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Bad prints out of brand New Form 3


…and battleships are grey…


How did you new prints come out with the latest update? I too am having very similar issues printing miniatures.


So often users chime in with “WELL I`M OK - I PRINT AT 100 MICRONS WITH NO PROBLEM” - erm, yes. Enjoy your success in draft mode at 100 microns. Some users require the machine to work as advertised.

I still worry if we will EVER see the Form 3 working as advertised through software updates alone - to me there seems to be a fundamental problem with the low force concept.

I can only imagine how low formlabs resin sales must be compared to pre launch expectations - I know after my initial resin purchases to I stopped using the machine when after liters of resin I had not 1 print I could use. I now only use resin to test the latest update.

I can only imagine how bad word of mouth affects hardware sales.

I know prior to covid I personally had managed to guide 7 ready to pay customers away from formlabs - I`d expect im not alone in helping share realistic info about the Form 3 and reduce sales. Its fair to expect some of the people I advised to share that same advice. So the lost sales must be significant. And for such a serious failure of a product it should be.


So what did you recommend instead of the Form 3 then? @donnie


The warping is most likely caused by a temperature gradient above the resin while printing, exacerbated by the printing taking twice as long to print as it could.

The warp can be removed by placing the print in a shallow flat dish and pouring near-boiling water over it, then letting it cool in the water.

The warping can be avoided by printing the piece on edge. I suggest orientation at 80-85 degrees on the short edge and 20-30 degrees on the long edge. I’ve not found 1-1.5mm thick prints orientated like this susceptible to warping, even with the supports remove from the visible surface. Screenshot 2020-06-26 at 12.21.27.pdf (537.1 KB)


@rbaer0002 Very happy to say that the updates have improved print quality. The latest PreForm update (3.6.1) has some issues which I’ve discussed with FL support. When opening a complex model previously saved for Form 2 printing, then importing for Form 3 printing, occasionally PreForm 3.6.1 crashes. There are exceptions. FL engineers are aware, experiencing the problem for themselves, and are working on a fix. FL support stated that the temporary fix is revert to an older version of PreForm until the next update, which I’m told will specifically correct that problem.

@billb I think “Warping” is probably not a correct description of the problem experienced by the nameplates. I should have used another term but I do not know of another term that correctly describes the problem. The nameplates are not truly warped, the ends printed smaller than the middle causing the long edges to appear curved. The nameplate models do not print with dimensional accuracy. What should have printed as a rectangle is not at all that shape. Although boiling water might fix a warped, flat model, boiling water cannot fix a model that is misshapen. Boiling water can’t add material to the ends.

As stated earlier, I tried re-orienting the model, even to the degree you suggest. That did not fix the problem. Again, with emphasis, I must repeat, even shout, this problem is not an orientation or support problem. This is a Form 3 printer problem. The Form 3 printer is not printing the nameplates with dimensional accuracy. Increasing support density and re-orienting the models do not improve print quality. The user cannot fix this. And again, let me repeat, the models print perfectly on a Form 2 the very first time, using the orientation and support array created by PreForm.


@larsenstephen I agree Im seeing better prints (not 100%) and 3.6.1 is very buggy.
seems like they just dropped this early then went on vacation for the 4th lol.

Better than nothing I suppose, but for the price, still not satisfied…


Just because I know how forums can get, and to be clear about my intention, the following is just to help with troubleshooting, and to hopefully figure out what is going wrong, not because I think this will directly help, nor an attempt to disprove the problems you are having.

Disclaimer out of the way, I’ve printed several large thin tiles on the Form3, with different settings, on different firmware, and all were true enough that they all fit together,

Just taking a guess, the biggest difference I see between your prints and mine is the proportions of X and Y. Mine are more equal in X and Y, whereas yours are very long in X, but fairly short in Y. Perhaps that is what is causing the distortion? I don’t know, because as I said earlier, it doesn’t make a lot of sense how your prints are distorting.

The only other major difference I can think of, is that mine have a lip around the back, instead of being flat.

I want to stress, I’m not trying to suggest design changes, just trying to figure out why this is happening.


There are a few people on this thread (@VO2Lucas , @leonhart88 ) who have talked about Light Processing Unit laser modulation issues, I’m curious-- Has a new LPU fixed print problems for anyone?
I’ve just finished a round of diagnostics with the always professional staff at FormLabs Services (many thanks for the support). We replaced the Roller Cover and then the LPU itself. Unfortunately, the same issues of overcure, layer-shift, pinholes, and platform-side loss of detail remain. (25micron, Castable Wax resin).

JD Davison
Lab Partners Jewelry

Castable Wax vs. Castable Wax 40 for silver jewelry

I did have this strange vertical artifact that showed up in all my prints on my very first Form 3. It was suspected that there was maybe dust stuck inside the LPU, or some other issue. It wasn’t entirely clear though because it was a very distinct vertical line that showed up on my prints and it seemed to happen regardless of build location and part geometry. I did enough tests to prove that the issue kept happening but didn’t dive further to try and debug why as that’s not really what I wanted to spend my time on.

They simply RMA’ed my machine and the problem dissappeared. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful!


Some good news. Here is a print made last night of a pair of small scale models that printed beautifully.

The models represent the “Red Baron’s machineguns” (Spandau LMG 08/15 Model 1917) in 1/28 scale. The models are fragile due to wall thinness. For example, the cone at the top of the model represents a flash suppressor (far right in bottom photo). Its wall is just 0.1 mm thin. The models printed very well on the Form 3 with the latest firmware and PreForm updates. I credit low-force SLA with being able to print them without damaging them.

Importantly, openings in the vertical plane printed as intended. Big improvement over past prints under earlier firmware and PreFrom versions. Kudos to FL.

I also noticed that PreForm 3.6.1 is working better after manually uninstalling previous versions of PreFrom and then installing 3.6.1 as a clean install.

Gray V4 resin at 50 microns in a V1 tank


Those are looking really nice! Are you feeling yet that the Form 3 is outputting at the quality of the form 2 and you would feel comfortable selling those?


Yes, very happy to report that in Gray V4 at 50 microns, other than the nameplates shown in a post above, the Form 3 is now printing many of my designs as well as the Form 2. In the case of the “Red Baron’s machineguns”, it is printing better than the Form 2.

The most recent firmware and PreForm updates have made a dramatic improvement in Form 3 print quality for Black V4 and Gray V4 resins.

Although I am still experiencing some Form 3 print issues with certain models, at this point, the improvements are such that I would buy another Form 3.


So the winning combo (for now) will be clean 3.6.1 Preform Install and 1.7.4 firmware?


PreForm is still a bit wonky when importing a file saved for Form 2 printing as a new file for Form 3 printing. But yes, the combination of new PreForm with the latest firmware are working much better than previously.

Hope this is good news for many.

My opinion is limited to Gray V4 and Black V4.


That is good news. Well done for persisting with this! And thank you to everyone else that has contributed so far. Some further improvements still needed by the sounds but this process has ensured we can all benefit.



That’s great news! Formlabs really should compensate you for all the testing you did - testing they should have done themselves before releasing the Form 3…


No kidding. They have a lot of us to compensate, then, because many, many users did the beta testing for them. @larsenstephen you provided some phenomenal photos with annotations and it is definitely greatly appreciated.


I’m planning a 3L pre-order right now, but I don’t want to run into such surprises (a big enough edition for that), so now I’m campaigning to show you these expected seam lines (they don’t want to show pictures of it so far).

I understand that this is business and that sales are motivated, but I don’t want to surprise you because it’s awkward to talk about it.

If you are also interested, comment on this post:

Thank you @larsenstephen or sharing your experience with us.


Hello is the form working now or are there still problems? Can you buy it now or should you still wait? Can you actually set different resolutions in one operation? For example, you start with 160 and end with 50 levels, thanks for your answers