After Fuse1 launched, I noticed one thing.
Production-Ready Materials for the Fuse 1.
Production-Ready Elastic 3D Printing Material
Does this mean rest of resin materials for Form 3 aren’t for final product? Even ABS-like Tough 2000 and PP-like Tough 1500?
I wonder Formlabs is going to make more various types of production-ready resin…
I mean it is time. When the cost of running 3D printing goes down and the 3D printing production efficiency goes higher, there will be motivation for companies to make production-ready material.
Now, prototyping is good enough and people would love to pay a high price for prototyping since they know the production will be done in the traditional way. Then, who cares if the material of prototyping is production ready or not?
The only reason for the rebound resin to be developed is because that geometry can’t be produced by the traditional injection molding and also people actually loves buying those shoes. So here you go, production ready resin!
Nylon SLS has always been touted by Formlabs as more “production-grade”. It’s pretty durable stuff compared to many of the more brittle SLA resins.
I think Rebound was originally custom-developed for New Balance. After some time Formlabs made it available to other select partners by way of materials consulting agreements, and apparently it’s a bit more involved to work with. There was some speculation it also smells more while printing. I wouldn’t be surprised if New Balance had an exclusivity arrangement for a period of time. I’d sure love to see something with its properties made more generally available.
I talked with some manufacturers for the 3D printing rubber shoe soles. They are saying the end material is still rubber-like as the base which normally are made up of A & B two parts ( one is the rubber, anther is the hardner). To implement 3D printing into it, companies mixed UV-sensitive resin with the AB material and use 3D printers to form up the shape of the sole.
However, the pour time for these AB rubber is like a few hours before it becomes hard. In order to finish a sole in such a short time, you need a high-speed 3D printer which later comes the Carbon 3D the high-speed DLP machine perfectly fits for this way.
Also, you need post-process to hard the sole. That’s why the newly printed sole has to be put into a heated oven to further cure the resin and also hard the material. This gives the sole as a final using product.
Apparently, Formlabs doesn’t have the speed. Based on my understanding, that’s why they didn’t do a full sole instead of only a small section. Also, they still haven’t released the material to the public. I guess it is a mixed material with other rubber/silicone which requires a lot of post finishing that normal person can’t achieve by just load and print.
It was more that a whole sole didn’t fit very well on the Form 3 build area.
haha, but you have the Form3L now.
Small bit of trivia: I recall hearing some Formling or another mention in a talk at some point that New Balance and being able to print a whole shoe sole drove the measurements for one axis on the 3L. Like, it was going to be a bit shorter but they nudged it up to accommodate.
The Rebound resin is pretty “exotic” at this point and “requires a minimum quantity commitment”. I’m guessing that’s due to special processing requirements, etc. that require the direct consultation with an FL engineer (or maybe there are pre-processing steps that only have a reasonable ROI at high scale).
Anyway, would be nice to have these kinds of resins available for the masses,
The material specs do not seem particularly good for production parts that carry a load. They actually seem pretty close to Tough 2000 resin prints (which becomes brittle over time). Compare the specs to thermal PA, PP or PC and you will find it’s not very close. MJF PA11 is just starting to get us to the point of production grade materials but that is relatively new to the market and requires an extremely expensive printer.
For production, when looking at the build volume and material cost of the Fuse 1, I can’t see how it is more economical than bulk ordering from print services. The only difference is the time to produce a part and iterate over a given design. In that regard, the benefit is more akin to prototyping.
For my production needs, I’ll be investing my $40K into a new CNC mill and a better injection molding machine.
Gillette has been using form2 and form cell for mass customization razor handles.
Does Gillette use special resin that has not published to publics? Is this a unique resin as rebound resin?
Is this resin approved to use for mass production? Is this resin pass the safety test?
I wonder if it is alright to use Formlabs resin for small quantity production? For example, It says Tough 2000 is similar to ABS but it is not actually a ABS… would Tough 2000 can use on electroplating?