Hello to the community,
We are an OEM using rapid prototyping to produce some custom parts for our regular product line.
After our experience with Formlabs, we doubt we can work with them to scale up our 3D printing facility.
We wonder if there are companies in this community having a Factory level printing setup running 24h/7 that can tell us their experience with Formlabs and their 3D printing setup.
We question if the customer and technical service is different when having a Factory level solution?
Here is our own experience with Formlabs so far:
We were at first really interested in buying the Form Cell station which is mainly promoted as an optimized, reliable and proven solution for 3D Printing at a factory level.
We wanted to verify those good promises, so we ended buying a single Form 2 printer + needed accessories. It ran perfectly and smoothly for 3 months so we bought a second one. On average we run the printers for less than 12 hours a day. We follow the official cleaning and maintenance procedures as mention in all the different documents on the Formlabs website.
The honeymoon with our printers started to fade around the 8th month of use. We started getting off tolerance parts, surface defect, parts falling from build platform and layer offsetting. We contacted support which than supplied a deeper maintenance and troubleshooting procedure. We followed the instructions and Formlabs sent us few replacement parts. The printers got better but we were still getting about 40% of rejects (bad prints).
We got tired and just before the end of the warranty of our second printer, Formlabs accepted to take the printer to their facility and repair it. It got back to us we the performance of a new printer.
Our issue now is that Formlabs does not want to provide the repair for free, even if our normal use is not the cause of the problem. We asked to have a call with them, but this option is not offer by their customer service.
We now highly doubt we want to further pursue using their printing solution.
We could also mention the unpredictable availability of material, build platform replacement, resin tank replacement, wasted money and time trying to troubleshoot these machines etc.