Buying a printer next week anything i should know?

Like the title says I am going to be ordering a Form 2 next week from formlabs
is there anything I should know before I order it?
thanks in advance

Download and carefully read all the white papers published by Formlabs as well as their support website. There are great explanations on how SLA printing works in general as well as some specific informations regarding Formlabs machines. Those informations are not included in software or hardware form with the machine itself.

If you have any experience with FDM/FFF printing, keep in mind that most rules related to this type of 3D printing do not apply to SLA. Same goes for substractive manufacturing (machining), but that’s more obvious.

Don’t hesitate to search for answers here and ask if need be, the forums aren’t animated by hundreds of people but the few who do participate are keen to help and some have years of experience with Formlabs machines. Formlabs staff is also reading and often posting.

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Thank you very much for your thorough response,
yes iam familiar with FDM but I have seen that SLA is different I have been learning how to hollow and make vent holes in models for sla

is the printer in good shape right now? I mean ive seen a lot of people having optic/resin/tank problems, are those isolated incidents or is it a problem across all printers?

It’s difficult to say, there’s certainly a vocal part of the community here that has issues and Formlabs isn’t the same kind of company as Stratasys or 3Dsystems in terms of service, but they’re also much younger, certainly don’t have the same cash in the bank and their machines are an order of magnitude cheaper.

Personally I have had zero issues so far after almost a year of printing daily with a range of different materials (that means, almost all except the dental and casting resins).

My feeling is that most issues can be corrected by the user itself and Formlabs seems to be keen on helping with that through their support team. If you do critical work with your printer, be careful when you update your firmware or Preform, personally I have become dependent on the printer for some stuff at work and if I know I have to or want to upgrade I will make sure I can roll-back if need be and have some leeway to allow for fail prints.

Thank you very much I really appreciate your insight

Try not to hot update your printer every update FL releases. Wait. Read forums - see if that update doesnt destroy anything.
Try to remeber that resin tanks are getting used every print. Normal orange resin tank - 1000 layers, new LT Resin tank - 10 000 - 20 000 layers.
Remember to shake your resin cardrige at least once in a week.
Try to gently clean resin tank after big print. Always.
Buy yourself micro filters for paint. Filter resin from resin tank after bigger print. Always.
Do not clean anything inside printer with IPA. I know they say you should. Just avoid big amounts of IPA inside printer. It can go into the air and damage this lovely orange case. It is so fragile to alcohol …
Remember to manouver every print in different spot at resin tank.
And most important - be gentle with everything. With every part.

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a lot of key points and very good ones, thank you will take note of them.

Probably the most important advice to remember.

what do you mean by Hot update?

I think he means don’t blindly update every time Formlabs updates the software. When anew version of the software is available, Preform will pop-up a window about new update being available and giving you the opportunity to download it.

So you can download it if you want, but don’t install it until you’re sure the bugs have been ironed out.

A lot of folks update the software automatically whether they need it or not. The3 old adage “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” should apply here as well as other places, especially computer software.

If your software works for you already, why would you want to update it? Did they introduce some new feature that you just can’t live without? The go ahead, otherwise, why mess up a good thing?

Since I have an old Form 1+, for me, there’s no reason to update. There hasn’t been a reason for me since version v2.10.2.

In general Formlabs updates their software when a new resin is introduced. The update usually just adds support for the new resin, but sometimes they start tweaking other settings, which unfortunately break other working features.

That translates into slowdowns, crashes, bad prints, etc.

So “caveat emptor”, buyer beware. Read the release notes, and see if there’s anything in there that you need. If not, skip the update.