Repeatedly in life, you hear the phrase “practice what you preach.” A charge to show the world what you’re saying is true and viable. Well, that’s exactly what we did and continue to do here at EAC headquarters.


EAC’s popcorn machine recently had a broken part rendering it difficult to produce popcorn that wasn’t blackened to a crisp. 

The Right Product Design Solution: Onshape

Our design engineers took one look at the problem and took action. Using PTC’s cloud-based Onshape, one engineer began the initial CAD design of the part off-site simultaneously as another designer was able to edit the part geometry on-site. This increased collaboration and excelled design iteration with updates in real-time.

With the initial design completed in Onshape, minor tweaks were made and work through versions 2 and 3 were finished in just a matter of days. The CAD file alone, however, was not going to fix the burnt popcorn issue – it was time for prototyping.

The Right Prototype Solution: Formlabs

Unfortunately, the original part had deteriorated over time which made it difficult to capture accurate measurements. Adjustments to the prototype would have to be made along the way to make sure that it fit just right.

Using our Formlabs 3D printers, the designers printed V1 and V2 on the Form 3+ printer due to the accuracy and speed in which they could turn around a prototype. Since our team wanted to test out their iterations quickly, they took advantage of the new and improved software and hardware offerings on this printer. The off-site designer was able to print the prototype after the on-site designer prepped the printer before leaving the office that same day. As a result they produced functional, high-quality prototypes and end-use parts in record time.

The prototype material used accelerated necessary edits, but was not used for the final product due to the level of heat it would take on sitting above the popcorn kettle. The final piece was printed with Nylon resin on the Fuse 1 printer. This new SLS printer not only sped up the production process, but allowed for long-lasting results using an incredibly durable material. It was time to install the ready-made part – our popcorn machine was going to pop again. 


By using modern collaborative design tools in Onshape, our team was able to seamlessly work together remotely and also quickly iterate a quality design ready for prototyping. Formlabs’ connected printers with remote access, printing, and monitoring created an accurate and durable part that was ready to be put to use.

Together, the two solutions streamlined design, prototyping, and part production processes. Our design engineers saw a problem and practiced what they preach – filling the halls of EAC with the smell of fresh popcorn once again!

Formlabs new 3D printer, the Form 3B, is an advanced stereolithography (SLA) desktop 3D printer optimized for biocompatible (thus, the ‘B’ in Form 3B) materials (resins) and validated workflows.

Form 3B vs Form 3: Which one should I use?

If you are an early adopter and you have already purchased a Form 3 before November 12th of 2019, then you can print all compatible resins on your Form 3 (or Form 2). If you purchase a Formlabs 3D printer AFTER November 12th of 2019, then you have two options.

Form 3B: Exclusively prints ONLY biocompatible resins (surgical guides, hearing devices, etc.)

Form 3: Prints only non-biocompatible resins (anatomical models, device prototypes, etc.)

Form 3B Price

The Form 3B is a little more expensive than the Form 3 – The Form 3 Basic Package starts at $3,499, whereas the Form 3B Basic Package starts at $4,999.

The Form 3B Basic Package includes the 3D printer, Finish Kit, Build, and Tank.

New Surgical Guide Resin

The newest surgical guide resin is an autoclavable, biocompatible resin for 3D printing surgical guides for implant placement. This next generation 3D printing material is for premium-quality surgical implant guides.

This resin is only available for the Form 2, Form 3B, and early 2019 Form 3 printers.

When speaking to beta testers, we found they enjoyed the print clarity, superior mechanical properties, and improved accuracy of the Surgical Guide Resin.

The Surgical Guide Resin is sold at $249.00 per liter and is ideal for:

  • Surgical guides
  • Drilling templates
  • Pilot drill guides
  • Device sizing templates

Available for the Form 3 (Early 2019), Form 3B, and the Form 2. It is not available with the Form 3 (non-biocompatible, purchased after Nov 12).

What does this look like in PreForm software?

Formlabs 3D printing software, PreForm, will update with the PreForm 3.1.3 version and will include print setting for the following resins on Form 3B and early 2019 Form 3:

  • Surgical Guide Resin, 100 microns
  • Grey Resin, 160 microns

The PreForm software will also include the following printer model options:

  • Form 2
  • Form 3 (early 2019)
  • Form 3B

The 'regular' Form 3 (model released after Nov 12, 2019) will come at a later date.

Form 3B