April 02, 2019
Whenever Formlabs launches a new product, the industry watches with intense focus as they have a history of shaking up the entire landscape of additive manufacturing. With the launch of the newest printer, the Form 3 is poised to be doing it once again.
As one of Formlab’s largest partners in North America, Shop3D will present our initial thoughts on the new machine and why we think it’ll take a commanding lead as one of the most innovative and versatile 3D printers of 2019 and beyond.
The peeling process (detaching the solidified layer onto the object) is at the core process of every SLA printer. Most DLP/SLA printers have a simple up-down peel (Form1) which can fail if you have objects with a large footprint, or simply orientated it incorrectly. This has been drastically improved by the Form 2 sideways peel which is much more reliable, converting peel forces to sheer force.
The Form 3 now uses an even more reliable system utilizing low peel forces in combination with a specialized film in its resin tanks. Lower peel forces mean there’s less strain on your part as you print allowing you to use smaller supports and touch points resulting in an even better surface finish. The supports are easier to remove, allows for larger build volumes and is considerably more reliable on difficult prints.
In traditional SLA systems (Form 2 included) the laser path is often controlled by galvanometers, bouncing off a mirror and hitting the optical surface. While this is an efficient and compact method of moving the laser around, the laser spot can skew at the extremities. If a larger build volume is required on an SLA system, a different method must be used.
With the new optical module utilizing a parabolic mirror in the Form 3, the laser is perfectly perpendicular to the optical surface at all times ensuring a cleaner more consistent spot across the entirety of the optical surface without the skewing effect at the edges. The spot size remains a consistent shape and a clear point from the center to the edges. Which means more reliability, part to part consistency and higher surface quality.
This improvement also means that Formlabs is able to produce the Form 3L with 5x the build volume of the Form 3. Learn more about it here.
This newly designed Light Processing Unit opens new doors for quick infield repairs/replacements. While Shop3D.ca’s replacement program kept downtime to a minimum for the Form 2, there were still some cases where the only solution was to swap a unit out due to the galvanometers or laser power. With the Form 3’s removable optical module, it can easily be user remedied with a drop in replacement. Reducing downtime, shipping costs, and even ensures future upgradability.
For users who run the machine 24/7, they can stock a backup optical module in-case of any unforeseen mishaps and be back up and running within minutes of an optical core failure. That kind of peace of mind is essential when your business is riding on the production capabilities of your printer.
If you’re looking for an SLA printer we can say with confidence that there is no better choice right now. Period.
The price of the Form 3 starting unit is on par with the previous Form 2 at only $4699 CAD. dozens of times more affordable than other comparative industrial models. Pre-order one today to reserve your unit so you can be the first to get it in Canada.
Purchasing from Shop3D.ca will have many benefits and zero drawbacks.
Is the Form Wash and Cure compatible?
Are resin cartridges compatible with the Form 3?
Are LT/Standard Form2 tanks compatible?
Can I trade in my Form 2?
How large is the Form 3L build volume?
Are there any Deals?
Does it ship from Canada?
Do I have to pay customs?
When Will I receive my Form 3?
How do I ensure my place in line?
Will optical modules be available for purchase as a spare part?
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