Sep.26, 2012

Formlabs may reshape things, wrote Scott Kirsner on 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, 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:

(Credit: Formlabs)

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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Eric P wrote at 4/12/2015 5:19:25 PM:

Form labs Form 1. Can this be modified to do laser engraving? If so, what materials can be engraved. Current Laser engravers leave a burn mark on the sides of wood engraving?

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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.

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