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Low Force Stereolithography (LFS) Technology: What it is and How it Works


It comes as no surprise that the 3D printing industry is constantly evolving. Generation after generation, new toys are introduced to the scene — the highest technology is incorporated to ensure that the new product is even better than its predecessor. In this case, we’re going to see how Low Force Stereolithography (LFS) technology brings something special to the table.

The introduction of Formlabs’ new printers the Form 3 and the Form 3L have brought a created a whole different ball game. Thanks to their LFS technology, you can create highly advanced 3D prints that are better than ever before. Not only can you create fantastic parts, but they also cost effective and allow for production-ready applications with higher production volumes. Let’s take a closer look.

What is stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing?

Before getting down to the basics, let’s talk about SLA 3D printing. We’ve already given you some information about this in previous posts, but there’s no harm in refreshing your memory.

As opposed to DLP 3D printers, where a digital projector screen is used to display an image of a layer across a built-in platform, a laser is incorporated in SLA 3D printers. The laser is aimed towards two mirror galvanometers so that the light falls on the right coordinates. The light is pointed upwards, to cure the solid isotropic parts of liquid photopolymer resin.

What is Low Force Stereolithography (LFS)?

Moving on to LFS Low Force Stereolithography, it’s best described as SLA’s successor; in this case, it uses a flexible tank and linear illumination to transform liquid resin into new, pristine parts. The more flexible the tank, the lower the force.

In the long run, this not only ensures quality prints and also printer reliability. The detail simply needs to be seen to be believed. Besides the incorporation of state-of-the-art materials, these printers are also made in such a way that support removal is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Features of LFS Low Force Stereolithography

A Low Force Stereolithography LFS 3D Printer is made up of 3 main components:

  • Condensed optics module: The Light Processing Unit (LPU) that is located inside the printer uses a compact system of lenses and mirrors to create high quality prints.
  • Flexible Tank: Its flexible surface allows for a huge reduction in peel forces while printing.
  • Linear Illumination: The LPU’s laser and parabolic mirror create the perfect, perpendicular curing source throughout the whole printing process.

The Benefits of LFS Low Force Stereolithography

For starters, these LFS printers work great for large format 3D prints. Furthermore, you can create the perfect balance of speed and detail through its adaptive print speed option.

Taking a look at some of the features, the laser spot found in these printers ensures precision and accuracy, while its parabolic mirror guarantees more uniformity across the built-in platform.

LFS printers are also easy to clean; since a flexible thank is incorporated, it allows for a soft release with minimal support. Additionally, there is also a user-replaceable LPU with garage mode to protect optics.

Discover in our product portfolio, the selection of LFS on offer for you: