In addition to announcing the Fuse 1 3D printer yesterday, Formlabs also launched an automated 3D printing production solution called the Form Cell – a configurable production station for designers, engineers and manufacturers.
Here’s what you need to know about it:
The Form Cell
The Form Cell is an automated 3D printing production solution, consisting of a row of Form 2 3D printers, a Form Wash station, and an industrial-grade robotic gantry system. The gantry safely removes print beds from the 3D printers, moving them to the wash station. Once the wash cycle is complete, the gantry lifts the model out for post-processing.
By combining a row of Form 2 3D printers with a robotic gantry, Formblabs has created a production station that eliminates the most repetitive parts of the 3D printing process. By eliminating the most repetitive parts of the 3D printing process, and by having a row of Form 2 3D printers working in unison, the Form Cell offers increased uptime and reduced costs-per-part for manufacturers – two essentials for SLA 3D printing to become a more sustainable production method.
As previously touched upon, the Form Cell station consists of a row of Form 2 3D printers, a Form Wash station, and an industrial-grade robotic gantry system. These are networked together, so they operate in unison. The station parallelises these components, creating a true 3D printing production line for manufacturers.
The maximum number of Form 2 3D printers allowed in the setup is five, so if you only need two or three for small batch manufacturing, that’s fine. The whole system can be controlled remotely and it does not need to be monitored in-person, so it can operate by itself for a near 24-hour production time. This is an incredibly important feature, since stereolithography 3D printers in general are not the fastest – although they do capture outstanding detail.
On the Form Cell, Max Lobovsky, CEO of Formlabs, said: “With Form Cell, we are making an efficient, scalable production solution by leveraging the Form 2, an SLA print engine that has already stood the test of printing more than 10 million parts.”
David Lakatos, chief product officer of Formlabs, added: “By enabling teams to easily iterate and also to directly manufacture final products, Fuse 1 and Form Cell open up a wealth of innovation flexibility within the product development cycle, from early prototyping to manufacturing.”
To find out more about the Formlabs Form Cell, visit the official Formlabs page.