FAQ

General Information

What is 3D printing?

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a method for fabricating a physical object from a digital model. Whereas traditional “subtractive manufacturing” cuts material away from a solid piece of material (e.g., wood carving or metal machining) to create an object, 3D printing adds layer upon layer of material to gradually build an object. For a simple visualization, imagine placing successive circular sheet of papers on top of one another until the stack becomes a three dimensional cylinder.

Why is the Form 1+ better than other 3D printers?

The Form 1+ is a high-resolution desktop machine that matches the print quality of large, industrial printers at a far lower cost. The Form 1+ uses stereolithography (SLA) technology to achieve a professional print quality that plastic extrusion printers just can’t match. Stereolithography is the gold standard for accuracy and resolution in 3D printing. Our custom PreForm software and single button interface make the entire print experience simple, intuitive, and enjoyable. Learn more about the Form 1+ printer.

What is the difference between stereolithography/SL and plastic extrusion/FDM?

Plastic extrusion, or fused deposition modeling (FDM), is the most common desktop 3D printer technology; FDM printers melt plastic and use an extruder to print each layer with molten plastic. The vast majority of desktop plastic extrusion machines lack the finish and resolution for professional-grade output. SLA can outperform print quality of even high-end FDM machines. In our photopolymer-based process, a high precision system directs a laser across a tray of liquid resin and causes a thin layer to solidify. Until now, a professional SLA printer has been far out of reach for the individual designer.