Bad prints out of brand New Form 3


Yep… I see the small holes are mostly closed/filled in on your test prints there. Probably rounded/less clean edges and such as well?


Test print completed using the updated firmware and updated Preform. The test model is the ship superstructure shown in posts above printed with standard gray V4 at 50 microns.

I regret to report that there is no improvement in print quality. There continues to exist badly misshapen openings, rounded edges where there should be sharp edges, mushy detailing, etc.

Surprisingly , layer shifting is actually worse.

I’ll post photos tomorrow when lighting is better.


Yikes. Well that’s no good to hear. Curious to see the photos. The layer shifting issue has been killer here, and to see it may be worse… oof.


Here is the test print. The layer shifting causes vertical surfaces to be wavy. The waviness does not show up well in the photos.

None of the defects identified in the photos below occur when printing on a Form 2.


Same here, we are strugling with similar issues.

Here is the evidence, and no solution from our local reseller besides the recommendation to re-orient the parts…


Same issues here. Re-orienting parts only solves some of the problems. It seems that “low force” SLA just cannot deliver the same detailed results as our reliable Form 2.

Has anyone from FormLabs acknowledged the problems with the Form 3 yet??? It just cannot produce sharp edges, or even dimensionaly stable models. We make miniature models of planes, trains, automobiles and structures. The Form 3 makes wheels that are not round, fuselages with ripples in them, I-Beams that bow, and walls with waves. I guess if we were modeling earthquake scenes it would be perfect. But we are not.

It feels like FormLabs is painting itself into a corner with the Form3 and this “low force” SLA technology. It was a great idea on paper, and maybe in the lab, but in the real world, our Form3 is a very expensive door stop, and our Form2 does all the work. I had hopes with the latest firmware and PreForm 3.4.0, but my hope is fading fast. I see ebay in my future.

And the Form2 works exceptionally well - so why stop building them???

I really hope FormLabs can straighten out this mess quickly. I like the company, and would like to continue to support them, but everyone has their limits.


As I mentioned before, to at least some degree, Formlabs has acknowledged many of the issue in this thread, but not explicitly IN this thread. What I mean is, in my long back and forth with them through email, they acknowledged that the layer shifting/waviness is indeed a real issue NOT solved be orientation or supports. I put up a shot of me stating this MONTHS ago just a few posts back.

Your hope that they will solve this quickly is unlikely to be rewarded though. I received my printer in October of last year and immediately saw and opened a ticket with them about the bad quality of the prints. It is now February of the following year and still absolutely no improvements. I simply do not understand how anyone is getting acceptable prints considering what is being posted here.
It does appear that those of us printing in miniature are worse affected. This is especially frustrating because this is something the Form 2 is EXCELLENT at. I expected the Form 3 to be as good and even better, considering some of the advancements and innovations, and I and clearly many others have been severely let down.


I can also say that their support team has admitted to this problem to me via email. For larger functional Prototypes this artifact hasn’t been a major concern, as it’s mostly cosmetic.

However, there are times when these artifacts are very noticeable (small parts, tough resin) and can be an issue if delivering parts to external clients.

I can definitely relate and agree that the Form 3 thus far has been dissapointing given how great the Form 2 worked and how hyped the F3 was.

That being said, I have no doubt that things will improve over time, it’s just a question of how long it will take.


I just wanted to drop in, and say I am getting all the same issues everyone else here has discussed.

Has anyone tested the quality of V1 tanks versus V2 tanks? I doubt it’ll make a difference, but I only have V1 tanks, so haven’t been able to check.

Seriously regretting moving to the Form 3. I would have been better in every possible way to have kept my Form 2. I hope anyone reading this thread gets the message, that the Form 3 is a huge and expensive mistake.


Just so you know, I am trying to print some parts at 1:144 scale, and am getting all the same issues you highlight here. It seems to be the worst on the platform side, but even the tank-side faces still have soft detail, and poor dimensional stability.


Hi, I just finished printing my first parts on my new Form 3. I have been watching this thread very closely since I ordered my printer in the hope that a resolution would be forthcoming.

I am using PreForm 3.4.0 and Firmware 1.4.10. Castable Wax @25 microns. Here are some images of my first prints.

The first photo shows the layer shifting artefacts quite clearly, but above the centre line of the part the quality is great.

The last photo shows a test to see how embossed text would turn out and again there were some artefacts on the other side (not shown), but the text turned out really nice.

After re-reading some posts above, especially donnie’s brilliant double shield idea I had the following thoughts.

If the resin is being caused to move sufficiently by the deflection of the tank membrane as the LPU moves across it, then the UV laser is effectively trying to cure resin that is moving. Also depending on the cross sectional area of the part, the LPU speeds up and slows down introducing variable flow of resin at different layers. This also makes sense as to why this artefact is not seen on the Form 2, where the resin will be static when the laser is curing any given layer.

Perhaps the reason that donnie’s double shield seems to be working is that it is reducing, or eliminating the flow of resin. My gut feeling is that the resin must be static as it is being cured or the resultant print quality will be inconsistent.

Imagine trying to build a wall out of jelly, upside down, in the ocean, as the waves are constantly exerting strong and unpredictable forces in various directions. Jelly was the best thing I could think of that would represent the resin transitioning from liquid to rubbery solid during the curing process.

Sorry for the long post, I would love to get your feedback on this and that includes anyone in the know at Formlabs.




Yeah this makes a ton of sense. And maddeningly, seems like an IMMENSE oversight, and one that I’m not sure how they’ll fix given the moving LPU is an inherent part of the new design. And I really don’t see how software updates would resolve that.


What would happen if the LPU was to stop momentary at each line of the laser’s path, allowing the flow of resin to stop? Ok this would not be a fix as the print times would be unacceptable, but if the FormLabs engineers could try this, it would prove that resin flow is the issue.

Another thought was the amount of deflection the LPU exerts on the tank membrane. Lets say that the LPU deflects the membrane by 2mm. What would happen at 1mm or 0.1mm? A reduction in the deflection would result in a reduction in the movement of resin. If this is something that is adjustable in the firmware then I suspect this is the type of thing that software / firmware could fix.

If the software / firmware is not able to address this issue then perhaps a carefully planned product recall / replacement would be an acceptable solution. Maybe it could go something like this.

FormLabs issues an email to all Form 3 users stating that there is a know issue with the printer. Although a refund could be offered, I suspect that most users would just like the problem to be fixed. Therefore, as and when the (potential) hardware problem is rectified the new unit would be shipped and the old one returned at no cost to the customer.

I was sorry to read that you had returned your printer, but at the end of the day we are all in business to make a living so I completely understand why you did.

I would be delighted to refresh this page and read that the problem has been completely solved, but until then I will continue to use the printer and work around the issue with lots of sanding. :wink:


Yeah I wasn’t happy about it either, but for my work I had not other choice. My business couldn’t survive without the ability to print the miniatures I need. At least I decided to keep my Form 2 at the time I purchased the Form 3, because it is still my workhorse and does an amazing job for the miniature work that I do.

I too hope to see a fix at some point over time, and I constantly check this thread and the forums in general. Until then the Form 2 will keep on chugging.


No es por nada, pero si con los ingenieros que tiene formlabs no consigen solucionarlo, alomejor no es tan facil y menos cuando es un problema mecanico.
Cambiaran todas las impresoras? Lo dudo…


Blockquote Imagine trying to build a wall out of jelly, upside down, in the ocean, as the waves are constantly exerting strong and unpredictable forces in various directions. Jelly was the best thing I could think of that would represent the resin transitioning from liquid to rubbery solid during the curing process.

I don’t think this is exactly what is going on, because if it were, you would never get a decent print at any point. It seems to be related to the supports, as the distortion seems to happen on the support side, and around where the supports are located. Tank-facing surfaces, with no supports, seem to mostly come out ok, regardless of geometry.

Without any official response, we can only guess, but my guess is this has something to do with the translucent tank bottom (as opposed to the clear bottom of the Form2 tank), and diffusion of the laser in the resin. It seems to show every sign of unintentional overcuring of the resin on the support side, which leads me to believe it is the result of light spill. It is possible the flexing of the tank exacerbates this problem, by the bottom not being completely flat where the laser is passing through it, but it really seems to me like a failure to control the pattern of the light, and thus the curing of the resin.


Good morning I have the same problem, I noticed that the shift occurs at a height of about 5mm above the platform. I could solve it now and then by setting the height of the support contours to 10mm, so I got the shift on the side of the support contours away


Here are some photos of prints done this week. This is a small scale model of a ship’s smokestack (funnel) with Form 3 and Form 2 prints in a side-by-side comparison. The Form 2 print is excellent. The Form 3 print cannot be sold to customers in this condition.

Both prints are standard gray V4 resin printed at 50 microns printed on the same day with the latest available Preform and firmware updates installed. The model was also printed at 100 microns on the Form 3. Artifacts were similar even at 100 microns but with noticeable “stairstepping” characteristic of the thicker layer height.

Notice, too, the slots in the nearly horizontal base of the funnel The open slots are supposed to be perfectly circular and appear as intended in the Form 2 print. On the Form 3 print, the slots are malformed. This is typical of the misshapen portholes found on vertical surfaces of Form 3 prints of model ship superstructures. This indicates that the orientation of the slot from vertical to horizontal does not eliminate the problem.

Actual object:



Your comparison photos are outstanding. Thanks for continuing to contribute. Hopefully Formlabs is monitoring this thread. Still extremely disappointing this is even a thing.


Bugger - wish I’d read this before I bought the machine.

2 days in and all my prints show these issues.

I want to print scale miniatures,so 25 micron is where I want to be. Using Grey for my first attempts.

4 years of getting great results out of a Solus so I’m not new to this caper.