Catastrophic resin spill - need help!

I’ve been printing for quite a while and have never experienced a spill, but today the worst happened - I was using a BRAND NEW LT tank and color cartridge. I started a print and saw it was filling the tank appropriately and walked away to do some work. Came back to check on it and there was an error regarding the resin sensor to remove and replace the tank - and that’s when I noticed the worst had happened.

There was something floating in the tank and there was resin all over the place. The silicon nozzle from the bottom of the cartridge failed and fell into the tank, which caused it to empty the full 1L of resin until it was empty. Not only did it get all around the tank, it filled the little reservoir that’s for catching spills and that overflowed, so it leaked through the body of the printer and there was a pool underneath.

I do have pro service and this is actually a new printer - we just went through replacing it. Is there an emergency pro service # to call? I know they’re off on the weekends, but I’m pretty nervous about how to proceed. I want to open the unit and try to clean it, but then again I really don’t.

Here’s what I’ve done: I’ve removed the tank very carefully and emptied the resin into a gallon ziploc bag and that’s curing for proper disposal. I’ve cleaned the tank out with paper towels and stored it for safe keeping (hoping I’ll be able to use it again). I’ve used paper towels and cleaned out most of the top inside of the unit around the window etc. It’s really tough to get into the reservoir that catches the resin, so that’s still pretty full. I have not opened the unit to try to clean out any of that.

Any help/suggestions? Is there an emergency number to call?

Formlabs will send you the 3 PDFs in this dropbox folder–

Before you send the printer in they will want you to assess the extent of the spill and whether they actually need to clean it or you can clean it on your own- but definitely open a support ticket with them…

Start with the resin spill clean up procedure.
they recommend using a rolled up paper towel to try and sop up the resin in the catchbasin at front left corner… but I rugged up a suction pipette to get most of it out before doing the paper towel.

Also note the removable catchbasin at right rear under the pinch valve…you’ll want to check UNDER that to make sure its cleaned. Its held down with a wad of rubber cement- so you’ll have to pull on it to get it out.
Careful- its a really thin vacuum formed part and fragile.

Then there is a PDF on opening the bezel to assess interior extent of the spill.
And another on trying to clean the interior if necessary… preparatory to shipping the unit in for service. Wait to do this step until you have assessed the extent of the spill and gotten the go ahead from support.

If you have pro service, I think it’s more their problem than yours. I’d ask them for the minimum amount of your time necessary to prep the machine; maybe even just tilt and drain. Really, your time isn’t free.

I’ve noticed that a fair number of the nozzles have issues lately. Several needed me to slice them with a razor, since they wouldn’t open when first used. The factory cut wasn’t all the way through the material.

FLabs has had persistent QC problems across the whole line, and their service policy is more akin to consumer level goods, not the pro goods they present themselves as. If their customers are willing to serve as remote mechanics for free, there’s less incentive for them to be more rigorous.

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Thanks for the information, I appreciate it. I cleaned up as much as possible, but I did not start on the docs. I’ve covered everything and I’m waiting to speak to support…

Thanks for your reply. Honestly, I’m glad to read your response. I was pretty annoyed with how they had me repeatedly open the printer when I had the issue with my first printer (which was purchased in June). I’ve had a lot of similar QC problems with cartridges. They commonly don’t sit properly and I’ve had to use a spacer so they’re detected or I’ve had to pinch the silicon nozzle to get it to open. This cartridge worked without hassle, but then spilled all over. I’ve been feeling a lot of buyer’s remorse, honestly. Pro service even seems to be rapidly declining. I can’t believe they migrated their support system without leaving an option for existing customers to log into…

If their customers accept the current situation, it won’t improve. And it needs improving.

They hit the “Unicorn” level this Spring, when the current funding round valuation went over $1,000,000,000.

They can afford to do their own QC and repairs.

Thing broke, under Pro warrantee, send the thing back. Or get them to pay your retail hourly rate for your time.


@srini – we’re sorry to keep you hanging through the weekend! Someone will be in touch with you directly.

@arusso Actually, I’ve already been in contact with support, got the rest of the spill cleaned up, but all of the electronics inside were saturated, so the printer is already on its way back with a replacement arriving Thursday.

Thanks for the update! Glad you’ll be up and running again soon.

Cartridges, tanks, sensors… All three need a SERIOUS re-think.
I hope Form 3 will address these ill-designed components.

Had a Castable Resin cartridge with virtually no cut in the rubber plug. I had to carefully cut it away myself.

I love the machine but I hope this doesn’t infer that FormLabs is getting lax in its production.They really do need to be more consistent. We use this thing for my wife’s jewelry business and need it to be reasonably reliable.

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