Bad prints out of brand New Form 3


Yep… this has been a standard response from them. This is the response I initially got, until i submitted file after file and picture after picture where I utilized more supports, changed orientations, etc., with absolutely no improvements. then they finally admitted that the problem I was writing about is indeed an actual issue that they say they are now currently working on. Unfortunately I was told that a firmware update sometime in the future is the only way this may be fixed. So for everyone experiencing these issues… it’s gonna be awhile.


I’ve noticed that if you look very closely to the LPU during printing, you can see that the film sags a bit.

It’s not clear how that would cause the specific artifacts that everyone has been seeing, but I imagine any kind of sagging is undesirable and perhaps they just need to tension the film more.

I’m curious if this sagging means the rollers are being gently pushed up again the part as it’s being printed.

Here’s a video showing what I observed. Might be hard to see exactly what I’m talking about though because of the reflections.


Hi larsenstephen,

About your comments:

  1. … We don’t experience that defect with any of the five Form 2
    Form3 has different laser (maybe more powerful) and different optical system, it might be possible that a parasitic reflection is causing this issue as I can clearly see a projection of the supports over flat surfaces (see some images above). The projections of the supports have very sharp and clear corners, if it’s diffuse light it will be fuzzy

  2. …The defect only occurs in circular openings
    It depends on the resin, object orientation and density of supports how intense will be the effect. The holes tend to “attract” and keep the resin inside because of the surface tension, notice that only one side of the hole is distorted (the one where the drop of the resin may stay longer)
    Also it depends where was located the detail on the build plate - I found some comments in the forum which suggest the parasitic curing is stronger on the internal side (facing inside the printer).


Thanks for your thoughts and insight.

Three points I wish to emphasize:

  1. circular openings are significantly misshapen, rectangular openings much less so.

  2. edges of all openings and geometric features are somewhat rounded on the Form 3 (“mushy”) but not the Form 2.

  3. changing build platform placement, reorienting models on the build platform, increasing support density and increasing touchpoint size have all failed to correct the wide spectrum of defects we get in Form 3 prints.

Unfortunately, parasitic curing as a possible cause of one kind of defect (misshapen circular openings), while interesting, does not explain the wide spectrum of defects we experienced with our Form 3, including layer shifting, soft detailing and surface bulging.

Reports made by others indicate that the defects found in our Form 3 prints are not unique to us.

Hopefully, the new firmware update will correct the defects.


It’s OK if it sags, the LPU will push up the flexible part of the tray and the part that is currently being printed is going to print fine.


If the film sags right over top of the LPU where the laser rasters, and you didn’t design it to do that, you would unexpectedly end up with >100um or whatever your layer resolution is.

If it was designed to sag and achieve a 100um difference when resting on the top of the LPU glass then you achieve your expected layer height, but then the leftmost roller would bump up against the recently cured area.

I might be missing something here as there are two layers of the film and what I saw is likely the bottom layer…but just calling out that it looked a little odd.


have you tried reorienting? the form 2 and form 3 are different machines, the form 3 uses new low force printing, which is still new in the arena, have faith, maybe even send the STL file over to formlabs tech support and see if they can reproduce the error / correct it…


Yes, I have tried re-orienting the models, repeatedly. Yes, I am aware that the Form 2 and Form 3 are different machines. I am aware that the Form 3 uses low force printing.

*.stl files and photos sent to FL for evaluation. FL did evaluate them and provided feedback.

FL tech support acknowledges there is a problem(s) and reports that only a future firmware update is likely to fix the problem(s).

  • Re-orienting models had no affect on print quality
  • Adding more supports had no affect.
  • Changing model position on the build platform had no affect.
  • Changing model orientation on the build platform had no affect.
  • Increasing touchpoint size had no affect.

All of this is true for two Form 3s we have had in hand. We get the same kinds of defects on models no matter how we orient them or which Form 3 printed them.

All of the models print perfectly on our Form 2s.

From a practical perspective, an iterative trial-and-error reorientation test for each of the 1400 models we sell would be a business production-crippling practice and not at all helpful or sustainable. No such process was required to get perfect prints from the Form 2s we own. Nor would it be practical or affordable in time and money and resin to test print each of the over 1400 models we sell until we can get a good print with a Form 3.

Hopefully, the recent firmware update is the fix we need. Will conduct additional print tests on the Form 3 with the new firmware shortly. I would very much like to report that the new firmware is a success.


Yeah not to sound rude but have you read anything in this thread? Because it is clear from the numerous posts by me and others that orientation, supports, etc… none if it matters. There is an inherent flaw here that Formlabs has recognized and stated they are working on. And unfortunately it is now just a waiting game for the fix, which has absolutely NO timeline at this point.


1/ There have been two firmware releases since these prints were done on 6th January. Both release feature ‘Various bug fixes’ which could mean anything.

2/ My understanding is that Formlabs was working on tuning grey resin @ 100μm before turning to other resins and layer thicknesses. Presumably they have found from their dashboard data that this combination of resin and layers is the most populars.

3/ It looks to me as if the resin is over-curing, ie the laser is passing through the working layer to cure resin where it shouldn’t be cured. If you like the laser is trying to to cure 100μm layer while you are trying to print 50 or 25μm layers.

4/ The Form3 will work with 0.2mm touchpoints. At 100% density there maybe more supports so there is a trade off between number and size of supports. In general the smaller touchpoint allow the model to be just twisted off the supports. (I’m using 0.3mm touchpoints @ 80% on many of the print on my Form2).

OK I know this last bit doesn’t help with your problems, but I think that that is entirely in the hands to the Formlab techs. Hopefully they will having it all sorted by the Form3’s first birthday.

Surface Artifacts on 2nd Print

I like the attitude, it get this fixed. Show me one person who never wanted to smash their printer of any type and ill show you someone who shouldn’t own one…

I saw someone post that they live way up a mountain, Is there any way the F3 takes in altitude when printing? Or if this is even an issue?

at the same time, things need to be considered. Is the Stl you are printing your own property or could
others on the forum attempt to print it and see what happens< reproducing a problem can narrow down things>


I am the one who started this thread… and again… if you just check back in the thread you’ll see that for one of the files where I had issues, with MY OWN files, I made them available to others, and the problems were reproduced by others, over and over again. Not only that, they were reproduced in different resin types, at different layer thicknesses. Again… this is an identified problem by Formlabs with no identifiable cause, and no current fix issued, and no time table for when that fix may come.


So DoggieDoc83, where can I find the part where formlabs states this issues are already identified?
I’ve gone throught the entire thread but didn’t find where someone from formlabs statede this, or is this somewhere else?

I ask about this because my family owned company recently bought the F3 and we already had it replaced because the first one failed misserably to perform any part. I’m running a test print right now hoping to get a good result but with very little faith on it. If this machine fails to produce usable parts again, we will send this printer back. I feel so dumb because we sold an F2 perfectly functional to get the f3 and until this day nothing usable has come from it.


It’s right here… it wasn’t something where Formlabs officially came into the thread but it was the official response I got in my support emails with them. I just stated it and didn’t copy/paste the actual text from my emails.


I came here hoping to read about a solution to this problem. Thanks for keeping this alive.


Thank you, this is very useful. Currently we are testing the machine and results are not what expected.


Yep… I see the small holes are mostly closed/filled in on your test prints there. Probably rounded/less clean edges and such as well?


Test print completed using the updated firmware and updated Preform. The test model is the ship superstructure shown in posts above printed with standard gray V4 at 50 microns.

I regret to report that there is no improvement in print quality. There continues to exist badly misshapen openings, rounded edges where there should be sharp edges, mushy detailing, etc.

Surprisingly , layer shifting is actually worse.

I’ll post photos tomorrow when lighting is better.


Yikes. Well that’s no good to hear. Curious to see the photos. The layer shifting issue has been killer here, and to see it may be worse… oof.


Here is the test print. The layer shifting causes vertical surfaces to be wavy. The waviness does not show up well in the photos.

None of the defects identified in the photos below occur when printing on a Form 2.