Less than a year after acquiring its main material supplier, professional 3D printer and materials developer Formlabs continues to introduce new materials to its vast portfolio in order to help clients bring their products to life. The company has an expert team of more than 30 material scientists working every day to develop new innovative, high-performance materials so that customers have easy access to what they need to create optimal 3D printed products and grow their design capabilities. At its annual Global User Summit today (register for free here), the 3D printing unicorn announced the launch of two new versatile, proprietary materials for engineering and manufacturing applications: a reformulation of its existing Draft Resin, for quick design iterations and prototypes as well as dental products, and Rigid 10K Resin, which provides high resistance and stiffness for engineering and manufacturing purposes.
“One of the most powerful advantages of stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing is the wide range of printing materials. Our customers don’t just need parts with the right geometry, they also need the right material properties,” Max Lobovsky, CEO and co-founder of Formlabs, said in a press release. “With our expansive library of resins, our users can make anything from surgical tools, to retainers, to jigs and fixtures and everything in between.”
According to Formlabs, these two new resins “complement the natural progression of product development,” meaning they can be used to help print parts ranging from just the initial design phase all the way to the final, high-performance end product. The company states that the new formulation of its Draft Resin, which comes in a new grey color, makes it possible to print parts up to four times faster than other available resins, all while improving part quality and without losing accuracy. When compared to the standard Formlabs Grey Resin, which is able to 3D print eight models in just under ten hours, Draft Resin can do the same in just an hour and a half.
This new Draft Resin reportedly features a better surface finish, in addition to improved post-processing requirements, such as nominal support removal and wash and cure times. It’s good for fast design iterations, initial prototyping, high throughput jobs, and live 3D printing demos, and while it’s a great choice for product design, manufacturing, and engineering, this reformulated Draft Resin can also be used for dental and orthodontic applications. With the higher speed this material is said to offer to achieve, orthodontic practices can print aligner and retainer models, on site, in less than 20 minutes, which would be ideal for chairside printing or same-day delivery, and Formlabs also says it can be used to print over 95 dental models a day on the large-format Form 3BL printer.
The stiffest material in the Formlabs range, the new Rigid 10K Resin can simulate glass or fiber-filled thermoplastics, and features a smooth matte surface finish. The company says that its high strength and resistance to chemicals, heat, and high pressure make it a good option for precise industrial parts that need to stand up under significant loads without bending or breaking, as well as fluid-exposed components, jigs, and fixtures, and molds.
This strong, stiff material is said to be perfect for aerodynamic test models and short run injection mold masters and inserts, and Formlabs customer Novus Applications, an engineering and consulting company that works in the consumer packaging industry, is happy to vouch for it.
“It was performing at a level that we hadn’t seen historically capable in the traditional Rigid  material,” Mark Bartlett, President and Founder of Novus Applications, said about the new Formlabs Rigid 10K Resin. “I can print complex forms accurately, way faster than I’m going to machine them.”
Novus Applications is using Rigid 10K Resin to make the injection molding workflow more efficient by 3D printing short-run injection molds, cores, and inserts, as the material is able to withstand high pressure and temperatures. By using this new Formlabs material, the company was also able to save on manufacturing time and money.
Tune into the free Formlabs Global User Summit today and tomorrow for more information on the new Draft Resin and Rigid 10K Resin.
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