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Formlabs expands format 3D Printing Line, making large-scale, cost-effective printing a reality

17 September 2020

Formlabs has announced Form 3BL, a dental and medical 3D printer optimised for biocompatible materials.

On 15 September, Formlabs started shipping its flagship large format printer, the Form 3L. Both printers signify the expansion of the company’s line of large format stereolithography (SLA) 3D printers to enable manufacturers and creators to print high-detail large-scale parts.

Formlabs also announces Wash L + Cure L, a fully automated post-processing system created for large-scale prints, which will ship in 2021. Formlabs is now bringing its ease-of-use and professional-grade quality to large format printers. 

Max Lobovsky, CEO and Co-Founder of Formlabs, said: “Our large format printers are poised to have the same disruptive effect on the 3D printing industry as our Form 1 launch did. The companies that have dominated large format printing for the past 20 plus years have lacked the innovation and agility needed to move the 3D printing industry forward. 

“At Formlabs, we are changing that. With the Form 3L and Form 3BL, we are opening this powerful technology up to a whole new group of users at an accessible price while maintaining a professional quality. We are looking forward to seeing how this new technology will be used in industries like automotive and aerospace that need the large build platform to best utilise 3D printing.”

The Form 3L, Formlabs’ flagship large format printer announced in spring 2019, delivers accurate, repeatable prints across the printers’ larger build platform without compromising cost or quality. The advanced Low Force Stereolithography (LFS) print process and larger build platform enabled Formlabs user Black Diamond, an outdoor equipment company known for its products’ durability and performance, to rethink its R+D process. Given early access to Form 3L, Black Diamond determined it would be able to cut prototype development lead times from seven to three days and slashed costs by about 85 percent. 

“The Form 3L makes the product design process more cohesive,” said Matt Tetzl, R+D technician at Black Diamond. “The larger printer enables our designers to make tweaks in CAD and work off a full-scale model to close the gap between feedback and design. We have reduced our costs on full-size prototypes from $425 a print to $70 a print - with that savings, Form 3L would pay for itself in only 3 months.”

The Form 3L and Form 3BL’s features and benefits include:

• 3D print large-scale parts or many smaller parts in a single build, with stunning surface finish and detail that resemble final products

• A build volume of 33.5 × 20 × 30 cm, five times larger build volume than the Formlabs Form 3 desktop SLA 3D printer

• An intuitive workflow, with automatic resin dispensing, simple print preparation software, and an interface anyone can use

• A robust end-to-end system designed for nonstop throughput with minimal intervention

• Access to nearly all of Formlabs' extensive materials library, ensuring a stable supply chain and access to the resins needed for any project — including biocompatible materials on the Form 3BL

The Form 3BL, similar to the Form 3B, is optimised for biocompatible materials for use in the dental and healthcare industries. The Form 3BL balances throughput, quality, and reliability, and is thoroughly validated by Formlabs’ dental team to meet the accuracy requirements for dental aligner production, with consistent part quality and accuracy across the entire build plane. 

In medical settings, the Form 3BL is capable of printing human-scale anatomical models, in-house, on a single build platform. With the Form 3BL, healthcare providers can meet the tight deliverable windows needed to produce the customised surgical guides that are used to improve care and reduce the time spent in the operating room. 

The Form 3L is available and all pre-ordered 3L printers are now being shipped, the Form 3BL is available for pre-order, and Wash L + Cure L will ship in 2021. 

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