Thursday, 04 Oct, 2012 Technology

Latest Invention: Form 1 3D Printer Uses Laser Found in Blu-ray Players


Usually expensive high-end 3D printers make use of a technology called stereolithography (SLA), but MIT researchers from Formlabs, a startup, managed to come up with a desktop 3D printer that uses the same technology.

Most at-home 3D printers apply a method where ABS plastic is melted and arranged in thin layer strip. But the device from Formlabs makes use of lasers to cut liquid resin in tiny layers. The Form 1, which the company characterizes as the first "prosumer" 3D printer, creates 3D works using the same type of laser that Blu-ray players use.

It is worth mentioned that the Form 1 3D printer creates layers of just 25 microns, which is just 10 microns thicker than today's most advanced (and therefore more expensive) printers. The device is available for US$3,000.

A liter of material that you will require to make 3D works costs $150. Eventually the firm will offer the material in a wide gamma of colors, different levels of transparency and elasticity.

But the gadget has one minor drawback - the user to have to carry out the finishing of the printed objects. To be able to do this, the company included in the package the Form Finish Kit that includes a wide range of accessories.

With the Form 1 3D printer it will be possible to print out objects measuring a maximum of (4.9 x 4.9 x 6.5 in / 125 x 125 x 165 mm).

[Formlabs via 3ders]

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