How small can you print


I’m brand new to the 3d printing world! I’m very excited that this sort of technology is available. The form 1+ looks like an awesome machine and I am considering it as my number 1 choice so far. When I was first introduced to 3d printing I though it would be best for prototyping. But looking at the forum 1+ seems like it may have some potential to also produce finished goods for resale. Just not sure if it would be cost effective. Are there a lot of people out there who produce goods for resale with these machines?

I was looking at the “resolution” of the forum 1+ and it states that it can produce a point as small as 300 microns. Is that the finest point available in the 3d printing world? Or is that the bar for desktop models? I understand that 300 is already very tiny, but what is the likelihood of the next version of forum producing a finer point? Say in the 50-100 micron range? Or am I pipe dreaming? Thanks for any advice.

Hi Tom,
Here’s a small print of mine:

It’s a nice printer, but you will want to make one part, then do low volume production with silicone molds and liquid plastic.

Parts printed on the Form1+ can be very nice if you have a clean mirror system, a new resin tank, and fresh resin. But there is a lot of time that goes into cleaning up a part that has an adhesive texture. Then a lot more time waiting for it to harden in the sun. Then a lot more time and effort into sanding it if you want an excellent surface. Then clear-coat to protect against over-curing and cracking.

What type of goods would you make?

You could find smaller feature size but there is a reason why formlabs chose 300 microns ( i guess )
Because if you have a smaller laser spot size it will take more time to print your job as the laser will have to do more paths to cure the resin. I think it’s a good compromise between quality and speed.
And printers which have a smaller feature size, generally have a smaller build area,

Keep in mind that it’s “only” the feature size, that mean you can have smaller details in your print.
To explain it differently, let say you have a pencil, if you make a dot it will be 300 microns but if you begin to draw a line you will be able to produce variations smaller than 300 micron during the flow of movement.

It can get some really fine detail if you set it up correctly.

Here are some tiny prints I did a while back to test the same thing

It prints very little things…

This rook printed at 100microns is 8.5mm high and 3.9mm wide, stair can be see using a magnifier :smile: