Formlabs, known for its innovative laser-powered 3D printers, is shaking up the industry once again with the introduction of the Form 4 series. Departing from traditional resin-blasting lasers, these new printers utilize LCD screens and bright backlights to achieve printing speeds two to five times faster than their predecessors.

The switch to LCD technology, coupled with a high-intensity backlight, allows the Form 4 to cure an entire layer of resin at once, significantly increasing printing efficiency. While this technique, known as masked stereolithography (mSLA), is not new to the prosumer market, Formlabs claims to have optimized it for higher quality output.

Although the Form 4 sacrifices some resolution compared to previous models, with a horizontal pixel size of 50 microns, it maintains exceptional vertical resolution at 25 microns. This compromise is offset by the introduction of the “Low Force Display” light engine and faster curing resins, resulting in vertical printing speeds of up to 100mm per hour.

Formlabs CEO Maxim Lobovsky emphasizes the remarkable speed of the Form 4, stating that most prints will be completed in under two hours, with even complex items like dental arches finished in minutes.

In addition to speed enhancements, the Form 4 boasts a 30% increase in build volume and a 19% larger build area, accommodating larger and more intricate designs. The integration of a 5-megapixel camera allows for print monitoring and timelapse video generation, while the upgraded seven-inch touchscreen, Wi-Fi 5, USB-C, and Gigabit Ethernet enhance user experience and connectivity.

Addressing concerns about consumable resin costs, Formlabs introduces new “General Purpose Resins” priced at $99 per liter, offering improved toughness and color compared to entry-level resins. The company also promises cost-effective resin tanks that last longer, providing added value to users.

For medical and dental applications, Formlabs offers the Form 4B variant, priced at $6,299, featuring specialized capabilities tailored to these industries.

With the Form 4 series, Formlabs continues to push the boundaries of 3D printing technology, delivering unparalleled speed, quality, and versatility to professionals and enthusiasts alike.

By Impact Lab