Sep 22, 2015 | By Kira

Formlabs, designer and manufacturer of the popular Form 1 and Form 1+ 3D printing systems, today announced the launch of its latest and most advanced desktop SLA 3D printer, the Form 2. Capable of delivering bigger prints, smarter components, connected capabilities and the high resolution and speed that we have come to expect of Formlabs products, the Form 2 could epitomize a new wave of powerful, accessible and professional desktop 3D printing.

Co-founder of Formlabs Max Lobovsky said that in designing the Form 1 and Form 1+, they noticed that 3D printing technology is following a similar path to the desktop computer: “it started with mainframes, was adopted by the hobbyist and then evolved into the powerful desktop machines everyone uses today,” he said in a press release. Based on that insight, it would seem as though 3D printing is finally entering a promising ‘new wave,’ wherein it is as accessible, understood, valued and debated as our ubiquitous laptops and smartphone devices.

Co-founder of Formlabs Max Lobovsky

“Through building the Form 1 and Form 1+ we’ve learned that professional engineers, designers and creators need access to powerful, easy-to-use systems,” said Lobovsky. “We believe this is the ‘next wave’ of the 3D printing industry: high resolution output with a simple user experience packaged in a desktop footprint.”

Form 2 resin cartridges, above; high precision parts, middle; and buildplatform rings, below

With this second-generation 3D printer, which retains the now-signature orange and grey color-scheme, Formlabs is reinventing the 3D printing process: “It starts at the heart of the machine, the optical engine,” explain the developers. “A high power laser is guided by custom galvanometers, creating each layer with exceptional detail. A sliding peel mechanism gently removes the part from the print bed, while the wiper glides across the optical window. A responsive heating system warms the resin to a consistent temperature. This creates a reliable print process, producing beautiful parts without sacrificing speed.” Makers can print the kind of large, solid prats with intricate details not possible on other desktop 3D printers.

Inside the Form 2

In addition, the Form 2 boasts a much bigger build volume and more powerful laser than its predecessors (and some of its many competitors). However, not to be overlooked are its new features aimed at team collaboration, simplified workflows and timesaving for users of all levels. The highlights of the Form 2 include:

  • Over 40% bigger build volume than its predecessor, the Form 1+
  • 50% more power laser for better print resolution
  • New printing process with sliding peel mechanism, wiper and heated resin tank working together
  • An automated resin system that refills the tank when levels are low
  • ‘1 Click Print’ update to Formlabs’ PreForm software
  • Connected capabilities wireless printing via WiFi and a new dashboard that enables print progress to be monitored across multiple devices
  • Full color touchscreen display for managing print queues and viewing print status

Both the Form 1 and Form 1+ have consistently ranked within the top 15 highest rated desktop 3D printers according to 3Dhubs’ Monthly Rrend Report—as recently as May 2015, the Form 1+ was ranked in first place, with its predecessor sitting comfortably in 10th. August’s trend report, however, showed that both printers had dropped significantly, sitting in 13th and 7th place, respectively. If the Form 2 delivers as promised, however, we have high expectations that the company will bounce right back to the top of the rankings.

The Form 2 is available for purchase as of today for $3,499—an $800 jump from the Form 1+’s $2,799 retail price—and includes Formlabs’ PreForm Software, one liter of resin for printing, and a finish kit for post processing the parts. If this truly is the beginning of a new wave of desktop 3D printing, we’re welcoming it with open arms.

Formlabs, co-founded by Lobovsky and Colin Raney as an MIT Medida lab spin-off, has been making a strong name for itself in the 3D printing industry ever since its first printer was launched with a record-breaking $2.8 million Kickstarter campaign. They have also continued to innovate on the 3D printing software and materials fronts, and are well-known for their sleek promotional campaigns and collaborations with filmmakers and artists. Today, the company includes over 100 employees, and has expanded to the EU, Australia and Asia.

Introducing the Form 2

Formlabs will be hosting a special event today to publicly unveil the Form 2 at the Museum of Science in Boston. The event will be livestreamed on their website at 10am ET.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printers

 

 

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3D wrote at 9/23/2015 11:16:55 AM:

It looks great and I recently stepped away from the Form 1+! This seems to fix all things wrong with the first. And the resin prices is on the website, you can still use your own, the peeling system is different because the first one was too unreliable. Answers are there to find if you look.

skip. wrote at 9/23/2015 4:51:02 AM:

Proprietary resin tanks looks like? that would stink. Price is pretty high too. Too much for a gadget impulse buy.

trkoo wrote at 9/23/2015 2:14:41 AM:

I think the new pealing system is because they got sued by 3d systems for the previous version...

binny wrote at 9/22/2015 5:26:54 PM:

only thing useful on this new printer is the automatic resin dispenser. stronger laser? not really needed. The rake and new vat motion? Does that really solve sticking issues? How much is that new resin gonna cost as well? alot of unanswered questions. I can't wait to see a user review.

Doc wrote at 9/22/2015 4:12:00 PM:

Shame they have not sorted the Form 1+ yet. Lots of disappointed buyers there.



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