Massachusetts-based 3D printer manufacturer Formlabs has been one of the handful of 3D printing companies to turn their Kickstarter win into a highly successful business model. Originally their first 3D printer, the Form 1, was used for rapid prototyping or modeling, however that changed when they introduced their new line of functional resins in 2014. As the developers of the first desktop stereolithography 3D printer, Formlabs brought a whole new level of detail and precision to the industry and their Form 1 and Form 2 3D printers have become commonplace in a wide range of businesses and offices. In fact they have become very popular in the jewelry industry, where the Formlabs Castable Resin has started to replace the traditional lost wax casting process.
Now Formlabs is further expanding their jewelry industry offerings by securing a partnership with Gesswein, a global distributor and supplier of jewelry making equipment and supplies. The partnership is in response to a large demand from jewelry professionals looking to find easier ways to purchase Formlabs 3D printers and resin materials. Partnering with global distributors like Gesswein allows customers in markets where Formlabs may not have their own resellers to purchase their products without paying exorbitant shipping or import fees. It also puts the Form 2 in front of an entire segment of the jewelry industry that may not have been aware of exactly how 3D printing can be used to manufacture jewelry.
“The partnership with Formlabs adds a new dimension and excitement to the Gesswein product line, being able to introduce affordable, sophisticated 3D printers like the Form 2 to those customers who want to get into this ever growing and ever changing technology. As a pioneer in desktop 3D printing, Formlabs is the perfect partner to help us grow in 3D printing. When it comes to 3D printing technology for jewelry professionals, Formlabs is the leader in this space. We are excited to partner with Formlabs and look forward to changing the jewelry industry together in the years to come,” said Vice President of Sales at Gesswein, Scott Petrillo.
In addition to the Gesswein partnership, Formlabs is also introducing a brand new, improved formulation of their Castable Resin material. The new functional resin has been improved and optimized for jewelry applications and as a viable alternative to the lost wax casting process. The public will get their first look at their new Castable Resin when they debut it at JCK Las Vegas, North America’s largest jewelry trade show. Formlabs will be on site at booth #B68075, showing off the Form 2 and all of their functional resins.
“Since we first launched Castable Resin in 2014, the material has taken off in the jewelry world for many different applications. Over the past two years we saw a wide adoption from individual benchtop jewelers all the way to large international casting houses. We worked side-by-side with many of our customers to gather feedback for the reformulated Castable Resin to accentuate those specific capabilities important to jewelry professionals,” explained Head of Product at Formlabs Dávid Lakatos.
The new Castable Resin will have a waxier appearance than the previous formulation, which will make it easier to inspect the fine details on a 3D printed part and spot any defects. It can be used to 3D print extremely fine, precise and delicate details, including filigree, inscriptions, and milgrain. 3D printed parts will be incredibly accurate and reproduce even the most intricate of details, including prongs and holes used for stone-setting or fine, tiny details and features. The final printed parts will also have a better surface finish straight from the vat, which reduces the amount of post processing or touch-ups typically required. The Castable Resin material will continue to have the same, clean burnout that makes jewelry designed using 3D design software possible.
It wasn’t just the Castable Resin material that was optimized for the jewelry industry either. Formlabs has also introduced several new Fine Details settings on the Form 2 that were developed specifically for the production of castable jewelry. The new printer settings optimize all of the available Castable Resin layer thicknesses, which adds a dramatic improvement to the speed and quality of any fine jewelry being 3D printed on a From 2.
“3D printing has already impacted the jewelry industry. Now, the industrial performance and prosumer price of the Form 2 will accelerate that revolution anywhere from individual designers all the way to luxury brands. That’s why we sought out a partner that jewelers know and trust. With over a hundred years of industry experience, Gesswein is the perfect partner to help bring jewelry into the 21st century,” said Formlabs’ Head of Sales, Luke Winston.
The Form 2 SLR 3D printer has already become the fine detail 3D printer of choice for several high-profile jewelry designers. Luxury jewelry and accessory designer John Brevard, fine jewelry designer Sarah Graham and online custom jewelry platform Trove all prominently feature designs created using a Formlabs 3D printer. With their new materials and products optimized for the jewelry industry, and tehri exciting distribution partnership with Gesswein, Formlabs is positioning themselves to bring a new level of accuracy and affordability to jeweler looking to adopt 3D printing technologies. Discuss this new partnership and materials in the Formlabs New 3D Printing Resin forum over at 3DPB.com.