Same resin container, same table and same coloring – in other words, Formlabs Form 2 doesn’t differ at all from its predecessor 1+. Is that so?
Specifications Formlabs Form 2:
Machine Dimensions: 35 × 33 × 52 cm
Technique: SLA (Stereolithography Apparatus)
Materials: Photopolymer resin
Resin supply: Auto-refilling
Resin cartridge capacity: 1 liter
Software: Formlabs Preform
File types: STL, OBJ, FORM
Novelty in an old shape
The very fact of introducing a product with new numeration means that Formlabs Form 2 must be something exceptional in comparison with previous version of this extraordinary 3D printer. And so it is in fact. Introduction of a new arm combing the resin, mounting a heating element on the material container are just some novelties introduced by Formlabs company.
Longer, that is shorter
The mechanism mentioned above entirely changes the printing mechanics. In the new version of Formlabs product the table with the detail is properly lifted, and a special arm moves on the bottom of the resin container. The process ends with another dipping the print in resin. And although such modernization of printing process (after application of each layer) should lengthen the machine’s work time, in practice – so claims the manufacturer – the time is shorter. Surely it’s due to another improvement, which is the cartridges automatically pouring the resin.
Best 3D printers have very comfortable touch panels that make communication between the user and device more efficient, bringing it to issuing simplest commands. Formlabs Form 2 also introduces such solutions. In comparison with previous version of the printer, the panel looks much better and more modern. A kind of novelty is the introduction of wireless communication, thanks to which we can send particular detail patterns without using cables.
Accuracy of details
Formlabs Form 2 is a device designated for production of small objects of high complexity. Not without reason a relatively small working area was introduced. Resin hardened by laser is simply an expensive material (a kilogram can cost as much as 200 – 500 USD). Nonetheless, the effects are surprisingly good. Especially if we have earlier dealt with cheaper, ‘classic’ 3D printers.
Drawbacks, that is what we should know before buying the printer
Formlabs Form 2 is a printer whose work technology is based on resin material. It involves an entirely different work methodology that is difficult to compare with classic methods. On the other hand, the printer has its faults which in most cases come from the specifics of its work.
- Small efficiency: Formlabs Form 2 is designated for small details. Unfortunately, during one technological process we can make no more that a dozen of them, which also causes big risk of deformation brought about inappropriate aligning of the resin material.
- Complex post-processing: the process of printing on resin requires use of bathing in isopropyl alcohol, and additional UV exposure.
Is it worth to buy Formlabs Form 2? If the technology of printing on resin, based on the previous model of the printer (1+) scared us effectively… by all means. Nonetheless, some problems (despite many improvements) have remained. Unless we don’t mind the relatively long work time and more complex mechanics of the printing process.
- High print quality
- Simple-to-use software
- Setup and maintenance is relatively easy
- Good selection of print materials
- Wi-Fi, LAN, USB port
- Resin is messy.