Can you really justify upgrading from a Form 2 to a Form 3

Is it really justifiable to upgrade to a Form 3 when I’ve only had a Form 2 for 9 months. As I am only a hobbyist the only real difference for me is accuracy

I guess also the fact the form2 has max 2 years of support left.

I’m not using the Form 2 as a hobbyist but if I were, my main worry would be the longevity of the machine, ie the availability of parts, supports and self-repairability. In that sense the Form 3 upgrade is justifyable (not because the previous points are solved with the new machine but because the Form 2 will become un-serviceable in a short amount of time) but that’s because of the quite agressive support restriction that Formlabs is putting on the machines… which is not so terrible in a professional setting but also the main reason why I’m not buying a Formlabs machine for myself.

As for more technical reason, I asked myself the same question and I have not come across any information regarding an accuracy improvement. That being said there are things that change which may improve accuracy, such as reduced peel forces (the peeling operation can deform parts) and the reduced support point sizes which will allow you to get more details out of the heavily supported parts.

It depends on can you made up the money earned by the printer output , if for hobby no money can earn, then how much did you want to pay for the joys? Like some bird photographers pay more $ on a tele lens than a Form 3L .
I would only consider bigger Form 3L is worth upgrading over Form 2

I run a small home based business and have 2 Form 2 machines running quite steady. Thing is profits are low as the competition is high in my field. Justifying a new machine is questionable as there are many “unanswered” questions that have been solved with the Form 2 machines. Only way I make money at all is using ALW resin. Just the difference in that cost is a good part of my profits.

At 76 I’m not too sure how many years I have at this so that’s another question for me. Some of the other resin printer manufactures are starting to come out with some pretty good machines. I’ll start doing some comparison before making any decision to purchase a Form 3.

As to the larger unit, I still haven’t seen an answer on how you wash these very large prints. Don’t have the need for such a large machine besides I don’t want 55 gallon drums of IPA sitting around either. :rofl::sweat_smile:


Where do you buy ALW resin? is it that less costly to not benefit from the heated function or wiper arm of the Form2?

Just Google Apply Lab Works and you’ll find their website. They don’t have all the resins that Form labs has but do have a fair selection. I only use the Modeling Grey for Form2 resin.

I had googled ALW but oddly, came up with only the treads here that you started.

I’ve ordered some to try on my DLP printer as a test. Do you find the current ALW formulae are still gummy prior to post UV cure?

I don’t post cure most of my products. My volume is too large. I find letting the parts sit out for 24 hours before cutting the supports works the best… Only on occasion do I need to post cure. But everyone has a different approach.

I’ve never used the sun to post cure. 24 hours is just too long to wait.
I built a large UV box, big enough for 3L prints.

It’s a simple way to cure stuff. It’s ultra violet light and will work real good. Just a few hours. In the winter just inside a window. In the summer, as long as it’s not windy parts can be put outside.

Just to be clear for others reading this : post-curing in the sun is longer but perfectly okay for standard resins, but all other engineering/specialized resins absolutely require to respect the post-curing recommendation (temperature and UV exposure) otherwise the mechanical values are wayyyyy off and the parts stay “soft and tacky”.

I noticed that the Form3 will NOT be compatible with the ceramics material Any reason why? (knowing this is an experimental material but certainly interesting).

Did you change the settings when using ALW Modeling Grey, or does it work to use Formlab’s Grey V4 setting?

Nope, use the FL Grey V3 settings. Works just great.