Formlabs has patented a technique for creating a flat film surface in additive fabrication. The device includes a container with flexible films and a movable stage with segmented members to produce a flat surface. This innovation improves the quality of 3D printed objects by ensuring a smooth build plane. GlobalData’s report on Formlabs gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Formlabs, Additive manufacturing monitoring sensors was a key innovation area identified from patents. Formlabs's grant share as of January 2024 was 43%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Additive fabrication device for producing flat film surface

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Formlabs Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11878467B2) discloses an additive fabrication device designed to create layers of solid material on a build platform. The device includes a container with upper and lower flexible films suspended over an opening, a movable stage with an energy source for directing actinic radiation, and first and second members to push the films upwards to create a flat region at the build plane. The actinic radiation is emitted between the members to solidify the material, ensuring contact with the upper film, build platform, or previously formed layers.

The patent also details a method for additive fabrication using the described device. The method involves moving the movable stage laterally beneath the container holding a liquid photopolymer, with the first and second members pushing the films upwards to create a flat region for solid material formation. Actinic radiation is directed through the flat region to solidify the material, ensuring contact with the upper film. Tension forces are applied to the films during the lateral motion of the stage, and the upper and lower films are mounted under tension to facilitate contact between them. The method provides a detailed process for layer-by-layer fabrication of solid materials using the innovative device.

To know more about GlobalData’s detailed insights on Formlabs, buy the report here.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.