Desktop 3D printer manufacturer took a big step today by announcing a new “Tough” resin.
The company previously offered a selection of useful resins, including “Standard”, their first and basic resin, “Castable” and “Flexible” options in a selection of colors, including transparent.
But one knock on many resins is their lack of strength, meaning components printed with them could not successfully be used for many practical machine applications. In other words, the parts were fragile and would break under stress.
The new resin, appropriately named, “Tough”, provides significantly more strength in objects printed with Formlabs’ Form 1+ personal 3D printer. They say:
With Tough Resin, Form 1+ users can now produce strong, sturdy parts with physical properties similar to ABS plastic. Durable parts are essential for engineering and prototyping. Now, parts produced with Formlabs’ Tough Resin will be able to absorb high-impact and other mechanical stressors that would normally cause 3D printed parts to snap or shatter. From load-bearing gears to snap-fit enclosures, Tough Resin material has been engineered for applications that require performance under stress or strain.
But is this true? It seems so, by watching this video of a Rube-Goldberg contraption designed by Formlabs to illustrate the capabilities of the new resin.
Watch this video and you’ll see a number of examples of Tough Resin objects surviving stressful situations, including bending, pulling, twisting, drilling and more. It’s the perfect example to show off this new product.
Formlabs says the product “was found to outperform every material available in desktop 3D Printing”, and we don’t doubt it.
This could be quite important for Formlabs, as the new resin suddenly makes their machine significantly more useful. It may, for example, drive sales to new classes of users wishing to make high-resolution machine components. While you can still perform prototyping on this machine, evidently you can now execute short runs of production-like parts.