3D Printing

Frequently Asked Questions About the Form 2 3D Printer

4 May 2022 | Team EACPDS


What’s the difference between a filament printer and the Form 2 3D Printer?

FDM 3D printers melt a plastic filament, whereas we use a liquid photopolymer resin which is cured with a UV laser.

How does the liquid photopolymer resin work?

The resin contains a photo initiator which when activated causes the short chain monomers and oligomers to bind together into long-chain polymers which causes the resin to solidify.

Why is using a liquid photopolymer resin better?

Since we’re not extruding a thick bead of hot plastic onto the build platform, we can achieve a much finer X/Y accuracy than with an FDM printer. Our curing process creates fully dense, isotropic parts with greater strength, smoothness, and detail.

What is your X/Y accuracy?

We have measured our X/Y accuracy to as fine as .002” or 0.050mm.

What is your minimum feature size?

We have a 150µm minimum feature size.

What is your layer thickness?

25, 50, 100 microns.

What is the laser spot size?

140 microns.

How much calibration does the Form 2 machine require?

Virtually none. We have a factory calibration rig that ensures that the printer is fully calibrated. You do not need to do any tray-leveling. The printer is ready to print within 10 minutes of unboxing.

How big can you print on the Form 2 3D Printer?

Form 2 build volume is 145 mm x 145 mm x 175 mm.

What about finishing?

When a print is finished, there is a thin layer of uncured resin which needs to be washed off. When the print is complete, soak the part in a bath of isopropyl alcohol for about 15-20 minutes to wash off the uncured resin.

What maintenance does the Form 2 require?

The Form 2 requires very little maintenance. The calibration process is done at the factory. The resin tank is a consumable component which will eventually need to be replaced after about 2L of prints (and we are working towards improving this). The resin tank costs $60 US / 55 EUR to replace.

How many 3D prints can you get from the Form 2 with 1 Liter of resin?

Our standard rook uses about 11ml of resin, so you could get about 90 of them from 1L of resin.

What materials do you offer?

We have Standard Resins in Clear, Grey, Black, and White. Our Functional Resins cover a wide range of applications: Flexible, which is ideal for prototyping functional grips, seals, and soft robotics; Tough, a durable and impact-resistant material for sturdy engineering prototypes; Castable, a material for printing detailed jewelry models that can be burned out in investment casting; and Dental SG, a Class I Biocompatible material for printing surgical guides.

What is the shelf life of the resin for the Form 2 printer?

If stored within the cartridge, the resin has a shelf life of about a year, and if stored within the light-blocking resin tank it can be stored safely for about 2-3 months.

What do I do with the unused resin after I finish a print job?

Resin left in the tank after a print job should stay in the tank. It does not need to be poured back into the cartridge.

What’s the difference between laser SLA and DLP?

Laser SLA printing uses a round laser point to trace out the area to be solidified in each layer. DLP projects a single image of each layer, composed of rectangular pixels, in a flash of light. DLP pros: smaller minimum exposure size, faster prints DLP cons: build volume is constrained by x/y resolution; projector bulbs are consumable and need to be replaced; pixels lead to voxelization/aliasing error in x/y plane. Also, the Form 2 has a much smaller footprint than most DLP printers, and can fit more comfortably in most workspaces.


3D Printing