Formlabs Website Store Support

3rd party resins?

Hi there, yes, I know this has been covered a lot, but I can’t find what I’m looking for. There’s loads of testing information and reports on quality, but not what I need.

Firstly, I wouldn’t be looking at 3rd party at all except I want to start printing some relatively large parts and having gone through nearly all the different Form resins I’m now skint!

So, I want to give it a go. In the UK the Photocentric is about the only stuff available, so that’s the suppler and I need to test the Hard and the Flexible, black and grey. So a few questions on these specifically for those who have given this a go already… (I’m using a Form2)

  1. What tanks did you use with the different resins?
  2. Did you decide to refill a cartridge, or do you just dunk it in the tank?
  3. Is cleaning the same? Could I use the Form Wash/Cure without any issues?
  4. Did you try it and decide not to continue? Why?

I think that’s about it.

Thanks folks.

1 Like

I only use ALW (Applied Lab Work) grey resin for the Form 2. I self fill the resin tray. I’ve been doing this for over 2 years and I’m happy with the results as are my customers. I use the Form Wash and nothing is done different. I also use the FL grey V3 settings.


I use Digital Forge Grey as my main resin. I dump it into an empty grey V4 cartridge and that’s it, no fuss, no muss. I don’t own a Form Wash/cure, just wash the parts in IPA, 8 minutes in each tank. I only use the standard resin trays. And the trays last a long time, no need to put the resin back into the bottle and clean the tray when not in use.

I tried ApplyLabWorks black and was not happy, it attacks PDMS layer on the tray and ruins it in less than 2 months if you leave the resin in the tray.

Has anyone used the Matterhacker’s “neon green” resin (for Moai) with the Formlabs Form 2?

Love the physical aesthetic colour attributes of the neon green resin, sadly Formlabs don’t natively have anything similar to it. Thus restricted availability would derive its potential usage, not cost, in this instance.

But if you refill a tank the machine wouldnt give you a “Empty tray” message?

Refilling the cartridge has no effect on the tray, two completely different things. It will give you a “Cartridge nearly empty warning” which you can ignore.

That only works to a certain point until the machine rejects the cartridge and tells you it is completely worn out.

I’ve used their resins but they need the heater and wiper to print correctly. Especially for large parts. Otherwise the risk is that the print breaks mid-print.

So far I only had good success with Photocentric high tensile black and grey resins. I’d suggest to go for those. The other standard resins break quite easy and are prone to warpage.

Virtually all 3rd party resins benefit from closed mode due to the more stable and optimal printing temperature generated by the heater and the wiper mixing the resin and reducing stick. You can for example use the Universal Cartridge to print in closed mode.

You can safely use the orange tanks for printing. The Photocentric resin does not destroy the PDMS but Applylabwork is known to be more aggressive and needs a layer of silicone running around the edge of the tank.

Cleaning is the same. If I remember correctly then the IPA bath for Photocentric resins is shorter.

You can get ApplyLabWork, Photocentric and Liqcreate within Europe easily. I heard good things about Peopoly from hongkong as well. DigitalForge might be harder to get from the US but has some good reviews on here as well.

Just because preform tells you the cartridge is worn out and “must” be replaced, don’t believe it. The printer will still use the the cartridge with just a warning. I’ve run 1.5 liters of 3rd party grey resin through the same empty V4 cartridge and it’s still going.

1 Like

Please share your experience again after 2 to 2.5 liter. :slight_smile:
Unless they changed anything, the hard limit is 1.7 liter. After that it is locked out.

1 Like

Good to know, thanks.

That’s extremely encouraging. Do you use the printer in Closed mode as well? The printer senses and dispenses without any external help?

Yes, closed mode, I’ve never even tried the open mode.

please let us know when it stops working?

After reading Fantasy2’s post about the 1.7 litre limit, I bought a couple of empty cartridges from another forum member and “retired” my old grey V4.

eaelec, I have a almost full liter of the Digital Forge Grey you can have for the shipping costs. I found that it tends to swell and with the very fine pieces I print that’s not acceptable.

1 Like

Do you have pictures of this resin?

There’s quite a few new resins out there recently like harzlab, hero, DigitalForge, photo centric, iFun, applylabwork and others(this list is getting long!), but it is difficult to find any feedback from actual users other than the pictures from the manufacturer.

My website is showing about 1,000 product variations using Apply Form Labs Grey resin in 2 Form 2 units.

Hi Walter, I would like to ask your experience in using 3rd party resins with respect to build plate adhesion.

Recently I started doing experiment with low viscous 3rd party resins on Formlabs printer. However I noticed build plate adhesion is an issue. It is not the Z-alignment issue and not the cleanliness of build plate.

Also, noticed initial 5 to 10 layers are Ok on build plate (as I aborted the print and checked), but later on I can see it is peeling off from the build plate and sticking onto the resin tank bottom.

With same settings running again with Formlabs resin it got no issues and the only difference I can correlation is the viscosity of resin. 3rd party resin is used on DLP printer with same wavelength of (405nm) of Formlab printer as well.

If you have any inputs and experience of this kind, could you please provide some advise on this.


I use ALW Grey resin that has been formulated for the Form 2. They don’t have anything for the Form 3 as FormLabs won’t add Open Mode to the Form 3 so your forced to by their high cost resin.

I’ve been using the ALW resin for over 3 years and have no big problems with it. I did try Power Forge once and gave the liter away as it was crap in my book. Never tried any other.

With the ALW Grey I use FL Grey V2 or V3 settings and have good results.

I have a process I do to keep the Build Plate in good service. I haven’t replaced a BP in 2 years. I remove all parts off the build plate after draining it in the Form 2. I 3D printed a holder that replaces the build plate and allows the build plate to stand at a angle to drain for about 20 minutes.

I then remove all parts into the wire basket and scrape the build plate with the metal spatula. I scrape the resin off the spatula on the side of the resin tray so it can be used again. As seen in my IPA tutorial, I use a large tea strainer for small parts so they don’t bounce around in the wire basket. That tea strainer has a chain and hook that clips on the cross support I wash them this way. Keeps a lot of resin out of the IPA making it last longer.

When the wash cycle is ended I put the build plate on the cleaning holder and use a thin kitchen scouring pad on the wet surface and sort of polish it smooth. I do that every time. I’ve found the pink pads to be the best. The green and blue pads tend to be too course and also the blue ones I had got die all over the place. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I wipe the wet build plate dry with a folded paper kitchen towel. I have at least 3 build plates in circulation between the two Form 2 Printers so one is generally on the holder until a job finishes.

Hope this helps.

ALW is testing their resins on the Form 3 as well and it is working very well. Their manual for the clear resin specifies how to use it.

@ravinagiri which brand did you try? The lower viscosity ones are usually the cheapest. Best to have a bit higher viscosity for formlabs printers.