Large 3D Printers: FDM Comparison

   By Bill Resch on February 7, 2023

Up until now, organizations seeking to 3D print professional-quality “large” parts were faced with a dilemma of size constraints. In this article we will compare two of the large 3D printers offered by Stratasys – the F900 and F770. Both printers have extra-large build trays, improving productivity.

The Stratasys F900 is capable of printing large highly accurate, thermoplastic parts, but it was designed and built to supply end-use parts to the most demanding industry in the world: aerospace.

The slightly smaller F770 straddles the line between the production-capable Fortus series and the designer-friendly F123 Series. The industrial design, the user experience, and price point are firmly F123 Series attributes. Surprisingly, however, it boasts a larger X axis than the F900. The X-axis measures 39.4 inches vs the F900’s 36 inches, making it a great option for oversized builds.

Straightforward Operation

Printing with the Stratasys F770 requires no special training. It is engineered with plug-and-print simplicity that allows any team member to print large parts with ease. No need to constantly monitor the F770 either, material canisters enable up to 140 hours of unattended printing. Prints can be monitored 24/7 with the F770’s built in camera, and viewed on your mobile device via the GrabCAD print app.

F770 3D printer

Industrial Scale Meets Affordability

Large format 3D printing does not have to be a large investment. The Stratasys F770 carries a smaller price tag than the F900. Achieving affordability by focusing on widely used engineering-grade materials, instead of niche high performance alternatives, and building off of the extremely reliable Stratasys FDM platform.

Print Large or Print Many

The F770 has the longest heated build chamber on the market capable of 48 inches diagonally; the F900 has the largest. Print up to 46 inches long on the diagonal in the large 13 cubic foot build envelope. Print one large part, a few medium parts, or many small parts! This printer allows manufacturers to prototype and create production parts that are not possible on smaller printers. And soluble support structures ensure that you’ll never have to compromise on the complexity of your parts. Below is a comparison of the main features of the F770 and the F900 large 3D printers.

Feature F770 F900
Build Area 39.4 x 24 x 24 inches 36 x 24 x 36 inches
Materials Model: ASA, ABS-M30
SR-30 Support
ABS-ESD7, ABSi, ABS-M30, ABS-M30i, Antero 800NAPC, PC-ABS, PC-ISO, PPSF, ULTEM 9085, ULTEM 1010, Nylon 12, Nylon 6, ST- 130, Nylon 12CF
Accuracy XY part – 0.010 in. or +/- 0.002 in/in, whichever is greater.
Z part – 0.008 in. or +/- 0.002 in./in. plus 1 layer height
0.020 INCH (0.508 MM), 0.013 INCH (0.330 MM), 0.010 INCH (0.254 MM), 0.007 INCH (0.178 MM). 0.005 INCH (0.127 MM)
Quick change head Yes – auto calibration option No – layer height calibrated tips
Layer height 0.178 or 0.254 or 0.330 mm [0.013, 0.010, 0.007 in] 0.508, 0.330, 0.254, 0.178, 0.127 mm [0.040, 0.020, 0.013, 0.010, 0.007, 0.005in]
Applications
  • Large part prototyping for fit and function with great appearance and little to no post finishing
  • Jigs and fixtures with material requirements met by ABS and ASA
  • Limited run production of ABS/ASA parts
  • Mid temp material portfolio
  • Highest requirement applications in production parts and tooling
  • Rigorous applications with specialty materials
  • Faster time to part requirements
  • Highest accuracy FDM
  • Small batch production of high temp materials
  • Specialized industry certifications

The Benefits of Stratasys F770 Large 3D Printer

  • Print-and-forget dependability: Get accurate print results along with the repeatability and reliability that FDM Technology™ is known for. Stratasys FDM build chamber design is time-tested, ensuring precise thermal management across the build platen. This gives you consistent, successful print results, whether parts are big or small.
  • Anyone can operate printing with the F770 is straightforward and requires no specialized training. It is designed with plug-and-print simplicity so anyone can print large, complex parts quickly and easily. The user-friendly GrabCAD Print™ software makes the CAD-to-print workflow simple, so all you do is import your CAD model and press the print button.
  • 24/7 Operation: With 200 cubic inch material canisters, there is no need to constantly monitor the printer while it is operating. The F770 comes with a built-in camera that allows you to check on your prints via your mobile device.
  • Design freedom: The F770 uses soluble support material, which allows you to design and print your parts free from design-for-manufacturability constraints or limitations.

Material Options on the F770

F770 large format 3D printer

The most notable difference, besides the price is the material options available on the printer. The F770 3D printer offers printing in ASA and ABS-M30. These two materials are the most popular and widely used materials at Stratasys.

ABS-M30 is ideal for conceptual modeling, functional prototyping, manufacturing tools and production parts. It has greater tensile, impact, and flexural strength than standard ABS. ASA allows you to build consistently high-quality parts, with exceptional UV stability and aesthetics. Its UV-resistance makes it especially suited in production parts for outdoor commercial and infrastructure use.

The production machines from Stratasys are workhorses! In many cases, they run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The F770 would be a perfect fit for a company aiming to offload their ASA and ABS-30 parts from existing Fortus production printers to allow their machines to be dedicated to running specialty materials for their high-end application parts. It would also be a great option for a company that needs reliable, repeatable parts but does not have any specialized material requirements.

Advanced Material Options on the F900

F900 large 3D printer

Not only is the F900 Stratasys the largest printer, but it is the most precise as well. It can 3D print the most demanding materials, from the high heat ULTEM blends (e.g., ULTEM 1010 and ULTEM 9085) to the abrasive carbon-filled Nylon. It is Stratasys’ flagship FDM 3D printer and has been transformative for hundreds of companies.

The Fortus 450 and F900 are two large 3D printers that offer a wider range of thermoplastics with advanced mechanical properties so your parts can endure high heat, caustic chemicals, sterilization, and high impact applications. These printers offer materials like ULTEM 9085, a flame-retardant high-performance thermoplastic ideal for the transportation industry.

For a large-scale 3D printer, the F900 offers unmatched material versatility, supporting 16 FDM materials that encompass standard, engineering and high-performance thermoplastics. ABS and ASA plastics reliably cover a broad range of general applications. High-performance materials that include carbon fiber nylon,

PEKK and PEI polymers offer the physical and mechanical properties for more demanding use cases.

Conclusion

Leveraging the F770 and F900’s large build plates, our clients are able to produce complex geometries, from down to the smallest millimeter and for large-scale parts, which might not be possible using subtractive production processes. Through the 3D printer’s capabilities and additive manufacturing, our clients are well positioned to meet the needs of their customers for a long time. Although we only covered FDM in this article, Stratasys does offer other large 3D printers utilizing SLA, SAF and PolyJet technology.

Interested in a 3D printing Applications Engineer Expert to tour your facility and help you evaluate what technology is a good fit? Contact us!

Related Products
Stratasys 3D Printers

Browse the TriMech web store for Stratasys 3D Printers for rapid prototyping and short-run production manufacturing.

Bill Resch

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