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with lasers and hot nylon, formlabs just took 3d printing to a whole new level

by:Tuowei     2019-08-13
Since yesterday, when the world is watching Apple launch at WWDC in Boston,
Formlabs, a 3D printing-based startup, quietly launched a revolutionary new type of laser sintering printer called Fuse 1-
This is a big deal.
To be honest, you may never use it.
About the size of a Mini.
The refrigerator is designed for professionals for $10,000.
But even if you \'ve never seen it before, Fuse 1 has some huge impact on the future of 3D printing.
That\'s why you should be excited about it.
When 3D printing is just beginning to enter the mainstream, the only printers that consumers can use are more or less dependent on the same technology to make parts --
A process called Silk deposition simulation or finite difference.
This is the type of 3D printing you may have seen before: Aprinter feeds a strand of plastic filament through a hot nozzle, and then carefully deposits the molten viscous substance layer by layer on the build board to create a 3D object.
This comes to mind when most people hear the phrase \"3D Printing.
\"The problem is that in the wider field of 3D printing technology, Limited is just a small part.
There are many other additive manufacturing technologies such as stereo forming, bunching and laser sintering.
In terms of print quality, all of these are significantly better than FDM printers.
But unfortunately, although 3D printing has become more and more mainstream in the past few years, most of these awesome additive manufacturing technologies are still not available at the consumer level.
These machines are too expensive and you can only find them in industrial manufacturing facilities.
But this is starting to change.
As 3D printing enters the consumer space and becomes more competitive, companies like Formlabs have begun to figure out ways to redesign these high
The final industrial technology makes them more economical and easier to get.
It all started with stereo printing (SLA).
This technology
Where UV laser is used to \"grow\" high resolution objects from a light puddleActive resin
It\'s been decades, but until a few years ago, SLA machines were too expensive for individual consumers to use.
But in 2012, Formlabs released the world\'s first consumer --
The level SLA printer in the Kickstarter campaign.
In an instant, this triggered a revolution.
Soon after Formlabs finished its very successful crowdfunding campaign, other startups followed suit and started releasing their own SLA printers.
Five years of rapid development, they are now more common and affordable than ever before.
Although SLA machines used to cost up to $100,000, you can get one for just $1, $200 online.
Of course, they are still not as cheap or ubiquitous as FDM printers, but SLA machines are gradually becoming more popular, more economical and more accessible in a relatively short period of time.
Just a big fight from a company is needed to prove that better 3D printing technology is attractive to the public.
Now, with Fuse 1, Formlabs might do the same thing with selective laser sintering technology --
This is a very exciting prospect.
The way SLS print works is very different from FDM and SLA.
In order to make the object, the machine flashes the laser on the ultra-fine powder bed, merging the particles together to form a thin layer of curing.
The machine then scans more powder at the top of the layer and repeats the process until the print is complete.
There are many obvious advantages to printing items in this way.
It works with a variety of materials and can print large highlights and spans without using support materials, and the parts it produces are of very high quality.
Nylon parts printed with Fuse 1 are actually durable enough and detailed enough to be sold as a final productuse parts.
That\'s why this technology is so special.
While FDM and SLA printers favor prototyping, SLS printers can make almost as good objects as parts created through injection molding, milling, and other traditional manufacturing processes.
In other words, they can make high
High quality things that can be used directly from the printer.
Need a new bike pedal, hair-
Dryer or smartphone case?
Just print one copy and save the trip to the store.
This is the way we are going, but we have not arrived yet.
This printing technology is not cheap yet.
Although fuse 1 is 20 times cheaper than most industrial SLS printers, it still costs $10,000
This makes it impossible for most of us to reach it.
But it\'s important to remember that this is just the beginning.
If the SLS printer can drop from $200 to $10, then the technology may slowly drop to an achievable level in the next 5 or 10 years
Business users.
To become ubiquitous, this democracy is exactly what 3D printing needs.
If we are going to achieve the future of 3D printers becoming home Staples similar to dishwashers and microwave ovens, we can print high there
Product quality-
The first step is the demand, not the purchase in the store, and then the cost of the new printing technology is reduced.
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