With the Fuse 1, the 3D printer manufacturer Formlabs has launched its first selective laser sintering 3D printer (SLS).
Marketed as the world’s first industrial SLS table-top machine, the system is aimed at engineers, designers, and manufacturers looking for high quality functional prototyping and end-use production at a fraction of the cost of traditional SLS. To complement the machine, Formlabs has also launched the Fuse Sift, a powder removal system for use with the Fuse 1, and its own line of nylon 12 powder that covers all aspects of the SLS workflow.
“The Form 1 redefined stereolithographic printing (SLA) for the additive manufacturing industry 10 years ago, and now the Fuse 1 offers the same level of reliability and accessibility that Formlabs customers have come to expect from industrial 3D printing,” said Max Lobovsky, CEO and co-founder of Formlabs. “SLS 3D printing should not only be intended for those with a large budget, but must be accessible so that all companies – from startups to large manufacturers – can benefit from the freedom of design and the high productivity of SLS 3D printing.”
Fuse 1 (left) and fuse seven (right). Photo via Formlabs.
A decade of resin printing with Formlabs
After debuting the original Form 1 nearly a decade ago, Formlabs is recognized as the leader in resin-based SLA 3D printers. The Form 2 system is at the bottom of the current listing. The Form 2 is driven by a 250 mW laser and has a construction volume of 14.5 x 14.5 x 17.5 cm and a laser spot size of 140 micrometers.
For those looking for a little more precision, the flagship Form 3 offers an 85-micron laser spot and an air-heated pressure chamber. Alternatively, the larger Form 3L offers customers who want to enable the production of large parts or large quantities, a construction volume of 33.5 x 20 x 30 cm. The company even makes its own washing and curing systems for post-processing resin parts.
The smaller space requirement of the fuse 1 is suitable for workshop integration. Photo via Formlabs.
The fuse 1
With more than seven years of research and development, the Fuse 1 aims to provide industrial quality SLS printing in a table package. The machine has a modular build chamber with the dimensions 165 x 165 x 300 mm, which can be exchanged after completion of a construction in order to reduce downtime. The chamber is also compatible with the company’s new Fuse Sift device and allows for fully automated powder removal.
The system’s patent-pending Surface Armor technology, in conjunction with a 10 W fiber laser, creates semi-sintered shells during the printing process that protect the surfaces of the parts during manufacture. As a bonus, the machine is also compatible with up to 70% recycled powder, making it an attractive choice for more environmentally conscious users.
When printing with Formlabs Nylon 12 powder, users can expect parts with a tensile strength of 50 MPa, a tensile modulus of 1850 MPa, and an elongation at break of 11%. As such, the material is suitable for structural mechanical parts in high temperature environments because the powder also has a heat dissipation temperature of 171 ° C.
Matthew Mikosz, Founder of Partial Hand Solutions and beta user of Fuse 1, added, “We previously used an outsourced injection molding workflow to deliver prosthetic fingers to young and old patients and help them improve mobility and improve functionality. However, this process was extremely slow and did not allow the personalization required for each patient. With Fuse 1, we have the freedom of design required to truly customize our prostheses, as well as the high productivity and throughput required to get this solution to our patients quickly. “
Nylon 12 parts printed on fuse 1. Photo via Formlabs.
Technical data and prices
The following are the specifications for backup 1. The system costs US $ 18,499 and is available to order immediately.
|Create volume||165 x 165 x 300 mm|
|Material update rate||30% – 50%|
|Layer thickness||110 microns|
|Printer dimensions||645 x 685 x 1070 mm|
|laser||1065 nm fiber laser, 10 W.|
|Laser spot size||200 microns|
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The picture shown shows fuse 1 and the fuse. Photo via Formlabs.