“It’s time we bring back the human touch, and get our hands dirty again.”
Formlabs has introduced the Fuse 1 selective laser sintering (SLS) desktop 3D printer. It’s a slight departure from their resin-based 3D printer focus that catapulted the company to the heights as the standard for high-quality SLA parts. However, it lines up directly with their mission of putting powerful 3D printers with superior quality in the hands of professionals.
Here’s the launch trailer that will have half of you standing and clapping and the others throwing off the couch cushion looking for spare change.
Where their Form 2 SLA printer uses an array of photosensitive resins to build parts layer-by-layer, the Fuse 1 uses a strong, flexible, heat-tolerant polyamide (nylon) powder. The Fuse 1 sinters the powder using a 10W laser at speeds of 10mm/hour. Here’s a nice SLA vs SLS comparison from Sculpteo.
Fuse 1 SLS 3D Printer Specs
- Build volume: 6.5″ x 6.5″ x 12.6″ (165 x 165 x 320 mm)
- Build speed: 10 mm/hr
- Layer thickness: 100 μm
- Startup time: 60 minutes
- Network: Ethernet or Wi-Fi
- Dimensions: 26.7″ x 26.3″ x 41.7″ (677 x 668 x 1059 mm)
- Weight: 194 lb (88 kg)
- Power: 2 kW, 120 or 240 VAC
- Scan Speed: 2,000 mm/sec
- Lasaer Power: 10 W
- Software: Formlabs PreForm
- Format support: .STL or .OBJ
Fuse 1 (Printer only) – $9999 USD
Fuse 1 System (Printer, Cleaning sysyem, Service plan) – $19999 USD
- View the complete Fuse 1 tech specs here
The consideration in design had my two-year old clapping – a small desktop footprint, powder recovery and removable build chamber. When you realize you can use the entire volume for a single build or multiple other builds then switch out the build chamber to repeat the process there’s a hefty dose of realized potential with the phrase at the end of their video to put “the means of production back in your hands.”
The Fuse 1 starts at $9999 USD (printer only )and is currently available for reservations with a $1000 deposit and an option to be part of the Fuse 1 beta. Nylon is the only material at the moment, but were nibbling our fingers already thinking about the addition of metal powders. Though the build size is smaller than the MUCH pricier 3D Systems ProX or sPro printers, the cost is substantially/laughably less, and just a bit more than some of the other desktop SLS printers coming on the market in the past year that don’t have the Formlabs reputation quite yet.
Do you have a Formlabs Form 2? Is the Fuse 1 something you see as a machine that could move you from prototype work to production work? Take their example in the video of a custom bicycle seat. Those range in price from $200 to $700 and up. 20 custom bike seats later and you’ve paid for the printer. So, whatcha think? Will this make the production of custom goods more accessible?