4 to 6 weeks with a form 3 - meh


#1

TLDR - It feels like this was rushed out before full beta testing was carried out

So I’ve been running a form 3 for around 4 to 6 weeks now. I have got some lovely prints out of it in that time and yes the results are generally a bit clearer or sharper but wow talk about a frustrating experience some times.

My issues with the machine are as follows,

  • The wiper inside the tank is just flawed. Using an empty tank? It will become unhitched during the test. Only way I’ve found to solve this is to put a small amount of resin in the fresh tank. Using a thicker resin such as tough or durable? Better hope it’s hot! Otherwise the wiper again unhitches and throws an error. Then you get to enjoy resin covered hands as you try and reclick it into place

  • The resin meter on the machine doesn’t seem to update with any kind of indication as to how much is left.

  • After a print, if I want to start another print, I always get an error. This error happens just before it tests the optics. The only way I’ve found to actually get it to print is to restart the machine and even that doesn’t always work out. I will be contacting support on this one. Feels either like an issue with the optics unit or the firmware.

  • The time to print. Got used to relatively good speeds on the form 2? Well prepare to add a good bit of time to your prints on the form 3. It may be because one axis is mechanical rather than optical as with the form 2. The time predicition isn’t even displayed on preform so you have no idea how long something will take until it’s loaded onto the machine.

  • My screen at one point lost the backlight. A restart solved this but again, it was a frustration I didn’t expect to have. I will also be contacting support about this one.

These are all issues I discovered with a single machine running relatively infrequent prints over a period of a few weeks. I can’t imagine that these issues didn’t crop up during beta testing with several machines running 24/7 as I would suspect you would before releasing a product.

There are some lovely features on the machine. I like that the build platform is warmed along with the resin. I like that it has audio and light indicators to tell you what the state of the machine is. I like the overall design. There is most defitely a diamond of a machine in here but my initial experience just hasn’t been all that wonderful.


#2

Thanks for taking the time to document your results here. I’ve been planning to buy a Formlabs printer for a while but reports like this one have me looking at other manufacturers. Most disappointing is that there seems to be little to no response from Formlabs, which leads one to believe that they see no resolution for at least some of the reported problems.


#3

Indeed, thanks for sharing! Some of your feedback has been echoed by other users and I anticipate will get addressed in time. My impression is some of the engineers at Formlabs would agree with you the printer was released too early.

That said, I received my Form 3 a few days ago and so far the experience has been relatively pleasant. The print quality in Clear is really good. I put a few drops into the tank before the first print to avoid the mixer popping off, and haven’t had an issue with it yet. No errors yet except for the tank not being fully inserted the first time I tried to use it (my bad). My machine’s cover arrived with scratch lines and scuffing on the top; support responded within a day saying they’d send a replacement cover.

Admittedly it’s still early days, and I’ll report back more thoroughly in a few weeks. But I felt @mh1974 ought to know some of us are having better luck.

Like him, I was initially wary - and even instructed my salesperson to hold my order because of what I was reading about from other early adopters, but they ‘made a mistake’ and shipped it anyway. Had a long conversation with a couple of folks from Formlabs and I do think they’re working hard on ironing out the kinks, even though those efforts are (unfortunately) fairly opaque to us here on the forums.


#4

I don’t mean to knock the engineers at formlabs. I know from speaking to them that they don’t want to be sending out an unfinished product.

There’s a lot to love about the new machine and I agree the clear resin prints are gorgeous. I just wish I hadn’t been tempted by the £500 discount to take it on. I’m now in a difficult position. I wanted to sell my form 2 as soon as possible and move over fully to the form 3. As it is, I can’t do this. This now leaves me having to order up tanks for both machines. An expense I could do without.

If formlabs is looking for a future beta tester then by all means give me a shout! It would have only taken me a few days to find these issues and I don’t doubt I’ll find more in the following weeks.


#5

I think the same way, Form3 is 2 or 3 times slower than Form2, and I’m also having problems printing, just before I start printing, the machine restarts, I will have to contact support.The machine has good results, but it is very slow, it seems that it was launched before it was prepared, it seems a step back.


#6

That’s encouraging to hear, but it seems odd that Formlabs isn’t more active here, other than to suggest that someone with problems contact support by phone or email. It would be nice to see an official statement that all existing FL resins will be supported and that print speeds and quality will be increased to that of the FL 2 with a estimated timeline. Barring such statements one is left wondering if they are not sure it is possible to meet those goals. Of course, it’s much better not to promise what can’t be delivered.


#7

Hey all,

Thanks so much for taking the time to post. We absolutely understand your concerns, and truly appreciate your patience as we continue to work hard improving our printer performance and compatibility.

The best resource for resin availability is this page, which we do try our absolute best to keep updated in real-time.

I’m not able to give a specific timeline on other software improvements at the moment(would if I could!), but I wanted to hop in and say we see and read your feedback, and our software team is working hard to improve print quality as much as possible as efficiently as possible. We believe in the Form 3 and I can assure you the work is not done.

Please don’t hesitate to keep the feedback coming.