The Formlabs team, David Cranor, Maxim Lobovsky, and Natan Linder, has launched their first print material: clear resin. The Form One uses stereolithography technology that prints objects by directing a laser at a tray of liquid resin to harden each thin layer.
The clear resin can be used for printing highly-detailed and complex models, especially when playing with lighting.
The process to create Clear (and other materials) is a delicate balance of countless variables that range from chemical to mechanical to computational to safety. Different resins, for example, require a range of laser power settings to properly activate the photoinitiators. Yet material formulas also interact differently with the Form 1 itself. Mark, our Research Scientist, constantly confronts the challenge of improving resin properties while ensuring there is no adverse effect on the hardware. Next, we must optimize software settings for each and every resin formulation. Finally, the print material must be as safe to handle as common household chemicals (download the MSDS here). Notes Formlabs.
Clear Resin will be available online $149 per liter when Form 1 begin shipping. Formlabs shipped their first 15 printers three weeks ago to beta test users and will begin shipping Form 1 to Kickstarter backers soon.
They've also released PreForm Software that allows you to import your .STL file, scale and orient it, prepare it for printing, and send it to your Form 1 printer. PreForm Software features custom slicer which could help you to reduces model prep time. It also automatically generates support structures for more complex print geometries.
The Form Team is attending the 8th Annual Bay Area Maker Faire in California on May 18 and 19 so if you want to check out their devices and high resolution prints, visit them at booth 304 in the 3D printing area.
Formlabs will start shipping the first official full production units to backers this weekend.
Posted in 3D Printing Materials
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Thorn wrote at 5/20/2013 3:28:22 PM:
I disagree, because if it is the color you are waiting for a long time, it is very good news.
CornGolem wrote at 5/17/2013 4:17:27 PM:
I wouldn't write a news about a new colour.