Formlabs is introducing a 3D printer for the pro-consumer market. Unlike most consumer 3D printers this printer uses Stereolithography. The process uses Formlabs resin which is cured by UV laser. The laser traces out a cross-section which then hardens and each layer is built upon the lower layer. The item is printed upside down, so if you are printing the Eiffel Tower the base is printed first. Most other 3D printers use the plastic extrusion method, where plastic is melted and formed, which is less accurate. Stereolithography allows precise details to be printed. Each layer is about 25 micro thick and you can print about 1.5 centimeters per hour on average.
The Formlabs 1 software works with an STL file from any CAD package. The program allows you to rotate, scale and move parts around. You can print multiple pieces at once from different models. The Form1 printer is available for preorder for $3299, which includes the printer, the software, one liter of grey resin and a finishing kit.
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