Formlabs Clear versus Shapeways FUD — a comparison

UPDATE: Fall 2017

In this rapidly-changing, technology-driven world, what is relevant one day can become meaningless the next. This post has some good info but IS HORRIBLY OUT OF DATE! 🙂

What I mean is that in the last four years since I wrote this post, there is a new version of the Form 1 (the Form 2) with new formulations of resin, and Shapeways has updated their materials a lot as well. While I’m tempted to remove this post, I think the ancillary information and anecdotes are still good, even if the quality comparison in today’s market is meaningless.

The works I’ve seen coming off the Form 2 are super-quality (I still only have my Form 1+), and I’m pretty much only using Shapeways for metal and porcelain prints these days, so I am not able to update with new useful information. Take this post with that grain of salt. 🙂


In certain circles, FUD means “fear, uncertainty, and doubt”. To others it means Shapeways’ “frosted ultra-detail” 3D print material. Yet to others FUD has an entirely different meaning. Today we’re talking about the Shapways 3D printer material, and how it compares to the Formlabs Clear resin.

A couple of weeks ago I printed a tiny robot pendent and a tiny mech pendent and posted them to Thingiverse. I posted pictures of the prints from my Form 1, which led to discussing the Form 1’s quality with Kacie Hultgren of Pretty Small Things fame. While she is able to print a number of her miniatures on her Makerbot, she also uses Shapeways for items with small details, and is considering adding a Form 1 to her workflow. We decided it would be great to test the Form 1 Clear resin and Shapeways FUD side-by-side and learn what was to be learned, so she emailed me three of the STL files she previously had printed by Shapeways and I got to work.

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