A New Form of Stereo-Lithography for Consumer Use
Formlabs, Inc combines software and a different chemical process and feedstock to create a novel 3D printer. Targeted at professional end of the market, it is still within range of the serious hobbyist or tech enthusiast, and offers unprecedented resolution for detailed work.
Most 3D printers are based upon a thermoplastic technique – essentially a precision position X-Y-Z glue gun. The layer resolution is typically around a millimeter. This system uses a photopolymer-based process, where a high precision system directs a laser across a tray of liquid resin and causes a thin layer to solidify. This process creates layers that are much thinner, on the order of 25 microns (.025 millimeters) The build platform then rises in preparation for the next layer. After thousands of repetitions, your part is complete with exquisite detail.