Formlabs debuts its $3499 Form 2 3D printer with better resolution and smarter …

22 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Form 2 is a powerful desktop 3D printer with user-friendliness in spades.

It’s estimated that the 3D printing market will grow to $16.2 billion by 2018, a compounded annual growth rate of 45.7 percent over a five year period starting in 2013. Formlabs has just launched Form 2, a new 3D printer aimed at prosumers which promises to deliver a user-friendly and reliable printing experience (which is far from always the case with this tech, as you’re likely aware). One company eagerly looking to capture more market share is Formlabs and today it has launched its $3,499 next-generation printer that offers better resolution, bigger prints, improved connectivity, and more. The Form 2 uses a stereolithography (SLA) process, in other words it employs a laser to produce the model from liquid resin, and offers bigger prints than the original Form 1 and Form 1+.

Nearly four years ago, Formlabs broke onto the scene with a Kickstarter campaign where it raised over $2.9 million to bring its Form 1 printer to the market. The Massachussetts company brought stereolithography (turning photosensitive resin solid with a laser) to the masses in style with the Form 1+ (which we’ve reviewed), but the new model will boast a range of improvements. This time, the company has rebuilt its product from the ground up that Formlabs cofounder Maxim Lobovsky says is something they’ve always dreamed of. Quantity is nothing without quality, of course, and fortunately Formlabs has upped the game on that front too, with a 50% more powerful laser which is able to deliver better print resolution. Furthermore, a new print process also means better quality models, with a sliding peel mechanism, wiper and heated resin tank ensuring users can print sizeable solid parts with impressively intricate detailing.

On the user-friendliness front, a colour touchscreen is provided for managing print jobs, and an intuitive interface is promised with the PreForm software that boasts features such as 1-click print to make the whole print process as easy as possible. Each printer includes a 1 year warranty, as well as a copy of the company’s PreForm software, one litre of resin for printing, and a finish kit for all post-processing needs.

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