Sep.26, 2012

After a year in development, Formlabs has officially unveiled the first "prosumer" desktop 3D printer. The Form 1 uses SLA (Stereolithography) technology which could achieve higher resolution and accuracy.

Overview of the Form 1 3D printer:

1. Performance

The printer forms layers as thin as 25 microns (.001 inches) with details as small as 300 microns (.012 inches) in a build volume of 4.9 x 4.9 x 6.5 inches (125 x 125 x 165mm).

2. Stereolithography Technology

Stereolithography (SLA) is a resin based printing process ideal for detailed and complex parts. A high precision positioning system directs a laser onto a tray of liquid resin and traces out each cross-sectional layer, causing the resin to harden. This process repeats until a full part is constructed.

3. 3D printing Material

Formlabs' resin is engineered in-house with a neutral matte gray color, which is great for look-and-feel models, standalone parts, or as a base color for painting. Over time, Formlabs will develop and sell an entire palette of materials for the Form 1. A variety of colors, transparency, flexibility, and even burnout capability for lost wax casting processes are all possible. The resin is estimated to cost around $149 per liter.

4. Form Software

Formlabs' simple, intuitive user experience streamlines the process of importing .STL models from any 3D CAD package, generating smart support structures for complex geometry, and sending jobs to the printer with only a few clicks. Formlabs has developed highly optimized model manipulation algorithms and support structure generation engine from the ground up, so users can quickly prepare and send print jobs to the Form 1.

5. Form Finish Kit

With any 3D printing process, there are key finishing steps to get the print into its ready-to-use form. Formlabs has designed the Form Finish kit - a finishing tray and accessories package to equip users with easy part finishing tools, while keeping their workspaces clean and organized.

6. Price: $2,299 (1,787 Euro / 1,422 GBP) for early adopters

Press Release:

The Form 1 achieves professional quality resolution at a price individual designers and engineers can afford. This revolutionary technology fills the gap between low-end hobbyist machines with limited resolution and high-end printers that cost tens of thousands of dollars.

The company's founders - Maxim Lobovsky, David Cranor, and Natan Linder - met as graduate students at MIT in 2009. As researchers, they were inspired by the promise of 3D printing technology but frustrated by the price tag and complexity of truly high-quality machines.

(From left to right: Maxim Lobovsky, David Cranor, and Natan Linder)

Currently, around 30,000 professional 3D printers are installed around the world, while around 10 million people actively use 3D CAD software. In 2011, the three founders decided to target that disparity by starting Formlabs, a company whose purpose is to design a simple, professional, end-to-end 3D printing package that individuals can afford. Formlabs has received initial seed investments from the likes of Mitch Kapor, Joi Ito, and Eric Schmidt's Innovation Endeavors.

The Form 1 uses stereolithography (SL) technology to achieve resolution unheard of in the low-cost 3D printer market. The printer forms layers as thin as 25 microns (.001 inches) with details as small as 300 microns (.012 inches) in a build volume of 125 x 125 x 165mm (4.9 x 4.9 x 6.5 inches). No longer limited to low-end FDM machines, users can now print parts with the complex geometries, exquisite details, and beautiful surface finish necessary for professional quality design and digital fabrication. The easy-to-use Form software (compatible with any 3D CAD package), custom-formulated printing materials, and Form Finish post-processing kit complement the beautifully simple printer to make desktop 3D printing as easy as pushing a button.

Formlabs is turning to the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to finance full production. The Form 1 has been designed from the ground up to enhance the creativity of individuals, so it is only appropriate that early adopters are the key to launching this revolutionary product. Formlabs is pre-selling the full printer, software, and accessories package at a discount on Kickstarter for as little as $2,299 for those who order first. (First 25 backers)

Below are some high resolution models created on Form 1 3D printer (Click to enlarge)

(Credit: Formlabs)


Posted in 3D Printers




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Albert wrote at 11/30/2013 5:42:21 PM:

This will be a real game changer for the 3D printer market!

Anja wrote at 2/28/2013 6:31:09 AM:

Check this post out:

Hester Dilano wrote at 2/28/2013 12:01:10 AM:

Hello from NYC So What is Formlabs doing now?

Alex wrote at 2/24/2013 12:44:03 PM:

Good day,do you have representatives in Russia?

flink wrote at 9/26/2012 3:24:22 PM:

It's beautiful and I certainly wish I had enough to buy one.

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