3D printer manufacturer Formlabs has added two new proprietary materials to its portfolio, Rigid 10K resin and a revision of its Draft Resin.
The stiffest material in Formlab’s repertoire, Rigid 10K is designed to fulfill customers’ requirements for a more heat and chemically resistant material. Meanwhile, the reformulated Draft Resin allows users to print up to four times faster than with other available resins.
“One of the most powerful advantages of stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing is the wide range of printing materials,” said Max Lobovsky, CEO and co-founder of Formlabs. “Our customers don’t just need parts with the right geometry, they also need the right material properties.
“With our expansive library of resins, our users can make anything from surgical tools, to retainers, to jigs and fixtures and everything in between.”
Formlabs’ current portfolio
Since its foundation in 2011, Formlabs now has more than 200 global sales partners and ships over 70,000 systems to customers around the world. The company, which is known for its SLA 3D printers and proprietary resins, gained ‘unicorn’ status in August 2018 when its valuation exceeded $1 billion.
The firm launched the first of its ‘Form’ range in 2012, followed by its Form One Plus, Form 2, and Form 3L 3D printers.
Earlier this year, Formlabs released six new resins for use with its Form 3, Form 3B, and Form 2 printers, bringing the firm’s total number of proprietary materials to more than 25. A few months prior, the company agreed a partnership with dental materials specialist BEGO to advance the 3D printing of temporary and permanent dental restorations.
Most recently, Formlabs released the latest iteration of its SLA-based desktop system, the large-format Form 3L. Since announcing the launch of its newest machine last year, the company has worked with key clients to optimize the printer for applications within the footwear, industrial, and medical industries.
Benefits of Rigid 10K
Formlabs’ new Rigid 10K Resin is characterized by a stiffness which simulates glass or fiber-filled thermoplastics. The material is resistant to heat, chemicals, and intense pressures, making it suitable for the manufacture of precise industrial parts which need to withstand substantial loads.
Featuring a smooth matter surface finish, Rigid 10K is ideal for applications such as short run injection mold masters and inserts, aerodynamic test models, and heat resistant components, jigs, and fixtures which are exposed to fluids.
Engineering and consulting firm Novus Applications has used Rigid 10K to produce short-run injection molds and cores, claiming the resin has both reduced costs and manufacturing time. According to Novus’ president and founder Mark Bartlett, molds made from Rigids 10K can withstand clamping and injection pressures without breaking, and successfully hold their shape under these pressures.
“It was performing at a level that we hadn’t seen historically capable in the traditional Rigid  material,” he said. “I can print complex forms accurately, way faster than I’m going to machine them.”
New and improved Draft Resin
Formlabs’ new Draft Resin is ideal for initial prototyping, rapid iterations, and live 3D printing demos, due to the material’s fast printing, support removal, wash, and cure times. Draft Resin is designed with the dental and orthodontic fields in mind, able to print aligner and retainer models in-house in less than 20 minutes.
Draft Resin facilitates the production of over 95 dental models per day on a Form 3BL 3D printer, and can print eight models in just one and a half hours, a significant time improvement on Formlabs’ Grey resin which would print the same number of models in just under 10 hours.
The material could pave the way for chair-side or same-day delivery for orthodontic and dental practices, producing models from set-up to processing in a matter of minutes.
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Featured image shows Formlabs’ Rigid 10K and Draft Resin. Image via Formlabs.