Considered by many to be among the best desktop 3D printers for creating high resolution parts, the SLA-based Form 1+ from FormLabs is also unique in that it is capable of using a variety of resin materials to satisfy different print needs.
Currently, the FormLabs lineup of resin materials – which come in 1-liter bottles and are poured directly into a resin tray that can be covered for reuse when not in use – include “Standard”, “Castable” and “Flexible”. Now, the company is adding “Tough” to that lineup and is effectively giving users a more durable resin option for more demanding design and engineering applications.
“Tough is durable, adaptive, and impact-resistant. Perfect for engineering challenges, this sturdy, ABS-like material has been developed to withstand high stress or strain. It’s ideal for snap-fit joints and other rugged prototypes.”
While the company’s Standard resin is actually quite strong, it will eventually snap under too much force. In comparison, the Tough resin is able to find a nice balance between strength and ductility to allow more ‘give’ under stress. Under heavy stress conditions, parts printed using the Tough resin will absorb the energy and actually deform before they ever snap or shatter.
Ultimately, the natural characteristics of the material allow for it to be more durable and impact resistant compared to traditional 3D printed parts. While there are other 3D printers that are capable of printing parts with similar characteristics, many are sold in the tens of thousands of dollars and don’t fit on your desktop.
To show off the capabilities of the new material, FormLabs just released a new video that shows the material being tested in a Rube Goldberg machine:
Interested users can pick up a 1-liter bottle of the wonder resin for $175 over at FormLabs.