The company’s latest drop includes both the Form 3+ and the Form 3B+, Formlabs’ fastest 3D printers to date. Based on the firm’s signature Low Force Stereolithography technology, the new systems are intended as successors to the widely popular Form 3 and Form 3B printers, offering revamped hardware and improved software.
Joining the 3D printers is Formlabs’ latest in-house material offering: ESD Resin. The photopolymer is the company’s first static-dissipative material, meaning it’s suitable for ESD-safe parts.
Max Lobovsky, CEO and co-founder of Formlabs, said, “Formlabs created the professional desktop printer market, and our Form 3 has become a best-seller. The Form 3+ is the next iteration designed to help users go from idea to part in hand as quickly and easily as possible.”
The Form 3+ and Form 3B+ 3D printers
Formlabs’ new flagship 3D printers are backed by over three years of development focused on improving the proprietary Low Force Stereolithography technology. Created with quality and productivity in mind, the Form 3+ and Form 3B+ feature high-intensity lasers and new material settings to enable print speeds up to 40% faster than their predecessors.
Priced at $3,499, the Form 3+ is a general-purpose system built for functional prototypes and end-use parts. The Form 3B+, on the other hand, is priced at $4,850 and designed to print medical devices, surgical tools, and other patient-specific parts with high precision and smooth surface finishes. Both machines sport a 250mW laser power, an 85 micron laser spot size, and layer thicknesses and XY resolutions down to just 25 microns.
Additionally, Formlabs has implemented a next-generation ‘Build Platform 2’ into its new 3D printers. The hardware upgrade features patented Quick Release Technology and a flexible print surface to make part removal easier than ever. Resin prints can be removed without the use of tools in seconds, eliminating the risk of damaging both the parts and the print surface.
Lobovsky adds, “With Build Platform 2, we’ve improved the entire 3D printing workflow to make it easier than ever to create. The adoption of 3D printing relies on the technology’s ability to be easy to use and fast. Every piece of hardware we create is held to that standard to ensure anyone can walk up to a printer and start creating.”
Both the Form 3+ and Form 3B+ 3D printers are available to order now.
Many of Formlabs’ customers, at some point, will 3D print parts that come into contact with electronic components. Any such parts will often need static dissipative properties to prevent electrostatic discharges, which can damage products or even start fires on the shop floor.
ESD Resin is designed specifically for ESD-safe parts. Components 3D printed using the material are capable of protecting systems and electronics that are sensitive to unregulated static discharge. The company expects its latest offering to enable new applications in sectors such as electronics manufacturing, automotive, and aerospace.
Formlabs is undoubtedly one of the leading names in the professional-grade SLA and SLS markets, having sold more than 90,000 3D printers to date. Just recently, the firm’s Fuse 1 SLS system was validated for the 3D printing of orthodontic models, while the company also reformulated its popular Model Resin to double printing speeds on its SLA 3D printers.
Last year, Formlabs also raised $150 million in a Series E funding round led by Tokyo-based VC firm SoftBank Investment Advisers’ Vision Fund 2. The company stated that the additional funding effectively doubled its valuation to $2 billion, enabling it to expand its workforce, build on its SLA and SLS portfolio, and accelerate its product R&D.
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Featured image shows the Formlabs Form 3+ 3D printer. Photo via Formlabs.