An industry leader and a respected manufacturer of 3D printers and more, they continue to raise the bar in terms of standards for professionals in industries such as engineering, medical, film-making, both big and small business, and art and design. Formlabs is pitching the new product, which costs $3,499 (Form 1 is priced at $2,799) and starts shipping this November, as an affordable and easy-to-use 3D printing solution for professional engineers, designers and other kinds of creators. The laser on the new printer is 5- percent more powerful compared to the one installed in its direct predecessor, the Form 1+.
Large parts requiring intricate detailing can be printed with a new process included in the Form 2 that offers a sliding peel mechanism, wiper, and heated resin tank, along with an automated system that refills the tank with new resin cartridges during printing.
Other features to shout about include 1-click-printing, a full-colour touchscreen and Wi-Fi connectivity. The Form 2 offers wireless printing via Wi-Fi, with custom notifications and mobile alerts. It’s lovely to get a text from your printer, even just to make those late hours in the office a bit less lonely.
“If you give someone access to rapid prototyping and 3D printing, it changes the way they think”, Lakatos says.
Lobovsky acknowledged the market for 3-D printers has “gotten more competitive, with way more players” than when the company was founded in 2011, by a trio of MIT students and alumni.
Form 2 can produce 40 per cent more print outputs than its successor which makes it produce and print larger objects.
The new 3D printer introduced by Formlabs is called “Form 2.’ It has a boxy frame and an orange, UV light-blocking hood”.
It’s estimated that the 3D printing market will grow to .2 billion by 2018, a compounded annual growth rate of 45.7 percent over the five year period.
As part of the Form 2 launch, Formlabs will be livestreaming a public unveiling today, September 22nd, at 10 am ET, from the Museum of Science in Boston; the livestream and subsequent archived webcast will be available for viewing and replay on Formlabs’ website.
It used to be that all the printer’s settings and functions were controlled on your laptop through Formlabs’ PreForm software, but with the Form 2, everything can be controlled right from the printer’s big, lovely touchscreen.
“The dirty secret about 3D printing is that it fails a lot because there are so many variables in making a project”, said Formlabs co-founder Max Lobovsky, who led TNW through an in-person demo of the new printer. “The first wave [of 3D printing] was big industrial machines… that was the beginning in the 80’s to mid 2000’s”.