Formlabs introduces Automation Ecosystem to enable automated 3D printer fleets

Formlabs, a 3D printing company, has introduced the Automation Ecosystem to enable new levels of 3D printing productivity with Form Auto for back-to-back throughput, Fleet Control for advanced fleet management, and the High-Volume Resin System for high-capacity printing.

The Automation Ecosystem reduces the amount of operator labour and minimises idle printer time with 24/7 printing so users can efficiently produce end-use parts, prototypes, and customisable products at a lower cost-per-part.

The Automation Ecosystem was debuted at CES 2023, where attendees were able to see firsthand the new system’s ability to produce back-to-back prints non-stop without an operator. The company has now announced that the Form Auto is available for preorder and shipping will begin on 14 Apr.

Formlabs made 3D printing affordable and accessible, enabling leading companies in dental, manufacturing, consumer products, automotive, aerospace, medical, product design and other industries to innovate new product designs, test prototypes, manufacture purpose-built tools, and customise products.

The Automation Ecosystem will usher in a new wave of innovation by enabling expansion from one Form 3+ or Form 3B+ 3D printer to a scalable fleet of 3D printers easily.

As users scale their 3D printing production from one to multiple printers, the Automation Ecosystem makes the transition easy without adding management complexity. With the ability to manage multi-user, multi-material printer fleets, the Automation Ecosystem enables continuous production so users can send multiple prints to run overnight and into the weekend. Together with Formlabs 3D printers, the Ecosystem provides a three-time increase in productivity while saving up to 80% on labour, lowering cost per part by 40%, and reducing packaging waste by up to 96%.

Formlabs Automation Ecosystem includes:

  • Form Auto: Form Auto enables automated 24/7 printing with automatic part removal so users can level up production and reduce labour. When parts are complete, Form Auto seamlessly removes finished parts from the Build Platform 2 using the patented Quick Release Technology, and starts the next print in the queue as soon as possible. The hardware extension works with Form 3 or Form 3+ 3D printers.
  • Fleet Control: Fleet Control simplifies advanced 3D printer fleet management, optimising workflows to maximise fleet productivity. It’s a suite of new features within Formlabs’ Dashboard and PreForm software that includes centralised queue management and automatic printer assignment to optimise production, performance and printer efficiency with Form 3+, Form 3B+, Form 3L, and Form 3BL printer fleets.
  • High-Volume Resin System: The High-Volume Resin System increases resin capacity to five litres, five times the standard cartridge size, enabling users to create more parts with fewer interruptions for cartridge replacements. This system streamlines workflows, with consistent resin dispensing with a Resin Pump while reducing downtime and user intervention to change cartridges, as well as packaging waste. This is compatible with the Form 3+, Form 3B+. Form 3L and Form 3BL.

“The Formlabs Automation Ecosystem is a seamless solution for ramping up production with 3D printer fleets, staying true to the ease of use of all Formlabs products, so anyone can make anything,” said Dávid Lakatos, chief product officer of Formlabs. “These solutions will enable companies such as dental labs, service bureaus, and internal job shops to ramp up production without increasing labour requirements, or expensive capital investment, making 3D printing for production more cost-effective. Formlabs users have recently achieved a major milestone, with more than 100 million parts printed on our 3D printers, and by adding this ecosystem, Formlabs is increasing the capacity so users can deliver further 3D printing innovation.”