. The service bureau likes the productivity and cost of operation in the following order as well: SLA, SLS, FDM™, lastly PolyJet™.
*FDM™, Fortus™ and PolyJet™ are registered trademarks of Stratasys LTD.