Formlabs

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Formlabs
Industry 3D printing/Stereolithography/Selective laser sintering
Founded September 2011
Founder Maxim Lobovsky, David Cranor, and Natan Linder
Headquarters Somerville, Massachusetts, United States
Website formlabs.com

Formlabs is a Somerville, Massachusetts-based company that was founded in September 2011. Formlabs designs and manufactures desktop 3D printers, and is well known for raising nearly $3 million in a Kickstarter campaign and creating the Form 1 and Form 2 3D printers.[1]

History[edit]

Formlabs was founded by Maxim Lobovsky, Natan Linder, and David Cranor, who met as students at the MIT Media Lab while taking the 'How to Make (almost) Anything' class. The founders also drew on their experience with MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms Fab Lab program, as well as Lobovsky's experience with the Fab@Home project at Cornell University.

Formlabs was officially founded in September 2011 to develop an easy-to-use and affordable desktop stereolithography 3D printer. Formlabs received early seed funding from investors including Mitch Kapor, Joi Ito, and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors.

In November 2012, Formlabs was sued by the industrial 3D printing giant 3D Systems that claimed rights to the stereolithography technology that the Form 1 uses.[2]

In October 2013, Formlabs closed an additional $19 million Series A round of financing led by DFJ Growth, joined by Pitango Venture Capital, Innovation Endeavors, and returning angel investors.[3]

In 2015, Formlabs Inc. opened their second office in Berlin, Germany.[4] In August 2015 Michael Sorkin, former co-founder of iGo3D joined Formlabs to serve as the managing director of their European headquarters.[5]

In August 2016, Formlabs raised $35 million in series B funding led by Foundry Group.[6]

Products[edit]

Form 1[edit]

In October 2012, Formlabs publicly announced its first product, the Form 1 3D printer, in a Kickstarter campaign that raised a record breaking $2.95 million in funding[7] making the Form 1 one of the most highly funded crowdfunding projects of all time. Form 1 3D printers began shipping to backers in May 2013 after months of delayed production.[8][9] The Form 1 uses a 3D printing process known as stereolithography, wherein liquid resin is cured, or transformed, into a solid material by the application of laser light. Although previously available in larger, more expensive machines, the Form 1 offers stereolithography in a smaller, more affordable desktop-class device.

Form 1+[edit]

On June 10, 2014, Formlabs released the Form 1+ 3D Printer, which replaced the Form 1 in their product line. Improvements include speed, print quality, and reliability.[10]

Form 2[edit]

On 22 September 2015, Formlabs announced the Form 2 printer, including a larger build volume and a wiper. It also switches to a cartridge resin system, instead of bottles that needed to be manually poured into the Form 1 & Form 1+. Third-party resins can be used with Open Mode.[11]

Form Wash & Form Cure[edit]

On 5 May 2017, Formlabs announced the Form Wash and the Form Cure. Together with the Form 2, they complete the SLA engine. The Form Wash is a 3d part washing machine, and the Form Cure is an ultraviolet curing system. After printing, the build platform on the Form 2 can be removed and installed on the Form Wash, which uses an impeller to agitate 3D printed parts in isopropyl alcohol. The Form Cure heats parts up to 80 degrees Celsius and uses 13 405 nanometer UV LEDs.[12][13]

Fuse 1[edit]

On 5 June 2017, Formlabs announced the Fuse 1, a selective laser sintering 3D printer. It has a much larger build volume, a removable build chamber, and uses nylon powder.[14]

Form Cell[edit]

On 5 June 2017, Formlabs announced the Form Cell, a cell of Form 2 3D printers, as well as a Form Wash and a robotic gantry system. It is completely automated and can be used as a 24 hour digital "factory".[15]

PreForm[edit]

Formlabs provides a free software package called PreForm, designed to prepare 3D models for printing on the Form 1, Form 1+, Form 2, and Fuse 1. Some of the features of PreForm include automatic model orientation and support structure generation.[16]

Materials[edit]

Formlabs currently sells several resins that are compatible with the Form 1 and Form 1+. Their general-purpose hard plastic resin is available in four colors: clear, white, grey, black. In addition, the company sells a resin specialized for casting, a flexible resin, a tough resin, and a Class 1 biocompatible resin for intraoral surgical guides. They also sell a Class IIa clear biocompatible resin for orthodontic devices. The Form 2 uses resin cartridges, and Formlabs sells those resins in cartriges as well.[17]

Documentary[edit]

Formlabs is featured in Print the Legend,[1] a documentary that tells the stories of several leading companies in the desktop 3D printer industry. The film premiered at SXSW in March, 2014, and was released internationally on Netflix[18] on September 26, 2014.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Formlabs, a leader in desktop 3D printing". Tech Gen Mag. 8 November 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  2. ^ https://www.wired.com/2012/11/3d-systems-formlabs-lawsuit/
  3. ^ "Formlabs, maker of desktop 3D printers, collects $19 million in fresh funding". Boston.com. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "Formlabs doubles staff and expands distribution network in Europe". TCT Magazine. 2015-12-10. Retrieved 2017-04-07. 
  5. ^ "iGo3D’s Michael Sorkin Takes Over as Formlabs’ EU Lead | 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing". 3dprint.com. Retrieved 2017-04-07. 
  6. ^ "Formlabs raises $35 million series B, announces Autodesk partnership". TechCrunch. August 4, 2016. Retrieved August 4, 2016. 
  7. ^ "FORM 1: An affordable, professional 3D printer". Kickstarter. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "Formlabs ships first Form 1 3D printer, Kickstarter backers should see theirs next week". Engadget. 17 May 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  9. ^ "Watch Print the Legend Online | Netflix". www.netflix.com. Retrieved 2016-12-31. 
  10. ^ "Formlabs reveals the Form 1+, a faster and more reliable SLA 3D printer". Gigaom. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  11. ^ http://formlabs.com/products/3d-printers/form-2/
  12. ^ https://formlabs.com/tools/wash-cure/
  13. ^ https://formlabs.com/blog/form-wash-form-cure-professional-post-processing/
  14. ^ http://formlabs.com/products/3d-printers/fuse-1/
  15. ^ http://formlabs.com/products/3d-printers/form-cell/
  16. ^ http://formlabs.com/products/preform/
  17. ^ "Materials -- Formlabs". Formlabs. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  18. ^ "Netflix Acquires 3D Printing Documentary ‘Print the Legend’". Variety. Retrieved 20 July 2014. 

External links[edit]