Somerville, MA – Formlabs is ushering in a new era of additive manufacturing with the announcement of two cutting-edge materials, Silicone 40A and Alumina 4N Resin, and its new Open Platform option that enables access to third-party materials, personalizable print settings, and open material printing. The company is also increasing accessibility to its SLS ecosystem with Fuse Starter Package, enabled by Fuse Depowdering Kit. The new materials will be shown for the first time at The Digital Factory Conference at SoWa Power Station in Boston on September 13, 2023. Registration is now open at thedigitalfactory.com.
“So much attention in the additive industry is focused on hardware, but materials are just as essential for delivering on our mission to create user-friendly, cost-effective 3D printing solutions so that anyone can make anything. That’s why we continue to innovate relentlessly in the material space, creating high-performance materials that unlock new possibilities in manufacturing, healthcare and other industries,” said Formlabs co-founder and CEO Max Lobovsky. “With Silicone 40A and Alumina 4N, we’re combining the flexibility and efficiency of 3D printing and the performance of silicones and ceramics, at a price point that anyone can afford. We’re thrilled to both expand our ecosystem and make our Fuse 3D printers more accessible so our customers and new users can truly create anything at an affordable price.”
Formlabs now offers 45 proprietary resins, adding Silicone 40A Resin and Alumina 4N Resin, two high-performance materials designed for the needs of automotive, manufacturing, industrial applications.
Silicone 40A Resin combines the material properties of cast silicone with the flexibility of 3D printing to eliminate the labor-intensive molding and casting processes, while enabling design freedom. With this patent-pending Pure Silicone Technology™, users can print 100% silicone parts with complex geometries that are not possible with traditional methods — in-house, in a matter of hours. Silicone 40A Resin can be used for soft, pliable, and durable parts that can withstand repeated cycles of stretching, flexing, and compression, for functional prototyping and end-use part production. This material creates parts with excellent chemical and thermal resistance, perfect for automotive and industrial applications as well as consumer products such as wearables or medical devices.
“Silicone 40A Resin gives me the flexibility to do designs that previously could only be done with a very expensive and time-consuming molding process, allowing us to explore new markets and manufacture products that would have been prohibitively expensive or complicated before,” said Guy Cardwell, director of research and development at HGM Automotive Electronics. “Other 3D printing solutions can print some kinds of elastics, but only the SLA Formlabs printer using Silicone 40A Resin can create soft connector seals that match the quality and durability of a silicone or TPU molded part.”
With Alumina 4N Resin, Form 3+ printers are the most affordable and easy-to-use SLA ceramic 3D printers in the world and are less than a tenth of the price of leading alternatives. This new resin unlocks the performance, design freedom, and affordability of 3D printing for ceramic engineering. As a technical ceramic with 98.6% relative density and 99.99%-purity, Alumina 4N Resin is reliable in extreme conditions for parts that are thermally resistant, abrasion resistant, mechanically strong, and chemically inert. Built to withstand the extreme environments in manufacturing, defense, foundry, chemical, automotive, semiconductor, and other industries, Alumina 4N Resin will remove the need for expensive tooling, reduce production costs, and shorten development cycles.
“Alumina 4N Resin is remarkably easy to work with and plugs into our workflow seamlessly,” said Benjamin Lam, Materials Research Engineer at the Air Force Research Laboratory. “It fits a need in the market, with a low barrier of entry that allows us to rapidly iterate on designs and produce parts at a comparably low cost.”
Open Platform includes three new solutions that dramatically expand the capabilities of Formlabs SLA printers. Certified Materials offers users a curated selection of best-in-class third party resins, starting with resins from Kulzer GmbH to enable dental biocompatible applications for Formlabs customers in the APAC region. Print Settings Editor is a new PreForm feature that enables advanced users to modify print settings to tailor their print performance. Open Material License is an optional, paid software license that allows expert users to print with any 405 nm photopolymer resin. Together, these solutions provide even more versatility and performance on the industry’s most reliable, professional SLA ecosystem.