At some point or another, all owners of FDM 3D printers will glance over at the excellent printing qualities of SLA resin 3D printers and dream about the possibilities. And who can blame them? But it looks like there’s a lot more to dream about in the near future, as one small German 3D printing provider has just developed a new resin that adds a very interesting feature to your 3D printing arsenal. Called 3D Labs, they are about to release their own LED.W resin that features shape memory properties – much like memory foam or Shape Memory Alloys – causing it to return to its original shape even after the object’s form is altered through heat.
Based in Sankt Georgen im Schwarzwald in southern German, 3D Labs started out back in 2009 by a group of people with a back ground in CNC machining and the sale of 3D printers. ‘But it’s more interesting to develop hand in hand with our customers as a service bureau,’ co-founder and CEO Maurice Scheer explains to us.
While they offer a variety of service, they also dabble in development and are about to release this interesting LED.W resin. While perfect for 3D printing high quality prints (as you can see above), it also features a unique property in the 3D printing world for its shape retention features. As far as they and we are aware, this is the first 3D printable resin to have this feature. While most of the project is still fully embargoed, Maurice was kind enough to explain some of the qualities and possibilities of LED.W.
Essentially, it functions just like Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) metals (commonly used alloys are copper-aluminium-nickel, and nickel-titanium) that remember their original shape and return to their pre-deformed shape even after exposed to a lot of heat.