Build platform is lifting first, then sliding/wiping

My build platform is lifting first, then sliding/wiping. I unplugged the machine and tried again. But this is still happening.

It does this when printing?

Yes, when I am printing.

This does not sound like normal operation… I’ve not really had much software issues on the tool - but back in July I did have an issue where the z axis motor (or something) was causing what looked like over/underexposure of the resin. The parts were “drooping” - no idea what it was though, not sure if was software or hardware issue…

Comments from FormLabs people yet?

Good luck!

If you’re able, a video would be a big help in troubleshooting this. Uploading an image of your setup in PreForm or your .form file would also be a big help in getting a sense for the cross-sectional area and orientation of your part. Are you noticing this behavior on multiple different prints?

Thank you. Support is looking into this.

Vertical Peel before Slide Peel:/

Hi, I’m working on this with Bethany. She asked me to open up the unit to check if there were any resin spills. There were not, but I did discover that the clicking sound is coming from a tear in the overflow tray. It’s worn thin and cracked. The printer is new, just been using it for about a month, and have used about a liter and a half of resin. This still doesn’t explain why the unit is doing a vertical peel before a slide peel. Sent you a link to the videos. Love to get your opinion on this. Thank you!

The vertical peel isn’t something I’ve seen before and the horizontal peel is slower than I might expect. Our support team is going to be best suited to troubleshoot this with you and thanks for getting in touch! Here’s to hoping we’re able to get you up and running again quickly.

Our Form 2 is doing the same thing from the beginning. On the first few layers the platform first lifts up and then slides. Later the procedure changes to slide first and then slide/lift up simultaneously.
I always thought that this is normal to avoid scratching with the full platform over the PDMS during the first layers. Am I wrong?

Your video is showing the first two layers only. How is it after 10 or 50 layers?

Hi Frew,

Thank you, I’ve been in touch with support and they are working with me on this. This all surfaced during a deadline, of course:) I was getting the complete vertical rise and peel before the oddly slow horizontal slide, then a clicking sound, and then sensing resin alert on the screen. It seemed like bad things were ahead. And this happened on the weekend:/

Before I proceed, I must preface the following with this statement … I LOVE MY FORM 2! I’ve been extremely impressed with the incredible engineering progress made from my Form1+! My students have benefited from seeing their designs come to life with beautiful detail.

Now, with that said, this is what I recently learned from support after being asked to crack open my printer and supply pictures:

  1. About the clicking sound:
    “Hi Rod,
    Eureka! In the first video you have in your dropbox it shows exactly what the issue is. That plastic piece that is rubbing against the printer’s shell is called the shuttle cover. It is not a structural piece and is there to both catch excess resin and keep dust from getting in the printer. Sometimes after use, this piece becomes slightly malaligned and starts to catch. This is an easy fix! You can either trim a little of the flashing on the shuttle cover or cover it with some electrical tape. This should get rid of the popping noise you are hearing during the slide process.”

So this is the recommended fix on my new machine. Have to say it’s a little eyebrow raising. It feels a little like buying a new luxury car that starts making a clicking sound, then service person tells you to put a little duck tape on it, and problem solved:/ I’m concerned that there may be undo friction on the shuttle, only to cause problems down the road. But if this is normal, than this is the fix that is recommended.

  1. About the vertical rise:
    “As for the build platform slightly lifting prior to the slide, this is completely normal. The build platform lifts slightly which helps the part unstick from the resin tank. The tank then slides, further detaching the model. The build platform then lifts the rest of the way to make room for the next layer of cured resin.”

I’m still trying to find out more about this, for what we see in the video isn’t “slightly”, it’s a complete vertical peel, about 1/4" inch of vertical movement, pulling greatly on the membrane in the tank with complete release. I thought the Form2’s new horizontal peel was the solution to some of the problems the form1+ had with it’s hinged/vertical peel. I’ve been forwarded to a second-tier support for more details. I supplied them with the video linked below. Pro support saw this video and left me a message letting me know that my machine is just fine. I have yet to chat with Pro Support to understand this better. When I do, I’ll let you know:

  1. About the “sensing resin”:
    "Finally, the reason the printer is sensing the resin more frequently is that the cartridge is less full. When a new cartridge is used the resin flows out more quickly as gravity acts upon it. Because the tank fills more quickly the printer does not have to refill as frequently. As the cartridge is used and resin flows more slowly into the tank the printer has to check the levels and fill the tank more often.

You should be able to finish your part without issues at this point. Please let me know if you have any further questions."

So I have allowed my printer to print with this understanding, hoping that no further damage is being done to my printer. I’ve had successful prints, but am concerned that my machine is undergoing undo stress and wear.

Thanks for your time Frew!

Hi Mimo,
Thank you for the message. Take a look at my posting below. Love to hear your thoughts.

The alternative, which I am sure they’d be happy to offer is - send the machine back and FL will repair it. I think duct tape is an OK solution. Presumably there is no mechanical adjustment that can be made, or part an end user can reliably replace. So if this addresses the problem without you having to ship the printer back (and you don’t want to send the printer back) it’s the right recommendation. If you want it “corrected” instead of “patched” you’re probably going to have to live without the printer for a couple of weeks to get that done.

The reason for my bias for duct tape… I was on a delayed flight from Boston to Tuscon a few years ago. After about an hour sitting on the plane at the gate with the doors still open, I got up and asked the pilot (who was standing in the open cockpit door, and I was in row 2) what was going on. She explained they had a “maintenance issue” and were waiting for the maintenance center in San Francisco to come on-line to approve their fix. I said “I’m an engineer and I know something about airplanes, what’s the issue?” and she said pre-flight had found that one rivet had popped out of the stainless-steel leading-edge cover on the port side horizontal stabilizer. The part is like 20 feet long and there’s a rivet every couple of inches top and bottom, so one missing is nothing to worry about except for the water that might get in in flight. She said they wanted to cover the hole with some duct tape and fly. She let me off the plane and up the jetway so I could look through the windows to see where they were working and decided I was cool with duct tape as a fix and went back on board and sat down. An hour later the pilot announces we’re ready to go and that the airline is sorry for the delay. She must have forgot she’d only explained the problem to me and not everyone else. So she finishes by saying “we’ve finally gotten permission to use some duct tape and they’ll fix the issue when we get to SFO”. The look of panic on the faces of my fellow passengers was awesome. Needless to say the plane did not explode in flight, either.


Hey Randy, great story, thank you, made me smile this morning. Rod!

Hi Rod,

the first 12 layers the build platform is lifting first, then sliding/wiping.
With layer 13 up to the end of the print lifting and wiping is parallel.
This is the softer peeling for first layers.

This I also noticed when I was looking/searching for the problems with black V3.

At the moment I print black V3 with a cartridge black V2 and no problems with black V3.
These printed parts looks similar to the parts printed with orgin cartridge black V3.


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Hi Kalle,
Thank you for the message, Mimo mentioned something similar in a comment above. I’ll let you know what Pro Support reports. Very curious why our printers are executing such a harsh vertical pull for these early layers. Mimo’s reasoning would make sense, but it seems like that’s putting undo stress on the print and the silicone in the tank.
Thanks again:)

Hi Mimo,
Yes! Just the first number of layers. I’m waiting on Pro-Support to confirm. Thanks!

Hi Mimo,
Still waiting on response from Pro Support. Just wanted to keep you updated.

Just weighing in to say my F2 also lifts before sliding at the beginning of each print. It’s part of the reason the first several layers are so slow.

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