Formlabs just released two new 3D Printers and a refined LFS 3D Printing technology. Let’s go through the news and what we can expect.
The new Form 3 and Form 3L are packed with interesting technology refining an already great 3D Printing experience with SLA (now LFS?) resin printing. New features in both hardware and software makes the Form 3 promise a new level of reliable printing.
Low Force Stereolithography 3D Printing
Formlabs new trademarked LFS (Low Force Stereolithography) technology is designed to reduce the forces the print experiences during printing. In resin SLA 3D printing your model is exposed to forces when pulled of the bottom of the resin tank.
LFS use a flexible resin tank bottom that allows this force to be spread out and affect the model less during printing.
This should allow for both smaller features in a print, as the 3D-print itself have less force to cope with between the build platform and the resin tank.
Another amazing feature is the parabolic mirror inside the Form 3. This ensures that the laser spot has a minimal contact point all over the print bed. More importantly, it’s ensuring there’s no angles, creating an unfocused laser further out on the sides. That is most likely to reason why the Form 3 has a 0,085mm laser spot size, compared to 0,140mm of the Form 2.
The new mirror and galvanizing laser allows for a XY-resolution of 0,025mm, a fantastic precision for sharp corners, accurate tolerances and overall details.
Form 3 and Form 3L now has built in air-heating systems to heat the resin to optimal temperature for viscosity and properties. The Form 2 heats the resin tank and does so quite slowly to be honest.
The circulating air in the Form 3 heater should be much easier to work with and be a faster experience overall.
Form 3L – Bigger is more!
Launching the Form 3L shows us that Formlabs are listening to their users and enabling higher productivity.
It’s no quiescence they’re mentioning that you can print 40 dental arches in one. Dental has been a focus for Formlabs last years.
The Form 3L surely targets both those customers and the design studios (and anyone else) who crave larger print volumes.
Using two light-modules (two lasers), the Form 3L should also allow for higher overall printing speeds, on top of larger volumes.
Non-stop Printing experience
To ensure even higher reliability and lower downtime, Form 3 and Form 3L are packed with new sensors. For example, Form 3 and 3L will continuously monitor optics and adjust for changes.
Resin changes are now even faster, down to seconds if we’re to believe the marketing material
Last but maybe most impressively is that key components are easily swapable by users, in-house to ensure fast recovery in case anything goes wrong.
More Form 3 and 3L improvements
It’s also worth mentioning that there’s a few smaller, but all so nice-to-have updates. Among them are LED-indicators, speaker for messages and 5Ghz Wifi.
With a new machine comes new software!
PreForm is now updated with fantastic features and aims to make SLA 3D Printing with Form 3 even easier for multi-user customers.
Print management via Dashboard
The dashboard is more prominent, helping you track resin levels, print jobs, build plate lifetime and much more. All cross your fleet of Formlabs 3D Printers! The sms/email notifications of completed prints really help keeping efficiency at top.
One-click and supports
The Form 3 one-click printing and new optimal support generations is something that should allow for much better experience. The new Light-Touch support are enabled by the smaller laser spot and leaves smaller marks on your prints.
Light-Touch Removal of the support material also minimizes the time spend post-processing the prints. Specially if you have Form Wash or Cure!
What we’re expecting from Form 3 and Form 3L
As a 3D Printer reviewer and avid 3D user I’m really looking forward to seeing how these machines enables companies and schools to grow their businesses.
Having an easy, reliable tool for creating prototypes and communicating ideas can work wonders with companies!
Although it’s still sticky and somewhat messy, all the new features should make it easier for certain schools to enable their students with 3D Printing.
It’s clear though that Formlabs are not competing on hobbyist levels and are targeting higher quality parts and experience while printing. They seem to do it very well and I’m sure Formlabs still have the upper hand on the competition.
Hopefully I’ll have access to a Form 3 later on to do my usual test and review process on!
Where to next?
Obviously make sure you comment your expectations on Formlabs Form 3 or 3L down below and check out www.formlabs.com!