castable_exhaust-manifold_polished

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.

 

0 thoughts on “Formlabs Releases Functional Resins: Flexible and Castable

  1. I withhold judgement until I see some cast jewelry samples.
    The B9 castable resins have had spotty results even with heat or uv curing prior to investment, and they are among the better resins for making the attempt.
    Another issue with the SLA / DLP printers and these resins is that they tend to show more prominent print-lines and more bloating of the printed model than the Solidscape or Envisiontec prints, which of course are far more expensive prints.
    I have no idea how much, if at all, any of this matters for larger castings like the pictured manifolds. Jewelers are very persnickety about such things.

  2. Form1 with an X/Y of 300 microns…it’s not even a player!! 50 microns or less, don’t even know why you compare it, to a Projet or a B9. The Form1 isn’t even close, to their resolution… not even a player in high resolution parts. Sold mine on EBAY, I was happy to come close, to breaking even…

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