Image 1: Form 3 and Form 3L. Source: Formlabs
Both Form 3 and Form 3L are equipped with the new LFS (Low Force Stereolithography) printing technology that uses linear illumination and a flexible tank to convert liquid resin into solid parts. The part responsible for lighting is the LPU (Light Processing Unit), a single module that contains all the parts (lenses, mirrors and lasers) that are needed to solidify the resin during the manufacture of a piece with a laser power of 250 mW and a precision in an XY plane of 25 μm. This new system offers clear and clean features thanks to the high-power laser passing through a filter and guarantees a concentrated laser point. The parabolic mirror ensures that the projection of the laser on the manufacturing plane is always perpendicular, which ensures maximum print quality and the exact reproduction of the design to be manufactured. But here the advantages of the LPU do not end, a new high frequency galvanometer offers precise control over the laser and a high speed, reducing printing times. The operation of this module can be clearly seen in the following video.
Video 1: LFS Module. Source: Formlabs
These two new printers have a good number of sensors that ensure printing success in almost 100% of cases. The new sensors include the optical sensors of the LPU Module and the position sensor of the manufacturing platform.
The Form 3 has a manufacturing volume of 145x145x185 mm, 1cm larger on the Z axis than the Form 2 and a much higher printing speed. Another aspect that stands out about its predecessor is the smoothness of each layer, which gives it the new flexible tank. Thanks to this new component, the pieces need less quantity of supports and less contact area with the piece, being able to remove the supports simply by hand.
Image 2: Form 3. Source: Formlabs
Form 3L did not come as a surprise to experts in the world of 3D printing, who were already clear that Formlabs would launch a 3D resin printer with a large manufacturing volume. Form 3L has a printing area of 335x300x200 mm, five times larger than Form 3, allowing to make really large pieces, with a great surface finish and speed. Another aspect that differentiates it from Form 3 is that the older sister has two joined LPU modules, which means that during the manufacture of each layer the two lasers work simultaneously.
Image 3: Form 3L. Source: Formlabs
In addition, Formlabs has taken advantage of the release of its new 3D printers to launch the Draft Resin on the market. With this resin, compatible with Form 2, Form 3 and Form 3L, ultra fast prints are obtained, up to 3-4 faster than with standrad resin but maintaining similar surface finishes. This compromise between speed and surface quality is possible thanks to the new formulation of the resin, which allows to make pieces with a layer height of 300 microns.
Image 4: Pieces printed with Draft Resin. Source: Formlabs
Users of Form 2 can already enjoy the advantages of Draft Resin, while those interested in the Form 3 and the Form 3L can only pre-order since the launch dates will be in June 2019 and January of 2020, respectively.