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Deeply disappointed - Not Recommending FL anymore

I bought my FL3 (incl. cleaning and Curing stations) in August 2020. A 5K Euro investment …

In September 2021, after less than 10k layers the FL3 experienced a firmware update failure preventing it from booting.

FormLabs did send a “replacement” device which had already 100K layers printed when I received it; according to the devices’ internal logs and with the X-axis screw-lead ever so slightly out of shape (meaning it wobbles) …

Apart from 1 or 2 prints, each print fails during print. The machine just freezes with an error message. I can neither abort, cancel nor skip. It always fails halfway the X-axis with everything stuck …

A full power-cycle; meaning unplugging since there is no button, is the only option left.

Truly disappointed and will no longer recommend any of the FormLabs products to any of my customers. I will further remove FormLabs as a potential 3D-printer printer supplier for a JV I’m setting up.

The Journey ends here :frowning:

3 Likes

Hello @PDP,

I just want to thank you for taking the time to post, and I’m so sorry your recent experiences with Formlabs have been disappointing. That’s obviously not what we want our users to feel and I want to apologize if it feels like your problem wasn’t adequately solved.

Do you mind if I ask whether you’ve gotten in touch with our support team to let them know about these issues with the replacement unit? We do not want to leave you hanging without anywhere to turn.

If a user receives a defective unit, even as a replacement during an ongoing repair conversation, we definitely wouldn’t want to just leave you with a bad printer.

Again, I’m so sorry for your frustration. I completely understand where you’re coming from and if there’s anything we can do to put you on the right path printing at 100%, please let us know.

In all fairness no I did not. Not looking forward to that process.

This post is most probably a good example of why not to post when frustrated.

Though the issue at hand is what it is.

First, I don’t print much, as you; FL, can well see.

Second, it sits idle for months. It’s currently a personal learning and research project. Not a professional operation. Yet :crossed_fingers:t2:

Third, it is by now well over its warranty period. And no, I did not take a support package. The cost was too high versus the usage load. In a commercial setting I would have as it makes business sense. Though it is expensive.

Let me put it this way …

I love the technology, the machine(s) and what I could get out of it so far, mostly the Wren machine … not the Vagabond

In the end, I am mostly disappointed in the current milage I’ve gotten out of my initial investment … that’s all

Kind regards,
Peter :wink:

Im getting there too. I can’t believe they made all these updates that mess everything up . everything coset so much and now they release a new version that is much more efficient and cost effective? I bought my system 4 months ago . They had to know they where doing that. Why wouldn’t they let people know all these things. Im about ready to move on too.

PS I am Deeply Disappointed as well.

I’ve had my deep frustrations with Formlabs. At times I’ve been beyond furious, with more than ample justification. We’ve always been able to work things out.

No company that hopes to survive will tell you that in few months there’ll be a better version, thus shutting down sales iin the interim. It’d be suicide. You can just assume it’s true. You sell what you have.

These tools all have a brief half life, and companies are very busy working on the next version when any new model gets released. Figure, at most, a three year cycle, with one tick being a tweak, and the next a major upgrade.

Or, how about no new models? That way your machine would always be current.

If you track the history of the 3, you could have predicted the + about now. There’s always going to be better as time goes on. Your 3 hardware is still just as good as it was a month ago. And speed isn’t your major problem. You don’t do any volume, so what does a few hours of printing time really matter?

I think they do an admirable job adding features and improvements to Preform that improve the functions of existing models.

PDP; you’re having serious printer problems, didn’t call support, and you’re mad a FL for not taking good care of you? I’m confused and really curious as to why you didn’t.

Your unit is clearly a lemon, and should have been immediately replaced. (FWIW, they don’t ship new units as replacements, You’ll stll get a reconditioned printer, but it should be in perfect shape).

p.s. Almost all printers need regular use. Sitting idle is problematic for them, and I’d suggest kicking off a small print every week or so, just to keep everything in tip top shape. It would also reveal problems before the support window closes.

1 Like

I did the first time, just out of warranty, and was told in no unclear terms they’d make a one-time exception. Since the machine had low mileage and was just a few weeks over the warranty period and that hence forward I’d need a care package equal to 30% device cost …

The replacement machine has since only printed two successful parts, some don’t even appear in the dashboard so I have zero proof of my frustrations.

In the mean I have contacted Support again … yet do not feel taken serious … I even asked for a commercial solution; i.e. I am (was) willing to pay for an upgraded replacement.

So, I’ll take my business elsewhere. Will take the FL3 apart for its parts. Swallowing a $3k loss along the way …

I was exploring investing in a 3L … not going to happen is my current prediction.