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Using the Multiplier for product prototyping with Franko, Machine Shop Manager at Formlabs

In this interview, we speak with Franko, who runs the R&D Machine Shop at Formlabs, the leading manufacturer of professional 3D printerss. Formlabs has been at the forefront of advancing stereolithography (SLA) and selective laser sintering (SLS) printers. Franko provides an in-depth look into how the Mayku Multiplier has integrated into their research and development operations, detailing the specific applications, challenges, and advantages that this technology brings to their prototyping processes.

Can you start by giving us an overview of your role at Formlabs?

At Formlabs, I work in the research and development shop, focusing on next-generation products. We're heavily involved in machining parts, but we handle everything from waterjet cutting to CNC, laser cutting, and more. We also handle a lot of testing, measuring, and verification, which is where our machinery, including the Mayku Multiplier, comes into play.

How has the Mayku Multiplier become a part of your workflow at Formlabs?

The Mayku Multiplier has filled a crucial spot in our production process, especially for small parts that have challenging geometries. It's particularly useful for parts with large draw distances which are difficult for thermoforming. Any time a part fits within the envelope of the Mayku Multiplier, we steer towards using it.

What types of projects or parts do you typically use the Mayku Multiplier for?

We primarily use it for prototyping components that will eventually be thermoformed in production. This helps ensure that the designs are feasible before we hand them over to our contract manufacturers, avoiding any inefficiencies or redesigns later in the production process.

Can you discuss any specific challenges in prototyping that the Mayku Multiplier helps you overcome?

Yes, one of the biggest challenges is dealing with the parts that have deep draws and complex geometries, like the Form 3 tank which has a unique shape that's difficult to thermoform traditionally. The Mayku Multiplier's pressure forming capability allows us to successfully form these parts, which would otherwise be problematic.

What materials do you commonly use with the Mayku Multiplier?

We mostly use custom sheet materials tailored specifically for our needs. For example, we often use polypropylene sheets of exact thicknesses that are also used by our contract manufacturers. This helps in ensuring that the prototype materials closely mimic the final production materials.

Are there any improvements or feedback you'd like to share  about the Mayku Multiplier?

While the hardware has been great and has exceeded our expectations, there are tiny details that could be improved, such as the durability of some components like the faceplate. Also, the fitting for air accessories could be more standardized for the American market to make it easier to connect various equipment without needing special adapters.

Looking forward, do you see any potential for new applications or needs for the Mayku Multiplier at Formlabs?

As of now, the Mayku fits very well within our specific scope of prototyping small and complex parts. However, we are always open to exploring new uses as they arise, particularly with the continuous advancements in composite materials and other manufacturing technologies.

Lastly, how important is the use of the Mayku Multiplier in terms of overall product development and innovation at Formlabs?

It's quite significant. The ability to rapidly prototype with the Mayku Multiplier not only saves time but also enhances our capacity to innovate and refine our products efficiently. This capability is crucial, especially in an R&D environment where speed and accuracy are paramount.


Franko's insights provide a compelling look into the role of advanced manufacturing tools like the Mayku Multiplier in the fast-paced environment of 3D printing technology development. Formlabs' use of the Mayku Multiplier highlights the importance of adaptable, precise, and efficient prototyping capabilities in fostering innovation and ensuring the practical feasibility of designs before they reach mass production. This interview underscores the ongoing evolution of manufacturing technologies and their critical impact on the design and production landscape in industries such as 3D printing.

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