FDM 3D Printer - Fortus 400mc

Quick Links

FDM 3D Printing Guidelines • ABS Material PropertiesPC Material PropertiesFDM STL Upload Form
Exporting STL Files from SolidWorksExporting STL Files from CREO
Using Insight To Calculate STL Volume • Using Insight to Scale STL Files
Shapeways.com 3D Printing and Design Tutorials


One of the easiest machines in the lab to use, this Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D Printer rapidly prototypes parts and even entire assemblies out of white ABS plastic. This is no hobby-grade desktop machine; the Stratasys Fortus 400mc will pleasantly amaze you with its fine resolution, good finish, and strong intra-layer bonds. Thanks to the support material, which provides a foundation for overhanging parts, designers don't need to worry about positive drafts, holes in sidewalls, and other manufacturing details.

How to Start

  1. Read the FDM 3D Printing Guidelines and prepare your design using your prefered 3D Modeling Software (SolidWorks, CREO, Rhino, Alias, Google SketchUp Pro, etc). If you do not have access to a CAD package, consider using one of the free CAD packages like 123D Design, TinkerCad, or the free educational download of Autodesk Inventor. Please note think[box] does not currently offer training on any CAD package, instead it is suggested that you search for online tutorials for your preferred CAD package. Use your home computer, Nord Lab, Reinberger Lab, or another lab on campus to prepare your design.  There are only a small number of computers at think[box], and they are to be used for running machines, not preparing designs.
  2. Using your prefered 3D Modeling Software, export your 3D Model as an STL file.  As a convenience we offer a tutorial for Exporting STL Files From Solidworks, and a tutorial for Exporting STL Files from CREO.
  3. Determine the volume of material (in cubic inches) of your part.  If your software can't do that, then come in to the lab and follow our tutorial on Using Insight To Find STL Volume. Alternatively, you can use the free online Netfabb Cloud to calculate volume in cubic decimeters, and multiply by 61.02 to get the volume in cubic inches.
  4. [OPTIONAL] If you need to scale your part before submitting it, then come in to the lab and follow our tutorial on Using Insight To Scale Your STL File.
  5. Upload your STL file using our FDM STL Upload Form.
  6. WAIT. You will receive a confirmation email within 72 hours, to verify your submission was received.  Then, you will receive another email when your part(s) are ready for pickup and payment.  Expected turnaround time is 3-5 working days.  Parts are generally run first-come first-served, however sometimes jobs are run out of order, for a variety of logistical reasons. Please be patient and wait for the email.
  7. PLEASE NOTE: If you requested that your part is print in Polycarbonate instead of ABS, your part will be printed on a Friday. Polycarbonate parts are only run on Fridays, due to a 5 hour setup time for those parts. No special allowances or "rush jobs" are offered.

File Format 

The 3D printer takes STL files, the most common 3D file format.  When exporting STL files from your modeling software, if you get an option to select a resolution, there is no need to go smaller than 0.001 inches.  The resolution of finished parts is 0.005 inches, so increasing the STL resolution much beyond this won't result in increased part resolution.


The Fortus 400mc gives you a choice of materials. You may either print your part in ABS plastic (see material datasheet), or Polycarbonate plastic (see material datasheet).  

Please note that Polycarbonate parts are only printed on Fridays due to the 5-hour setup time, so there is an additional waiting period if you select this material.  

Material properties such as Tensile Strength and Flexural Modulus are available in the material datasheets. At this time the only available color of these plastics is white (ivory). Costs are based on the the total number of cubic inches of modeling material your part will use, with rates published below (see explanation of pricing rates):

Fortus 400 Material Prices:
Material Slice Height Regular Price Undergraduate Price
ABS: Ivory 0.010 inches $32.00 per cubic inch $11.75 per cubic inch
Polycarbonate: White 0.010 inches $36.00 per cubic inch $13.25 per cubic inch

* Regular price is a guide price only, actual cost may vary depending on complexity of build.  Contact Dr Malcolm Cooke (mnc@case.edu) with questions.

Technical Details

Build envelope (XYZ): 406 x 355 x 406 milimeters (16 x 14 x 16 inches)

Layer thickness is 0.010 inches.  Parts are produced within an X-Y accuracy of ± .005 inches, however accuracy is geometry dependent. Achievable accuracy specification derived from statistical data at 95% dimensional yield.