Anyone actually have a Form 3 in production?


#1

I’m considering a Form 3 but I’d like to know who’s having success with it, actually running it in a production type environment?
How well do the resin trays stand up and last?


#2

I’m starting to wonder if ANYONE is actually producing prints yet on a Form 3 Printer! This has been here for a few days and no one has replied.:face_with_raised_eyebrow:


#3

This printer is out in the wild and there are prints but you have to search very hard. This forum in general is not the most active at all. I would try their Facebook group page for Formlabs. You may get a better response there. I mean Form 3 posts in general are kinda weak here not to mention there’s not even really solid reviews from industry experts yet despite the printer being “out” for a few months now.


#4

If you’re willing to wait another 2.5 month then you get my review. Ordered one some time ago, delivery said to be somewhere in November.

There are a few out there, also on the facebook pages, but the material I’ve seen there is very scarce. Not many active people seem to have a form 3 yet.


#5

Well, I’m in negotiations with FL on a new Form 3. My issue right now is the LACK of Open Mode. See no reason this could not be there on the F3 as it is on the F2 units. Sort of feel it’s to force F3 buyers to only use FL resins.:face_with_raised_eyebrow:


#6

Using it in a prototype environment. Runs great. One month of use, 30 prints. It prints more true to CAD, especially on draft resin. On Form 2 I have to make huge compensations for squish of draft but Form 3 it prints very close to CAD dimensions. Layers are sharp, supports are easy to remove. I have only used white and draft so far. We have had two parts not print, both came off of the supports. Not clear if it was a printer issue or design issue (lack of supports) because the other parts on the platform printed fine. Since there is no wiper going through each layer, the fact that there was a part stuck to the tray didn’t seem to matter much which is nice.


#7

Thanks, sound good.

My issue is NO Open Mode so only Form Labs resins can be used. In a production environment that is a big issue.
The cost of the resin is almost 50% more than the resin (ALW) I currently use and have for a number of years. I’m closing my retail business as the volume has got what too big for a retirement company. Over 300 orders in a month. [grin] I’m switching to a wholesale setup but only with 2 or three kit manufactures. As they expect lower than retail pricing it’s going to make for lower profits.


#8

I know Formlabs has mentioned they plan on having an Open mode with the Form3, just not sure when that is coming.


#9

I understand your cost concerns but also think it is a kinda messed up that the resin companies are riding the r&d losses of FL to develop an awesome printer and just selling the high margin resin. The resin business is way more profitable than the machine side but the resin is useless without a printer. I have never cared about open mode myself because of the environment in which I use it, but I understand both sides.


#10

If you think ALW resin is cheap, and it is, compared to Formlabs resin, then you’re in for a real surprise when you’re going to start using your Photon. 1 liter of their resin (Anycubic), depending on the color ranges from $38.99 to $42.99.

My point is that there’s no reason why Formlabs should charge the money they do for general purpose resins. Specialty resins like dental, castable and such, I can understand, but general purpose resin, no.

[quote=“gjgomes, post:9, topic:24604”]
the resin companies are riding the r&d losses of FL to develop an awesome printer [/quote]

And that is an argument that can’t be made any longer. Considering what they charge for these printers, and the fact that most of the users that bought them paid in advance, that more than paid for the R&D and the production setups.

So I’m sorry, but Formlabs is gouging all of you, and you are gladly towing the line. They have in effect created a cult around their product, much like Apple has, and is taking advantage of all the good will that they generated around it.


#11

For the most part I agree.
The difference between $74 a liter and $149 a liter hits my profit margin. After all, that’s the reason I’ve run the company I have. I’m in a very competitive business and price is a big issue. If I used FL resin for my retail products I wouldn’t have the volume I do.
I purchased 12 liters of resin this past month from ALW with FREE SHIPPING when I order 4 liters at one time. That’s also another cost savings.
Yes, FL has nice resins but I get great quality that my customers rave about all the time.
Open Mode is not a Bugaboo at all. Much better than having the machine full of resin because the bite plug fails. Only spills I’ve had are when a tray leaks and it’s NOT the ALW resin causing it as I’ve seen others using FL resin have the same problem.
I’m closing my retail operation because of the volume. Being retire and going on 77 working 10-14 hour days isn’t worth it any more.
On the Photon S… Going to sell it, never used. I’m going to purchase a Form 3 on the belief that FL will add Open Mode soon. I’ll be doing only wholesale work for 2 kit manufactures. This allows the wife to retire to work in her garden and do her sewing, plus it will keep me busy a lot less than what we’ve been.


#12

You should try it at least once. You’ll be surprised at the quality of the prints

AS for the Form 3, even assuming FL will add Open Mode, what do you hope it will do that your Form 2 didn’t, especially for the type of work you do?


#13

The problem is the build area. It’s rather small and I need to build larger pieces. We’ll see, Just another piece of equipment to learn. I also bought a professional Silver Bullet 24" die cutter unit which I also need to work with.


#14

While the Formlabs resin is expensive, I haven’t see any third party resins so far that work as well

As for Open Mode, while I’m sure they are reluctant to get that implemented (just in terms of business sense) probably most of the delay is that they’re still working on stuff like completing settings for all the different resins and quality levels.


#15

That’s the thing about Open Mode, it doesn’t provide any predefined profiles, It’s up to you to do so.

So they could implement Open Mode right now, if they really wanted to.


#16

Blockquote
Dudemeister4h
That’s the thing about Open Mode, it doesn’t provide any predefined profiles, It’s up top you to do so.

An interesting thought there Dudemeister. Of course the selection of “material” in Preform does set an exposure / speed/power of laser profile. That directly controls the cure characteristics of the resin being used.

“Open” mode on the Form 2 is not really a true open mode as it does not allow the user much control over exposure variables such as time and power of the exposure (the amount of UV energy being applied per unit of the uncured resin) (Unlike in your Photon or the Form1, where you can control / set the variables)

“Open” mode simply disables several of the Form 2 features to allow a user to pour resin into the build tray. It also introduces a rather undesirable feature of a delay being forced when it calculates (rather than measures) that 100ml of resin should have been used. This often causes lines in a print and those lines can be a weak point in the print. The impact of the delay is proportionate to how quickly the user presses “resume”

Its hard to understand or conclude why a similar system could not be implemented TODAY on the Form 3, other than its not desired by Formlabs as potentially it removes a source of revenue from them (resin sales / consumable sales)

I guess that the current position of NO OPEN MODE on a Form3 is a position driven by commercial reasons rather than technical reasons.

My prediction is that after a period of time “Open” mode may become available on the Form3, but its anyone’s guess as to exactly when. My thoughts are that the timing of such a release will probably coincide with a slowing down of sales / orders and will in effect be used as a sales tool to increase sales at a quiet point (if the option of open mode ever happens at all…)


#17

I disagree on your assumption. Look at what I am producing and selling on my website www.rustystumps.com it’s all produced with ALW Grey resin and is every bit as good as Form Labs Grey resin. I’ve used both.


#18

I run Open Mode and have for 3 years using ALW resin. It uses the FL Grey V3 profiles and has no issues. You need to research more before making such a statement.


#19

OK, I’ll concede that, since I haven’t used Open Mode on a F2.

Last time I was using Open Mode was on the F1+, in it’s early days, and it needed you to provide your profiles. The only default profile they had was for the clear, and you had to figure out on your own how to tweak it for your own resin. Most resins in those days didn’t work with the standard profiles.

But even if that was the case (and the F2 uses normal profiles in Open Mode), and Open mode just disables a few features and unlock the ability to simply pour in some resin and go, then why the delay? It’s not like they have to do any special coding and tweaking for it.

I think the reality is FL wants to milk the resin cow for as long as they can, then maybe a year or so down the line, they might open it up.


#20

As I run with only one resin color, Grey, even setting the Open Mode is no issue. ALW resins come with specs on what mode to use for each of their resins plus a host of other info. This is included in each liter package.