MaterialsPhotopolymer Resins

Formlabs releases resilient Tough 1500 Resin

New engineering material can bend and quickly return to shape

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Formlabs has launched a new, highly resilient resin for its stereolithography 3D printers. The material, Tough 1500 Resin, is part of the company’s Tough and Durable Resin family and is suitable for manufacturing functional prototypes, jigs and fixtures, connectors and parts that undergo temporary deflection.

According to Formlabs, the new resin is its most resilient and is characterized by good stiffness and pliability. Parts printed from the material can bend and spring back under cyclic loading, making it ideal for parts such as springs, snap fits, press fits and hinges, which must bend and quickly return to shape. The resin is also well suited for the production of jigs and fixtures that must resist repeated deflection and impact.

In terms of strength and stiffness, Tough 1500 is reportedly comparable to polypropylene parts and bears similarities to Formlabs’ other Tough and Durable resins, including Tough Resin and Durable Resin. Tough 1500 is differentiated by its stiffness and elongation properties.

With the launch of Tough 1500 Resin, Formlabs is also introducing a new naming convention for its engineering materials. In the case of this resin, “1500” signifies the material’s tensile modulus value in MPa. As it releases new engineering-grade materials, Formlabs will follow the “adjective + number” formula, which will make it easier for customers to determine the relative stiffness of their materials.

Unplugged Performance

Formlabs Tough 1500 Resin

The material has already been adopted by Unplugged Performance, a leader in premium performance upgrades for Tesla vehicles, such as customized car bumpers. Recently, the company decided to implement 3D printing to facilitate the process of removing sensor mounts from existing bumpers and bonding them to custom upgrades.

Before using 3D printing, it reportedly took about 45 minutes to remove each sensor mount and another 10 minutes to bond it to the new bumper. With six sensors on each car bumper, the process was inhibiting Unplugged Performance’s efficiency, limiting them to one car per one-and-a-half days.

Since adopting Formlabs’ SLA 3D printing technology, the company says it is now able to print new sensor mounts in batches of 30, enabling it to skip the sensor mount removal entirely. Now, they are able to upgrade three cars per day.

Tough 1500 Resin was the ideal material for Unplugged Performance to work with, as it provided the pliability needed to clip onto and securely hold the Tesla sensors. The material also offers the impact strength needed to safely be mounted onto the vehicle’s bumper.

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Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault is a Montreal-based content writer and editor with five years of experience covering the additive manufacturing world. She has a particular interest in amplifying the voices of women working within the industry and is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM sector. Tess holds a master's degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

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