Can the Form 1 deliver professional accruate & reliable parts?

So I’ve been keeping my eye on the Form 1 printer & Form labs since there start up. I am a toy sculptor, model maker & inventor for the toy industry. Do all my work in CAD and either print fdm parts for functional works likes prototypes. I CNC mill some sculpts in toy sculpting wax these are the sculpts that need to be pattern ready finished. I also send out a lot of stuff for Objet output. I want to cut out the cost for Objet outputs and do all resin prints in house. I’m looking for a low cost 3d printer I can output high detail accurate parts and prototypes. Detail and accuracy is top of the list for my needs. I’m needing an in house printer to replace the need for CNC, better than FDM and cheaper than Objet service bureau costs. I need a reliable solution not a hobbiest toy like a makerbot! I don’t have time to to put endless hrs of experimentation with any system. The FDM machine I have is a Dimension SST 1200ES and is very reliable, extremely accurate, I could not be happier with it. As for running my CNC well it is less than a turn key process with lots of set up and planning involved. VERY complex with a thousand variables. I’m hoping a Form 1 printer could replace the need to do a lot of the CNC sculpts I run. Looking for input on the reliability of the form 1 printer & accuracy of the parts it yields. Also any info on support clean up and how it effects final output quality and surface detail. , I want honest input at a professional level. What do you guys have to say after several months now with ur printers.

We don’t know yet. I’ve had bad luck with my first machine, and the second one is giving some bad surface details. I hope they can iron out the problems and then we’ll know more if the machine can be used professionally. But when it comes down to comparing it with those extremely expensive and proven machines, you cannot do it. There is a reason why those machines exists, and I don’t think Form1 is meant to replace them, but it can be another tool in your arsenal.

So your on your second machine?  Did they replace one for you?  Are you saying you cant get finished prints off the machine yet?

Have you printed anything you can dimension and then after printing compare to the CAD?  For example simple primitives? I have “what I call primitives ring” with a cube, sphere,cylinder, cone, torus, tube etc with some holes and features cut into the primitives.  I send it out when ever I want to evaluate a RP technology for accuracy and pros and cons for any given machine.  I can send it to you if your willing to print it and let me know the results.

I do realize this machine can not compare to even an entry level 30k Objet, but hoping it can fill in some of the gaps and be an addition to the tool arsenal as you said.  Alot of the stuff I need it for would be proof of concept models so it needs to be accurate but not absolute perfect surfaces, If and when I need perfect surfaces I mill in wax then polish and clean up the waxes off the mill.

We bought the Form 1 to do prototyping for tabletop gaming.

You’re going get very fine layer striations even at 0.025. And flat surfaces parallel to the build platform will have a very find grid of lines.

I’ve printed 28mm and 40mm test miniatures so far (images attached - original CG model and prints - over-sharped to compensate for poor macro focus and levels adjusted to emphasize detail). We’re new to this, so our model is probably not ideal. However, I’ve been both surprised and disappointed in the level of detail produced. Some details are surprisingly present, while others are “blurred” out. I’ve only printed 6 objects so far (we received our unit at the end of last week), so process might be effecting results as well.

It’s also worth mentioning my thread on my test rooks:

I’ve been getting some surface irregularity, but I’m hoping to determine how to eliminate it.

Also, I’d be willing to print your test ring for you: clayton at

This is odd.

It’s really look like form1 does not meet the requirement for accuray. We don’t even see the face of your sculpt and we see a lot of “line” all over the print. Maybe because the laser spot are not completely round and some scale factor.

From now, i never see any small, detail and accurate print like the b9creator.

It’s make me worried…

It’s worth keeping in mind the printer’s price point and how small a quarter is. In person, these things are MUCH harder to see without very close examination. I increased the contrast, as mentioned, so it’s more visible. None of the example models are as small as this except the owl with the quarter. So there’s little official documentation on how well the device performs at this scale. The larger rooks that I’ve printed look much better as they’re less dependent on very fine detail.

Ya the smaller the part or sculpt the more you notice the build lines and lack of detail.  I used to do a LOT of very small wax toy sculpts back in the day scale was typically in the 1 inch range.  These were all done by hand and you could actually get a way with a lot of imperfections because your eye really dose not pick up on it at that scale.  When you actually take macro pictures of the sculpt is when you really see the imperfections, and sometimes it is shocking how things stick out like a sore thumb in a macro photo.    Do yourself a favor and next time you take pictures of a resin output shoot it with a thin coat of primer and it will show up better in photo.  The resin is really hard to read because of the transparency.  The best primer to build only a very minimal thickness is Bondo brand primer, you can usually find at auto store.

Your right about what you can and cant see in the actual outputs.  A build layer of .025mm is 25 microns that’s pretty tight but with a 1 inch sculpted output its very noticeable.   I’m not looking for polished pattern ready right off this machine IF and when I need that I Mill in wax or sand the parts.  SO the biggest question is can this thing print a 1 inch cube and yield a 1 inch printed chunk of resin???  I will take you up on your offer to print the primitives ring thanks for the offer.  It will be a good bench mark for YOU and everyone else who has purchased a Form 1.  Would you also be willing to print me another sculpt?  Its a ZBrush skull i did and I use it along with the primitive ring to test and evaluate RP technologies and machines.  The scale of the skull is 2.5 inches tall and all the primitive are 1 inch. could print them at 1/2 inch but I would really prefer 1 inch.   Here is a couple pics of the parts and sculpts.  The skulls pictured are output on a verity of RP machines fyi.   Let me know if you can do it id cover the cost of the resin.

@ Bill.  The models are awesome.  Can you post which machine printed which parts.  This is a similar comparison I was making but much cooler.  Would you be willing to share your models of the skull and primitives.  I can print them out of my Invision LD as it looks like you do not have a print from one of them.  I do not believe the results will be as nice as some of your prints but it is always nice to have the comparison.

@ Clayton.  I saw the test rook pictures,  strange,  did Formlabs have any insight into the strange surface features?  Has anyone else tried to print the model above?  The details missing seem odd.  I am not sure how much detail the Form 1 can show but many of the pictures on the site suggest more detail should have shown up.


Invision LD?? I’m not familiar with that system.  Is that a EnvisionTec or 3D systmes system?  Point me to a link?  Sure you make me a print and I can send you my files. I decided to post single pictures of each skull for a close up comparison.  Everyone please note the primered side of the print is much easier to see surface detail and smoothness.  So everyone start shooting there prints with primer to really see the surfaces.

From left to right

  1. FDM  Dimension SST 1200ES (my machine) Printed In grey ABS
  2. FDM Dimension SST 1200ES (Part is MEK Dipped to smooth surfaces)
  3. FDM Maker Bot PLA version (Printed in red PLA)
  4. CNC milled Roland MDX-650 in toy sculpting wax (My Machine & process)
  5. Objet Alaris 30 In vero white
  6. Objet Connex 500 in vero blue
  7. DLP on Envision tec Ultra in yellow resin (not sure what is called)
  8. DLP on V-Flash in White resin

(please note there has been no hand tooling or clean up on any of these outputs except for the FDM MEK dipped skull)

@Bill - Yeah, I’ll be happy to print your skulls at scale as well. No worries on reimbursement on resin. If you’d let me bend your ear later on advice if we need it, we’ll call it sqaurezies! :slight_smile: Again, just send the files to the email I listed above, and I’ll get right to it!

@David - Re: Surface pocking: I have a ticket in for support, I have to do a test for them. Hopefully it’s something that can be resolved easily.

does anyone who have a b9 can do the test as well ?

I know that at that scale it’s hard to catch all the details, but in my concern i will do macro of tiny models.

And what i see on this forum is not really what i saw on the website of formlabs …

I was expecting at least the same result as thoses ones :

I took some pictures of b9 print’s, as you can see even with macro there is no really banding and a lot of details seems to be there.

An Invision LD is a LOM machine originally sold by 3D Systems.  They discontinued it a while ago.  It is now being sold as a Solido.  (

My email address is  rcheli at verizon dot net

I forgot to add.  Yes, I will be happy to print out the parts and send them to you.  This way it can be added to your collection of skulls and primitives.

Out of the bunch, look like the Envisiontec and the Milled versions are the best quality. I’m surprised how rough the Objet prints are.


Awesome man thanks for the offer you will get an email with download link.  No problem if you have questions in the future I can help with ive been doing this stuff for a long time and would be happy to help you.  And feel free to use my models for your own testing.  Please note the email you get will be coming from my partners HiTail account.


Right the Solido, im familiar with it and have a couple off the shelf samples from it.  You can do some pretty interesting stuff with that machine because of the materials and process, what do you do David?  Yes would be very interesting to see an output on an LOM and see how it replicates an organic sculpt.  Have you done any dipping tests to see if you can melt the surface like you can with ABS?  What is the material acetate?  And thank you for the offer to run these parts I appreciate it. Please note the email you get will be coming from my partners HiTail account.


Yes you are right on scaling issues for ANY of the DLP systems.  I have had several parts & sculpts done on both the Envisiontec Ultra and on another Envisiontec stytem “dont remember” but it was a bigger system than the Ultra but with less resolution  I was horrified with the results.  Not 1 feature and or dimension was accurate on any of the parts I had done.  There was distortion as well.   In fact a big batch of sculpts & models I had done was for a job and was a nightmare because nothing fit together with any degree of normal tolerance. A CRYING SHAME! since the surface detail is almost perfect in fact as you can see better than my CNC milling process.  So if you only need good quality sculpts and can tolerate the inaccuracies in scale, distortions, features and fitments its fine.  But I need both so its just not a technology I could rely on.  It would actually be a good test to have these done on the B9 just to see what happens, I think I will post on the B9 site and see if someone is willing.