PrintParts Adds SLS to 3D Printing Services with Formlabs Fuse 1 Printer

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In 2014, New York City-based 3D printing service provider PrintParts Inc. officially launched with the goal of connecting ‘Makers’ and ‘Printers’ online, though it wasn’t technically founded as a company until 2016. The service bureau re-launched its website in 2019, reaffirming its mission to help customers produce on-demand 3D printed parts at an affordable cost. PrintParts offers multiple manufacturing services, including industrial design, additive consulting, prototyping, and production of industrial parts for end-use applications with a variety of materials and additive technologies, such as FFF, FDM, and SLA printing. But now it’s adding another production service to its roster: selective laser sintering (SLS) technology with the Formlabs Fuse 1 system.

The Fuse 1 SLS bench top 3D printer from Formlabs.

“We have been using Formlabs SLA systems for over three years now and have been impressed with the ease of use, range of materials, and print quality,” Cody Burke, the Head of Partnerships at PrintParts, said in a press release. “Investing in the new Fuse 1 system was the logical next step for us in order to bring high quality, industrial-grade SLS print options to our customers in a cost-efficient way.”

The Fuse 1 SLS 3D printer is brand new, having only been released within the last week, though the company has been developing it for seven years. The bench top industrial system uses what Formlabs calls Surface Armor technology, and features a 70% powder refresh rate and a lower cost in comparison to traditional SLS systems. The patent-pending Surface Armor shields the part’s surface, while also offering a high-quality finish and high refresh rates, and the Fuse 1 also includes new Nylon 12 powder and a post-processing system called Fuse sift. 

The new Nylon 12 powder material for the Fuse 1 SLS 3D printer.

PrintParts is one of the first AM service bureaus to offer SLS parts 3D printed on the new Fuse 1, which fuses nylon powder with a laser to produce lightweight, strong parts. The 3D printer also features a higher throughput with a 165 x 165 x 320 mmm build volume, higher levels of efficiency thanks to less post-processing time stemming from supportless printing, and its removable build chamber allows for less downtime and continuous 3D printing.

“We have a great relationship with PrintParts and are excited that they’re among the very first service bureaus to receive a Fuse 1. The straightforward end-to-end SLS workflow Fuse 1 provides will enable PrintParts to deliver high-performance prototypes and end-use parts to their customers,” said Dan Recht, Business Development Lead at Formlabs.

PrintParts focuses mainly on short run production services for applications in a multitude of industries, such as robotics, defense, automotive, aerospace, and medical devices. In fact, the service bureau was in the headlines in 2020 because it expanded operations in order to support the government of New York City as one of the prime contractors for COVID-19 testing supplies; PrintParts ended up delivering more than 1.5 million 3D printed nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs.

The company had witnessed the increasing demand for 3D printed Nylon production parts, which is why the addition of the Formlabs Fuse 1 SLS printer is a good fit for PrintParts. Formlabs’ new Nylon 12 powder has special material attributes that are well-suited for mechanical, load-bearing, or structural parts, such as 50 MPa tensile strength, 171 °C / 340 °F @ 0.45 MPa heat deflection temperature, and the ability to bend and then return to its original form with 11% elongation at the break.

Barry Gottlieb, Senior Procurement Specialist of Kulicke and Soffa Industries, Inc. and PrintParts customer, said, “We’ve always enjoyed working with the team at PrintParts and we’re very excited about the expansion into SLS production parts using the Formlabs Fuse 1 system.”

PrintParts customers can now purchase nylon parts produced with SLS 3D printing on the Formlabs Fuse 1.

(Source/Images: PrintParts Inc.)

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