Formlabs, which produces one of the best known stereolithographic (SLA) desktop 3D printers, has just announced a major upgrade/overhaul, the Form 1+, that it claims will deliver superior prints at higher speeds.
According to Ian Ferguson, Lead Engineer at Formlabs, the new printer has “a new laser, a new control system, and upgraded precision and quality for dozens of components.”
The price for the new unit will be the same as the current Form 1 model: $3,299.
The Form 1 was the first entrant into the consumer SLA 3D printing market. It uses a UV laser beam steered by a mirror galvanometer system to selectively cure a liquid photopolymer film to form each layer.
The new Form 1+ printer was accompanied by a swarm of new announcements from Formlabs, which is based in Somerville, MA, not far from MIT. Among them: a new material, black resin, the opening of an online European store, a 1-year warranty on new units, a major software release (now with manual support controls), a new website, and revamped support center.
But the big news is the Form 1+, which has a new laser system that the company claims is four times more powerful than its predecessor, allowing it to print up to 50% faster. It also has a reengineered galvanometer control system, designed to produce models with finer detail and a smoother surface finish.
Other changes in the new unit: a reinforced peel motor assembly, and an all-new light-blocking injection-molded resin tank – allowing resin to be more easily stored.
Owners of the original Form 1 will have the opportunity to participate in a factory upgrade program that will bring their printer to Form 1+ specifications and grant them a new 1-year warranty. The cost: $749 USD.
In the US, the first Form 1+ printers will be shipping this week; European deliveries are scheduled for July.
Formlabs was founded by a team of engineers and designers from MIT’s Media Lab and Center for Bits and Atoms, and launched in 2012. Its first product, the Form 1, shipped in 2013.