Bad prints out of brand New Form 3

I was just wondering, do all Form3 printers have this problem??? Are there any people who have working versions?

I am asking because I need to expand my printing service but cant get a new/used form 2

There was a new release of updated firmware and updated Preform this past week. Very anxious and excited to try it. Unfortunately, the model ship superstructure test print exhibited the same “artifacts” as the test print shown in the photos in earlier posts. There was no visible improvement. Misshapen circular openings were a bit worse.


There are definitely folks out there with no reporting of these issues. It seems that the biggest impact is on smaller models with lots of detail, small openings, close and narrow spaces, etc.

My main use of the Form 2 is in printing my 3D models of 1/6 scale accessories with extremely fine details (think guns, miniature versions of specifi movie props, etc.). Form 2 was a workhorse. Form 3 did every single thing the Form 2 proved it could do but did it worse.

I am no longer surprised nor optimistic about any results. Interested to see your as always amazing comparison photos.

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Hello everyone,

Do you have any news regarding this issue? Does it still happen?
I was so hyped about getting a brand new Form3 as main asset to run a miniature company.
But this thread concerned me a lot…

Did you notice improvements ? Any encouraging update ?
I’m wondering if I should rely on a Form2 or another brand now…

What would you recommend please ?

So I’m for attention to detail You can still get faster. What good and a faster Form3 with these problems. Holes are closed or are not circular

If you print at 100 Microns the Form 3 is mostly useable and in standard grey resin 100um gives very nice and consistent layer lines. 50um is hit and miss depending on the resin. And 25um is an absolute catastrophe (tested in grey and clear)

If you print mostly at 100um then go for the Form 3. If you need 50 or 25um, fine features, and smooth surfaces without layers: stick with the Form 2. Since the release they have made some updates, but very slow. If they continue at the current speed it will be another 1-2 Years until the Form3 can compete with the Form2.

I have multiple Form2s and Form3s and the Form 3s are mostly collecting dust.


Sunny86 comments are spot on. That’s exactly what my experiences have been since I bought Form 3 about 4 months ago and used Gray V4 resin exclusively.

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I tried to use grey resin but results were not great. I switched to black and at 50 micron results are excellent (Form 3)

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The form 3 is giving very good results with Tough 2000 at 50 micron.
It is also gray.

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Hello what kind of parts do you print large parts or small ones with holes or columns thanks for the info

Hi would you mind posing pictures of tough 2000 resin print at 50 micron?

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oh yes that would be good to see what it looks like with 50 micon

I tried to use grey resin but results were not great. I switched to black and at 50 micron results are excellent (Form 3

I don’t get it. Black and Gray are both standard resins. They differ in color only. So when Formlabs updated 50/m for black on March 19 it should have, at least in my theory fixed Gray resin just the same. But it didn’t. After printing samples at 50/m with gray resin what I’ve got was flat surface with ugly bumps and veins still there.
Sorry but I won’t be running and buying new types of resin each time there is a firmware update… :slight_smile:

I Completely agree with you - I happened to have black resin as part of the kit I bought when purchased the machine. But the reality is (after discussing with support) is that they adjust each resin separately and to the properties of the resin (part of it is color) I hope they get to fix the grey one soon

Just to put it out there, I want to say, there has been some fantastic testing and examples given in this thread so far, and I want everyone to know I really appreciate it. It has definitely been a help to know that my issues aren’t isolated. Thanks everyone. Doesn’t fix the problems, but definitely makes me feel less crazy.

That said, has anyone done any kind of systematized testing with the black resin and the new firmware. Like prints of the same part in grey and black with orientation and settings as close as possible? Before I order more resin and a new tank, chasing the newest purported fix, it would be nice to know that the quality improvements are more than a bullet point on a firmware release note.


Hey is the Form3 still having countless problems for you guys i would like an update on this and if any news if coming in about OpenMode being added to the Form3…I saw they talked about it but they haven’t officially said much if anything at all…I will not be buying the Form3 if this isnt talked about soon because i want a printer NOW haha.

Anyone know if OpenFL will be added or make a come back because i think if it did this company would get me on the Form3. All i want is a reliable printer that can print cheaper highqualirty SLA resin with a decent build plate size, im ok with a larger down-payment if the repairs dont cost an arm a leg :wink: or if i can repair it myself but since none of the models parts are destributed i find it hard to repare a closed system like this to avoid being charged 850 for a basic half year repair . I really like the amount of stress reduction the printer was giving in this new model, but i think thats actually half the problem leading to lower quality prints…I feel like its a give and take almost with force to quality and as you move away from force in SLA it might effect quality if u haven’t perfected the change or new technology. Idk just my thought about why people sitll are getting bad prints with newer updates for the 3

Some good news: at the urging of FL techs a few days ago following a Preform update, I conducted a gray V4 test print at 100 microns of a pair of model ship smokestacks. The prints showed a remarkable improvement over past test prints, especially with respect to serious surface waviness, warping and bulging. The tests prints exhibited no significant warping or bulging (see photos below). Edges were also a bit sharper than they had been.

The only visible artifacts in these models have more to do with 100 micron printing, I think. 100 micron layer thickness does result in some “Aztec stair-stepping” on curved surfaces, most noticeable at the flange on the base (see second photo).

Some of the rivet detailing is a bit soft at that resolution, again most noticeable near the flange at the base of the smokestacks, and entirely absent on the raised circumferential straps, which was a bit disappointing (there should be a double row of rivets on the raised straps, which did not manifest),

Still, the rivets themselves were much more distinct than on previous test prints. Rivets on earlier test prints were all fused together forming raised lines, not distinct rivets. Rivets on the test prints shown here are quite visible, as intended.

Overall, detailing at 100 microns is much improved. It is not yet quite as good as what the Form 2 routinely achieves but surface detailing is nearing that quality. IMHO, the recent Preform and firmware updates are big step in the right direction.

I then conducted a test print of a model ship superstructure, also in gray V4 at 100 microns. That model has been very tough for the Form 3 to print well at any resolution. Like the smokestacks, there was a big improvement in surface smoothness.

Circular portholes on vertical surfaces look better than they had in previous tests, though they are still a bit misshapen, especially at the top of the hole, which appears collapsed. Significantly, holes in or near the horizontal plane on the smokestacks look very good, while holes in the vertical plane of the superstructure were misshapen. The orientation of the holes seems to matter as to how well the Form 3 can produce them: horizontal = good, vertical = bad.

Since those test prints were done, a new Form 3 firmware update has been released. I’ll test the superstructure today using the latest Preform and Form 3 firmware and post photos tomorrow.

Looking forward to 50 micron certification for gray V4 on the Form 3. 50 micron printing on the Form 2 produces no significant “Aztec stair-stepping” which is important for the models I sell.

Hope this helps.


Most likely not. It’s not really in the interest of Formlabs to do so. Money is in the resin, not so much printer sales and of course they prefer full control of the printer and consumables quality wise.

You could always go and use the Universal Cartridge if you really want to use 3rd party resins.

that’s great news. I can’t imagine these artifacts we have been experiencing are tied to print resolution, so perhaps this is a real sign they may be figuring it out and just had to do 100 microns first before moving onto 50 and 25 microns.

The Form 2 is still going strong as my workhorse, but if improvements continue I will reconsider.

Since they updated the way black resin is printed, we are astonished about the level of detail.
100um prints look absolutely perfect. I’m sure they will figure it out for the other resins and fix it as well.

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