The Formlabs Ecosystem
Formlabs has created a complete, end-to-end system that allows users to 3D print from the convenience of their desktop.
File Processing with PreForm
3D Printing on the Form 2 starts with PreForm, a software package designed to prepare any STL or OBJ for printing. PreForm has several
functions, two of which are essential to quality printing: orientation and support generation. Both of these functions have been automated in
PreForm, allowing users to perform these complicated tasks quickly and reliably. PreForm also automatically repairs files if there are any
issues, ensuring your model’s geometry prints successfully. Once a file has been quickly uploaded to the printer via usb, you can disconnect
your computer, allowing the system to run alone or even overnight. PreForm doesn’t cost anything.
Once a file has been prepared for 3D printing, a specific resin type must be selected for the print. There is a growing library of acrylate
photopolymer resins in two categories: Standard and Functional Standard resins feature tensile strength comparable to monolithic ABS in a variety of shades and transparencies useful for prototyping. Functional resins allow designers to take advantage of material properties for specialized applications, such as flexibility or clean burnout properties for investment casting. With multiple light-blocking resin trays, materials can be swapped in seconds and stored near the printer.
After a part has been printed, it will still be coated with excess liquid resin. Each Formlabs printer includes a finish kit designed to make part
cleaning simple and organized. Users remove models from the build platform and then wash parts in isopropyl alcohol for 20 minutes. Once
the part is dried, users can easily remove the part using the flush cutters and the print is ready for final use.