Using the Form 1 3D printer by Formlabs. Source: Formlabs
Using the Form 1 3D printer by Formlabs. Source: Formlabs

Simple. Elegant. Powerful. These are the words that have defined the Form 1 3D printer. Form 1 users can now print parts with complex geometries, fine detail, and polished surface finish. The Form 1 3D printer has been funded through Kickstarter, a crowd-funding platform, and is getting ready to move forward.

Somerville, Massachusetts, December 3, 2013 — Formlabs, the designers and manufacturers of the Form 1 3D Printer, announced the completion of the first phase of their Kickstarter campaign today. With that announcement, Formlabs has now shipped over 1,000 printers around the globe. Today, there are Form 1s from Poland to Hong Kong, as well as in 30 other countries.

“This is the end of a phase,” said Formlabs cofounder, Maxim Lobovsky. “We’re thankful for the incredible opportunity that our Kickstarter backers gave us, and with the amazing team we’ve built, we’re looking forward to continue to develop great tools.” After closing a $19M funding found in October of this year, the company has ambitious plans for 2014.

Natan Linder, a Formlabs cofounder, added, “The Kickstarter community is our rock. They gave us our start, and we’re going to continue to support them. It’s great to be at this stage, now, and we’ll be expanding our team to keep doing what they set us out to do. We’re building machines to change the world.”

Stereolithography Technology

The Form 1 uses Stereolithography (SL) technology. In the rapid prototyping world, stereolithography (SL) is the gold standard for accuracy and resolution. SL is a resin based printing process ideal for detailed and complex parts. A high-precision positioning system directs a laser onto a tray of liquid resin and traces out each cross-sectional layer, causing the resin to harden. This process repeats until a full part is constructed. Printing is simple, reliable, and quiet.

Material

Formlabs’ resin is engineered in-house with excellent tensile, impact, and green strength, which is great for look-and-feel models, stand-alone parts, or functional prototypes. Over time, Formlabs will develop and sell an entire palette of materials for the Form 1. A variety of colors, transparency, flexibility, and even burnout capability for lost-wax casting processes are all possible.

PreForm Software

Formlabs’ simple, intuitive user experience streamlines the process of importing STL models from any 3D CAD package, generating smart support structures for complex geometry, and sending jobs to the printer with only a few clicks. Formlabs has developed highly optimized model manipulation algorithms and a support structure generation engine from the ground up, so users can quickly prepare and send print jobs to the Form 1.

Form Finish Kit

With any 3D printing process, there are key finishing steps to get the print into its ready-to-use form. Formlabs has designed the Form Finish kit, a finishing tray and accessories package to equip users with easy part finishing tools, while keeping their workspaces clean and organized.

Features

  • The Form 1’s Stereolithography (SL) technology approaches the highest resolution available in 3D printing.
  • The printer forms layers as thin as 25 microns (.001 inches) with details as small as 300 microns (.012 inches) build volume of 4.9 x 4.9 x 6.5 inches (125 x 125 x 165 mm).
  • Easy to use PreForm software (compatible with any 3D CAD package) and the Form Finish accessories kit.

The Company

Maxim Lobovsky, David Cranor, and Natan Linder met as graduate students at the MIT Media Lab in 2009 as classmates in MIT’s legendary How to Make (almost) Anything class. They officially founded Formlabs in September 2011. Formlabs raised $2.94 million on Kickstarter in October 2012.