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Formlabs, the maker of the Form 1+ SLA 3D printer, announced today that they’re releasing a series of “functional resins”. Before, you only had the option of a few colors, but now you can use a resin that is purpose built to be investment cast, or one that is flexible.

From the press release, these are the purposes two new resins:

  • Castable Resin burns out cleanly, without ash or residue, capturing crisp, precise details, and extraordinarily smooth surfaces. The resin is perfect for jewelers, engineers, and designers to go straight from a 3D design to a model suited for direct investment casting.
  • Flexible is a rubber-like material, ideal for hinges, engineering applications, shock absorption, tactile surfaces, and other applications requiring resilient, pliable parts.

During our time testing printers, we have heard that many jewelers like to use the Form 1 printer for making prototypes, so having a better material for casting will surely be a big hit. We are eager to see what interesting things happen with the flexible material as well. The castable resin should be available immediately from their web store, while you may have to wait till December for the flexible material to become available.

We’re looking forward to trying out these materials. We’ve seen casting done with ABS as well as with PLA, so we would enjoy comparing the results. It is also worth noting that other SLA printers have castable resins already, such as the ProJet 1200 and B9 creator. The yet to be released DWS Labs XFab has rubber-like flexible materials.