Formlabs may reshape things, wrote Scott Kirsner on Boston.com. Today, Formlabs plans to unveil its low-cost 3D printer, the Form 1. In a report on 3D systems, JP morgen commented on its potential negative implications for 3D Systems.
"Formlabs, a Boston-based start-up company, is introducing the Form 1 3D printer at under $3,000. The printer uses low-cost Blu-ray lasers to cure plastic polymer, enabling the creation of high-resolution prototypes of up to 5x5x5 inches in size. The technology could be disruptive owing to very low-cost desk-top lasers (under $10.00), presenting a threat to incumbent 3D printer solutions at the low-end of the market in the near-term. If the Formlabs technology scales then, it could also present a threat at the highend of the market (e.g. laser sintering production systems), in the longerterm. First take: potential negative for DDD."
Cambridge-based Formlabs raised $500,000 in November last year, its investors include Mitch Kapor, the founder of Lotus Development Corp.; Joi Ito, the director of MIT's Media Lab; and Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google. It has now 12 employees.
According to Boston.com, Formlabs Form 1 3D printer has a brushed aluminum base and an orange plexiglass cover. It uses a Blu-ray laser — the same kind that high-definition DVD players use — to cause a light-sensitive liquid polymer material to harden. "Thanks to Sony developing Blu-ray DVD players, we're able to use a $10 laser in the printer instead of a $10,000 laser," says Cranor (co-founder of Formlabs). The laser, steered by a pair of mirrors, passes over one layer of liquid, telling it which areas need to "become" the object being printed, and then a platform lifts the object up a bit, and the laser adds another layer. The platform is 5 inches square, enabling the printer to turn out objects that are that wide and about 6.5 inches tall.
"The part quality that it can produce is absolutely astounding," says Marina Hatsopoulos, a former chief executive of Z Corp. "They could sell this machine for a lot more than $3,000."
(model of the Eiffel Tower created on Form 1 3D printer, credit: boston.com)
Formlabs Form 1 3D printer will be launched at 9AM Eastern Standard Time (EST, USA) today. Stay tuned!
Posted in 3D Printers
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Jim Colleran wrote at 9/28/2012 2:20:58 AM:
The company mentioned in this piece is JP Morgan, an investment bank.