In the fall of 2012, a group of engineers and designers from the MIT Media Lab and Center for Bits and Atoms introduced their innovative, high-resolution 3D printer to Kickstarter. Within a month, the Form1 project had received an astonishing $3 million in funding, and just like that—Formlabs became a reality. Now, building on all they've learned from the initial release, the startup today unveils Form 1+, a near comprehensive overhaul of their flagship desktop stereolithographic 3D printer.
On the outside, the aluminum shell has been given the sleek treatment; now sporting an anodized charcoal gray color. The inside is where all the innovative updates lie, however. Here, users will find a new laser that is four times as powerful than its predecessor—allowing it to print up to 50% faster—along with a redesigned galvanometer control system that allows the device to achieve a finer level of detail and therefore smoother surfaces in the end. A long list of additional components have been upgraded as well, making for an all around better experience.
Formlabs also introduces a new black resin—in addition to the white, clear and grey as available printable colors. This, along with the superior ability of Form 1+, make the future of home 3D printing seem closer than ever before, though the company still sees much progress to be achieved. Aside from technological advancements that need to take place, Formlabs believes a cultural shift needs to take place as well. "3D printers are definitely destined to be part of the home, but a great deal needs to happen before they become commonplace," explains Sam Jacoby of Formlabs. "We need to begin to understand that we have the power and the means to have a role in designing everything in the world around us ourselves. That needs to happen in tandem [with hardware and design improvements]."
To serve markets outside North America, the Boston-based company is now offering EU-based sales, shipping and servicing. The Formlabs Form 1+ will sell for $3299. To ensure all interested get in on the new treatment, Form 1 owners may soon have the option of upgrading their printers to Form 1+ specifications for just $749—more info to come this summer.
Images courtesy of Formlabs