Formlabs, one of the most successful Kickstarter funding projects with the Form 1 3D printer, has recently expanded to a new location and grown to a staff of 30.
On Kickstarter the Form 1 project gained 2068 backers and almost $3 million and remains the No 1. projects in fundraising for the tech category.
Unlike many 3D printer startup projects that use extruded plastic the Form 1 is a Stereolithography (SL) 3D printer which gives it professional level accuracy and print quality which FDM printers simply can’t match. A laser is used to harden liquid plastic layer by layer to produce a complete model, but the precise optical components are expensive. Professional SL 3D printers cost 10′s of thousands of dollars, but the Form 1 retails for $3,299.
After the Kickstarter funding was completed Formlabs needed to supply Form 1 printers to 1,028 backers and have been shipping these machines since May. Formlabs grew out of the MIT Media Lab and to cope with increased order demand they have just moved to a new facility in Medford Street in Somerville, MA.
After the backer machines have been delivered Formlabs will start to fulfill their pre-order machines, which is expected to start in September.
“We’re definitely going to kick our sales and marketing effort into gear once we can get to the point where we can ship quickly,” Formlabs founder Maxim Lobovsky said.
The Form 1 is made from components from the U.S. and China and the machines are put together in California. Once all of the Kickstarter backers and pre-orders are shipped Formlabs will start to work with distributers to sell the Form 1.