Formlabs’ Form 1 Kickstarter project was the first stereo lithography printer that ended up on peoples’ radars. Its successor, the Form 1+, looked identical but had upgraded internals for increased speed and reliability. Following Formlabs’ $35 million raise last year, the company has focused its attention on its more professional-grade Form 2 printer instead.
The company announced that it will continue to support the printer with consumables (such as build platforms and resin tanks) “for as long as we reasonably can.” The company will also honor existing warranties, and offer replacement parts and replacement units.
While the Form 1 put the company on the map, it has also been plagued with reliability issues. Yours truly has had four of them fail in as many years, and while the company’s customer support has been responsive, it’s hardly the reliability you are looking for in a printer. The Form 2 is a different beast altogether, and while it’s more expensive, it is also aimed at a more high-end set of users, with a number of features making it more suitable for high-end use — not least a laser that is twice as powerful, and a cartridge-based resin system to minimize the hassle involved with having to fill the reservoirs. In addition, Form 2 has a number of resin options that the Form 1 didn’t support.