Faster, Finer: Formlabs Updates its Flagship 3D Printer

3D Printing & Imaging Photography & Video
Faster, Finer: Formlabs Updates its Flagship 3D Printer
The new Form 1+ 3D printer from Formlabs.

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 Formlab system

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.

Mammoth Skeleton printed in Formlab’s new black resin, model via Smithsonian X 3D

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.

CG-rendered image of the re machined-block in which the Form 1+’s galvanometer and laser module are mounted.

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.

Introducing the Form 1+ from Formlabs on Vimeo.

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DC Denison is the co-editor of The Maker Pro Newsletter, which covers the intersection of makers and business. That means hardware startups, new products, and market trends.

DC manages customer stories at Acquia, the digital experience company.

View more articles by DC Denison


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