Fuse 1 SLS 3D Printer – The Hype Is Real

Fuse 1

The Formlabs Fuse 1 is the Formlabs’ first Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printer. It manufactures highly complex and intricate parts with unique geometries, using a high-powered laser to selectively ‘sinter’ material as opposed to a mechanical print head in FFF or a laser resin curing system in SLA.

With a build volume of 165 x 165 x 300 mm (6.5 x 6.5 x 11.8 in) and a maximum build speed of 10 mm / hour (0.39 in / hour), the Fuse 1 satisfies rapid prototyping demands, and in combination with the Fuse Sift, it has a powder recovery system that extracts, recovers, stores and mixes nylon powder with a 30% material refresh rate.

The advanced technology is used to manufacture production-ready nylon 12 parts, which are robust enough for mechanical applications. It prints resilient, ready-to-use nylon parts that require no post-processing or curing (as with SLA).

Now, eleven months on from its launch in January, we can assess how much of an impact the printer has had in the 3D printing community.

The market was ready for the Fuse 1

The ability to prototype and produce parts on one machine is a huge factor in the adoption of the Fuse 1. Users are now able to take a new product from concept to production on a single machine which massively reduces time to market and R&D costs.

Nylon is an exceptionally durable material, but it is abrasive and difficult to 3D print. The existing technologies that print it – FFF – have limited geometry potential, constrained by the movement of the print head and its mechanics.

The Fuse 1 is different. It uses SLS technology, long trusted by engineers and large manufacturers for its ability to print strong, functional prototypes and end-use parts. The key advantages of SLS are as follows:

  • Ideal isotropic mechanical process
  • High level of accuracy (higher than FFF)
  • No support structure
  • Prints intricate geometries and infills
  • Surface Armor technology (proprietary to Formlabs) creates a semi-sintered shell to protect the surface of the parts as it prints

The Formlabs ecosystem is a winner 

The main thing that customers are saying about the Fuse 1 is how great it is to use an SLS system in the Formlabs ecosystem.

Customers are already familiar with PreForm (Formlabs’ print preparation software), so the learning curve isn’t as steep as customers initially thought.

Printing with the Fuse 1 has a few differences to the Form 3. For a start, you load the printer with nylon powder rather than liquid resin. The printer also has its own category of models in PreForm, with pre-defined settings.

The other thing people seem to love is the material, PA12. It’s a great, all-purpose, versatile material that can be used for prototyping as well as durable end-use parts.

With an expansive build chamber and the ability to reuse nylon powder, the Fuse 1 offers SLS 3D printing for a low cost per part than other machines. Fuse Sift, the recycling system, is unique and a gamechanger for the industry.

Ultimately, what we have here is a revolutionary 3D printer for printing nylon. There’s nothing else like it! It’s the world’s first benchtop SLS printer, creating an end-to-end production workflow through the Formlabs ecosystem.

To find out more about the Formlabs Fuse 1 request a Formlabs sample, call us on 01765 694 007, or send us an email at sales@additive-x.com. You can also book a discovery call with our Formlabs specialists Elaine Rutledge or Tammy O’Neill.

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