Editor’s Pick: Production ready 3D printing with recycling

Formlabs Fuse 1 SLS 3D printer is a production-ready system that can fit on a desktop.

Formlabs Fuse 1 SLS 3D printer is a production-ready system that can fit on a desktop.

The Formlabs Fuse 1 and Fuse Sift offer a modular production system for SLS printing with significant use of recycled materials. Image courtesy of Formlabs.

Formlabs introduces the Fuse 1 Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printer, a production-ready printer that can fit on a workbench. The company says the Fuse 1 is the centerpiece of a new production system offering production-ready Nylon printing, uses recycled powder, and can be set for continuous printing.

The company also introduces Fuse Sift, an all-in-one post-processing system that recovers powder as well as facilitating part extraction, powder storing and powder mixing. Using Fuse Sift and a second (optional) Fuse 1 build chamber allows production of fully functional parts at a 30% powder refresh rate at unlimited cycles. The company says this refresh rate allows the Fuse 1 system to print parts with up to 70% recycled powder.

Nylon 12 is now available for the Fuse 1, with Nylon 11 coming soon. Formlabs says Nylon 12 is good for both functional prototypes, final parts, and complex assemblies.  It is rated for a tensile strength of 50 MPa, with elongation at X/Y break of 11%.

“SLS 3D printing shouldn’t be solely for those with big budgets; it needs to be accessible so all companies—from startup to big manufacturer—can benefit from the design freedom and high productivity SLS 3D printing provides,” says Formlabs CEO and co-founder Max Lobovsky.

Features of the Fuse 1 system include easily switchable build chambers for continuous printing; new Surface Armor technology that creates a semi-sintered shell around the part to protect the surface during the print process; and a material refresh rate of 30%. The company notes that Fuse 1 does not need supports during the print process, increasing its ability to be frugal with powder.

Image courtesy of Formlabs.

“We previously used an outsourced injection-molding workflow to deliver prosthetic fingers to patients young and old,” says beta tester Matthew Mikosz of Partial Hand Solutions. “But the process was extremely slow and did not allow for the personalization needed for each patient. Fuse 1 gives us the design freedom needed to truly customize our prosthetics and the high productivity and throughput necessary to quickly get this solution to our patents.”

Formlabs says its cloud-based dashboard software provides a user-friendly way to control and track production.

Build volume is 6.5x6.5x11.8 in. Layer thickness is 110 microns. Laser spot size is 200 microns. The printer fits into a space of 27x25.4x41.9 in.

The Fuse 1 starts at $18,499, with a complete setup starting at $31,845. The Fuse 1 and Fuse Sift are now available directly from Formlabs.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website. 

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