Are you happy with Customer Support?

Just curious as to how satisfied the community is with Formlabs Customer support.

This month they’ve managed to transform me from a reasonably reasonable, we’re all in this together sort of guy into a raving, slavering, foaming at the mouth attack dog.

24 prints, 6 successful, (and each print takes more than a day to run) 24+ hour response time, dust on the internal mirrors of the Form2, liters of wasted resin, tanks that won’t register, carts that aren’t recognized, a lead screw that screeches like a banshee, flakes and divots on the .05 surface. And more.

In the weeks have gone by, all responses of the “very rare to have this happen” to “something else for me to run as a test” to “you must be doing something wrong”. And as the issues multiplied, they lost track of the list, just answering the latest manifestation without solving or even responding to the previous (long) list. And now, after a month, I’m still without a reliable printer.

And no mechanism for escalation.

To be fair, I’m using the entire build volume, and the prints are complex, so I’m going to be at the far end of the bell curve. But still…

I don’t like what this has turned me into. But my assumption is that if a bad printer is rare, it’s easy to address. If there are a lot of bad printers out in the field, cost containment is an issue. That’s what I think is happening.

Fast growth is outstripping QC on all levels.

What are all you out there seeing? Are you happy with the response and time it takes to get you going again?

What are your experiences? I’d love to get a general sense. Am I an outlier, or is the problem larger?

To me the support was always good with less than 24 hours response time. Not ideal but very good for a free support as opposed to the service plan feature. Helped me to resolve a variety of issues quickly and effectively.
It seems like you have a whole bunch of issues. Why would not you start with simple models and then move progressively to more complicated ones? This way it will be easier to pinpoint the issues that you have. You are mentioning dust on the internal mirrors. Did you have to open the optical window?

n ot happy at all… Prob be fixing the viper. The support is laughable… Especially since the support issues SHOULD be used for fixes, as there are many neccessary

I have to say that support have been absolutely brilliant. They have been responsive and tried to fix my problems promptly. I have not had any complaints but then I am printing ordinary stuff.

I’ve been using a Form printer for getting close to 2 years, first a 1+, then the 2, so I’m well past the start small stage. The odd part is that I was getting a higher success rate with the 1+.

I think that tracks back to the more complicated architecture being more fragile, and prone to manufacturing errors, especially when they’re rapidly ramping up production. Reportedly now about 1,000 month. Given a normal bell curve, there will be some defective printers, and printers at the bottom of the acceptable range that make it out into the field.

I probably got one of those, which is a poor fit for my work. It might pass for someone making less challenging work that the machine handles more easily.

The other problem is that a small print is much more likely to succeed than a larger version of the same file. A 30 hour print will reveal issues that a 4 hour print won’t. The size will generate much higher peel stress, for example. A dust speck might never be hit by the laser in a small print, but in a full volume print, it will be.

I haven’t ever opened up the machine. Whatever dust is in there came with it. And it’s in a clean environment. Not laminar flow clean, but close to eat off the floor clean.

My company opted to purchase the Pro Service Plan and I have been very satisfied with their Customer Support so far (I understand that check is a lot easier for a company to write than an individual). I have actually been surprised at how seriously they take it for such a fast growing company.

My prints are on the smaller side for sure, I care more about precision than size which is why I chose SLA, typically 2-4 hr build times. I have had 34 successful prints (~90 parts) and 6 unsuccessful. 4 of those unsuccessful prints are recent and due to the same issue that Customer Support is actively working with me to correct. The other 2 failures i was trying to push the supports and designs too far.

Hope things get better for you.

I also moved from the Form 1+ to Form2.
My first Form2 had a lot of issues and they were difficult to resolve that in the end support asked me to send the printer back.
Since I purchased it from a Japanese reseller (I am based in Japan), the reseller happily replaced my printer and it has been working perfect ever since so I also feel that with my first Form2, it was definitely a QC issue that caused all the problems (some screws actually popped out).
I was satisfied with support but I always prepared a simple slide with photo evidence of my issues and my hypothesis and ask for their opinion about them which made things a lot smoother when the replies back and fro start to turn lengthy.
I hope your issues get resolved eventually but have to agree that the form1+ is a beast especially with the OpenFL!! but I get more reliability with the Form2 plus the larger build area.

I’m on my third Form1+. So far, (knock on wood) it’s been great. Support has been a mixed bag for me, as the second printer’s failures took well over a month to fix, and the fix is my current printer - which incidentally is a Fom1 chassis - not a Form1+, and it had some fairly serious cosmetic damage. Initially I was friggin livid at getting an older chassis, and it was all goobered up and dirty to boot, but the prints were fantastic. And they kept being great. I complained at first about the chassis, but I decided to not look a gift horse in the mouth, if you know what I mean, and I also didn’t want another month of downtime. Everything is great right now - I won’t even update the software out of fear it’ll hork something. I’m on v1.9.1 still.

I’ve always had my doubts about the Form2. Saw one in action in Philadelphia last year, and it just seemed kinda meh, and I definitely did not like the cartridge idea - I knew that was all about vendor-lock-in. The Form1 had a nicer feel and simpler and cleaner design IMHO. The way the top fits on the Form2’s base looks like someone measured wrong. I thought the sealed case was a great improvement, but we’ve seen lately how well that works. I’m sticking with my Form1+. I like it now that I’ve added a resin heater and have created good hybrid resin mixes for my work.

Good luck with your Form2 - I hope it all gets ironed out.

I started from Form 1 from the beginning, then moved to Form 1+. I had huge amount of problems with the Form 1 (on the forum you will know the reasons from many many posts of the users). then I was in contact wiht Customer Care for long time. I can say it works fine. Sometimes answers not fast as we need, but they still came in reasonable times. Support is professional and FL guys very kind and patient. There were few times I felt little disappointed because they suggest to me to repeat the same testing steps before to replace the printer. But we are talking about the Form 1 period. That fortunately is over.
So, in my personal experience, The Customer Care support works correctly, without black sides.

@ Rob_Steinberg: you wrote about long time printing at 50 microns, right? I know that machine can do that, but you are pushing machine at its limit. I mean that at that resolution, longer prints could create many failtures. If you need that resolution, I sugges to cut into different parts the object and print them separately. Furthermore, if you use the whole printable area, you are giving more stress to the peeling step. It still work, but the % of failtures or errors could happen more then if you use only a central area (or at least not the whole available space). But if you prefer print bigger parts could be better to use lower resolutions. Form 2 is good machine for its price, but still have its limits.
BUT if the issue is related to an hardware problem, that is no fair: FL company must take care it and replace or fix the problem.

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