Formlabs announces Tough 1500 Resin for 3D printing stiff and pliable parts

Formlabs announces Tough 1500 Resin for 3D printing stiff and pliable parts

  • Digital fabrication company, Formlabs, has announced a new resin to add to its line of 3D printing materials. The highly resilient resin works with its stereolithography 3D printers to produce stiff and pliable 3D printed components.

The material called Tough 1500 Resin, a rather fitting name, is part of the company’s Tough and Durable Resin family and is suitable for manufacturing functional prototypes that need to be tough and can undergo temporary deflection.

According to Formlabs, the new resin is its most resilient resin they have made to date which has good stiffness and pliability properties. Parts printed from the material can bend and spring back under cyclic loading, making it ideal for 3D printing parts which must bend and quickly return to shape like springs, snap fits, press fits, and hinges.

The resin is also well suited for the production of jigs and fixtures that must resist repeated deflection and impact.

Tough 1500 is reportedly compared to polypropylene parts in terms of strength and stiffness. The material also bears similarities to Formlabs’ other Tough and Durable resins, including Tough Resin and Durable Resin. Tough 1500 is differentiated by its stiffness and elongation properties.

Tough 1500 Resin offers a unique balance of stiffness and pliability that allows parts made from this material to deform and return to form quickly.

Formlabs is also introducing a new naming scheme for its engineering materials with the launch of the Tough 1500 Resin. In the case of this resin, “1500” signifies the material’s tensile modulus value in MPa.

As it releases new engineering-grade materials, Formlabs will follow the “adjective + number” formula, which will make it easier for customers to determine the relative stiffness of their materials.

The material has already been adopted by Unplugged Performance, a leader in premium performance upgrades for Tesla vehicles, such as customized car bumpers. Recently, the company decided to implement 3D printing to facilitate the process of removing sensor mounts from existing bumpers and bonding them to custom upgrades.

Before using 3D printing, it reportedly took about 45 minutes to remove each sensor mount and another 10 minutes to bond it to the new bumper. With six sensors on each car bumper, the process was inhibiting Unplugged Performance’s efficiency, limiting them to one car per one-and-a-half days.

Since adopting Formlabs’ SLA 3D printing technology, the company says it is now able to print new sensor mounts in batches of 30, enabling it to skip the sensor mount removal entirely. Now, they are able to upgrade three cars per day.

Tough 1500 Resin was the ideal material for Unplugged Performance to work with, as it provided the pliability needed to clip onto and securely hold the Tesla sensors. The material also offers the impact strength needed to safely be mounted onto the vehicle’s bumper.

Technical Data of Tough 1500 Resin After Post-Curing

Ultimate Tensile StrengthTensile ModulusElongation at BreakFlexural ModulusNotched Izod
33 MPa1500 MPa51%1400 MPa67 J/m
Data was obtained from parts printed using Form 2, 100 μm and post-cured with a Form Cure for 60 minutes at 70°C (Source: Formlabs)

Tough 1500 Resin is the latest material to be added to Formlabs’ Resin Library and the first new Engineering Resin added to the Form 3 ecosystem.

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