Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

What is 3D printing?

Whereas traditional “subtractive manufacturing” cuts material away from a solid piece of material (think wood carving or metal machining) to create a part, 3D printing adds layer upon layer of material to gradually build a part. For a simple visualization, imagine placing a circular sheet of paper onto another and another until a thick stack forms a three dimensional cylinder.

Why is the Form 1 better than other printers out there?

The Form 1 has the print quality of high-end machines but is similar in price to low-end printers. The Form 1 uses Stereolithography (SL) technology, the gold standard for accuracy and resolution in 3D printing, to achieve a print quality that plastic extrusion printers just can’t match. Our user interface also makes the entire print experience simple, intuitive, and enjoyable. Learn more here.

What is the difference between Stereolithography and plastic extrusion/FDM?

Plastic extrusion, the most common desktop printer technology, melts plastic and uses an extruder to print each layer of a print with the molten plastic. The vast majority of desktop plastic extrusion machines lack the finish and resolution for professional-grade output. SL, on the other hand, uses a laser to cure a liquid resin, and can outperform print quality of even high-end FDM machines. Until now, a professional SL printer has been far out of reach for the individual designer.

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Placing an Order

When is my credit card charged? Can I cancel my order?

Your card is charged at checkout, but you can cancel your order any time before your printer ships by filling out our web form. Make sure you include your order ID number in the description. Keep in mind that orders are shipped on a first-come, first-serve basis, and cancelling will lose your place in line.

Can I have a discount?

Formlabs does not offer discounts. Of course, for $3,299, you will get the lowest priced professional stereolithography printer on the market.

Can you help with Purchase Orders, Quotes, or invoices?

Contact us through our web form and we'll do our best to work with you.

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When will my order ship?

See our shipping policy for more information.

What countries do you ship to?

See our shipping policy for more information.

When will you ship to other countries?

Join our mailing list to be the first to know when we add new geographies.

How much does shipping cost and what shipping options do you offer?

Shipping in the contiguous United States costs $60 via UPS. Other regions and countries will vary. You can review the final shipping cost before completing your purchase in the Form Store.

Can I use my own shipping account number?

Not at this time.

Do you offer shipping insurance?

We keep our printers safe. All Form 1 printers ship with insurance.

Can I pick up the printer at the office myself?

No. The Form 1 is shipping from a different location.

I’m a Kickstarter backer. When will my printer ship?

You believed in us first so you have shipping priority (in order of your reward level). If you have not already used your personal coupon code to redeem your printer, please do so as soon as possible at the Form Store. You will receive a confirmation as soon as the printer ships. We cannot yet set an exact ship date.

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The Form 1

How big can I print things on the Form 1?

The build envelope volume is 125 x 125 x 160 mm (4.9 x 4.9 x 6.5 in). If you need something bigger, you may be able to print your part in multiple segments.

How fast does the Form 1 print?

The build speed is comparable to other SL machines and varies depending on the complexity of your model. As a general rule, the build speed is 1.5 cm/hour along the Z axis. Our rook, for example takes around 2 hours.

What is the resolution of the printer?

3D print manufacturers often use layer thickness to define resolution, although any one metric provides an incomplete analysis of printer capabilities. The Form 1 can create layers as thin as 25 microns, which is much finer than other desktop machines. Minimum feature size, on the other hand, refers to the smallest possible bumps and ridges on a part, which can be as small as 300 microns on the Form 1. Finally, SL technology allows the Form 1 to create a beautifully smooth surface finish that FDM machines can't match.

What do I need to use the Form 1?

The Form 1 arrives fully assembled, calibrated, and ready to use. All you need is some 3D content to print! See our product pages for more information.

What are the technical specifications of the Form 1?

You can read our full list of technical specifications here.

What consumables does the Form 1 have?

Print materials (see below) are the primary consumable. Resin tanks can wear with use and will need to be replaced from time to time.

How much maintenance is required for the Form 1?

The Form 1 was designed for ease of use and low maintenance. We streamlined the number of moving parts to reduce wear on the machine while making operation of the printer simple and intuitive.

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What resins are available right now?

Our materials are designed in house for amazing prints. We are launching with one resin. The great thing about stereolithography, however, is that we can develop more resins in the future with varying colors and mechanical properties to satisfy your needs. Learn more here.

Can I get a sample of the resin?

Not yet. Join our mailing list and we'll send out an announcement as soon as we have samples available.

How many parts can I print with 1 bottle of resin?

Depending on your print size, 1 liter of resin goes a long way. Our 53mm tall rook, for example, uses ~13 cubic centimeters of resin. One liter of resin could produce about 75 rooks!

How much do the materials cost?

Print material prices may vary with their properties and commodity prices. We anticipate ~$149/liter ($0.15 per cubic centimeter) for our first print resin. Our rook, for example, would cost about $1.50. Your print cost will vary depending on how you build your model (solid, hollow, etc).

What are the material properties of the resin and how does it compare with other materials?

The Formlabs resin is great for almost any 3D design and rapid prototyping needs. The material is best, however, for printed parts that have fine details, require a high quality finish, and/or have complex geometries. The material is similar to the acrylate-based materials found in other SL and inkjet based 3D printers. These resins typically have elastic modulus and tensile strength that are comparable to ABS used in FDM machines, although with somewhat lower impact strength. You can use our resin for functional parts, but they will usually have some degree of change in properties over time.

Can the resin be burnt-out, for lost-wax casting?

Our resin is not yet rated for use in lost-wax casting. We are working to develop more materials with varying properties, including casting features.

Can I use third party resins with my Form 1?

No. The resin properties we’ve engineered in house are closely linked with the Form 1 design. Third party resins are unlikely to perform as well and may actually damage the printer. We do, however, see a bright future in resin development at Formlabs.

Will I need to use extra ventilation or masks with the resin?

While we recommend that you work in a ventilated environment, we have designed the printing process so that you do not need any special ventilation.

Where can I find the material MSDS?

See our material page.

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Form Software

What is Form Software for?

Form Software makes setting up and creating your print simple and intuitive. After importing an STL file, you can scale, rotate, duplicate and align the model. We will continue to add features to our software over time. Learn more here.

What kind of software can I use to create 3D CAD models?

Professional tools include Solidworks, Rhino and Inventor. SketchUp and Blender are free and easy to use. Our software can import a .STL file from any 3D CAD package that can create them.

What are the minimum computer hardware requirements to run the software and print?

Any computer hardware you can use for 3D CAD should be more than sufficient. We are developing software to run on all major operating systems, starting with Windows and followed by Mac.

How much does Form Software cost?

Form Software is included with every Form 1 purchase.

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Do you offer any support with the printer?

We will offer extensive support resources, including a knowledge-base, tutorials, forum and e-mail support.

What if my printer arrives damaged?

If your printer arrives to you damaged please contact us immediately through our web form.

Does the printer have a warranty?

The Form 1 has a 90 day warranty. Learn more here.

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