FORM 1 delivers high-end 3D printing for an affordable price, meets Kickstarter goal in 1 day

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CGD, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. CGD
    CGD New Member
  2. tebee
    tebee Well-Known Member
    Of course the interesting question is does the future of 3D printing lie with services like Shapeways or with almost affordable printers like this in the home or office ? It's not quite cheap enough yet , but is probably only about the same inflation adjusted, amount as a laser printer was 15 years ago.

    This is the first printer I've seen that looks like it can do prints near Shapeways quality. It is however probably a little too slow, it looks like it's only capable of producing 3 prints a day but I can see the attraction of being able to handle my newly designed object later on today rather than waiting 2 weeks for it.

    For me there are too many unknowns to think about ordering one from the kickstarter, what was the final straw for me was them charging more for non-US purchasers, I hope they don't carry this dual pricing into their production run. I will however, follow what they do nd may very well buy one of their machines later if the quality of things they produce is satisfactory.

  3. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    I am guessing it will be both, much like it is now with large-format printers or plotters - most designers, architects and contract engineers will have their
    own machine, while most anyone else will employ the service of a local copy shop or digital printing service.

    While I am following the development with interest, we still have to wait and see if and how they manage the transition from a handful of prototypes
    to mass production. If you add in some infrastructure for shipping and dealing with customer complaints, the kickstarter money suddenly does not
    look that impressive anymore. (And i guess if they get anywhere near successful, start adding in lawyer fees for fending off patent trolls...)

    Then there is all the fun with removing support materials, cleaning and polishing of objects that services such as shapeways shield us from. And
    seeing the bickering about FUD quality issues with the newly installed printer in the New York facility, even industry-standard photopolymer printers
    do not appear to be easy to set up even for the experienced.

  4. BillBedford
    BillBedford New Member
    What really brought down the price of printers in general, was the digital camera. I just can't see many people wanting to clutter up their homes with the 3D equivalent of Auntie Flo's holiday snaps.

    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  5. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    I saw these guys at Maker Faire in NY. They are looking great! But as everyone that walked around our booth noticed, we offer a combination of 30 materials and finishes. In the near future, you won't be able to do that with 1 printer. FormLabs printer is a similar process to our detail materials here. The MakerBot is like the Grey Robust we used to have. So that's around 6 grand for 4 or 5 different materials. Talking to FormLabs, they are working on a material that burns out cleanly so could be used for lost wax casting! So you can add metals to the list, but I know I won't be casting metals at home. So my point is, for at least the near future, there will be a place for both Shapeways, and at home printers.
  6. Phxman
    Phxman Member
    Michael -
    I think you have it right.
    Perfecting the process of "sintering", to reduce clean-up of print lines is
    where Shapeways will ultimately score.
  7. eNonsense
    eNonsense New Member
    Actually, this is a different Stereolithography printer which was on Kickstarter previously and though not as pretty as the the FORM 1, is a better printer. high-resolution-3d-printer?ref=live

    It uses a standard projector to output a full layer cross section at a time as it constantly moves, rather than use a laser to trace a cross section between Z axis adjustments.

    It has a larger print area and from what I understand (though now I can't find the comparison article I read previously) has a higher x/y resolution and prints faster.

    According to the specs on the respective Kickstarter pages the Form 1 has a 300 micron x/y resolution, where the B9's is 50 - 100 micron depending on how close you set the projector to the bottom of the print tray. This adjustment does effect the size of the print area though.

    Also, because the projector is capable of outputting different wavelengths of light, where a laser cannot, it should be compatible with a wider range of resins.

    Very interesting.

    As far as the home vs. print shop argument though. I have no desire to buy a home printer and don't see that changing in the near future. The material options and post print work that is offered by print services like shapeways outweighs the convenience of printing at home. It's still interesting to follow the developments though.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012
  8. Syncopator
    Syncopator New Member
    Yes, office or desktop printers will be useful for working out designs, but ultimately there will be more options, and higher-end results available with service companies like shapeways. That will probably always be true. Eventually, you'll be staging a model-sized prototype with a desktop unit, then having Shapeways render them in either refrigerator-sized or microscope-sized parts for your final construct. Or at least, you should hope you will. Frankly, I find it hard to get too interested in something that can't be printed any larger than a couple of feet on a side, OR any smaller than a quarter with a level of detail on par with a Retina display. In the meantime, I'm finding that working small is cheapest while evaluating the current printer capabilities. Trying to assemble a life-sized bronze sculpture of a human figure, for example, by printing 8" cubed slices just isn't very appealing and right now would cost a fortune.