2nd Brand new printer and this is all we get

We have today taken delivery of 2nd printer 1st has let us down and waiting for issue to be resolved.
Tried printing items we have successfully produced before with great results but this machine won’t go past the base build.
Raised support ticket but replies take too long.
Any body got any ideas. Prints about 5 layers firmly attached to platform and then failure
This is the FL own test file.
Machine is brand new out of the box.

Have you tried adjusting the print bed?

@Matthew_Bohrer the problem is the first 10 layers or so are firmly attached to the print bed and then the layers are not bonded.

This may be a good chance to check on QC out of the factory.

Can you check the galvo mirrors and the internal 45° mirror for gunk and smudges? If they’re dirty, it’s important to know!

I second @Matthew_Bohrer’s thought. Try going lower.

The first several layers are much more tightly compressed than the rest of the build to ensure it sticks to the platform. My thinking is that these layers are just close enough to stick, but once it returns to the normal layer height, it is no longer close enough for the laser to properly penetrate.

The other thing to confirm is that you are indeed using the correct resin type in the software to match the resin in your tray. A different material with much lower exposure time could perhaps explain this, or at least compound the issue.

Mirrors were perfect no marks or smudges

@Paul_Schommer @Matthew_Bohrer
Resin type correct, adjusted both up and down makes no difference get same result.
Machine now boxed waiting to be returned

Interesting indeed. I would be curious to know if you ever find out what went wrong.

What layer height did you use? I would start with 0.1 mm. And definitely check the mirrors for dirt, it’s a definite show stopper on the Form 1!

Do you have more pictures? What made you stop this print and deem it a failure? You said you have 2 printers. Is the vat you are using the new one that came with this printer or the one from the other printer? Seeing what the build platform looks like with the excessive resin wiped off may show something. Pictures showing all the mirrors may help troubleshoot as well.

By any chance, did you clean your build platform with IPA before you printed?

How long is too long for support to respond. I have had extensive experience with support and lately they have been very attentive and quick to respond.

What is going on with the first printer? Did you open up a new bottle of resin when starting to use the new machine?

Let us know how incrementally lowering the build platform into the vat works. The problem may be a simple one to rectify with patience. Something that I sometimes lack…

Good luck and let us know.


Hi David in answer to your questions we didn’t stop the print this is all we got from the brand new printer exactly the same 5 times running FL own test print of 5 butterfly clips sent to us to test each test taking approx. 1.45 mins. Brand new printer new resin and new tank. Mirrors are spotless. We have tried raising the platform and lowering the platform and we get the same results.
We are not new to 3d printing or even lasers having had 3d printers for the last 7 years and laser cutting etc for the last 12.
We are just new to the formlabs which was purchased for a specific use the first machine we bought ran faultlessly straight out of the box with truly exceptional results before suddenly all prints started to fail, we checked out the mirrors and cleaned even though they weren’t that bad only some very light dust specks, ran the FL test file and that failed, we then produced our own test file and it became obvious the laser was degrading as the build proceeded with agreement from our supplier in the UK the first machine along with the new machine has been returned the first for a warranty repair and the second for a straight replacement as the problem cannot be identified.

My issue with support is dealing from the UK to the States we try one test and then respond they then suggest we try another step we respond, it would be much easier to just say try step 1 if that fails try step 2 and so on and then send the results from all the tests which could of been completed in 1 day instead of the 10 days it took to then be told we would need to return the printer.

We are using the printer for production in a professional setting and cannot afford the luxury of it not working for 10 days or more hence the reason to purchase a 2nd as support but also to catch up on lost time. Our files are to sensitive to send out and covered by confidentiality agreements.

Kim, That is very strange. I do not think I have had a failure like that looked like that until yesterday. I had asked about the IPA being on the build platform as that is why I had a problem. I had a print that stuck way too well on a new (referb printer replacement) and had to scrape / sand my used build platform. The next print that I started about 5 minutes after I cleaned up the mess failed. I must have not cleaned up the IPA and aluminum dust well enough as my build plate looked very similar to your picture above.

The only other thing I can think of to suggest is try your old build platform and vat if you still have them and the printer. Beyond that, I do not know. It would be nice to learn what the actual failures of both machines are. Maybe FL will share that information with you after they are diagnosed.

Regarding your failed printer, I understand how frustrating having a printer is as I have had my own printer issues. I have considered purchasing another printer or 2 myself to eliminate / minimize down time. It is frustrating regardless if the printer is to satisfy a hobby addiction or for a business venture / project.

Now I understand your frustration with support. I am in Massachusetts so dealing with support being in the same time zone / state makes it feel a bit easier and ultimately a little quicker. I can not say that I have ever completed the troubleshooting process in 1 day but support has gotten much better over time. I remember way back when where it took almost a week to get an initial response. I do look forward to the day when FL adds support availability for the weekends. I do not know if that will happen but for me it would have assisted with speeding up the troubleshooting not having to cross over a weekend. BUT that comes with its own issues so I have no idea if they would ever add that option.


Might sound stupid but check and see if the resin version and settings match. There was a new gray introduced and the exposures are different.

Resin matched.

Formlabs Uk who have been just excellent with their support sent me a new machine and it worked straight out of the box.
Five very large prints with the best finish we have seen.
If there warranty repair matches the machine just supplied I will be well happy.
Proves there was definitely a problem with the hardware in the machine supplied.

Based on what I can see, it sounds like there were compression issues from the peel motor, and of course that isn’t ideal from a brand new printer. Very glad to hear that we’ve now got you properly up and running, Kim. :slight_smile:

As David mentioned, Formlabs has come a long way in the speed of support, and of course we plan to continue! One thing to know: we’re actively building our European support so that our business hours can align better with yours. In case you need to reach us again, we plan to improve reply times in the coming months.

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Curious on how many failed machines might be caused from shipping? I couldn’t see a dead untested machine going out of a warehouse.

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