My needs and dreams for Form 2

I’d like to see a functional resin with many color variations. That resin would be like Durable or Tough or something like that but more stable and my parts would last good at 10+ years or more.

I would design the “support free parts” and print my parts without supports (like Formlabs sample parts) and have already color what I need (now my need is matte black Durable-like resin for end-product). So after the printer is ready, my parts would go to the Wash and the Cure and would be ready for use. No support removal or sanding or painting or nothing what will cost time and money.

cad -> print -> wash -> cure -> ready!

Fuse 1 is close to this except for the powder color which is not pretty. I’d like to see black or white powder some day (or whole RAL map :slight_smile:

While they could always make new resins in different colors, they can’t do anything about getting rid of supports on the Form2–or really any type of SLA printer. Since the print is submerged in resin there’s no way to create a support structure that could be dissolved or something like that. There’s alternative printing techniques but that would be a much different (and much more expensive) printer

I think the supports of the part is design question. You can always design the parts which don’t need supports. Like Formlabs sample parts or Eiffel tower scale model. I know thats not what Formlabs recommends but it’s area what interests me. I like to study SLA in the production method more than the prototyping method. And when talk about production I think support removal is just too much work. I think It is the work you can avoid in some cases.
What are the rules when design and print without supports in Form 2?

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I would love to design parts without the need for supports either, but that just isn’t always possible. Supports are there for overhangs (the broadest definition of overhangs possible). Particularly when you look at the advantages of additive manufacturing, you end up getting a bunch of overhangs.

When prototyping for example injection molded parts, the supports are ok because you need to get the exact model of injection molded plastic part.

Making SLA to production method there must be new kind of thinking what form would be. Maybe you have to design “supports” part of the form if there must be overhang. Then you got new kind of form what works for SLA and you don’t have to remove supports. Because there is not much SLA-end-products we don’t actually know what is natural form for SLA-end-product.
Now we just make traditional forms for new technique.

We certainly don’t discourage against printing directly on the platform but it can be a bit more challenging. As @gjgomes mentioned, you want to avoid steep overhangs and islands when printing without supports. Islands are local minima or features that don’t have any material beneath them. The design guide is a great place to check for general specifications.

99% of the things I print can’t be printed without supports, so without completely changing the printer itself there’s really no way to avoid it.

I do think there’s ways to improve the results, the issue right now is that you get extra material cured onto the underside of the print which becomes a bigger issue around supports since resin will stick to that area more. If there were less resin in the tank then I think you can get better results, a mechanism could be designed to push most of the resin away from the print area and leave a thin layer so that the print isn’t covered in resin. Plus exposure to the air will prevent some of the liquid resin from curing on the outside of the print. Overall it could help to give better results and reduce the amount of cleanup around supports.
If you simply had to use the cutters to remove supports and didn’t have to sand, then that would make a big difference.

You need an injection molding machine, not a 3d printer. If you want actual parts, not prototypes…injection molding is the way to go.

This is a very important point. We use our Form2 for prototyping parts that will be made by other means, and thus often need supports. However, when we design parts that will only be produced by the Form2, we design for 3D printing and often can print without supports or with supports on only one flat, easily sandable surface.

Just like milling, turning, injection molding, casting, vacuum forming… every manufacturing method has its limitations and if those are unacceptable then instead of trying to change how the machine works one should just change the manufacturing method, or the design.