One of the huge benefits that SLA 3D printing offers is the ability to zap a laser in order to create highly detailed objects relatively quickly. This technology has its drawbacks, however, often producing parts that aren’t as strong or tough as those made with more ubiquitous FDM/FFF extrusion 3D printers. Now, the start-up that kicked off the low-cost SLA revolution, Formlabs, has designed a new resin that they say can yield objects just as strong and sturdy as those printed in ABS plastic.
Today, Formlabs announced the release of Tough Resin, a resin for producing parts capable of absorbing high-impact stressors that would have previously snapped or shattered in similar circumstances. This includes load-bearing gears, snap-fit enclosures, and more. In fact, the company suggests that their Tough Resin “was found to outperform every material available in desktop 3D Printing” when it came to tests of yield strength, elongation, and impact resistance. And to demonstrate just how capable this material is, Formlabs created what they claim to be the first Rube Goldberg machine. First or last, this is one awesome Rube Goldberg machine.
Formlabs co-founder, Max Lobovsky, says of the new resin, “Engineering and prototyping are a really important application of 3D printing. We’re excited to release our new Tough Resin because now Form 1+ users can create high resolution prints in a really durable, resilient material. Developing new high-quality materials continues to be a really important focus for us. Every time we release a new material, we create new possibilities for every Form 1+ user and build a more compelling experience.”
Formlabs’ Tough Resin signals an exciting new development in 3D printing materials. With light-based 3D printers, like the Form1+, capable of producing some stunning prints, seeing them also fabricate strong parts is an important step towards a true desktop manufacturing revolution. The new Tough Resin material is already available in the company’s web store and works with both the original Form 1 and the Form 1+ 3D printer.