The story surrounding most desktop additive manufacturing (AM) systems revolves around improvements in the material extrusion process, with strata lines becoming less defined in each new generation. Formlabs altered that story somewhat with the introduction of the FORM 1, a desktop stereolithography system that offered a vast improvement on print quality without a huge hike in price.
While Formlabs might have been the first, it was inevitable that another company would step up to the plate with their own version of desktop stereolithography. Full Spectrum Laser (FSL) is the first to challenge Formlabs with its Pegasus Touch, and much like the FORM 1, FSL’s system owes its existence to Kickstarter. Continue reading
Innovation is just as likely to be found in the garage as in the boardroom. Individual inventors can bring new ideas to the table that big companies might have overlooked, or never even considered. Crowd-funding site Kickstarter is a godsend for inventors and small businesses to find startup capital to bring their ideas to life. Formlabs is a great example of a successful Kickstarter campaign leading to a rapidly growing business.
Rapid Ready initially covered Formlabs and its FORM 1 Kickstarter project all the way back here. Unlike many additive manufacturing (AM) systems found on Kickstarter, the FORM 1 offered something new; stereolithography printing in a desktop package. Tech junkies that follow Kickstarter developments were apparently as interested as we were, and Formlabs destroyed their $100,000 goal with a total of nearly $3 million pledged. Continue reading
In the course of my diligent efforts to keep you good people up to date on the state of additive manufacturing (AM), I come across many interesting news items. I’ll gather them up every so often and present them in a Rapid Ready Roundup (like this one). You can find the last Roundup here.
We’ll start today’s Roundup with a quick piece of materials news. Stratasys has released a new material named ABS2 for its line of Object Connex AM systems. According to the company, the new material has been designed to improve rigidity, durability and functionality for 3D printed objects with fine details and thin walls. Stratasys also claims ABS2 is ideal for printing cores and cavities for use in low-volume injection molding applications using thermoplastics.
At this point in the evolution of the additive manufacturing (AM) market the challenge isn’t finding a 3D printer to buy, it’s finding a worthwhile printer to buy. With AM systems popping up on Amazon, and with brick-and-mortar stores the likes of Staples putting 3D printers on the shelves, buying an AM system isn’t much more difficult than purchasing any other electronic doodad.
Most of the 3D printers within the price range of individual consumers are material extrusion systems that build up objects in layers using PLA or ABS plastic. A notable exception is Formlabs, which offers stereolithography with its desktop FORM 1. Now a new system named the Peachy Printer has arrived on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and offers photolithography builds at an astonishingly low price. Continue reading