|Technology||Powder Bed Fusion > SLS|
|Material||Thermoplastics > Engineering (PC, nylon…)|
|Topic||SLS 3D printing|
|Build volume||165 × 165 × 320 mm6.5 × 6.5 × 12.6 in|
Formlabs Fuse 1 overview
The Formlabs Fuse 1 is a professional SLS 3D printer manufactured by Formlabs, a Massachusetts-based company founded in September 2011. Formlabs is known for their SLA resin 3D printers (like the Form 3B), the Fuse 1 is the first SLS 3D printer to enter their lineup.
The Formlabs Fuse 1 was announced in June 2017 and started shipping almost four years later, in early 2021.
This 3D printer uses the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printing technology. The SLS 3D printing process uses a laser to precisely fuse Nylon powder layer after layer, until the part is finally done.
Formlabs Fuse 1 SLS 3D printer : features and characteristics
The SLS 3D printing process builds parts from a powder bed, which means that they can be produced support-free. Surrounding powder acts as support for the part being built.
As a consequence, the Fuse 1’s SLS technology also allows for high geometric complexity of designs, offering a great level of detail.
SLS 3D printers also generates much smoother surface finish than FFF 3D printers.
Another key feature of the Fuse 1 is that un-sintered material (that acted as support material during the build) can be re-used to limit waste, and new builds can use up to 70% recycled powder according to the Formlabs website.
Fuse 1 SLS workflow
The Fuse 1 is equipped with two separate build volumes or chambers. That means that once one build is completed, users can directly launch a second build while they remove the first one.
This is a real time-saver, as post-processing steps for powder 3D prints can be quite long to carry out. Depowdering happens in the dedicated Fuse Sift, a separate “all-in-one powder recovery” machine that de-powders prints and prepares unused powder for re-use.
In terms of 3D file preparation and printer control, Formlabs offers PreForm desktop software.
3D printing materials for the Formlabs Fuse 1
The available 3D printing materials include high-strength and chemical-resistant plastics PA12 and PA11, used in the industry for functional prototyping and end-use parts. PA stands for Polyamide, more commonly known as Nylon.
Nylon has some very interesting properties for prototyping, but also for production series:
- Bends and returns to its original form, rather than fracturing suddenly like ABS or PLA does.
- Great for structural, load-bearing, or mechanical parts.
- Suitable for high-temperature applications and parts that must tolerate heat.
Formlabs Fuse 1: FAQ
How much do materials for the Formlabs Fuse 1 cost?
Formlabs’ proprietary PA12 is priced at around $100 per kilogram. Nylon PA12 is the industry standard to make strong end-use parts and durable prototypes.
What is the Formlabs Fuse 1’s accuracy?
The Fuse 1, using the SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) 3D printing process, can produce high-quality objects and parts, with a minimum layer thickness of 110 µm. Its 10W Ytterbium Fiber laser sports a spot size of 200 microns.
The Fuse 1 is designed to 3D print objects with the same mechanical properties that can be expected from a professional 3D printing service bureau.
Formlabs Fuse 1 price
The price of the Formlabs Fuse 1 starts at $18,499 for the 3D printer only. The accompanying Fuse Sift is priced at $8,999.