Over the past month or so, there has been a lot of speculation surrounding stereolithographic 3D printer manufacturer Formlabs. The company had been teasing an announcement for a couple of weeks, keeping their loyal fans on their toes.
Well today, Formlabs has informed 3DPrint.com that they are announcing their new Form 1+ stereolithographic 3D printer. The Form 1+ provides an “extensive” overhaul to the current Form 1 3D printer. It will feature a second-generation laser system that the company claims will be four times more powerful than that of the laser system in the original Form 1. The printer will also be able to print up to 50% faster, and produce models with finer details and smoother surface finishes. They have overhauled the entire system, redesigning the galvanometer control system, adding a reinforced peel motor assembly, and including a new light-blocking injection-molded resin tank. They also made improvements based on feedback they had received from their customers.
“The Form 1+ incorporates everything that we’ve learned in the past year,” emphasized Ian Ferguson, Lead Engineer at Formlabs. “We’ve given every part of the machine another look, updating it for better performance and reliability: a new laser, a new control system, and upgraded precision and quality for dozens of components.”
Formlabs also announced that they will be providing an industry-leading free 1 year warranty with the purchase of their new printer, and will discontinue the sale of their original Form 1 printers. All printers that leave their factories starting today will be Form 1+’s.
“The Form 1+ is a huge step for us,” Maxim Lobovsky, Cofounder, explained. “With the Form 1+, we’re maintaining our lead in providing the most affordable, professional-quality machines to artists, designers, and engineers around the world.”
The Form 1+ will be priced at $3,299, which is the same as what the Form 1 has been priced at. It can be purchased directly from the Formlabs website. As you can see from the images on this page, the Form 1+ looks very similar to the original. It will also be the same size, keeping the identical build volume of the original, at 125x125x125 mm.
For those of you who currently own a Form 1, there is some excellent news for you as well. Formlabs will be offering a ‘Factory Upgrade Program’, where they will allow owners of the original Form 1 to send their printer in for a factory upgrade to the Form 1+ specifications, as well as renew their warranty. They have informed 3DPrint.com that this option will be available for $749, and Form 1 owners visit the Formlabs website for further details.
On top of this amazing announcement, there’s more….
Formlabs is also announcing the release of a new ‘Black’ resin. It will join the other resins currently offered on the Formlabs website – White, Clear, and Grey. It will be priced at $149/liter.
“Our black resin captures details amazingly well, and has a beautiful finish and rich color,” explained Michal Firstenberg, a Formlabs Materials Scientist. “We’re excited to see what people will make.”
We are told that the Black resin is tuned for finer detail and will take advantage of Formlabs’ 25 micron layer thickness, better than their other resins. “We’re always working on new, exciting materials,” explained Sam Jacoby, Marketing Lead for Formlabs, to 3DPrint.com.
With the new Form 1+, also comes an upgrade to both the Formlabs website and their software. PreForm 1.5 is being released, and it introduces powerful manual support controls, a feature that was requested often by their customers.
In addition to these incredible announcements, those in Europe will now, more easily, be able to get their hands on a Form 1+ printer. Formlabs is announcing the launch of their EU-based sales, shipping and servicing. This will reduce the high costs of shipping overseas, and make the Form 1+ more appealing to Europeans.
In order to ensure that things run smoothly, Formlabs has partnered with UK-based Express Group, a company that will help sell and service the Form 1+ printer in Europe. “We’ve always stood at the forefront of innovation in Europe, and we’re proud to continue that tradition with the Form 1+,” said Jo Young, Express Group Managing Director. “The Form 1+ is a landmark product, and we’are already seeing strong market response as we bring it into new regions.”
The printer will be priced at €2,799 in Europe and is available to purchase now on the Formlabs website. They will begin shipping to Europe starting next month.
What do you think? Will you be ordering a new Form 1+ 3D printer, or upgrading your original Form 1? Discuss this new printer and the new Black resin in the Form 1+ thread on 3DPB.com. Check out some of the Form 1+ intro video and images of prints that have come off of the new 3D printer below.