Posted on March 06, 2014 by Rachel Martin
You’ve probably seen Ann Sidenblad’s work floating around the forums — her eye-catching prints often appear in our roundups! Aside from her job with Dreamworks, Ann and fellow artist Victoria Rose run Rawrztoys, an indie operation that releases whimsical pocket-sized creatures into the wild.
Recent coverage from MAKE Magazine and Mold3D, plus appearances at trade shows, conventions, and fairs galore, is generating quite the buzz about the two-person company. We caught up with Ann and Victoria about their design process, future directions, and how the Form 1 fits into their workflow.Continue Reading ›
Posted on March 06, 2014 by Sam Jacoby
Formlabs is heading out to Association of Professional Model Makers this weekend — and we’d love to see you there! We’ll have a team out in San Jose this weekend, demonstrating the Form 1 in a series of workshops, and showing you what an incredible tool it can be in creating fantastic models.
What’s more — we’d love to see your models! If you’ll be attending the show — and have got something that you’d like us to print, let us know. We’ll do our best to print as many models as we can during the show.
Call for Models
If you'll be at the show, and would like us to print out one of your models -- submit it below! We can't promise we'll get to all of them, but we'll see what we can do.
Posted on February 24, 2014 by Rachel Martin
With the sheer variety of stuff that shows up in the forums, sometimes it seems like the only thing we’ve got in common is that we’re all into 3D printing. Of course, that’s a pretty good common trait to have. Our forums this month showed the Form 1's capabilities for everything from customized superheroes to medieval recreations, from medical training equipment to integrated-electronics jewelry.
One frequent poster, Ann Sidenblad, recently customized some superhero action figures with prints based on a scan of her friend’s head.
Outside of the forums, Danny Choo posted an extensive review of the Form 1 and how he’s used it for prototyping the Mirai Suenaga Smart Doll. Check out his review for a glimpse into the world of industrial-scale mold-making for specialized parts — the Form 1 is just one small part of the process!
The company Engineering4Life uses the Form 1 to print anatomical models from medical imaging data. The models currently get the most use as training pieces and for surgical prep purposes. We’re honored to be a part of the startup’s process.
Marc Liyanage’s collection of printed parts runs the gamut from custom fittings for Dremel tools (the photo above is a vacuum adapter) to sculptures of cats — because why not?
Marcus Olsson ventures into integrated electronics with a light-up LED bracelet. Check out his write-up for an extensive process breakdown, as well as the next chapter over on Hackaday.
Finally, we end this interdisciplinary round-up with a piece that isn’t printed at all. Want to coddle your Form 1? MechaMother understands. Check out this Etsy shop's Form 1 organic cotton transport covers, as well as cases and covers for a variety of other technological gadgets.
Thanks to everyone for keeping the forums so active — we’re looking forward to seeing what you print!
Posted on February 18, 2014 by Rachel Martin
The right-hand scrollbar in PreForm is a powerful tool for assessing your models’ printability. When activated, the slicer tool scrolls through each layer that makes up your scene in PreForm, support structures and all, and lays out the path that the Form 1’s laser will trace through the resin tank. In PreForm 1.2, we’ve improved the clarity of the operation by visually “slicing” the model as you manipulate the layers, making it easier to see how your print will build!
We’ve incorporated a number of other under-the-hood updates in PreForm 1.2. Users on mid-range computers will notice a major increase in performance. On OS X, we’ve added compatibility with the Notification Center, so you’ll be alerted to status changes with your Form 1.
We’ve also added some powerful new tools that will let you tweak your Form 1’s performance and increase your print reliability.
Posted on February 13, 2014 by Rachel Martin
Ethan Sherbondy, MIT '14, spent his January term interning with our software team. Here's what he had to say about the experience!
Over the month of January, I spent my weekdays interning on the software team at Formlabs. In four short weeks, I had the chance to contribute to internal calibration tools and begin work on new functionality for PreForm, the desktop application for interacting with the Form 1.Continue Reading ›
Posted on February 10, 2014 by Rachel Martin
The Formlabs team is heading to New York this coming weekend, as an exhibitor at 3D Printshow NYC. We’re particularly excited to showcase our collaboration with Sensoree & MACHINIC (details still under wraps), which we’ll unveil at the show. Don’t miss it.
We’ve been busy at HQ — so make sure to stop by between February 12–15 and check out what we’ve been up to.Edited 2/11/2014 to highlight MACHINIC Consulting's involvement; their work in 3D modeling is essential to the collaboration!
Posted on February 04, 2014 by Rachel Martin
During Harvard University’s winter session, Formlabbers Will Walker and Craig Broady led a class on designing for stereolithography at the Graduate School of Design. There, a talented group of graduate students learned about optimizing and printing their designs on the Form 1.
Iteration is key to successful 3D printing, and the class was built around this idea. Having never used a Form 1 before, each student brought a print-ready file to the first class. After a brief introduction to PreForm, setting up prints, and post-processing, students printed their own pieces on the Form 1. Craig and Will also discussed each model and gave design critiques in the context of stereolithographic 3D printing, allowing the students to improve their designs for the next day.
After cleaning their prints and examining the parts, students discussed their results and how their designs could be improved further. Most students found that their parts printed better than expected, and added further complexities to their models. Through this iterative process, the students were able to understand the design conditions of stereolithographic printing and how to design for more efficient prints.
On the third day, students had one last opportunity to print their third part iteration. After just two days of working with the Form 1 and PreForm, they were 3D printing superstars. Check out some of the pictures below to see their final prints!
We're really impressed by all of the great work and we're looking forward to more!
Craig Broady & Will Walker collaborated on writing this post.
Posted on January 24, 2014 by Rachel Martin
We're going to be at the 3D Printer World Expo in Burbank, CA next week! If you'll be there (January 31–February 1), come give us a high five.
Better yet, if you're attending, you could win a 3D printer. Hourly drawings during the event will give all attendees a chance at winning a printer from any one of fifteen companies — including one of our own Form 1s. There's also the Pixologic Sculpt-Off, where eight contestants will compete for another Form 1. Good luck, and see you there!
Lastly, whether you'll be at the Expo or not, check out Mold3D, Robert Vignone's new venture for 3D digital artists. Vignone has been a fixture of the Form 1 community since we got started, and this site looks like an amazing source for artists and sculptors with an interest in 3D printing.
Posted on January 23, 2014 by Rachel Martin
It seems like just last week we were cheering on PreForm’s exit from the beta stage… well, two weeks. Our software team has been busy fielding feedback, and today’s PreForm 1.1 release incorporates several under-the-hood tweaks to make the software experience even smoother.
The tweaks are mostly under-the-hood, anyway — one big change you’ll notice is the addition of build platform orientation indicators (we’ve heard you asking!).
Other changes include:
- A firmware update
- Improved accuracy in print time estimation
- Better bug reporting
- Some invisible tweaks with visible results — improved surface finish, for one!
Posted on January 21, 2014 by Rachel Martin
While printing, the Form 1 is whisper quiet — it can sit unobtrusively on your desk. It does, however, make a few unique sounds — particularly when starting a print.
Many of you have wondered what these sounds are. To give you a better idea of what’s going on inside of your Form 1, we’ve recorded a machine as it starts up and gets ready to print.
Take a listen!
Form 1 Start-up Sequence
Here's a breakdown of exactly what you’re hearing during the printer startup cycle:
Button click - Power on [0:00]: A single button click wakes up the Form 1.
Motor hum and click - Resin tank reset [0:02]: To initialize the position of the resin tank, the peel motor first drives the resin tank up to the horizontal position. The clicks, caused by the motor overdriving the tank carrier up, ensure the tank is in the proper position.
Lower pitched motor - Resin tank peel [0:08]: The peel motor then drives the resin tank down to the tilted position to ensure the build platform and any cured parts can be safely lifted out of the resin without damaging the tank or silicone.
Motor hum - Build platform reset [0:17]: The Z-motor drives the build platform up to the top of the tower, moving it clear of the resin tank, so that the build platform can be easily removed.
Motor hum and click - Resin tank reset [0:19]: The peel motor resets the resin tank to the horizontal position so that the tank can be refilled or removed. The Form 1 is now ready to print.
The Inevitable Remix
Of course, once we made the recording, inspiration struck. One of our engineers, Adam, couldn’t resist creating Form 1 (The Remix). Dim the lights and start grooving.
Posted on January 16, 2014 by Rachel Martin
Ann Sidenblad prepped and printed this Medusa-inspired character print, conceptualized by Tim Lamb and modeled by Mickaël Riciotti. Make sure you also check out her creepy creature model, designed by Michael Conelly and modeled by Anastasios Gionis. Her forum posts are full of process shots!
Mattia Mercante shows off the combined powers of 3D scanning and 3D printing with this model of the Guiseppe Sirtori monument in Milan.
Kristof Vandebroeck experimented with weighting and hollowing out different portions of this little dude; in the end, he’s self-supporting and stands up on his own. Check out the forum post for Kristof’s process shots and more details on the weight distribution of the figure.
For a brief and glorious few weeks, Porsche (yes, that Porsche) provided a full-sized .STL of the Porsche Cayman S. After some tweaks, our users (and one of our Formlings) proved that you, too, can download a car.
Finally, David Clark designed a custom iPhone dock for his wife’s LifeProofed phone.
He’s planning on making the design available on Thingiverse — let him know if you want it now!
Posted on January 07, 2014 by Rachel Martin
Today, we’re thrilled to announce the release of PreForm 1.0.
Shedding the beta suffix, as well as that pesky leading zero, PreForm 1.0 brings model preparation for the Form 1 to a new level of maturity and performance. It’s been a long time coming!
This major update includes hundreds of fixes and features, along with a slick interface overhaul. We've made substantial improvements in how your model’s supports are generated and printed.
Altogether, we’re incredibly proud of PreForm’s latest incarnation. There are some real stand-out features.
Quick Release Tabs
To make removing a freshly-printed model from the build platform easier, PreForm’s support generation algorithm now includes handy quick release tabs — small notches on the side of your model’s base that help it lift easily off the build platform. Wedging a narrow tool into the notch will give you some leverage to pop the model right off.
More File Types
PreForm 1.0 supports .OBJ files. For those of you working in SketchUp (along with a number of other CAD programs), you can now export your models directly into PreForm, without having to generate an .STL.
Native Mac OS X Menus
We’ve been squashing Mac bugs since version 0.8.4, and now we’ve got the graphical interface to support it fully.
We know you want to be printing, not troubleshooting our software or waiting for models to render. An under-the-hood overhaul of PreForm dramatically increases the program’s speed and versatility, while decreasing the amount of computing power it needs. We’re excited to see what you do with the newest version.
Download PreForm 1.0 now and let us know what you think!
If you’re in Vegas, come visit us at CES Booth 31520. We’d love to see you!