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Formlabs Automation Ecosystem introduced at CES 2023

Featuring Form Auto, Fleet Control, and the High Volume Resin System

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At CES 2023, Formlabs introduced three new products – Form Auto, Fleet Control, and High Volume Resin System – that together make up the Formlabs Automation Ecosystem. This ecosystem enables high-productivity 3D printing at scale, reduces the cost per part, and improves the user experience of managing multiple desktop stereolithography (SLA) printers. It can be used for many printers or singular units, and the individual products can be used together as the Automation Ecosystem or as separate products for users’ specialized workflow.

Formlabs Automation Ecosystem introduced at CES 2023. Featuring Form Auto, Fleet Control, and the High Volume Resin System.
Fleet Control.

Form Auto is a hardware extension for the Form 3, Form 3B, and Form 3+ printers that automatically removes finished parts from Build Platform 2 and starts the next print without the need for operator interaction. It can be purchased separately, or as part of a new printer package.

Fleet Control is a suite of newly available, advanced features in PreForm and Dashboard that facilitate easier management of multiple 3D printers with centralized queue management and automatic printer assignment.

The High Volume Resin System is a 5L Resin Bag and Resin Pump that expands the standard resin capacity of a Formlabs SLA printer, reduces waste, and minimizes cartridge handling tasks.

Formlabs Automation Ecosystem introduced at CES 2023. Featuring Form Auto, Fleet Control, and the High Volume Resin System.
Upon finishing a print, the Form Auto hardware attachment will raise the orange printer cover, remove the parts on Build Platform 2, and detach them into the waiting bucket.

“They are a huge help – it sort of replaces five printers, because you don’t have to clean anything, scrape the parts off, or wash one platform at a time because we’re washing in large batches,” said Chris Pauwels, manager of Print Farm manager at Formlabs Manufacturing Service Bureau, which has been running beta units of Form Auto and testing Fleet Control since July 2020. “It’s a big time saver, and the only interaction the print operator has is removing the basket in the morning. All I have to do is make sure jobs are always loading through Fleet Control, which I can do from home or my office.”

The Formlabs Automation Ecosystem minimizes labor time, creates more flexibility for printer operators, and streamlines the 3D printing workflow so that operator time can be dedicated to more specialized tasks. By automating the part removal, queue management, and printer preparation tasks – users are able to reduce the cost per part. Thanks to the automation offered by this new ecosystem, businesses can now further leverage 3D printing for mass production.

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Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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