Xfab vs. Formlabs

When I decided to purchase the Form2, it was partly because of the fact that it is SLA instead of filament. The second was that it was reasonably priced as compared to the Xfab from Italy or the Cube. The drawback seems to be the varieties of resins and technologies that that especially Xfab offer that seem miles ahead. They have several injection resin clones, they have multiple process resolutions for varying areas of the part, they have water soluble support material that would make removing support fast and smooth. I hope Formlabs is able to catch up with Xfab, but when they do it will probably obsolete the Form2 I just received. Even so I am really enjoying the Form2.

Tenho uma Impressora do mesmo fabricante da XFAB, uma DWS 028 e tem uma acabamento perfeito na superfície da peças e baixo índice de manutenção quase nada, esperamos que a F2 chegue a esse nível de qualidade e baixo índice de problemas mecânicos.

I am glad you are enjoying the Form 2. It’s automatic, but PreForm does now slice your supports at coarse resolution whenever you print finer than 100 µm layers, at least for most materials. As for supports, I think you may be mistaken: I am unaware of any production SLA/DLP printer with a different support material.

As for adding more materials, it’s certainly an area we are working on.

I’m not seeing anything about water soluble support material–that’s not possible with this type of printer, since you have a tray of liquid resin you can’t mix multiple materials in the same print. You would have to clean the print to be able to print with a different material and that’s not reasonable to do for every layer. The best option we can hope for a with an SLA printer is to have the support areas to be very sharp and clean so that you only have to clean where the support touches the printer. Right now, all of the SLA printers have the issue of over-curing the underside of the print which ruins detail on the bottom and makes support points harder to clean.


Can you tell us why the Form 1+ does not have the ability to print supports at 100 micron while the model is printed at 50 or 25 micron. If Formlabs doesn’t want to support this feature for a reason I can not think of, can this feature be implemented in the OpenFL version?


Printing supports at a different resolution would likely cause the supports not to work, for example if you have an unsupported area you have a 50%-75% chance that it won’t print the support until after the unsupported part gets printed.

Then why is it a feature in the Form 2?


It would be possible to implement this with OpenFL by post processing the slice files that are generated by PreForm and removing/modifying the early layers before you get to the model. It could probably be made into a little script/app that can be run easily.

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@DavidRosenfeld, as of today, that feature is available for Form 1 and Form 1+ in PreForm 2.7.0 http://formlabs.com/products/preform/release-notes/. I wish I could have replied earlier. :slight_smile:

That said, as Max pointed out, things like that can be done with OpenFL.

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Thank you @MaximLobovsky and @BenFrantzDale! This is a great feature and I am glad that the 1, 1+ was included. I can’t wait to try it out.

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