2024: Form 3 vs the Form 2

I’m thinking of upgrading to a Form 3, but a few questions first:

  1. Can someone who has owned a Form 2 explain how much easier or harder it is clean a Form 3? My hands aren’t huge, but seriously, cleaning the Form 2 galvo mirrors is a challenging experience. I’ve tried to search for how to clean galvo mirrors on the form 3, but I haven’t found any articles. Is that whole process a thing of the past?
  2. What from my Form 2 can I still use? Tanks? Carts? Build plates? I have a really nice stainless steel build plate that almost never fails me. Other parts like the aforementioned mirrors will, but the SS build plate is built like a tank. Not like… the replaceable tanks, but like a military tank.
  3. Speaking of which, my LT tanks are pretty robust, and have basically never given out. If I can’t use F2LT tanks, are the F3 tanks roughly the same quality?
  4. Other advantages or disadvantages? Yes, I know there’s a Form 4 out now, but I have a habit of being a cycle behind so I can purchase cheaper, used versions of things.

My recommendation would be to NOT get the Form 3.

  1. The Form 3 has entire moving and enclosed assembly for the laser. Nothing like the Form 2. If you have an issue you’re most likely going to have to replace the entire laser unit.
  2. You can use the resin bottles and that’s really it. You might be able to fit the build plate, but you will have to always keep in mind the edge boundaries probably won’t be the same.
  3. Tanks are different and not really as user serviceable as the Form 2 ones are because it uses a tensioned film.
  4. Nothing, but disadvantages at this point because it’s still using the laser based system which can be significantly slower and is less user serviceable than the Form 2.

Yikes. Good to know. I’ll keep trying to get my Form 2 working.
Because the laser assembly is totally enclosed, does that at least cut down on the need to replace/clean it?

Not really… the unit itself now moves underneath the tensioned film and therefore will still get resin all over it if there is a spill. It also means that there are more moving parts which has the potential for more failure points.