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.