I recently attended a meeting in which Formlabs, a 3D printing company, had displayed really interesting next-generation solutions. They had a large glass booth, the Form Cell, measuring about four feet deep, ten feet long and about six and a half feet tall on display. Inside the UV protected glass booth was where it was all happening.
For starters, there were 5 Form 2 printers lined up in the Form Cell and also the new Form Wash. I was expecting there to be a Form Cure next to the Form Wash, but this was not displayed. Also contained in the booth was a robotic arm. The arm takes new build plates from a rack system and places them into one of the 5 desired printers. The robot also removed finished build plates from the printer and placed them into the Form Wash. Once clean, the build plate is then moved by the robot and placed back in the rack system that holds about 40 build plates. The rack system is opened and accessible from the back of the booth.
The Form booth has huge potential for a much more automated 3D printing operation. The display had 5 printers and I see no reason this could not accommodate more. The product is about a year away from mass distribution, but I was informed that as displayed, it would likely cost less than what we were paying for a single 3D model printer just a couple of years ago. Simply amazing…
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