Formlabs, a start-up led by MIT researchers, has created a desktop 3D printer that uses stereolithography (SLA) technology normally reserved for costly high-end printers. While other at-home 3D printers use a process where ABS plastic is melted and extruded in thin strips, SLA uses lasers to cure liquid resin in microscopic layers. The Form 1 3D printer, which is described as the first "prosumer" 3D printer, accomplishes this using the same type of laser found in your Blu-ray player.
The Form 1 3D printer produces layers of just 25 microns, about ten microns thicker than some of the most advanced (and expensive) printers on the market today. And it will do this in your home for less than US$3,000. For comparison, the Makerbot Replicator 2 prints parts with a layer resolution of 100 microns.
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