Presenting the Form 1+ SLA 3D PrinterFollow article
The Form 1+ 3D Printer is the flag ship product from Formlabs based in Massachusetts, USA. Originally a Kickstarter campaign at the back of 2012, the original Form 1 became the first mainstream SLA 3D Printer on the market and placed Formlabs as one of the most innovative manufactures in the industry. The Form 1+ is the culmination of everything they learned in these formative years.
Unlike most popular Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM or FFF) 3D printers which melt and extruder layers of polymer filament on top of each other, the Form 1+ uses Stereolithography (SLA). Utilising a 405nm-beam laser to solidify a pattern in a photosensitive polymer resin, the Form 1+ is able to create incredibly accurate 3D objects which are not possible with FDM 3D printers. When the laser hits the resin it hardens, and layer by layer the object is made and lifted out of the basin on an inverted platform.
A wide range of colours are available in the standard resins as well as special synthetic resins which increase the number of possible applications of the Form 1+:
- ‘Tough’ is perfect for engineering challenges. This sturdy, ABS-like material has been developed to withstand high stress or strain and t’s ideal for snap-fit joints and other rugged prototypes.
- ‘Castable’ burns out cleanly, without ash or residue and captures crisp, precise detail as well as extraordinarily smooth surfaces. It allows jewellers, designers, and engineers to go straight from a 3D design to a model suited for direct investment casting.
- ‘Flexible’ is versatile, tactile, and impact-resistant and allows you to create parts that are bendable and compressible. Excellent for prototyping, product design, and engineering.
The Form 1+ has been internationally recognised as one of the most easy to use SLA 3D Printers. With intuitive software handling slicing, raft creation and a host of other features: you can choose to from several minimum layer heights: 0.25mm, 0.05mm, 0.1mm and 0.2mm depending on how long you want your print to take and what quality you need.
Once you’ve decided on your model you simply upload your model via a USB port on the printer and use the small button on the front of the machine to start your print. This button also allows you to pause your prints and if you hold it down for three seconds the LCD will inform you about the remaining print time.
Overall the Formlabs Form 1+ is a very capable machine which has the potential to transform your rapid prototyping and product development, saving you both time and money.