Formlabs Year in Review: Top 10 Moments of 2020
2020 was a year unlike any other. With the COVID-19 pandemic defining the year and setting the stage for chaos, everyone had to adapt. Along with the rest of the world, Formlabs rolled with the punches. Thanks to the help of our incredible customers and vibrant 3D printing community, we’ve managed to have an action packed year. Here are our top 10 moments of 2020.
Engineering From Home
Because of social distancing brought on by COVID-19, office life was replaced by a whirlwind of Zoom meetings taken from home, with roommates and pets looming in the background. For a hardware company like Formlabs, working from home poses great challenges. Luckily, our engineers found clever ways to continue launching products by engineering from home.
Launching a Record Number of New Materials
Materials are just as important as 3D printers. One of the most powerful advantages of stereolithography 3D printing is the ability to expand applications and design possibilities with powerful materials. This year, Formlabs launched new materials for engineering, product design, and manufacturing; healthcare; and dental. Materials like Rigid 10K Resin and Draft Resin push the boundaries of what SLA materials can achieve.
Introducing Factory Solutions
Formlabs 3D printers have become the go-to solution for a wide range of industries because of consistent performance and unparalleled ease of use. Factory Solutions goes beyond a single printer: it’s an ecosystem designed with your business’s products and markets in mind. With the help of Factory Solutions, Precision ADM was able to 3D print 100,000 nasopharyngeal swabs per week.
Launching Formlabs Comes to You
COVID-19 decimated large in-person gatherings. But we didn’t want to scrap the benefits of educational in-person conferences. The solution was launching Formlabs Comes to You, also known as Formlabs Sessions, to provide the 3D printing community with a User Office Hours video series, run live demos, and offer free webinars and training resources.
Formlabs User Summit Going Digital
Like many other aspects of our lives, Formlabs’ signature event went digital this year. The free event welcomed people from across the globe, featuring educational sessions about a wide range of 3D printing topics and fostering networking opportunities.
Shipping the Form 3L
Our large-format Low-Force Stereolithography 3D printer enables you to bring your biggest and boldest ideas to life without sacrificing quality. With a build volume 5X larger than the Form 3, the Form 3L supports large scale 3D printing for a wide range of industries and applications. Print just about anything—jigs and fixtures, full scale functional prototypes, and large-scale models and maquettes with intricate surface detail.
3D Printing to Support COVID-19 Response Efforts
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Formlabs didn’t hesitate to help the medical community address the pandemic and supply chain shortages. During the pandemic’s early stages, nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs for testing were in short supply. A team from the USF Health’s 3D Clinical Applications Division created an initial design, working with Northwell Health and collaborating with Formlabs to develop prototypes and secure materials for a 3D printed NP swab. Formlabs worked with dozens of healthcare providers and government agencies around the world on various projects spanning COVID-19 testing, PPE, and medical equipment.
Supporting Educators in Remote Learning Environments
With the COVID-19 pandemic, educators have found themselves adapting to online learning. A customer of ours, University of Kentucky architecture professor Michael Silver, bought a Form 2 in order to bring his students’ building models to life. 3D printing made it possible for his students to actualize their designs, leading to a more engaging class and improving learning outcomes.
Printing 30,000 Swabs Per Day in Singapore
COVID-19 impacted all corners of the world, including Singapore. Dr. Ho Chaw Sing, the managing director of the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC), called for the support of Formlabs and our distribution partner Eye-2-Eye Communications to quickly develop a clinically validated, cost-effective 3D printed nasopharyngeal swab to address supply chain shortages.
Launching the Form 3BL and New Materials for Restorative Dentistry
2020 was a great year for digital and restorative dentistry for Formlabs Dental. We launched the Form 3BL, a large format dental 3D printer that raises the bar for dependable high-volume dental production. Furthermore, we launched new materials like Permanent Crown Resin for direct-printed permanent restorations and Soft Tissue Starter Pack for gingiva masks. With the Form 3BL and a comprehensive materials portfolio, Formlabs Dental is poised to support a wide range of dental applications.