Built with Qt

Formlabs Delivers an Intuitive and Connected 3D Printing Experience.

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Formlabs looked at other GUI and application frameworks, such as Android and a web-based solution with WebGL for 3D graphics. They chose Qt for its ability to create rich user interfaces that overlaid OpenGL.

“The ability to use the same framework on all platforms was a boon for productivity. We also enjoyed the ease of rapid user interface development with QML on both desktop and mobile.”

Shane Wighton, Software Development Lead

The Form 2

In 2015, Formlabs introduced ‘Form 2’, the most advanced desktop stereolithographic 3D printer commercially available. Designed for professional CAD users, Form 2 delivers large, high-resolution 3D prints with spectacular details. Its precision and reliability, combined with the intuitive and connected printing experience it offers position Form 2 in the next wave of 3D printing technology.

For the development of Form 2, Formlabs was looking for a cross-platform desktop user interface system capable of ensuring high=fidelity user interfaces, including easy OpenGL and C++ integration.

The 3D model processing application that runs on desktop platforms, pre-processing 3D meshes and communicating the information to the printer, made extensive use of Qt libraries for application logic. Formlabs also used Qt Quick to create the 2D user interface layered on top of an OpenGL view for visualizing 3D data.

With Qt’s testing libraries simplifying the integration of unit tests into Formlabs’ codebase, the company estimates that it saved 30-40 development hours a year in debugging and test case implementation when compared with using non-Qt technology-based devices. The time that Formlabs saved enabled developers to spend more time improving the user’s interaction with the product, including getting the GUI just right.
Watch on-demand: “Building Successful Cross-platform Applications – featuring Formlabs”




Formlabs designs and manufactures pioneering desktop 3D printers, bringing innovative and sophisticated fabrication tools for designers, engineers, and artists around the world.

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