Constant Missing Cartridge Errors

This has been an issue since I first got the printer back in Feb. Lately it seems to have gotten worse. I noticed that if I wiggle the cartridge and slide it in and out ever so slightly it seems to register about 10% of the time but then it will throw the missing cartridge error ten minutes later without me even touching the machine.

I suspect a faulty sensor or just some weird misalignment between the cartridges chip and the sensors contact points. Quality control problems seems like a common theme among Formlabs printers and resins. The first printer they sent me was faulty on arrival and they quickly sent me another free of charge.

It seems to happen all the same with any cartridge new or old. I do notice it becomes more of an issue as the cartridge runs low. Perhaps the weight of the resin helps keep the connection in contact. Either way the whole setup just seems really janky to me. Wouldnt some sort of optical sensor or physical plug be a better solution?

Also meanwhile I cant open a support ticket since I’m locked out of logging into the support section of the site.

Any advice or possible solutions would be greatly appreciated.

I’ve been getting that error a ton lately, it’s been getting harder and harder to get it to see the tank. I’ve cleaned the connections a few times now but it doesn’t seem to be helping

the cartridges are blow molded polyethylene- and like all plastics they are subject to dimensional changes with temperature and humidity changes.

My issue is not with quality control- but the choice to go with chips that require precise- repeatable physical electrical contact between cartridge and sensor- and Tank and sensor.

Its hard to see the cartridge contacts- but a close look at the sensor contacts on the tank carrier reveals them to be exceedingly flimsy. the slightest contact can bend them or twist them out of alignment and then they fail to reliably make contact.

I am beginning to get cartridge missing or unknown consumable errors with increasing frequency…

I think Formlabs could change their consumables in a way that would eliminate these errors that was reverse compatible with already sold form2s…

An RFID tag on each cartridge that the existing WiFi transceiver could detect in a query operation with nothing but a firmware update on the Form 2.

And the tanks could be the same, OR be modified to have a chip that the Resin Sensor could detect to identify the tank without having to change anything but the firmware.

Yeah when I first saw how they make contact I was a bit thrown off at how basic it was. Like you said the contact point in the machine is pretty delicate and lacking. The design is prone to failure from the start. Their persistence to force users into using their resins comes with all these unnecessary headaches for us. The machine is great if you dont consider all the poorly designed and unreliable sensors. Im constantly at odds with the sensors. My machine is still considerably new. I hate to think how useless it will be a year down the road.


Well- part of the reason the machine prints so nicely is that they design the firmware and software to manage the printer differently based upon different resins.

They make the main profits from consumables so they can make the printer more affordable… would you have bought it if it printed not as accurately but with Any resin and cost $2,000 more?

Still. given its wireless capabilities… And that there’s no reason they can’t just PRINT a conductive design on the tank that the resin sensor could detect as a separate operation from resin sensing, I would still like to see them make the sensors less reliant in ridiculously fragile metal tangs the have to get bent repeatedly just in inserting and extracting the tanks and cartridges…
It does us no good to fix it with a change that requires a whole new printer.

Thats great and all but its bs. All it would take is a simple profile per resin formulation. You load in your resin or cartridge switch to that profile on the machines screen and print. The sensors do nothing to improve print quality. They are simply a means to keep us locked into their overpriced wasteful system. They dont make some magically special resin. Sure the software is amazing but dont confuse yourself into thinking the sensors are their to help us. God forbid we had control over our 4000 investments. It would be like buying a car and only being able to use Ford gasoline in our Ford car. How ridiculous does that sound. Or when you put non Ford gas in the car would turn off your power steering and inetrior heater.

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Yeah- printers are not cars… I know.

When was the last time you saw a paper printer company that didn’t make its profits from the ink?

You can buy ANY Android phone you want. _ but they ALL run Android and they All suffer from fragmentation in their own unique way. Google has conned you into thinking an HTC phone is materially different than a samsung…

Apple’s closed ecosystem is NOT just some trick to extract dollars- it really actually DOES result in a more reliable, more predictable and less fragmented experience for their users- and That is How they have built such product loyalty.

Companies that do NOT make a printer can certainly afford to sell resin cheaper. But that does you no good if no one Else makes the actual printer.
And hell- you could buy a much cheaper SLA than the Form 2 but you didn’t… because you WANTED the quality and coordination the Form 2 offers that cheaper printers simply do not.

And- yeah- Formlabs could make the user interface entirely manual- so you had to Select which resin you were using or other parameters- but that also enables you to forget to select the right resin… and leaves no check to ensure you are using a tank that matches the resin the printer doesn’t even know it has.

More than once I have been saved from what would have been a lousy print by an alert that the cartridge didn’t match the tank inserted.
And the ability to TRACK cartridges and tanks and their usage is what enables the dashboard to show you coordinated heat maps and to warn you when you might run out of resin.

Sorry- as much as I agree that their cartridge and tank sensors are pretty badly designed… I can not buy into the theory that its part of how they FORCE you to buy their resins. That’s just the popular mindset of conspiracy.

They don’t- you can switch to open mode and set all the machine parameters by hand. and dispense resin by hand.

They could leave the wiper arm enabled in open mode- true- but the cartridge dispensing and resin sensor simply can not be relied upon if formlabs has not been able to test and verify how the resin sensor reacts to a specific third party resin.
Its part of the reason the machine checks for what resin you inserted- because different resins have different profiles.
the machine even PEELS differently based upon the specific resin you have in it. And that is the result of Formlabs continuously updating their software and firmware to reflect even minor changes in resin formulation.

Its a lot to ask that they do some other company the favor of creating profiles for all their RESINS, too.

All this effort they go to is Worth something to me.
Just ONE bad print can more than offset any savings from using a cheaper resin. folks using cheaper resins seldom do a cost analysis of how many failure they have.

No Formlabs’ resins are not “special” in any respect OTHER than the fact that THEY control their formulations and can test to adjust their software to the material they KNOW.

I bought a photographic quality printer- and it cost me only $250 bucks- because the printer manufacturer was banking on making its profit on the ink and paper.

Its is NO different than subscription software like Adobe- or services like spotify.

Companies need to make a profit to survive.

You want to be able to STILL buy tanks and spare parts for your Form 2 a year from now?
Then allow them to make a buck.

Im not asking them to offer profiles for 3rd party resins Im saying they could simply offer swirchable profles for their resin. It would be the same way it works now just less automatic and dependent on some poorly eginnered sensor. To say they do it to prevent user error just isnt true. We arent ignorant we are totally capable and responsible makers. You dont buy a high end 3D printer if your just a clueless person printing silly Thingaverse designs. The setup is to make it harder to use the printer to print 3rd party resins using the Form 2s two best features the wiper and heater. Its not a conspiracy its business as you say. I will keep buying the overpriced resin and tanks because your right it works when it works. Im just asking for a more practical way to deal with the resin replacement system.

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