Desktop 3-D printers are about to become available with higher-definition capabilities, with a new startup shipping its first model this month.
At $3,299, the Form 1 could expand the market for 3-D printing technology. It can produce much higher-fidelity plastic objects than the consumer desktop printers available today. But it is still cheap enough to be affordable to a wide swath of professional designers, engineers, and dedicated tinkerers. The Form 1 can, for example, create detailed functioning prototypes with mechanical parts, such as precise screw threads.
“We wanted a product with a discretionary price point,” says Formlabs cofounder Natan Linder, a PhD student at MIT’s Media Lab. “So you don’t think about it. You might not need a signature from your boss. Maybe you can order it like you do a laptop.”