3D printing could become an affordable reality for small businesses thanks to Massachusetts-based 3D printer manufacturer, Formlabs.

Formlabs is looking to put 3D printing within arms-reach of thousands of SME manufacturing and engineering companies, those who may have been priced out of the opportunity historically.

In an effort to drive mainstream adoption, Formlabs has unveiled its first selective laser

sintering (SLS) 3D printer – Fuse 1, and its solution for 3D printing automation to achieve the lowest cost per part – Form Cell.

Due to the comparatively low cost prices, Fuse 1 and Form Cell hopes to enable even small manufacturers to locally print parts that would normally need to be outsourced at considerable cost in both time and money.

CEO of Formlabs, Max Lobovsky explained:” With Fuse 1, we have taken the same approach to making powerful SLS technology available to a huge range of customers. And with Form Cell, we are making an efficient, scalable production solution by leveraging the Form 2, an SLA print engine that’s already stood the test of printing more than 10 million parts.”

Several companies are already testing the new systems, including global brands like Google.

Manager of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) Skunkworks, David commented:” SLS technology enables designers and engineers to accelerate their prototyping process by combining realistic material properties with the minimisation of 3D printing design constraints.

“With the Fuse 1, a combination of high-precision parts, reduced cycle-time and robust materials allow teams to easily iterate throughout the design process and accelerate from whiteboard to final parts.”

Engineers, designers, and manufacturers involved in education, dentistry, healthcare, jewellery and research could be among those who benefit most from affordable 3D printing – image courtesy of Formlabs.