Formlabs Making Rapid Prototyping Easier with New Resins for Manufacturing and Engineering

November 13, 2020 by Seth Price

Formlabs released two new high stiffness and high-speed resins for 3D printing.

These new resins were explicitly designed for the engineering, dental, and manufacturing markets and intends to make rapid-prototyping easier. 

Formlabs has been producing 3D printers and 3D printing materials since 2011. Formlabs primarily serves the dental industry, making affordable 3D printers for dental offices, oral surgeons, orthodontists, and anyone else who might benefit from printing their own dental models. 

In the last several years, their 3D printing solutions have made their way into the engineering market. 


Rigid 10K Resin

Rigid 10K resin is the stiffest material to date in Formlab’s catalog. The high stiffness makes this resin suitable for making fan and turbine blades, rudders, control surfaces, and other parts that cannot flex during use. 


The 10K resin capabilities shown here. Image courtesy of Formlabs


Parts built with the Rigid 10K resin will be stiff but may fail in a brittle fashion, so that this resin can be a suitable fit for some applications, but not others.

Stiffness is measured using a mechanical 3-point bend test. A rectangular sample is placed like a bridge between two bars, and a third bar is pushed into the middle of the sample from the opposite direction. The stiffer the material, the more pressure required to break the sample. This pressure is called the flexural modulus. 


The 10K resin capabilities shown here. Image courtesy of Formlabs


The Rigid 10K Resin has helped several companies improve the efficiency of their injection molding operations and workflow. One company, in particular, Novus Applications, focuses on consumer packaging. Novus is utilizing this resin to 3D print short-run cores and injection molds. 

When asked about the potential of the resin, Mark Bartlett, President, and Founder of Novus Applications, said, “It was performing at a level that we hadn't seen historically capable in the traditional Rigid [4000] material. I can print complex forms accurately, way faster than I'm going to machine them.” 


Formlabs Draft Resin

Formlabs also reformulated and improved its Draft Resin. Draft Resin is used for rapid-prototyping in engineering and modeling applications. 

The new, proprietary composition can print as much as four times faster than the original Draft Resin formulation, which means ideas can be brought from design to prototyping much quicker than previous resins from Formlabs. 


The Draft resin capabilities shown here. Image courtesy of Formlabs


In the past, it could take days to print a simple, small part on a 3D printer. Scaffolding and supports were printed to hold the dimensions and shape of the part. These had to be removed in a labor-intensive, post-processing step. With a stiffer resin, fewer scaffolds and supports are required, and thus, the processing time is reduced.


Formlabs and Raid Prototyping

Between the Rigid 10X Resin and the new formulation of Draft Resin, rapid-prototyping will impact future prototyping in a variety of industries. 

These new resins may see their way into engineering prototyping and the dental markets very quickly. As their advantages are demonstrated, new markets will open up for these unique materials.