Dashboard shows offline a lot


#1

I’m in my first week with the Form 3 and one thing I see a lot is that the dashboard shows the printer offline often.

The printer is connected with Ethernet, and our Internet connection and firewall are likely not the issue. Uploading jobs from Preform works just fine.

It’s not just me, right?


#2

I have this problem with the Form 3 and our two Form 2’s.


#3

I thought it was my wifi, but since one week I have the Form 3 on ethernet and Dashboard shows it suddenly offline. The printer itself reports as connected on the LCD and shows an IP address.

I’m seeing a lot of similar messages in the forum.
This is absolutely critical. Prints while printer is “offline” won’t show in the statistics in Dashboard. Then my monthly invoicing of the prints are completely inaccurate (as is the count of remaining resin, I guess)


#4

I have the same issue, Form 3, can send jobs and see remaining print time on Preform, but dashboard showing as offline. Same as @hoolito said, this is a problem as I need to be able to track my prints and materials.


#5

I am troubleshooting this with Support and I will report here back if I have a solution.
So far they told me it might be a Firewall problem, but once disabled the problem remained (Printer went offline after about 5 hours).

I’d like to clarify what is key for me: the actual problem is not so much losing connectivity, but rather that the data in Dashboard is afterwards incomplete due to this loss.
For example in August I have 2 prints that are ONLY visible locally at the printer, so the entries don’t show up in Dashboard nor is the 176ml amount of used resin accounted for.

Even if the internet connection of my printer turns out to be sketchy, it seems this loss of data is avoidable.
Why doesn’t the printer retry sending the data to Formlabs after the connection is restored?


#6

Still no solution. My printer shows offline or online intermittently.

I found a lot of forum posts on the same issue (the older ones are more than 3 years old), but there’s either no solution posted or the post ends with people finding “a solution” after a “power cycle”, which is ridiculous because I bet that solution must have been temporary. Besides, how can a power cycle be a solution if the printer is designed to be “always on”?

The posts contain also some suggestions, like automatically retrying the connection or manual synchronising of local and dashboard data after the fact, but I don’t see this has been implemented by Formlabs in their firmware or back-end…

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I wonder if there are people out there (regularly using Dashboard) that NEVER had this problem?
Has someone which had this problem found a definitive solution?


#7

Remember that the problem can be anywhere between your printer and Formlabs’ servers.

My guess would be that the strength of the signal between your printer and router is not sufficient to maintain constant contact. A WiFi booster might help, or the alternative is use a wired connection, ethernet or UBS.


#8

Thanks, but my printer connects to my LAN via Ethernet, not wifi…
We are closing in I think…
Unreliability seems to be related to port forwarding configuration in your firewall/gateway.
I’ll post here when I reach a solution.


#9

Hi, I promised to give an update, maybe it will help people with issues:

We didn’t pinpoint the EXACT cause of the problem. But these are the things changed / probably helped:

  1. Setup port forwarding in the firewall section of the LAN gateway (in my case our modem/router/AP) to ports 443, 80 and 35 to the IP-address of the printer in your LAN. (This page from Formlabs only talks about port 443)
  2. Give the printer a manual IP, even if you use DHCP, just in case.
  3. Changed the configuration of the Powerline adapters from MIMOBoost to SISOBoost, which given my electrical installation, was apparently better suited. (Note: yes, I know UTP cables would be best, but this is an improvised home office…)
  4. Connected the printer again via WiFi. According to Support, “sometimes the printers have a very spotty internet connection if the Ethernet cable running from the printer to the next active device is too long”. And my cable was indeed much too long. The Powerline Wifi access point is 1 meter from the printer. Signal strength shows as “Excellent”

So, it’s been online for the past 6 days. Fingers crossed.

Anyways, I think the Dashboard setup information could be improved, specially with specific requirements about the reliability of the connection and how to test this. For example the page instructs to “Check the Formlabs server connection…, the status of API on status.formlabs.com for down time”. But the link doesn’t work.


#10

Mine does this too. It was so bad when connected via WiFi that I connected directly to the pc via usb. It still shows offline every now and then but I can at least upload jobs now, and it’s far easier to disconnect the usb to fix it. My prints no longer show up on the dashboard but this has saved me the frustration of trying to get it to stay connected to my network.