Bad prints out of brand New Form 3

If you print those funnels vertically that stair-stepping will disappear. The Form3 doesn’t need prints to be angled in the way the Form2 does.

Looking at the size of the flange, it might still be wise to orient them like this.

Wait, what? Can you show pics of this or explain exactly what you’re seeing in the black now vs before? Also vs the other resins?

The 100 micron Form 3 test print of the model ship superstructure completed yesterday exhibited significant edge sharpness improvement but also some artifacts. Overall, the model’s print quality has improved over previous prints. There is a noticeable reduction in artifacts but the print quality is not yet Form 2 quality. The print quality improvement does represent a big step in the right direction. See photos below.

I’d like to thank those who are working hard to improve the Form 3.

Regarding printing the funnels vertically, I regret no, vertical orientation did not eliminate stair-stepping. Funnels test-printed in the vertical orientation resulted in significant stair-stepping around the entire flange, not just the forward end. It also resulted in excessive sag between supports, resin debris from peeled edges in the tank, and improperly shaped flange edges.

Most of the over 1400 models I sell are small. Their geometry is composed of inclined and rounded features. They routinely print perfectly without any visible stair-stepping at 50 and 25 microns on a Form 2. Because of their size and geometry, any stair-stepping spoils the model’s appearance and is unacceptable to my customers. Competitors offer similar, if not identical models and their products do not have stair-stepping. The stair-stepping associated with 100 micron printing makes the models unacceptable to our customers, noncompetitive within the market, and therefore unsellable in that condition. This is why 50 micron and 25 micron printing is needed.

If 100 micron printing was acceptable to the market, I would have bought an Anycubic Photon for $269, not a Form 3 for $4280.

I’m hopeful that further refinement and development of the Form 3 will soon achieve Form 2 print quality at 50 and 25 microns. Until then, the Form 2s I own remain our 24/7 workhorses. Neither of the Form 3s we have owned has printed a model at any resolution I can sell.

But I do wish to emphasize the last firmware and PreForm update resulted in a big Form 3 print quality improvement at 100 microns.


These are great photos/documentation. Do you have comparable images of your Form 2 prints of the same models? It’d be nice to see the direct comparison. Your designs definitely push the printers to their limits!

Hi David,

Here’s a photo of exactly the same model printed by one of my Form 2 printers at 50 microns in standard gray V4 resin.


  1. very sharp edges throughout
  2. precisely circular portholes even on vertical surfaces
  3. well-defined exterior cabling with precisely square electrical junction boxes
  4. vertical surfaces are very smooth with no warping or bulging
  5. no visible layer shifting anywhere on the model
  6. no visible stair-stepping anywhere on the model
  7. windows on the side of the bridge are accurately shaped with precisely printed fillets at the upper corners as designed
  8. windows on the front of the bridge are accurately rectangular with smaller yet precise fillets in all corners as designed

This Form 2-printed model is sellable. The Form 3-printed model is not.

Here’s the real object:



(larsenstephen) Steve Larsen, first I want to thank you for doing so much detail evaluation. This is time and cost that you should not have to be investing on a 3D printer that should be capable of achieving as good or better quality prints than a Form 2. Low force whatever, does not mean a thing to me if it doesn’t perform to the level of a Form 2. I own 2 Form 2’s and want to get a new SLA printer to add to my collection for the business I run. I have been following this thread and I just think that FormLabs is using everyone that bought a Form 3 as a test subject. There machine was not ready but they pushed it out the door anyway. I know all of this has been said before, but shame on you FormLabs for doing this to your customers. In the mean time I wait, I am sure the smart customers of FormLabs will figure out and tell FormLabs what to do to fix there machine. Then, I am sure the machine will be right and I can think about if I want to buy one.
Mike A.


You can hear nothing anymore, the new update has brought something or you all print nothing on the Form3

Hi guys, I would like to hear from those of your having the issue. I am back after several years and I am looking to buy a Form3. I never had a Form2, but did own a Form1 :wink:

I want to print using the engineering resins (gray) and draft. Any insight would be useful before I jump back in.
Thank you

I can only speak for myself, but I’m currently designing some stuff that I’ll print soon, and will have more to say about any improvements after I print those parts.


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.