When in 2011 a group of students started the garage production of their 3D printers, hardly anyone expected that their company – Formlabs, will soon be a colossal success. A few years later, the company obtained the status of a unicorn, while cooperating with the largest in the 3D printing industry. Successive building of the brand value meant that Formlabs is no longer associated with the solution for hobbyists and amateurs, but with devices and materials for professionals.
The manufacturer’s portfolio of materials is constantly expanded with specialized resins, adapted to specific applications. Yesterday, Formlabs first introduced Tough 1500 resin, dedicated to the production of components that must be both durable and flexible.
We are talking about solutions where the element must be rigid, but also flexible – subjected to cyclic bending must return to its original shape. The number in the name Tough 1500 refers to the modulus of elasticity of the material, given in megapascals. Full technical specification available on the manufacturer’s website.
Tough 1500 is the first resin for engineering applications, dedicated to the latest Form 3 production unit (can also be used as a consumable for 3D Form 2 printers). The material is distinguished by stiffness and flexibility, which makes it resemble polypropylene. Due to the tech features, the resin will work in the production of handles, joints or elements subjected to periodic deflection.
What’s more, as an example of applications, the manufacturer also gives functional prototypes of parts that are ultimately to be made of polypropylene. The resin, due to its properties, can be placed between Tough materials – a material simulating the characteristics of ABS and Durable, i.e. a resin simulating PP polypropylene. All three materials are part of the Formlabs family of high-strength engineering materials.
One of the first users of the material became the company Unplugged Performance, which is a global leader in optimizing vehicle performance, closely cooperating with the manufacturer of electric cars Tesla. The company uses 3D printing technology to produce sensor mounts placed on vehicle bumpers. The implementation of incremental technologies allowed them to shorten the assembly process time, which increased production capacity by three cars a day.
Formlabs gives the option to order proofs, giving users the option of verifying the material’s properties themselves.