The company which created the Form 2, widely viewed as one of the best desktop 3d printers ever assembled, is now attempting to set the bar higher.
Dubbed the Fuse 1, this miniaturized and lower cost SLS 3d printer would mark a significant jump in the quality of parts that companies can print at their desks, and the machine will cost $10,000 instead of the six to seven figure sums that SLS machines currently cost. The Fuse 1 is designed to sit on a table instead of being the size of a refrigerator, which current SLS printers are.
"We think we’re going to do the same thing we did with SLA, where we’re going to sell more of these than all of the other competitors combined, because today SLS is less than 1,000 a year, combined," CEO Max Lobovsky said on Monday. "These are the rarest, highest of end of the printers.”
The news that SLS printers would be scaled down in size and cost was accompanied by a partnership announcement with New Balance to use Formlabs technology to manufacture high performance sneakers.
“We’re proud to work with New Balance to provide cutting-edge 3D printing technologies for large-scale domestic manufacturing,” Lobovsky said, noting the desire to take 3d printing from small batch production runs to a larger scale.
“3D printing gives companies the ability to provide higher performance, better fitting, and more personalized products. With New Balance, we are demonstrating that it can be done at scale for consumer goods.”
All major shoe brands have been using 3d printing to prototype for years, and in some cases to create actual shoes for the Olympics. However, large scale, mass production of shoes and soles using 3d printing has not yet been seen.