The Formlabs Form 1+ 3D Printer stands out from the crowd with it’s Stereolithography (SL) abilities which offers higher accuracy than most but at the expense of affordability and its inherently small build volume. However, SL technology has to date been notoriously expensive and so therefore in comparison this is actually an amazing printer with some incredible technology for it’s pricetag.
|Build Volume: 125 x 125 x 165mm|
|Minimum Layer Thickness: 25 Microns|
|Extrusion Speed: 8.3 mm/s|
|Extruder Nozzles: N/A|
|Primary Material: MPR|
Model: The Form 1+
|Technology: Stereolithography (SL)
Other Compatible Print Materials: N/A
Print Material Cost (£): Check current prices on our Pixel Lounge shop!
|Printer Dimensions: 300 x 280 x 450 mm
Power Requirements: 100-240V, 1.5 A 50/60Hz, 60W
Printing Software: Yes – PreForm Software
SL technology uses lasers instead of print heads and as such the print material comes in a liquid resin form and sits in a ‘resin tank’ inside the heart of the printer which is subsequently zapped with ultraviolet lasers at x, y and z coordinates repeatedly to fuse the material together in microscopic succession. As far as SL printers go, with few available and taking alternative technological routes, this Form 1+ is very good at what it does.
The upside down process the Form 1+ prints at may seem strange at first as it rises out of the bath on stilts, but the wondrous ability of using lasers allows for some incredibly complex details whilst not testing your patience with time, setup and its maintenance.
The bright translucent orange colour is although pleasantly attractive in it’s stature above the glistening aluminium plinth, it is actually acting is a protective screen against the UV light being emitted inside which could be otherwise hazardous.
This compact 3D printer delivers excellent quality and a superb level of accuracy all the way down to 25 microns in print resolution. Because of the difference in technology, SL offers that smoother finish with less noticeable contouring found with FFF.
Once the 3d model has been printed, there is however a finishing process needed with this methodology which takes a little longer than the current standard foray of 3D printers. The finishing kit supplied allows you to take the sticky resin printed object from the vat and with the scraper, remove it from its base that was used to draw it out of the bath. Following this you must place it in a rinse basket and dunk for 20 minutes in a isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol liquid and then leave out to dry and take a deep breath to admire your new creation. The equipment used must be maintained and cleaned after each print to ensure the lifespan as it’s a delicate printing process. The Form 1+ “PreForm” software alongside is user friendly and efficient as you would expect.
There is a limited availability of colour at present, with clear, white, grey and black being the available options. Although why not get creative and get out your paint brush to decorate how you like. You must note that for each colour resin used, you must store and print using individual resin trays ($49).
Overall, the Formlabs Form 1+ 3D Printer is an excellent Stereolithography printer producing solid results. The limited colour palette, build volume and added time to finish off your prints might not appeal to everyone, and as such it would depend on what you intend to print. For reasons of quality and accuracy to the finest detail, then certainly this printer should be considered as a top contender.
– Very high print resolution
– Aesthetically pleasing design
– Fast print speed compared to other SL printers
– Large build volume compared to other SL printers
– Easy to use software provided with the printer
– Can reduce resolution to print at higher speeds for test prints
– Great customer service from FormLabs
– Ready to use, no assembly required
– Slow print speed compared to FFF printers
– Printer and material are both expensive
– Limited amount of resin colours to print, and can only print one material at a time
– Finishing process can be time consuming and messy
– Requires regular upkeep to avoid misprints