Formlabs' Form 1+ 3D Printer

Formlabs, the makers of the Form 1+ 3D Printer, are releasing a new set of functionalities that radically improve the performance of their printers.

They call it Draft Mode, and it's a new print resolution setting which means the Form 1+ can print up to twice as fast. Draft Mode – when combined with Smart Supports – deliver faster speeds and more efficient 3D prints.

A dynamic print-preparation algorithm, Smart Supports reduces print-time and as yet another bonus, reduces overall material usage by up to 60%.

It's aimed at engineers and designers looking for fast results. Draft Mode allows the Form 1+ to print thicker, 200- micron layers, and it does so without sacrificing surface quality. The precise, high-speed optical mechanics which drive the Form 1+ means that in a head-to-head comparison, the Form +1 is capable of outperforming leading FDM machines at the same resolution.

Draft Mode is available in the latest version of PreForm.

"We looked a lot at trussed bridges and trees to understand more elegant and efficient ways to offer greater support with fewer contact points," says Formlabs Software Engineer Andrey Mishchenko. "There's a lot of math and engineering in those little structures."

"There's a lot of math and engineering in those little structures."

These announcements quickly follow Formlabs' revelation of the company's Flexible Resin last month. To demonstrate the possibilities of Flexible Resin, Formlabs engineer Adam Lebovitz created a 3D printed speaker which he prototyped in Draft Mode. The printed speaker project also utilized the new Smart Supports system, and the entire piece was 3D printed save for the wiring, magnets, and enclosure.

Lebovitz says the most recent software update, which includes Draft Mode and Smart Supports, can be found on the company's web site along with a number of tutorials and models to create your very own 3D printed speaker.

PreForm Draft Mode Screenshot

If you want to see the 3D printed speaker in person, you can head over to Formlabs' booth at CES 2015 in Las Vegas this week.

"At Formlabs, we're obsessed with providing the best user experience possible, and we're always experimenting with new ways to make our products better," said Formlabs co-founder, Maxim Lobovsky. "Hardware is only half the story in 3D printing, and we're proud to innovate just as profoundly in software."