Formlabs expands large-format 3D printing line


Formlabs, a leading 3D printing company, has released the Form 3BL, a dental and medical 3D printer optimised for biocompatible materials. The company will also start shipping its flagship large-format printer, the Form 3L. Both printers signify the expansion of the company’s line of large format stereolithography (SLA) 3D printers to enable manufacturers and creators to print high-detail large-scale parts.

Formlabs has also announced Wash L + Cure L, a fully automated post-processing system created for large-scale prints, will ship in 2021. Already the best-selling professional desktop printer company in the world with over 70,000 printers sold, Formlabs is now bringing its renowned ease-of-use, value, and professional-grade quality to large-format printers. 

Max Lobovsky, CEO and co-founder of Formlabs, said, “Our large format printers are poised to have the same disruptive effect on the 3D printing industry as our Form 1 launch did. The companies that have dominated large-format printing for the past 20 years have lacked the innovation and agility needed to move the 3D printing industry forward. At Formlabs, we are changing that. With the Form 3L and Form 3BL, we are opening this powerful technology up to a whole new group of users at an accessible price while maintaining a professional quality. We are looking forward to seeing how this new technology will be used in industries like automotive and aerospace that need the large build platform to best utilise 3D printing.”

The Form 3L, Formlabs’ flagship large format printer announced in spring 2019, delivers accurate, repeatable prints across the printers’ larger build platform without compromising cost or quality. The advanced Low Force Stereolithography (LFS) print process and larger build platform enabled Formlabs user, Black Diamond, an outdoor equipment company known for its products’ durability and performance, to rethink its R&D process. Given early access to Form 3L, Black Diamond determined it would be able to cut prototype development lead times from seven days to three days and slashed costs by about 85%. 

“The Form 3L makes the product design process more cohesive,” said Matt Tetzl, R&D technician at Black Diamond. “The larger printer enables our designers to make tweaks in CAD and work off a full-scale model to close the gap between feedback and design. We have reduced our costs on full-size prototypes from $425 a print to $70 a print. With that savings, Form 3L would pay for itself in only three months.”

The Form 3BL, similar to the Form 3B, is optimised for biocompatible materials for use in the dental and healthcare industries. The Form 3BL balances throughput, quality, reliability, and is thoroughly validated by Formlabs’ dental team to meet the accuracy requirements for dental aligner production, with consistent part quality and accuracy across the entire build plane. 

In medical settings, the Form 3BL is capable of printing an in-house human-scale anatomical models on a single build platform. With the Form 3BL, healthcare providers can meet the tight deliverable windows needed to produce the customised surgical guides that are used to improve care and reduce the time spent in the operating room.