1st print experience, other people opinion on "Support structure by default vs tweaked settings"


Hi all,

I finally started to print, but as expected the 1st prints are going to be not perfect.

The 1st print was a big fail the thickness of the object was too thin ( under 1mm)  so the support end up to be stronger. ( my bad wanted to print something fast)

I reduced the high of the support to speed up the print but not sure if that change anything.

I did an other print with bigger objects but got some issue where the support meet the model.

I tweaked the support to be a little thinner and shorter but more support seems to be better for the print.

Left a piece longer than 10 minutes in the alcohol and had a chunk pealing off so maybe not a good idea to leave it longer than 10 minutes.

I put the piece close to a window  that they finish they curing to see if it helps. ( pieces are a little tacky after the alcohol bath)

As for the details on the on print some weird lines show up horizontally and other vertically and some other random one.

I will double check the slicer tool to see if some weird stuff explain those lines ( I printed at 50 microns) could rhe data get compressed when sent to the print er ?

I will try to post some photos tonight.

Anyone who printed multiple objects and has some experiences to share about the settings of the supports, orientation of a model and tips to improve the quality of the print ?




Thank you for sharing. Some great notes.


I had a similar experience. I got a little too excited and printed a bunch of things without understanding the support options. I had one fantastic print and the other three were messed up in various ways. I printed an object that is generally flat and it had some of the same weird lines you talked about, but at the part closest to the base it seems to have folded in on itself somehow. Another object was a test for printing without supports and the base was just too thin so I accept responsibility for that failure. The last was a tiny ring and half of the supports just didn’t print, and I have no idea why.

Since the first print, I have successfully been working with support changes based on possible weight of the object and density of the object as well. For instance, for a basic small wide smooth surface I thinned the supports and the density of the supports whereas for a larger complex structure with a lot of negative space I used more supports, still thinning the diameter, but kept the support density at the default.



Here is some photos of the 1st prints.

It sounds like Maxim is talking about a fix for the layer shifts, please update the software soon this is the feature number 1 to add.

If there is a way to clean that in another software how ? I am on the fence to print again until it s fixed, I don’t want to waste my resin.


This is really cool to see somes pictures of your print.

I’m a bit concerned about the weird lines, hope formlabs will fix it soon …

What kind of primer did you use to have the grey look ?


and the print is not as clean as I would have thought… there is a loot of dots ( not talking thoses for the supports structures) and little holes all over the face…

This is cool to see grey models because with the clear resin, we saw nothing …

It’s like the B9 do better jobs for now … for me it’s just a software problem but because we cannot use an other one(maybe ?), that must be fix asap.



the ‘weird line’ is the seam that is present in all the FDM machine also. It’s the point where each loop profile is started. When there is no jitter/the starts are all stacted on top of each other, there is this distinctive line created. There is different strategies used to remove it with FDM (I can talk with formlabs on the subject if necessary). But rieght now you have no way to control where the seam will be placed…


would you care sharing the model of the last picture? I’ve been trying to print mathematical shapes like Dizingof’s shapes from Thingiverse but can never get the support to work correctly. They are always merging with the structure / not sufficient to support the loops (no internal supports) and I end up with a bunch of red zones…




Answering to my message, I think I found the model (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:26567).

So my question is what parameters have you used? (maybe you can join the .form)

With a scale of 0.5, auto orient and default supports settings, I get a large red section and some supports/geometry intersections…

(as a side note, preform is so slow on my PC with this model it’s barely usable, the progress bars are not working when generating the supports su I have a frozen image for 3-4 minutes before getting the result, then the navigation is at ~1 image/4s)




Hi Damien,

I used the model as a test to see what would happen when I printed models with red shading. I scaled it down and spent a decent amount of time rotating the object and checking the shading because I wanted small amounts of shading to be dispersed throughout the object instead of large amounts in a central area like what you’ve shown. I used the preset support system which was actually somewhat tedious in removing, I had to use wire snips sheers and a lot of the supports built into each other. I don’t recall the scaling I used as I did it arbitrarily in other software but the size of the object is roughly 2.5x2.5 inches. Here is the .form file and a snapshot of what it looked like with the shading.

Hope this helps




Perfect Rachel,  I think your rule of thumb regarding ‘distributed’ red areas around the object is a great advice.

I will definitely try to print some of Dizingof shapes now.



@ Rachel

Thanks for sharing your experience and the photos.

@  Gilles-alexandre deschaud :

I used a Tamyia primer that you find in hobbies store ( very thin usually but my can was a little old and I over primed the model by mistake)

@ Damien B:

If we have to deal with a seam on each print, we need to be able to control the position of it, why the laser can’t start from inside the model.

But yeah it sounds like the software need some tweaking and all the UI requests should not be the priority but improving precision and quality should be.

I prepared another model but the slicer was showing some weird slice again so I am going to print maybe something else or wait for the software update



the software right now from my observations is first doing the inside filling (back and forth, various shade of blue), then the 3 outside perimeters (2 blues and 1 pink). so the perimeters have to be started at one point and stopped at the same point. A single perimeter stop is probably barely visible, but when you stack them for every slices you get this ‘line’. It’s very visible on more regular geometry because I suppose the soft is deciding to start the perimeters nearly at the same location every time. FDM slicers like Kisslicer let you choose the starting point to put the seam at a preferable location. You can also use a ‘jitter’ to put the starting point everywhere on the perimeter.

You can have a look at the result pictures on my blog here:




It sounds like if the laser beam would stop few microns further on the same curve that the gap will be not there.

Could a second pass on the outer perimeter would fix the gap by starting at another location? even if the print time takes longer I am ok to wait longer for a smooth result.


Hi all,

I was getting similar results in my first couple prints with strange folds and patches missing. I found a solution that gave me a clean print which you can read about here: http://support.formlabs.com/entries/24016846-Uncured-patches-and-peeling-layers?page=1#post_23654003. For my models it seems to have been geometry related and I was able to solve the issue using MeshLab which you can dl for Mac or PC here: http://meshlab.sourceforge.net.

Maxim also speaks to this issue in this post: http://support.formlabs.com/entries/23992961-First-print-first-impressions

Best / Travis



Thanks for jumping in and for your advices.

I am using meshlab to generate my stl but I was not doing all the checks obviously.

After few back and forth with netfabb and meshlab I manage to have a mesh in preform with no error during the check of each layer.

One mesh was still giving me a weird layer so I tried something and I am kind of surprised by the result by scaling the mesh by 0.001 I managed to have no error on the same layer check but one was showing up at a completely different position .

I am guessing the precision of the preform have some limit…maybe with small triangles.

Can’t wait to see Formlabs updating the Preform software soon and I hope that will fix that problem.


I gotta just throw this out here, never use the default setting. It makes WAY to many support structures. I set my spacing to the largest setting for 3-5 inch prints. I also increase their base thickness a little. If they are too thin, when the machine dips them back down into the pool the support ends move a bit and no longer align.


Here is a new print. ( still a fail one)

I wanted to print something from maya since Zbrush mesh have issue with layer shifting, well same for maya the errors are coming from the density of the mesh obviously.

I decimated 2 versions in Zbrush to compare and somehow one fail to print half of it and the other didn’t finished some detail at the top. ( those are still on the support for now)

I did some custom support since I didn’t wanted to have preform support connecting in some of the details. It kind of worked not too bad except it warp a little the object maybe because the support was small and thin and  some how the space between the object and the support was not big enough and it fused some support part to the mesh.

It was a good test to find out how much some tiny details are not even showing up or will be lost because of the paint.


FYI : after clicking an image if you right click, open in new tab you can see the real size of the image, I guess the script that does the pop up has a size limit.


Another print this time a 0.25mm using the grey setting.

The print turn out not too bad ( still have layer shifting visible…hope to see an update of the preform soon)


Here is the same print but bigger.

Stuff I found is: don’t hesitate to have the support bigger since the mesh is bigger and if a support end up to close to the edge of the main flat support it may break during a layer peel since when you reach a certain size of print the silicone stick way more to the print.

Stuff to explore: that print was made in grey 0.25 with the transparent resin. maybe there is an over curing for opaque resin and then the clear resin stick more to the silicone.

Would be nice to set a base more wider by few millimeter to avoid support right at the edge and even a support tip start as a pyramid shape for a stronger bond.

I contacted Formlabs for an issue of layer peeling and mechanical sound and they told me that :

part of the trick with this process is curing the material in a way that it adheres very strongly to the aluminium build platform, but will peels away easily from the silicone base in the tank. What we’re seeing in your video, is that the part is not peeling away easily from the silicone. The peel motion is happening but the part is not peeling away easily, and so the force on the peel motor is building up, until the part suddenly releases, causing that “thunk”.

the video I sent them thinking my printer had an issue: