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For the majority of 3D printing’s short life, it was used as a more efficient means to produce prototypes in the design phase of product development. The rudimentary printers available at the time proved effective in speeding up the design process and increasing efficiencies for manufacturing companies across the globe.

However, advancements in 3D printing over the past decade have spurred an exciting shift in the world of additive manufacturing, the shift from prototyping to production. Thanks to significant improvements in both hardware and software, additive manufacturing is being implemented beyond prototyping into the production process.

This is the future of additive manufacturing and Stratasys, production grade 3D printers capable of creating finished used parts in rapid succession.

Case Study: McLaren Racing

In the world of F1 racing, speed is everything, literally. On the track, the fastest team wins, but speed is not only necessary on the track itself.

McLaren Racing, a staple of the F1 circuit for over 50 years, partnered with Stratasys in 2017 to implement additive manufacturing to its teams production arsenal. The goal of this partnership is to harness the power of Stratasys’ fleet of 3D printing capabilities for rapid prototyping, manufacturing tooling and low volume customized production parts.

Eric Boullier, racing director of McLaren racing stated:

“It has become clear that motorsport’s reliance on rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing, and the ability to radically cut time to market, is increasing, and we look to being well served by our new alliance with Stratasys.”

Facilitating the Shift

Hardware advancements from Stratasys are key to understanding this shift, notably the three newest production grade printers in the Stratasys arsenal. The Fortus 450, F900 and F770 are three of Stratasys’ premier printers, capable of making production level parts.

These three cutting edge printers are being used globally across a variety of industries including aerospace, automotive, medical, education and more.

The Glue

All of this being said, there is one other key to additive production, the GrabCAD Software Partner Program. This platform of software solutions is the driving force that enables Stratasys printers to stay at the forefront of the additive manufacturing world.

This program paired with the GrabCAD SDK and APIs are the links between our software partners and customers. They enable the connectivity between multiple software solutions and allow them to integrate in with any existing software within the manufacturing process.

The collection of partner software solutions and the GrabCAD SDK and APIs enable security, reliability and connectivity for all Stratasys customers. This ensures that the printers work at ultimate efficiency, leading to the most effective and efficient processes possible.


The world of 3D printing is in a time of immense change, facilitated by the very software solutions we produce at GrabCAD. The full range of our solutions, as well as in depth discussions from the very people who developed the software will be on display at our upcoming software day. To learn more about the additive manufacturing platform trusted by Boeing, Ford, The U.S. Navy and more, register for software day!

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