Part One: 3D Printers and the Emergence of the Maker Movement

WIRED’s editor-in-chief Chris Anderson recently published a book suggesting that the Maker movement will likely transform the U.S. economy. Anderson believes that as the Maker movement gains momentum, the American spirit of tinkering and building will be re-tooled and made more user-friendly for the Internet Age.

Formlabs Printer Designed in SolidWorks
In his book, Anderson lists SolidWorks as the best paid software for designers, and mentions that the 3D printer is the most high-profile Maker tool to emerge so far. And with Form 1, you have both…. The low-cost, high-resolution 3D printer, was created by Formlabs using SolidWorks. Formlabs, a Kickstarter funded company, wanted to develop a printer that they “would be excited to use in their own design and engineering endeavors.”

It only recently became possible for Formlabs to create such a complex product and bring it to market with little time and money – thanks to the help of key partners like Kickstarter and SolidWorks. Formlabs took advantage of SolidWorks’ sheet metal and injection molding capabilities for the printer’s unique design and analyzed the process using simulation.

Formlabs Printer Designed with the help of SolidWorks
Images: Formlabs

Recently unveiled, the Form 1 provides designers who haven’t been able to justify the cost of a traditional 3D printer for rapid prototyping and customized replacement parts with a high quality desktop printer. Developed with more of a “prosumer” audience in mind, both professionals and tech-savvy tinkerers (Makers) can benefit from this easy-to-use, out-of-the-box printer that can physically bring a design to life at a resolution that rivals some of the commercial options currently available.

Formlabs is in the process of setting up full-scale manufacturing of the Form 1 and is looking for more support through Kickstarter. Anyone who contributes will receive a discount on the desktop printer and will play a role in “starting this revolution in 3D printing.”

We can’t wait to see where the revolution takes us and what cool items are created using the Form 1. What would you print using the Form 1? Have you tried 3D printing and liked the final result?

Check back tomorrow for Part Two of our Maker movement series when you can learn more about the Makerbot 3D printer!

Asya Bashina

Asya Bashina

Subscription Services Marketing Specialist at Dassault Systemes SolidWorks
Subscription Services Marketing Specialist. Brand Marketing pro and travel enthusiast with a sense of humor.
Asya Bashina
Asya Bashina