3D Printers

Formlabs launches new 3D printers Form 4 and Form 4B

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3D printer OEM Formlabs has launched its new desktop resin 3D printers, Form 4 and its variant, Form 4B, priced at $4,499 and $6,299 respectively.

Targeting professionals in diverse fields, these printers aim to deliver improved performance and usability. Representing Formlabs’ fourth generation of desktop resin 3D printers, the Form 4 series possesses high speed, reliability, and material properties. Noteworthy attributes of Form 4 include accelerated print speeds in comparison to its predecessor, Form 3+, completing prints in under two hours for most projects and reaching vertical speeds of up to 100 mm/hr.

“Form 4 is a huge leap not only for Formlabs and our customers, but also for the entire 3D printing world,” said Formlabs CEO and Co-Founder Max Lobovsky. “More than a decade ago, Formlabs created the desktop SLA 3D printer category and set a new standard for accuracy, reliability, ease of use, and affordability in 3D printing. We’ve built on the strength and insights gathered from more than 130,000 printers on the market and over 300 million parts printed to deliver the Form 4, our best SLA printer ever. Its reliability and new level of speed will transform how our customers develop new products.”

Formlabs flagship Form 4 and Form 4B 3D printers

The Form 4 equips a novel Low Force Display (LFD) print engine, marking a shift from the industry-standard laser and galvanometer technology. Integrating several components, this engine features an ultra-high-power backlight (16 mw/cm2), a proprietary release texture, the Light Processing Unit 4 (LPU 4), and a dual-layer, flexible film resin tank. The stated goals of this new system are to enhance reliability through pre-validated print settings, precise heating control, force sensing, and debris detection capabilities. 

The Form 4 distinguishes itself with its exceptional reliability, attributed to industry-leading print success rates. Validated print settings, precise heating mechanisms, force-sensing features, and debris detection systems underpin this reliability. Its ability to consistently produce precise and well-fitting parts is a notable aspect of Form 4. This is achieved through the use of 50-micron pixels, highly focused light, advanced pixel smoothing algorithms, and delicate support structures.

User-friendliness is a core principle in the design of the Form 4. Its intuitive interface ensures that users can grasp the printing process in a short span of 15 minutes. This is facilitated by features like automatic resin handling, quick material changes, automated post-processing functions, and easily detachable build platforms.

“We support all hardware categories at Microsoft. Form 4 is our go-to choice for projects needing tight tolerances and engineering-grade materials,” said Mark Honschke, Additive Prototyping Lead, Microsoft. “It produces high-performance parts with amazingly fast print times and makes it possible for our model makers to produce multiple iterations in a 24-hour period.”

One of the key highlights of Form 4 is its 40% reduction in cost per part, achieved through various factors. These include the utilization of long-lasting resin tanks capable of enduring over 75,000 layers and a robust Light Processing Unit capable of handling over 1 million layers. Furthermore, lower resin pricing, a 30% larger print volume, and 3.5 times higher throughput contribute to its affordability.

New resin offerings 

Formlabs is expanding its resin offerings, now available at a starting price of $99 per liter. These additions include six new resins, designed to enhance printing capabilities and cater to diverse needs. Among these offerings are four newly reformulated General Purpose Resins, optimized for the Form 4 ecosystem. 

These resins promise significantly faster printing speeds, up to two to five times quicker than previous formulations, while also delivering improved toughness and color accuracy. Additionally, introducing Fast Model Resin enables the rapid production of high-speed prototypes and orthodontic models, while Precision Model Resin ensures the creation of highly accurate dental models that consistently fit. 

Moreover, Form 4 is validated to utilize over 17 other performance materials from Formlabs’ extensive library, with continuous additions of new materials to broaden its compatibility and application range. While both printers share many features and capabilities, the Form 4B is compatible with 15 additional biocompatible materials, making it suitable for applications requiring specific material properties and certifications in healthcare settings.

Technical specifications of the Form 4 3D printer

TechnologyLow Force Display (LFD)
Build volume (W x D x H)20.0 × 12.5 × 21.0 cm | 7.9 × 4.9 × 8.3 inches
Layer thickness (Z resolution)25 – 300 microns
XY resolution50 microns
Average print speed (100 µm layer height)40 mm/h
Maximum print speed100 mm/h
Resin Tank lifetime75,000+ layers with any Formlabs material
Printer weight18.3 kg | 40.4 lb
Printer dimensions39.8 × 36.7 × 55.4 cm | 15.7 × 14.5 × 21.9 inches
Warranty and serviceOne-year warranty included;
Paid service and extended warranty options are available
Software compatibilityWindows 7 and up; Mac OS X 10.12 and up
File types acceptedSTL, OBJ, 3MF

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Featured image shows Formlabs Form 4 3D printer. Photo via Formlabs.