If you mention stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing, the one company that immediately comes to mind is Formlabs. They are, after all, the company that brought SLA printing to the desktop in 2012 with their Form 1 3D printer, the first-ever desktop SLA printer. It’s also hard to beat Formlabs when it comes to materials. The company has amassed a large collection of resins designed for a variety of applications: jewelry casting, manufacturing, dental, etc.
This year, Formlabs has been particularly busy in terms of new material development. In April, they introduced Dental SG resin, the first biocompatible resin for desktop printers. A month later, they released an updated version of their Castable Resin, optimizing it for jewelry applications. Today, Formlabs is introducing two brand new resins, as well as an updated version of another one of their existing materials. While the company had been focusing on dentistry and jewelry, two of SLA printing’s most common applications, in their prior material development this year, this new group is optimized for engineering.
Last year, Formlabs introduced Tough Resin, an industrial-grade resin that was comparable to ABS – and even out-performed it in some applications. Today, the company is releasing a new and improved formulation that’s even closer to injection molded ABS in terms of mechanical properties. With its high impact resistance, yield, and elongation, Tough Resin is ideal for high-stress, high-impact industrial applications.
The new High Temp Resin is extremely temperature-resistant, capable of withstanding heat at the heat deflection temperature (HDT) of 0.45MPa of 289ºC – the highest HDT of any 3D printing material on the market, according to Formlabs. The material enables the creation of parts for extreme temperature environments that other 3D printing technologies are incapable of producing. Ideal applications include the prototyping of injection molding tools, hot air and fluid flow testing, casting and thermoforming.
Durable Resin is highly ductile and wear-resistant, designed for the production of parts that can bend without breaking. In terms of stiffness and strength, it’s comparable to polypropylene (PP) plastic, with a smooth, glossy finish. Applications include packaging, prototyping consumer products, and more.
“With today’s expanded suite of materials, Formlabs is introducing the most comprehensive library of high performance functional resins for engineering applications on the desktop 3D printing market, and making accessible industrial-grade 3D printing engineering materials at a fraction of a cost. We want to equip and enable our users with an even bigger and more powerful toolbox of high-performance resins so that they can achieve reliable, precise prints and can pursue even more remarkable endeavors in engineering, design, and manufacturing,” said Dávid Lakatos, chief product officer at Formlabs.
The new resins bring Formlabs’ material offerings up to eight and further expands the capabilities of the Form 1+ and Form 2, already highly versatile 3D printers. While Formlabs’ printers may be famous for being the first-ever SLA desktop printers, they still offer many of the capabilities of industrial printers – really, they’re the best of both worlds. All three of the new materials are $175 for a one-liter bottle. To learn more about Formlabs’ growing collection of resins, see their materials page. Discuss in the Formlabs Resin forum at 3DPB.com.