Announcing new materials, a user story, and Form X: a home for tinkerers

We’ve got quite a few exciting things to launch today so let’s dive in with an exciting re-formulation of our Grey Resin.

Grey V3
Grey Resin has been updated with a matte, opaque finish for beautiful parts straight out of the printer. This is our first matte material and has the highest surface detail of any of our resins. We’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Handsmith: Changing lives, changing an industry
3D printing is allowing for the rapid manufacturing of mass customized goods. Learn how one man is using Formlabs printers to change lives and shake up an industry. Check it out!

Form X
Form X is Formlabs’ new experimental product platform to get innovative materials and research tools into the hands of those who wish to explore, improvise, and push what’s possible with 3D printing. We’re launching Form X with a new page on the website which includes OpenFL and a new Ceramic Resin (more on that). Form X products aren’t as “plug and play” as some of our other products, but they push the boundaries of what’s possible with 3D Printing.

You’ll also notice a new “Experimental” forum category. This will be a place for users to share experiments that push the boundaries and create new capabilities for Formlabs printers. Read more in the launch post for the new Experimental category.

Ceramic Resin
Ceramic Resin is our first Form X product. It features a distinctive aesthetic and can be fired to create a pure ceramic piece. Working with it requires some precautions that aren’t necessary when working with other Formlabs resins. Head over to the new Form X page for more details, and photos of some incredible ceramic prints.


The obvious question: Will the form 2 work with OpenFL soon? I’d like to do non-obvious experiments with my machine(and test some non-standard materials).

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Sounds great. Is it a little less brittle? The grey I’m using at the moment for small miniatures has just one problem and that’s the parts are so fragile.

Please say its a little more resilient.

all the best Dave.

The mechanical properties of each of our standard resins are relatively similar which is why we only have a datasheet published for Clear Resin. Grey V3 will be mechanically similar to previous versions but it’s pretty significantly improved aesthetically. You should post up pictures if you get to print miniatures in Grey V3 as I suspect the new formulation will show off the details better than previous versions.

This is awesome! I like the idea of Form X.


Are you using IPA to clean the parts? There are some reports that it makes the parts more brittle.

I use paint thinner, tested several different brands and only a few work, but they work extremely good. Parts are fully dry within 5 minutes out of the printer and have a little bit of flex. Then I can remove the supports and let them post cure giving them the full strength.

I would hate it if the resin would become more fiexible as I can already print really small skulls of animals with wall thickness of 0.2mm.

I unfortunately can’t disclose any of our future plans. OpenFL will remain exclusive to Form 1/1+ for now.

Hi Wilton, while you won’t get the same surface detail (presumably important for miniatures) both Tough and Durable (when it becomes available) are far less brittle than our Standard materials.

Gray v3 have more surface detail than black resin? Which one is better for jewellery prototypes?

Grey V3 has the highest surface detail of any of our materials including Black Resin. For jewelry prototypes, Grey V3 should be a great pick.

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The detail on V2 form 2 is everything i had hoped for and more. Not yet tried 25, all out at 50 and amazing results. It’s just they are more like glass and plastic bounces, if that makes sense? I have dropped one miniature on the work surface from only 3 or 4 inches and it snapped off at the ankles. I’m not asking for rubber just a little give in the cured resin.

Printed Form 2, v2 grey resin @ 50…

30mm high. Abbott monk. undercoated with grey car primer.

@fantasy2 - I’ve made quite a few parts out of tough v2 that are subjected to paint thinners…1 use is probably fine, but after repeated use they start to become brittle and crack. I think it deteriorates the acrylic and starts breaking it down (which is probably why it becomes flexible).

@WiltonShagpile - I know grey resin has the best detail (that abbot monk is SWEET!), but have you considered trying the tough resin? From most brittle to least in my experience - White, grey, clear, black, tough, flexible. The tough you can really throw around without breaking.

It really depends on the type of paint thinner and exposure time. I tested quite a few brands with different results. Some even left a white residue. And yes, long exposure to paint thinner significantly reduces mechanical properties, just as the recommended IPA does. Never leave the parts exposed to any chemical for an extended period of time.

For the type of thinner I have now, I only have to stir/shake the parts for 10 seconds in the thinner, then leave in hot water for 30 seconds and let them dry. There is no surface damage visible under the microscope and it can be painted without problems. Most of my customers use the parts in technical applications(also some neuroscience labs for test equipment) and none experienced problems so far.

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What paint thinner are you using?

I have had white deposits on a 3rd party resin (haven’t tried Formlabs resin) from “denatured alcohol.”

Is hot water straight from the tap?

It’s made by a local brand in The Netherlands. I selected it because it is toluene free(most contain toluene which bothered me a lot). Also doesn’t smell as bad as the others. It is not the bio-alternative, that stuff doesn’t work. They mostly sell to professional painters so I’d suggest buying a few and trying them. They are quite cheap. After x time of uses I filter the thinner(uncured resin or pigment settles at the bottom). You can do this a few times till parts stay tacky which indicates you have to get new thinner. I think I consume about 1.5 liter of thinner for every 2 to 3 bottles of resin.

The thinner I used which also works for single use is a MIL TYPE 2 thinner (MEK, MIK, and a Propanol). Definitely don’t use strong thinners indoors without good ventilation.

Using 90% IPA and only Formlabs resins I haven’t had any issues, just dunking and rubbing in IPA with nitrile gloves on followed by a 405nm cure. The longer you keep the parts in the alcohol, the more they are affected. I follow Formlab’s cleaning instructions and don’t have any issues.

I really like the idea of Form X, this is the future and I believe in the future that we need to move toward openness, especially in technology if we are to maximize their potential. I’m really excited to see what people do with Form X. I have a Form 2 and am waiting excitedly on something similar.

You guys have really impressed me lately, especially with turning on Open-Mode for the Form 2. Props.


FL must know how disappointing this is to the Form2 owners. Only early adopters can work in this space?. That doesn’t make sense to me. Or should we buy late model printer that isn’t quite as nice as the one we currently own? There will be nothing but dissatisfaction from this decision.

@DigArt I think the API in the Form X section is for Form 1/1+ users, F2 users already have an open mode do they not? The ceramic is for Form 2’s as far as I can see, it’s appears to me to be be a bit confusing.

While I totally see your point, I’m not happy that as resin tech advances it appears they’re only for the Form 2. While I appreciate that the F2 is the latest model, I, and plenty of others, spent a lot of money on our printers and we seem to be being left behind in a lot of cases.

As a jeweller, I’d love to play with ceramic but from what I read it’s F2 only.