BioMed Resins Blog Image

Formlabs introduced two new elastomeric and biocompatible resins. The BioMed Flex 80A Resin and BioMed Elastic 50A Resin seamlessly blend flexibility with essential biocompatibility certifications that cater to a growing demand of specific requirements. Open the door to new applications in healthcare and manufacturing with Formlabs’ new biocompatible, flexible resins.


Why Medical Grade Materials Matter

Creating end-use flexible parts has posed significant cost challenges. These parts can include customized devices, patient-specific surgical models, and short-term wearable or skin-contact devices. Furthermore, many companies have been constrained to offering standardized options.

Several hospital researchers utilize flexible materials that are not biocompatible for training and educational purposes. However the problem is that they are unable to employ them in the operating room (O.R.) where hands-on learning is critical.

Implementing a flexible and biocompatible 3D printing workflow enables hospitals and medical service companies to incorporate these models into the O.R. and expand their array of producible parts. Additionally, this advancement enhances the quality of patient care and ensures incredible cost savings for providers. 


Meet the Trifecta: Flexibility, Transparency, and Biocompatibility

In the realm of producing biocompatible rigid components, numerous companies have discovered that 3D printing can offer a cost-effective production solution. However, when it comes to elastomeric parts, it has not proven viable. This is in part due to the limited availability of materials meeting the necessary shore hardness, elongation at break, and strict biocompatibility criteria.

Although previous materials like Formlabs Elastic 50A Resin and Flexible 80A Resin have been great for prototyping, tightly regulated workflows might have been holding you back. Traditionally, professionals within these sectors typically had to depend on cumbersome multi-step silicone molding procedures. This workflow is both labor intensive and very messy.

Alternatively, they had to resort to costly outsourcing with contract manufacturers. Now our customers can do more.

Biocompatibility approvals for long-term skin, and short-term mucosal contact opens doors to innovative workflows. Additionally, it allows for short production cycles, personalized wearables, and beyond. Both materials are ISO 10993 and USP Class VI tested, and produced in a Formlabs ISO 13485 certified facility, so you can print with confidence.


BioMed Flex 80A

Now, the BioMed Flex 80A resin streamlines workflows. Essentially select the STL file and print.

BioMed Flex 80A is the firmest flexible material in the Formlabs family of BioMed resins. Choose BioMed Flex 80A Resin to directly print patient-specific medical devices requiring flexibility. Additionally, it is great for firm tissue models that surgeons can reference in the O.R.

BioMed Flex 80A Resin has a Shore hardness (the measured hardness of a cured material) of 80A and elongation of 120% at break. This means that the printed parts will return to their original shape after deformation. Doing so allows the manipulation of the part during study or testing.

These parts can be used for flexible components on devices and patient-specific instruments such as short-term mucosal membrane tubes that can be customized to the patient’s anatomy. For surgeons, anatomical models that more closely resemble firm tissue can be brought into the O.R. for study and reference during a procedure. Accordingly, this been shown to improve outcomes and shorten patient recovery time. 

Furthermore, BioMed Flex 80A is ISO 10993 and USP Class VI certified material is produced in an FDA-registered, ISO 13485 facility and can be used in applications requiring long-term skin contact or short-term mucosal membrane contact.

Ultimate Tensile Strength

7.2 MPa


Tear Strength

22 kN/m


BioMed Flex 80A Resin Biocomps

Long-term skin (>30 days), short-term mucosal membrane contact(< 24 hours), and USP Class VI certifications.


Printer Compatibility

The BioMed Flex 80A resin is compatible with Formlabs’ Form 3B, Form 3B+, and Form 3BL. If you have an “early” Form 3 printer-  please contact us to check compatibility.


Curing Best Practices

First, place the part in a glass beaker that fits the part. Then, make sure the part is fully covered by the water. Formlabs says that tap water does work and any water on hand should be fine.


BioMed Elastic 50A Resin

BioMed Elastic 50A Resin is the softest elastomeric material in the Formlabs biocompatible family of BioMed resins. Before, customers were using silicone molds or using Elastic 50A Resin. However, the Elastic 50A Resin has no bio comp, and creating silicone mold processings and parts is cumbersome and time-consuming. Now, with BioMed Elastic 50A Resin, you can easily print flexible parts.

As a result, it is empowering healthcare professionals and medical device engineers with new design possibilities and efficiencies.

Customers can choose BioMed Elastic 50A Resin to directly print patient-specific medical devices with enhanced comfort or soft tissue models surgeons can reference in the O.R. By directly printing devices or models, BioMed Elastic 50A Resin eliminates labor time and cost.

The resin is equipped with a shore hardness of 50A and 150% elongation at break, meaning the parts can be easily bent, manipulated, and compressed, enabling components such as gaskets and seals or thin, flexible enclosures for medical device companies.

BioMed Resins 50A Blog Image

BioMed Elastic 50A Resin’s transparent properties mean that tube-like parts can show fluid moving through them. So customized, biocompatible fluidic devices can be manufactured cost-effectively in medical settings. 

BioMed Elastic 50A is ISO 10993 and USP Class VI certified material is produced in an FDA-registered, ISO 13485 facility. And it can be used in applications requiring long-term skin contact or short-term mucosal membrane contact. 


Ultimate Tensile Strength

2.3 MPa

Tear Strength

11 kN/m


BioMed Elastic 50A Biocomps

Long-term skin (>30 days), short-term mucosal membrane contact(< 24 hours), and USP Class VI certifications.


Printer Compatibility

BioMed Elastic 50A works with the Formlabs Form 3B printer, the Form 3B+, and the Form 3BL too. If you have an “early” Form 3 printer-  please contact us to check compatibility.


Helping Medical Device Manufacturers and Healthcare Professionals Succeed

In conclusion, ​​adapting to evolving needs using Formlabs Medical 3D printers and biocompatible resins in-house is easier than ever before. The lack of flexible and biocompatible material choices has limited the use of 3D printing within hospitals and medical service bureaus, despite the considerable advantages 3D printing offers.

With the growing options of biocompatible materials from Formlabs, combining 3D printing into a broader range of workflows and applications is now possible. In fact, this improves patient care, and saves money. And lastly, it broadens the scope of possibilities.

Whether it’s research and development, production tooling, or creating biocompatible end-use parts, harness the power of 3D printing to introduce advanced, custom patient devices to the market.


Order a free sample from us or talk to an Additive Manufacturing Specialist to order your resin today.

Tool laying flat on a table


Flame retardant resin, also known as fire-resistant resin, is a type of polymer material specifically formulated to resist ignition and inhibit the spread of flames. The purpose of flame retardant resins is to reduce flammability and slow down the burning rate of the materials they are incorporated into.


Different types of flame retardant additives are used in resin formulations, including halogenated compounds, phosphorus-based compounds, nitrogen-based compounds, and mineral fillers. They release flame-inhibiting gases, form a protective char layer, or interrupt the combustion process. The specific mechanism varies depending on the flame retardant additives used and the resin matrix.

Advantages and disadvantages of each type come down to fire performance, environmental impact, and processing requirements. 

  • Phosphorus-based flame retardants, such as phosphates or phosphonates, are commonly used in flame retardant resins. They can work by forming a protective char layer on the material’s surface, which acts as a barrier to heat and oxygen, thus slowing down the combustion process.


  • Nitrogen-based flame retardants, like melamine or melamine derivatives, release inert gases with heat exposure, diluting the oxygen concentration and suppressing the flame.


  • Mineral fillers, such as aluminum hydroxide or magnesium hydroxide, work by absorbing heat during combustion and releasing water vapor, which helps cool down the material and prevent the spread of flames.


  • Halogenated flame retardants, such as brominated or chlorinated compounds, have traditionally been widely used due to their effectiveness. However, they have raised concerns about their potential toxicity and environmental persistence. As a result, there has been a shift towards developing more environmentally friendly alternatives- Inquire about Formlab’s new Halogen-free Flame Retardant Resin.


It’s important to note that the choice of flame retardant resin depends on the specific requirements of the application, including fire safety regulations, environmental considerations, and performance criteria. It is commonly used in various applications for industries such as aerospace, automotive, electronics, construction materials, electrical and electronic devices, automotive components, textiles, and more. Different industries and regions may have specific standards and regulations governing the use of flame retardant materials.


Flame Resistant Material and Additive Manufacturing

Formlabs adds to their extensive Resin Library with new Flame Resistant resin. The favorable flame, smoke, and toxicity (FST) ratings are crucial in applications where fire safety is a concern. These ratings imply that FR Resin performs well when exposed to fire, produces minimal smoke, and exhibits low toxicity, making it suitable for use in environments to mitigate fire risk where people or sensitive equipment may be affected.

With that comes new opportunities with additive manufacturing for industries such as aerospace, electrical and airplane, automobile, and railway interior parts, protective and internal consumer electronics components, and custom jigs, fixtures, and replacement parts for industrial environments.


Product Description: Flame Retardant (FR)Resin is a self-extinguishing, halogen-free, certified UL94V-0SLA material with favorable flame, smoke, and toxicity (FST) ratings. It offers a 2.9 GPa tensile modulus (elasticity) and a heat deflection temperature (HDT) of 112 °C @ 0.45 MPa (pressure).


In the context of 3D printing, “halogen-free” refers to materials or resins that do not contain halogen elements such as chlorine (Cl), bromine (Br), or fluorine (F). Halogen-free formulations are sought after for a variety of reasons, including environmental concerns, health and safety considerations, and regulatory requirements.


When exposed to high temperatures, halogen-based compounds can release corrosive and toxic gases, which can be harmful to human health and the environment. By eliminating halogens, Formlabs FR Resin contributes to better fire safety and reduced toxicity.


The ability to 3D print with Formlabs Flame Resistant Resin offers several advantages-

First, 3D printing allows for complex geometries and intricate designs that may be difficult or impossible to achieve with traditional manufacturing methods.


Second, the high part quality ensures that the printed components meet the required specifications and have reliable mechanical properties.


Lastly, the high creep resistance of FR Resin and heat resistance ensures that the printed parts maintain their dimensional stability and structural integrity even under prolonged mechanical stress or elevated temperatures.


Overall, FR Resin is a versatile and reliable material for 3D printing flame-retardant parts, and provides a combination of fire safety, heat resistance, and processability, making it a suitable choice for manufacturing parts that need to withstand challenging environments while allowing for additional post-fabrication operations and optional post-processing steps.


When working with flame retardant resins for 3D printing, it’s crucial to follow Formlabs guidelines, including printing parameters, post-processing requirements, and safety precautions. Additionally, it may be necessary to comply with industry-specific fire safety standards and regulations for the intended application of the 3D-printed parts.


Always reference the Safety Data Sheet in accordance to OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200 as of March 2023.


Formlabs Flame Resistant Certifications

Flame Retardant Resin is UL94 V-0 and FAR25.853 certified.

Formlabs is UL 94 V-0 certified and has test data on FAR 25.853 Appendix F, Part I (a) (1) (ii)12 seconds Vertical Burn as well as smoke (ASTM E662) and toxicity tests (BSS 7229).


Flame Retardant (FR) Resin’s self-extinguishing properties and UL94 V-0 certification indicate that it has undergone rigorous testing and meets high safety standards. The UL 94 V-0 rating is achieved for a minimum wall thickness of 3mm.


The following table contains additional correspondence between FAR, Airbus, and Boeing standards.


Formlabs Printer Compatibility with FR Resins


New Formlabs Flame Retardant Resins are compatible with the following printers: 


It is also compatible with the listed Formlabs Resin Tanks:

  • Form 3/3B Resin Tank V1
  • Form 3/3B Resin Tank V2
  • Form 3/3B Resin Tank V2.1
  • Form 3L/3BL Resin Tank V1
  • Form 3L/3BL Resin Tank V2


Use Formlabs Flame Retardant Resins with the build platforms: 

  • Form 3 Build Platform
  • Form 3 Build Platform 2
  • Form 3L Build Platform
  • Form 3L Build Platform 2


Note: Print settings for this material may not be available yet on Form 3L and Form 3BL printers. Talk to an EAC expert for additional support.


Special Workflow Considerations

Formlabs experts highly recommend shaking the resin cartridges vigorously while rotating occasionally for at least 2 minutes before starting your first print. Failure to do so may affect the flame retardancy properties of your printed parts. If it has been more than 2 weeks since your last print, shake the cartridge again for 2 min and stir the resin in the tank before printing.


The resin is viscous, so allowing it to automatically dispense into a new tank for the first time before printing will result in a printer timeout error. Instead, please follow the instructions for manually pre-filling the resin tank before printing.


Due to the viscosity of Flame Retardant Resin, Formlabs recommends priming a new resin tank to reduce print time and avoid tank fill error messages.

  • Priming a Form 3: Unscrew the vent cap at the top of the cartridge and manually pour around 350 ml of the resin into the new resin tank bank.

  • Priming a Form 3L: Unscrew the vent cap at the top of the cartridge and manually pour the contents of one full cartridge of resin into the new resin tank.

The parts made from the flame-retardant resin can undergo optional post-processing steps like painting or electroplating. This offers flexibility in terms of the final appearance or functionality of the parts, as they can be customized to meet specific requirements.


Sanding or polishing to create a smoother surface by removing scratch marks can be done after the post-cure. Sanding with 600-grit sandpaper is sufficient to remove support nubs. Using a lower grit may additionally abrade the surface. For a smoother finish, higher-grit sandpaper up to 3000 grit can be used. Alternatively, polishing wheels combined with a rotary tool can be used for a quicker and even surface finish.


It is important to note that priming or polishing the surface of parts printed with Flame Retardant Resin with mineral oil or other flammable lubricants may invalidate the UL flammability rating.


Additionally, small negative features may be difficult to fully clean due to the resin’s high viscosity. Make sure to clean your parts thoroughly before post-curing! Consider using pressurized air for better cleaning.



Want to see in person how the parts self-extinguish? Visit us at our CXC in Minneapolis to get hands-on with multiple printed samples.