Bad prints out of brand New Form 3

Very pleasantly surprised by the latest builds, after the firmware and software updates today. Not that my previous builds have been bad but the 1:285 scale models were flawless just now. Hope this is related and that the improvement is maintained. The models were printed in standard gray resin with 25 micron layers.

1 Like

post a photo :wink:

Yeah come on you can;t tease us like that.

I will be running some more prints over the weekend. Will try and get high quality photos for you.

Here is the latest print. It is a 1:285 scale German Pak 40 anti-tank gun. The ruler helps to estimate the size of the print (cms along the nearest edge; inches along the furthest). You can barely make out the 25 micron layers. No defects anywhere - layer shifts, etc.



I posted some new 50μm Black and Clear photos here.

1 Like

I regret to report test prints with the new Preform and firmware updates resulted in no improvement with standard gray V4 at 50 microns. Edges are still rounded and there was noticeable layer shifting. The overall model’s detail looked very soft compared to the same model printed on a Form 2.

Our Form 3 has yet to print a model I can sell. Our Form 2s continue to print beautifully with gray V4 at all resolutions and remain our workhorses. Our Form 3 is turned off again waiting for the next Preform and firmware update. Will continue to run test prints after each update.

1 Like

okay… so how come one of you is getting good results and the other still getting bad results. ??

Or does Monk2002uk works for formlabs and is trying to push sales?

A bit of luck I guess because that’s the only way you’re getting reasonably good print out of the Form 3 with Gray V4 at 25/m.
PreForm still lists 25/m to be in beta… After all that time still in beta… no kidding…!

I experimented today with 6 pieces at 25/m and gray resin. Only one could be qualified as acceptable. Remaining 5 ended up in a dumpster. All displayed the same characteristics, very poor definition on down facing edges, layers shifts and wavy bumpy surfaces. Surfaces facing up were smooth but small features were not better than when printed with 100/m.
Sometimes when you print small and sitting low parts you might get away with a product you could call acceptable, despite it’s poorly defined edges. Tall parts, forget about it…

For me I’m back sending parts to the third party service bureaus…

I can answer why some prints come out fine, and others have problems. It’s entirely down to the geometry. If all the details are on the tank side, and softness on the platform side is acceptable, then you can often get a usable print. If you need sharp detail on the support side, then that’s where the problems come in. I’ll take some pictures of some parts here in the next couple days and post them, but there is a noticeable difference in the sharpness of the detail depending on facing.

Edited to add a picture:

That is two of the same part, with the same detailing all the way around a cylinder. As you can clearly tell, the detail on the support side (left example) is pretty much unusably soft, and distorted, while the detail on the tank side (right example) is nice and crisp. You can even see in the picture the softness gradient as you go from the tank side to the support side around the part.

This is a part that was printed a couple firmware versions ago, so I haven’t tested how it comes out on the newest firmware.

I can confirm that I do not work for Formlabs. Nor do I receive any form of gift or other sponsorship. As a ‘hobby’ user, the Formlabs Form 3 is a big investment so it is in my personal interest to see the issues fixed.


1 Like

Two more photos from yesterday. The same model (a German WW2 Sdkfz 222 armoured car) shot from two different angles: right front; and right rear. The lighting isn’t quite right but the details are reasonably clear. The main gun barrel measures 0.35mm by electronic micrometer. The front bumper/fender is 0.32mm thick. Print is Gray V4 with 0.25 micron layers. Ruler is same as before: cm near edge; inches far edge.


Right front:


Right rear:


1 Like

And a batch of Sdkfz 221 armoured cars, with slightly better lighting:




@lmlloyd Thanks for that photo. Did you ever try those prints on a Form 2 or other SLA printer? If so, are the results comparable?

I ask because I would expect features on the topside to be more crisp as they’re fully supported, while overhangs on the underside are only supported at the contact points so a bit of “droop” is expected as you get further away horizontally from touchpoints.

Man, these threads are awful.

They market the Form 3 as “Pinpoint Precision…25μmXY Resolution” and “Improved part clarity:
With LFS technology’s improved layer registration and surface finish, translucent materials print clearer than ever, right off the printer.”

Dear lord, I would be furious if support told me the printer is working to specifications when their older model prints much better. 25um resolution is the main selling point of the Form 3, but you guys can barely print at 100um with what appears to be much better quality on the discontinued Form 2.

It seems Formlabs rushed this product to market without any extensive testing. Probably they know what the issue is but can’t really fix it without a recall or redesign of the printer. I was looking at the Form 3L potentially, but man…why spend that when you can get some of the new large format Chinese printers at a fraction of the cost.

I think Formlabs dug themselves in a really deep hole. Maybe they got relaxed with the success of the Form 1 & 2, but this is like a complete meltdown/catastrophe. Well…interesting thread and hope there is a solution at some point or even a recall. Keep it up, but seems the actual improvements might be in the Form 4.

Obviously it was rushed though, I remember reading how most of their resins didn’t work with the Form 3 at launch. It’s like uh…how did you guys not test this? They must have gotten wind of stiffer Chinese competition and tried to force the 3 series into existence to retain sales, but a complete flop from what it looks like.

Yea good luck guys. Sorry for intruding here, but I do hope Formlabs makes it right for you guys and future buyers as well. They really should just keep selling the Form 2 and refund/discontinue Form 3 until they can actually make a machine that they envisioned/advertised.


I suspect this too.

When I saw the photo of a formlabs printed pen - as in a pen PRINTED BY formlabs on a form 3 - when I saw that even THEIR print had ripples across it, I realized A; this is a problem they knew about on release and B: it seems obvious the printer has a fundamental design flaw in the LFS process.

I have only ever printed tests on my form3 to check if it is fit for purpose. On my 3rd cartridge - 600 bucks of testing? Now I`m looking at the cheaper Chinese options to print on while I wait for what I expect will be the form3 recall.

Imagine being a new customer missing the info in this thread and you go buy a Form3 today?

Question - why are formlabs still selling the form3 KNOWING 100% it can not print as advertised? Why are sales not put on hold?

I do feel sorry for Formlabs in some ways, as I cant imagine what its like putting out a product that literally performs worse than your previous. It must feel suffocating.

So are these issues only when printing at 25u ? What about 50 or 100 ?

These threads are full of people that use these machines for their businesses and livelihoods. If we were just whining and complaining, sure, your asinine comment would be warranted.

However, we have the receipts. Photo after photo after photo showing the terrible quality and prints that aren’t remotely close to being sellable or usable in any capacity. And this is at 100, 50, and 25 microns. We even have the acknowledgement from Formlabs themselves that the problem I brought up here is a real, legitimate problem, that they’re working on it, and that there is no timeline for when to expect the improvements.

But sure, continue on with the “everything’s fine for me so everyone else must be crazy” line of reasoning.


I am wondering if it had to do with the size of the items printed and also resolution. After all there is some peeling that happen and if features and very thin and small and unsupported…

It is an interesting point, made earlier in this thread too, about the under-side of the models, ie the side that faces the build platform. In the models that I photographed, the under-surface is not visible and does not detract from the model itself. It is not crisp though and resin is slightly softer when cutting through residual support connections, even after curing in FormCure. Not something that I have paid attention to but I can definitely see how this would affect other types of prints where these details are very important.


1 Like