Formlabs has propelled SLS 3D printing another step forward with its newly unveiled Fuse Blast, a state-of-the-art automated post-processing solution, announced at Formnext in Frankfurt, Germany. As a part of the Formlabs Fuse Series ecosystem, this innovation aims to bridge the time gap from printing to the finished product, slashing post-processing time by 80%.
The system, which is engineered to transition parts from printed to customer-grade finished in a mere 15 minutes, is set to significantly mitigate labor and overhead costs entailed in the SLS 3D printing process.
Read all the 3D Printing Industry coverage from Formnext 2023.
The Fuse Blast is a harbinger of enhanced efficiency and consistency in the SLS 3D printing domain geared towards sectors including automotive, manufacturing, and engineering. The introduction of the Fuse Blast alongside a range of software upgrades is aimed at not only accelerating job setup and printing but also refining pre- and post-processing workflows.
A noteworthy mention is the market growth of Formlabs’ Fuse 1 Series printers, which have gained a significant foothold in the global powder bed fusion printers market, constituting nearly half of the sales since its launch in 2020. The advent of Fuse Blast and accompanying software enhancements is poised to bolster the existing fleet of Fuse printers.
Formlabs’ Fuse Blast Elevates SLS Post-Processing with One-Stop Cleaning and Surfacing Solution
At the core of the Fuse Blast’s capability is its automatic tumbling feature, which removes semi-sintered and loose powder, facilitating a hands-off cleaning process. An in-line ionizer further enhances this to prevent dust resettlement, ensuring the parts remain clean-to-the-touch post-cleaning. These features underscore a substantial reduction in both overhead costs and production time.
The Fuse Blast has pre-programmed routines that accommodate multi-material cycles, a characteristic designed to oust guesswork and deliver consistent results. Notable settings include the Standard for general cleaning, Nylon 12GF Powder for tougher surfaces, and Delicate for a gentler tumble cycle, showcasing the system’s versatility. Moreover, the manual assisted and hand-held cleaning options provide a precise cleaning solution for larger or more intricate parts.
The system’s polishing upgrade, the Fuse Blast Polishing System, offers surface finishing that renders parts smooth, scuff-resistant, and dye-ready, all with a professional semi-gloss finish. This is a testament to the comprehensive post-processing solution the Fuse Blast aims to provide.
Dávid Lakatos, Chief Product Officer at Formlabs, lauded the innovation, stating, “The Fuse Blast is a huge step forward for the Formlabs SLS ecosystem, bringing the same ease-of-use and accessibility that we are known for in the SLA space by enabling users to get clean-to-the-touch, industrial-grade SLS parts in as little as 15 minutes after printing.”
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Formlabs’ Fuse Blast Redefines SLS Post-Processing, Early Adopters Reap Speed and Efficiency Benefits
Formlabs’ newly unveiled Fuse Blast is garnering accolades from early users for significantly streamlining post-production workflows in SLS 3D printing. The system is slated to commence shipping in early 2024, with its Polishing System set to be globally available in H1 2024.
Chris Haak, Operations Lead at Autotiv, a contract manufacturer serving diverse sectors like robotics and automotive, extolled the Fuse Blast saying, “Adding this system to any new or existing SLS workflow is a massive improvement over a manual cleaning and post-processing workflow.” Haak also emphasized the ergonomic advantage, noting that the system “takes stress off of our bodies due to removing the repetitive movement of manual cleaning.”
In sync with the hardware advancements, Formlabs has rolled out a substantial software update to all existing Fuse Series Printers, aiming to bolster the system’s capability. The software enhancements encapsulate a 30% uptick in print speeds for Nylon 12 Powder on Fuse 1+ 30W printers, and an improved packing algorithm that curtails powder waste by an average of 42%. Additionally, the update brings about better part resolution for Nylon 12 Powder on the Fuse 1+ 30W, facilitating the creation of strong, fully resolved fine features like thin walls and embossed text, showcasing the comprehensive upgrade aimed at elevating both the hardware and software aspects of the SLS 3D printing process.
These advancements are part of Formlabs’ strategic move to foster quicker job setups, printing, and pre- and post-processing workstreams, reflecting the firm’s commitment to continually refine and enhance its offerings in the SLS 3D printing space.
To get a live demonstration of the Fuse Blast and delve deeper into Formlabs’ latest offerings, the company invites attendees to its booth at the Formnext event in Hall 11.1, Stand E11.
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Featured image shows Post processing on the Formlabs Fuse Blast. Photo via Formlabs.