Now Shipping: The Fuse 1 SLS 3D Printer
Formlabs is happy to announce that the Fuse 1 selective laser sintering (SLS) printer has begun shipping to customers across APAC.
After concluding several months of rigorous beta testing with a host of innovative companies, our totally re-designed SLS 3D printer is ready to deliver industrial grade nylon parts, right on your workbench. Delivering production ready nylon at a low cost per part, a large build chamber to accommodate various project sizes, and the ability to print 24/7, no other SLS printer offers the quality and ease of use as the Fuse 1.
Formlabs has also begun to ship the Fuse Sift, an all-in-one powder recovery station for the Fuse 1. The Fuse Sift was created to flawlessly integrate into your SLS workflow and deliver a seamless, simple post-processing setup.
SLS 3D printing has long been the domain of expensive, high-end industrial printers, often times putting them out of reach for most business and product designers. Our goal with the Fuse 1 is to deliver the industrial power of SLS into your workshop with an affordable, compact system for production-ready nylon parts.
SLS 3D Printing vs. Injection Molding: When to Replace Molded Parts With 3D Printing?
This white paper showcases the cost-dynamics for real-life use cases, and presents guidelines for using SLS 3D printing, injection molding, or both.
Affordable SLS Printing On Your Workbench
The Fuse 1 offers a number of benefits typically found in industrial level SLS printers costing four times as much:
- Low material costs. With an expansive build chamber and the ability to reuse nylon powder, the Fuse 1 offers industrial quality SLS 3D printing for a low cost per part.
- High productivity and throughput. SLS printing is the fastest additive manufacturing technology for functional, durable prototypes and end-use parts. Many parts can be tightly arranged during printing to maximize the available build space. Create hundreds of parts with each print cycle and keep your machine running 24/7 with multiple build chambers.
- Design freedom. With no need for support structures, SLS 3D printing allows for the creation of intricate geometries, interlocking parts, interior channels, and other complex designs.
- Proven, end-use materials. Nylon and its composites are proven, high-quality thermoplastics with mechanical properties comparable to those created with conventional manufacturing methods like injection molding.
These benefits are exemplified by user Partial Hand Solutions. According to Partial Hand Solutions Founder Matthew Mikosz, “I’ve always wanted an SLS printer, but they are unattainable at their current price points. The Fuse 1 is perfect for small businesses like Partial Hand Solutions.” Matthew was able to create affordable end-use medical prosthetics in-house for the first time. Most importantly, Matthew feels that “using the Fuse 1 has expanded my horizons when it comes to future design work.”
High Performance, High Impact - Nylon 11
Nylon 11 Powder creates precise, strong prototypes. Examples include parts with thin curved surfaces, interior joints for machines, and devices that need to come under bending forces for validation. Functional prototypes of snaps, clips, hinges, and thin walled ducts printed in Nylon 11 can withstand repeated use, including drops and impacts, due to its ductility. Furthermore, prototypes that may experience repeating drops, impacts, or bending are also greatly enhanced by Nylon 11’s material properties. The Fuse 1 is one of the only SLS 3D printers on the market that can print Nylon 11 without the need for a nitrogen purge, reducing the need for strict site requirements and training to print in this material.
Nylon 11 Powder is ideal for:
For ductile, robust parts, Nylon 11 Powder is our higher performance, bio-based nylon material for functional prototyping and small batch production:
- Prototypes that may experience drops or impacts during testing
- Enclosures with snaps, clips, and hinges
- Ducts and components with thin walls
- Field tested prototypes for PP or ABS parts
Ductile, strong, flexible material for when durability and performance are key
- Small batch manufacturing
- Flexibility for hinges or snap fixtures
- Robust jigs or fixtures that will need to survive multiple impacts
- Automation components for robot parts or effectors
Manufacture ready-to-use, patient-specific medical devices in-house:
- Medical device prototyping
- Prosthetics and orthotics (i.e. limb replacements + braces)
- Surgical models + tools
Nylon 11 is an excellent material for printing replacement parts of all shapes and sizes, especially those that need to survive daily wear and tear. Jigs and fixtures, which can be created with Nylon 12, can be printed even tougher with Nylon 11 for parts that need to survive additional impacts without breaking. You can find out more about the different mechanical properties of Nylon 11 Powder and Nylon 12 Powder in our new blog post below.
A Material That Does It All - Nylon 12
The real power of the Fuse 1 comes from its ability to print resilient, ready-to-use nylon parts. Balancing strength, flexibility, and detail, Nylon 12 Powder is a highly capable material for both functional prototyping and end-use production of complex assemblies and durable parts with high environmental stability. Our Nylon 12 Powder is specifically developed for use on the Fuse 1.
Nylon 12 Powder is ideal for:
Take control of your entire product development process, from iterating on your first concept design to manufacturing ready-to-use products:
- Rapid prototyping
- Mockups of products for in-field customer feedback
- Functional prototyping
- Rigorous functional testing of products (e.g: ductwork, brackets)
Own your supply chain and respond quickly to changing demands:
- End-use production
- Production of novel mass customization consumer products
- Replacement part production, supply chain robustness
- Custom automotive or motorcycle parts, marine equipment, military ‘resupply on demand’
Tessy Plastics is a contract manufacturer for custom plastic injection molded products for both the medical and consumer industries. Tessy Plastics Research and Development Engineer Brian Anderson has been using the Fuse 1 on his shop floor to find creative solutions to the array of problems that appear at their shop, from broken machines to the creation of custom fittings and tooling.
The material properties of Nylon 12 Powder were incredibly important to Brian and his team when considering deployment of the Fuse 1. “The first thing our team did was try and break the nylon parts. They’re strong!”. The team went on to create dozens of end-use parts including a custom pulley system to address a last minute customer request. “The custom pulleys printed last week are working well in production as functional parts. They have very delicate splines on the inside of the vacuum tooling that are holding up well unscrewing molded parts from the core.”
SLS Post-Processing Made Easy
“The Fuse 1 and Fuse Sift work incredibly well together and it’s exactly what I would expect from this caliber tool.”
Partial Hand Solutions Founder Matthew Mikosz
The Fuse Sift was created to invoke a word most people do not associate with SLS post-processing: intuitive. An all-in-one powder recovery station, the Fuse Sift combines part extraction, powder recovery, storage, and mixing in a single free-standing device. Highly convenient and compact, this is the most functionality you'll get in a single device on the SLS market.
In the Fuse 1 workflow, a single device, Fuse Sift, handles the extraction of parts and unsintered powder, as well as storing, dosing, and mixing of streams. The Fuse Sift will also help you recycle powder, making your workflow more efficient and reducing costs. The Fuse 1 operates with a 30% material refresh rate, meaning you can print with up to 70% recycled powder, indefinitely. Fuse Sift can dispense and mix used and new powder automatically so you can reduce waste and control your powder supply.
Get Started With the Fuse 1
Formlabs is known for designing additive workflows that make industrial-quality 3D printing manageable for businesses of any size. The Fuse 1 and Fuse Sift empower businesses to take control of the design process, print production-ready nylon parts in-house, increase throughput, and bring industrial level SLS 3D printing to the benchtop at a truly entry-level price point. Contact a Formlabs 3D printing specialist to learn how SLS 3D printing could enhance your throughput and productivity.