The desktop printer — standing about a foot high and weighing about 20 pounds — runs on stereolithography, a fabrication technique usually reserved for massive machines that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In the Form 1, a violet laser moves around a bath of light-sensitive polymers, or resin, tracing a predetermined pattern. After each layer is cured, a mechanical platform lifts the object upward, where the layer is rapidly dried and another melded to it. This process is repeated layer-by-layer, taking several hours and delivering layers as thin as 25 microns — much more finely detailed than other low-cost 3-D printer.
By continuously advancing the software, the long-term goal, Lobovsky says, is to achieve “one-click printing,” where a user can design a model, press “print,” and set the printer to churning out a model rapidly.