If you order 12 liter at a time I assume you print a multiply of that in a year. Using the universal cartridge adds less than 6 dollar per liter and over the lifespan of it, much less than that. Still much cheaper than OEM resin and all functionality is back. In that sense, not a bad deal if that is the only or best way to print on the Form 2 or Form 3
That resin purchase is because I’m closing the retail operation and there has been a tidal wave of orders. Usually it was 4 liters per month normally. I’ll use a lot less going forward as I’ll only be doing a small amount of 3D prints.
I have to agree. I have no complaints about my Form 2, its a fantastic machine, nor with FormLabs which have always been quick and helpful with support when requested. But the resin is insanely expensive.
I also see people on reddit and facebook posting pics of Photon and Elegoo Mars printed miniatures and they are almost at Form 2 quality for a fraction of the resin prices.
BIT THE BULLET today, Ordered a Form 3 Printer.
We are in the midst of closing our Retail Operations and will leave for an extended AMTRAK trip across the country and back. So it times out right as the printer should be here shortly after we return.
I have been using a Form 2 for my private practice (orthodontic office for 2 years) printing dental models scanned with an intra-oral scanner, to produce retainers and aligners.
I have the new Form 3 for 2 weeks now, and I have been using it since day one for the above. It prints as the Form 2 (slightly faster, Dental Model V2 100microns). I see no visual differences to the print surface, however the Form 3 prints perfectly (same as F2) but the machine has parts that are easily changed if needed (if something needs replacement). For example I had loss of laser power after a year at F2 and I got a printer swap from Formlabs. If you run to a similar problem you get the part that needs to be changed and do it yourself easy.
Other than the above, to the initial question, yes Form 3 is used for every day production at least for 2 weeks now, and runs as smooth as the F2 that I had in office for 2 years now.
Dr Dimitris Galaktopoulos DDS,MS
Regarding the resin tank, I was told by Formlabs that it will last more than F2 LT Tank, if that is true, that means months of heavy printing before change is needed…We’ll see
Thanks Dr. that’s very helpful info. My use of the Form 3 will be much less than the way I’ve run my Form 2 units. 111 jobs run in the last three weeks. I’ve gone through 16 liters of resin about that same time. Few fails and they were usually two or three items on a multi item prints. My parts are small so some run 150 pieces at a time.
Mine will be here today!!!
I got 1 fail so far, the printer stopped a few minutes after starting, and on the screen it read “error 63”. My parts are large so 6 at a time is the usual prints. I have messed with Z-Compression and Early Layer Merge, on that specific print just to test it. The Form 3 new sensors must have sensed that my parts will not adhere to the platform, so it stopped printing leaving a very thin base printed on the platform, that I easily removed. When I tried the same print with the default settings (z-comp and layer merge) it went on and printed everything fine.
If that is the case the sensors do the job quite promising because on the Form 2, it would have tried to print, and if the object detached from the platform, it would have been all over from the wiper, and would have spilled resin everywhere (I know that for a fact, because it had happened on the F2 and my assistant had to clean the printer forever till it was ready for a new print).
Define “production”. For dental models, I’m sure it works great. For actual volume, i.e., more than a handful of parts, I would stray far away.
Resin. It’s insanely expensive and the market is poised to blow up. The big chemistry players are making a massive push in the resin market. So we continue to see insanely good resins for prices much less than what formlabs is charging. So you are losing on cost, performance and flexibility.
Workflow. These printers are not designed for mass production work flows, lots of labor which drives up costs. From what I’ve gathered even form cells are kind of a novelty which you can’t purchase through normal channels. No support for part packing on multiple levels, you’d probably have to manually do the packing and then export the STL into preform. Formwash and cure are not ready for prime time. Volume constraints, takes way too long to wash and cure and many times they don’t actually wash parts fully. You could come up with a custom workflow, but you won’t get any help from formlabs.
Speed. We haven’t taken delivery of our Form 3 yet, but speed has always been an issue and will be with any laser system. Projection systems can cure entire layers in a few seconds and then move on to the next layer. The technology just can’t compete. This will also affect your bottom line.
For me formlabs has always been about convenience and presumably will continue to be. The software is easy to use and for non-complicated parts that aren’t too large, you can get good results in a decent amount of time. We generally try to outsource large, 500 ml or >, parts if we have the time to wait, as we’ve had too many failures or it just takes too much post processing time.
It depends on what your goals are, the benefits of this type of printer is the quality and detail at a pretty large size, the downside of that is that it’s slower to print but that’s something you have to accept when you want the results the printer can provide.
All SLA printers have the need to rinse and cure, so that’s not something that can be avoided with this type of printing.
While technically true, all SLA type printers need to post wash and cure, the time for those steps can be decreased dramatically. There are companies now that can do that process in 1 or 2 minutes. And that’s where resin flexibility will help with production.
What other printers can rinse/cure that fast?
From what I understand it isn’t printer based so much as materials based.
Using an ultrasonic bath and high power UV light you can do it with materials from BASF. No heat needed as well. Unfortunately these materials haven’t made their way into the retail channel yet, but can be ordered directly.
When did you order? I’ve not heard anything about when I might expect mine, and I’m grasping at straws to attempt to calibrate the delay.
Attempting to CANCEL my order for the Form 3 printer. Sent an email today to FormLabs. Hope there is no issue on this and I get a full refund.
Three things helped me make that decision.
- Both the comments I’ve read on here about the short comings of the Form 3 printer plus the ratification of those same concerns by a local fellow who has a Form 3. He’s had the same issues with it.
- My newest Form 2 unit is performing quite well so I’ll keep that and buy a half dozen of the LT tray which should last me a good bit. Far cheaper than the new Form 3.
- My wife is suffering from an overdoes of a cortisone injection to her hip to relieve pain. They gave her double the normal dosage and she tends to be allergic to many meds anyway. Been to the ER twice already and they thought she had blood clots in her leg but not. Also has a hard time talking, comprehending stuff, breathing, etc. Almost seems to have aged her 10 years. Their answer was to put her on Opioids to help with the pain. Sure, cure worst than the ailment.
Anyway with all this and closing my business it’s best to sit back. I may even keep the Photon S I purchased and see how that works out.
What the heck is “2 kit manufactures”? I tried googling it, and it’s unclear.
I have been a model railroading kit manufacture for the past 18 years. The 2 kit manufactures are doing the same. I will sell them bulk 3D printed detailing items to be used in their model kits that they sell. One is in the US and the other is in Canada.
I received my Form3 last month. After many failed prints (printing standard grey), and found out the software was having issues sending correct support information to the printer. Returned it for full refund.