#3DExpress: Formlabs its ‘Fastest’ Resin 3D Printer, the Form 4

Published on April 20, 2024 by Madeleine P.
Form 4

It is once again time for #3DEXPRESS, where we give you some of the most interesting tidbits from the 3D printing news of the week. We start off today with Formlabs’ new resin 3D printer, the Form 4, which the company promises is its fastest solution with the motto “blazing speed [meets] industrial production.” Next up, Matterhackers has announced that it has acquired Source Graphics while also strengthening its partnership with Formlabs. In more AM business, Solidscape has announced its long awaited return as an independent company, while Stratasys shows off its new direct-to-garment solution for sustainable fashion. Finish it off with a closer look at a German submarine sunk after WWI, which has been revived with 3D models in a museum located near the wreck. Happy reading and have a great weekend!

Formlabs Launches New Resin 3D Printer

Specializing in resin and SLS additive manufacturing, American manufacturer Formlabs this week announced the launch of a new generation of machines, the Form 4. Based on MSLA technology, it is said to be two to five times faster than its predecessor, the Form 3+, and can produce parts up to a precision of 50 microns. It features automatic resin management, instant resin loading and automated post-processing. The aim is to boost user productivity, with the promise of printing in just 15 minutes. Max Lobovsky, CEO and co-founder of Formlabs, concludes: “Form 4 is a huge leap not only for Formlabs and our customers, but also for the entire 3D printing world. More than a decade ago, Formlabs created the desktop SLA 3D printer category and set a new standard for accuracy, reliability, ease of use, and affordability in 3D printing. We’ve built on the strength and insights gathered from more than 130,000 printers on the market and over 300 million parts printed to deliver the Form 4, our best SLA printer ever. Its reliability and new level of speed will transform how our customers develop new products.”

Form 4

The new Form 4 3D printer (photo credits: Formlabs)

Matterhackers acquires Source Graphics

Matterhackers is one of the leading US resellers in the additive manufacturing market, offering an extensive portfolio of solutions for its customers. It announced this week that it has acquired Source Graphics, a supplier of large-format 3D printers. At the same time, it strengthened its partnership with Formlabs. Matterhackers COO Kevin Pope commented: “The collaboration between MatterHackers and Formlabs, catalyzed by our acquisition of Source Graphics, represents a shift in the 3D printing landscape. Formlabs has consistently been at the forefront of 3D printing innovation, and we are beyond excited to join forces with them. Together, we are committed to expanding the reach and capabilities of 3D printing technology, empowering creators and innovators to bring their visions to life.” Indeed, the acquisition of Source Graphics should enable it to strengthen its expertise and meet the growing demand for Formlabs 3D printing solutions.

Photo Credits: MatterHackers/Formlabs

Solidscape Announces Return With New Investment

We told you earlier this year about Prodways’ decision to stop sales of its jewelry 3D printers under its Solidscape brand. However, there has been some good news about the company that pioneered the world’s first commercial inkjet 3D printer for wax 3D printing. It has been acquired by a new investor and will recommence normal business operations as an independent company. Solidscape’s CEO Alban d’Halluin commented, “My Solidscape colleagues and I are delighted to provide certainty to our community that we are back to business-as-usual. We will continue to manufacture our unique range of 3D printers and consumables, provide technical service and support to customers, and develop new products.” 

Photo Credits: Solidscape

Stratasys Introduces Direct-to-Garment Solution for more Sustainable Fashion

Stratasys is once again looking to revolutionize the 3D printing and fashion sectors with its 3DFashion™ fashion technology. The company is collaborating with leading fashion designers on an Urban Tattoo collection that will highlight how denim garments can be given a second life through upcycling, or creative reuse. In detail, the company has launched the Direct-to-Garment (D2G) solution for the J850 TechStyle™ printer. The D2G solution is ideal for garment customization by enabling the application of full-color multi-material 3D printing directly onto garments in various fabric types including denim, cotton, polyester and linen. The Urban Tattoo collection will be presented for the first time at the Texprocess trade show in Frankfurt, Germany, on April 23.

Photo Credits: Stratasys

3D-Printed Submarine From the First World War

The infamous UC71, a minelaying submarine that was credited with sinking 63 ships, was supposed to be transferred to England after Germany’s defeat in the First World War, but it mysteriously capsized (although was suspected of being scuttled by her own crew) and has been lying at the bottom of the sea off Heligoland ever since. An exhibition at the Helgoland Museum, which opened on April 14, recreates the last voyage of the UC71, its previous missions, life on board and also presents a replica of the infamous submarine. However, years of research were required for this 3D version of the UC71. Florian Huber, underwater archaeologist and research diver, came across the wreck of the submarine by chance over 10 years ago and began researching it in 2014. This was followed by documentation using photogrammetry and videos from high-resolution cameras. The data was then processed by software and turned into a reliable 3D model. This was then printed in plastic so that it could be exhibited. Visual effects artist Lars Groeger, who has worked on Hollywood films and other projects, was commissioned to create the model of the submarine and worked on numerous details to imitate the decay and growth of the submarine. You can still view the 3D-printed model of the UC71 in the Heligoland Museum until January 2025.

Historical photo of the UC71 from 1917 entering the port of Zeebrugge (photo credits: Heligoland Museum)

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