Bad prints out of brand New Form 3

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.


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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:


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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.


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These threads are full of people that use these machines for their businesses and livelihoods.

Absolutely! And even when these machines are not business-critical, they are an expensive investment. You pay more for a reason; you expect more as a result.



I am using Form 3 for jewelry. I started with Grey resin at 50u- terrible results - lots of artifacts as posted here.
on one of my chats with customer support they recommended to try black resin.

with Black resin at 50u perfect results in comparison to the grey for the same object- time after time.

speaking to support they mentioned that the software and machine had been fine tuned to black resin and they are still working on Grey…

hope to see that fixed soon


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.