Bad prints out of brand New Form 3

Thank you everybody for all your comments, it definitely helps !
Don’t hesitate to continue to share with us your feedback and pictures.

Roypnyc: Would you be ok to share some comparaison photos please ?

I just did a test this morning with black and grey resin- plain ring- both at 50u-
black is perfect. Same results with more intricate rings but cant share due to copyrights.


Oh wow, what a difference. You don’t see the design on the surface of the black print. its been lost. =(

ahhh… no…
its a smooth ring… the black is actually the perfect one. the gray is with artifacts .

:joy: I know, I know…

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In addition to loss of accuracy on the platform side, artifacts that my Form 3 continues to experience with gray V4 include misshapen openings in the vertical plane and loss of surface detail. Those are serious artifacts making my models unsellable.

Some good news: print quality has certainly improved with the latest firmware updates at 100 microns, specifically surface smoothness.

But, I need circular openings to be circular, all the detail to be present, edges to be sharp, and printing success at 50 microns in order for the models to be sellable.

The artifacts shown in the photos below of an April 11, 2020 test print are typical. A test print completed last week was no better. Note that this test print was made at 100 microns in gray V4, a resolution and resin FL has certified for the Form 3. Even at that resolution, artifacts occurred with gray V4. Test prints at 50 microns exhibit artifacts that are worse with significant warping and layer shifting. The model shown in the photos below prints perfectly at 50 microns on a Form 2 with no visible artifacts at all.

These photos and many others have been sent to FL for evaluation. Discussions with FL reps indicate that the gray V4 issues are known to FL engineers and work is ongoing to correct them through Preform and firmware updates. As of this writing, Form 3 prints are not competitive within my market. Form 2 prints are highly competitive. Until the Form 3 can print as well or better than the Form 2 with gray V4 at any resolution, my business and livelihood remain dependent on the Form 2.

Compare the above photos to the test print shown below done on February 20th. You can see that the April 11 print is much better with respect to surface smoothness and edge sharpness. Opening shape is much better on the April 11 test print, But even the April 11 test print still falls noticeably well short of Form 2 print quality. Having said that, Form 3 PreForm and firmware updates are moving in a very good direction and print quality improvement is visible.

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Thanks for all the annotated samples you’re sharing, @larsenstephen. I’m having the same issue in Durable v2 with the tops of small, circular holes coming out “squashed”.

I’d be interested in seeing if your prints come out any better at 50um in Black or White (according to the release notes both of those resins have undergone some tuning).

I have not printed those specific parts on the Form 2, but I had a From 2 from initial pre-order when they first came out, until I had the Form 3 up and running. I made hundreds of parts on the Form 2, and while there is always a loss in quality on the support side, it wasn’t as bad on the Form 2 as it is on the 3. More to the point though, I didn’t pay $3,000+ for something that is maybe as good as the printer I already had. The idea was that it was supposed to be unambiguously better than the last generation. It isn’t.

@rkagerer , thanks for your kind comments!

Regarding test in gray and white resin, I’m not able to test with black or white as those are resins (and tanks) I do not have. I would like to see how the model prints in black since Roy’s posts above indicate black is presently printing better than gray.

@monk2002uk 's models in gray look better than what is coming out of my printer. Hope remains!

@lmlloyd , I paid $4319 USD, including service pack, taxes and shipping, for my Form 3.

We have 4 Form 2’s that have been operating very well. We ordered a Form 3 to meet an increase in product demand, but it is having some serious issues similar to what you all are sharing. I have contacted support and they are sending us a Resin Tank V2 to see if it will help. Are your prints done with the Resin Tank V1 as this is what the Form 3 ships with? Do you know what the difference between V1 and V2 tanks are? Maybe this is a tank issue?


This is our 4th print on a machine purchased less then a month ago.
As you can see, areas around the supports do not look good. Other prints have been so warped around supports that they are unusable to us.

Well, there is already a bit of a stealth recall, but it isn’t fixing all the problems. They completely swapped out my printer, because “some early printers had a known issue with layer separation.” I will honestly never know if the Form 4 ends up being fix for this, because there is no way I would buy another printer from them if this doesn’t ever get completely fixed. I had nothing but good experiences with the Form 2, and so didn’t think twice about ordering the 3. That didn’t work out too well so far.

I’m using a V1 tank. Very interested to see if V2 results in improved print quality. Interested to hear from those who have had both whether or not getting a V2 will help.

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I have wondered about this, but I haven’t wanted to throw more money down the hole chasing a possible untested solution. I have asked before, but so far no one has said they are getting better quality prints from the V2 tanks.

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Ouch! I got mine with the pre-order discount, a bare printer, without a wash station or build platform (because I already had them) and base support.

I was wrong, it was $4319 with taxes and shipping. I’d really like to get the Form 3 working with gray V4 at 50 microns.

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@lmlloyd Well if it the tank won’t fix it Formlabs said they would consider a replacement LPU!

Other problems I have had is that the previous prints took 6% and 30% longer then estimated print times. When I printed the part in the picture, it took 11 1/2hrs. It was estimated to be only 4 1/2hrs! Midway through the print the layer print times began to slow down, taking almost 10 minutes per layer. The printer rebooted at some point and eventually finished it. Good thing formlabs put that easter egg game “form fly” on the form 3’s so I can pass some time waiting for the prints to finish…

One of the things that drives me the most nuts is this whole “it’s been tuned for black” thing. Years ago I used a lot of black resin, and Formlabs told me in person at an event, that for detailed prints I should use clear whenever possible, grey if I had to, and black as a last resort. Now, it would seem black is the preferred color.

As a side note, I think them getting the problem under control first in black, really does seem to indicate it is a light control issue, as there will be less light spill and over-curing in black.

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@larsenstephen if you’re comfortable sending me a Form file I’d be happy to run one in Black v4 on both my Form 2 and Form 3 and send you some comparison photos. I have v1 tanks.


PM sent. Thanks!!

I should have read through the sarcasm :slight_smile:

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