I just want to express my top 2 dreams for future Formlabs products:
#1: An MSLA printer
My long time most-wanted Formlabs product, is an MSLA version of the Form 3. Something to compete with e.g. the Elegoo Mars and friends.
I could buy an Elegoo, but the thing is, I really like Formlabs as a company. The materials library is great, the software is wonderful, the focus on intuitiveness and workflow optimization is very valuable, and support is a dream. I definitely have some brand loyalty and if Formlabs had an MSLA printer I’d shell out the extra $ for it because I know I’d get a good complete package and a superior product.
Technology-wise, I’m surprised there isn’t one already. I realize this may be naive, but it seems like the Form 3 is almost already set up for it. All the guts are there, there’s even physical space in the bottom, it’s gotta be close already; some new optics and appropriate firmware. Heck, I’d even buy a conversion kit if you had one.
All I’m saying is, if this dude could print an MSLA printer from scratch, I mean…
#2: A DMLS printer
With Formlabs getting into SLS, I feel like DMLS is the next logical step.
The Fuse 1 is really cool, but at the same time, I’m having a hard time seeing where it fits in. I’m not saying it isn’t useful, and it’s certainly an awesome piece of technology, but… I use my printers for two main purposes: I primarily use my Form 3 for various hobbyist uses, but I also work in medical devices and robotics, and often use it for various parts prototyping, optical tracking hardware, etc.
When the Fuse news initially broke I was excited, but my excitement went down a bit when I realized it was still nylon parts. I’m constantly trying to sell our engineers on Formlabs products, but they’re pretty happy with the current collection of Stratasys FDM printers and HP MultiJets. When the Fuse came out the primary argument against it was “we’d rather just invest in an injection molder”, which makes sense for our uses anyways.
But printing with metals, in an affordable, benchtop package, would be absolutely fantastic, both in my professional context and in a hobbyist context. Industrially, of course, you’ve got your 5-axis CNCs, lathes, all the usual tools, but the capabilities and ease of use of DMLS machines are pretty unmatched, especially for small complex parts. In the hobby world, the gap is starting to be filled with this recent wave of cheap benchtop CNC mills and lathes, but there’s nothing close to a decent metal printer yet.
So yeah, it would be awesome to see Formlabs apply what they’ve learned with the Fuse and extend it into DMLS some day.
That’s all! Fingers crossed! Thanks for great products!