Desperately need a Galvo motor with mirror in the UK


My Form 1+ stopped working today. The laser isn’t reaching the print area. After much investigation, I found that my y-axis galvo motor is not responding, and my x-axis one is (I tested this by switching the connections to make sure the problem was localised to the motor).

With a replacement part, I could fix this in about 5 minutes, and then recalibrate in another hour. Support have told me they won’t sell me a replacement part, and that I need to send it back for repair. I can’t do this, as I’m using the machine for jewellery casting, and I have a huge commission that has to be completed within the next 12 days.

Can anyone out there please tell me if they have one of these (perhaps in an old form1+) or if they know where I can buy one. I really don’t fancy spending about £1000 and waiting 4 weeks for a repair, when the issue is a simple stepper motor.


Not quite sure you could recalibrate in an hour, if memory serves, there’s quite a complicated calibration rig involved, and about 4-5 variables to tweak, or you end up with a very non-linear response and severely deformed prints.

Unless you’re already equipped to do that, of course.

The issue is that it is not a simple stepper motor. It is a galvo. From my understanding it is a different animal. Even if you could get your hands on one, You could only aim it, not calibrate the machine to use it. The calibration is embedded in the printer and unless you figured out a way to hack into it, FL is the only ones who can calibrate the printer.

The Form 1 could be calibrated and there is a write-up somewhere on here. No one has done a write up about how they got a laser or galvo calibrated on a Form 1+ or Form 2. There are many who are looking for this information.

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Form1+ calibration is mostly the same as Form1, AFAIK.

If i recall correctly, there’s a series of trim pots on the board, that you use to calibrate the 4(?) parameters per galvo. You can’t do that blindly, you need equipment (a calibration rig) to do it properly.

Or, you could, by spending an eternity iterating, of course, and slowly losing your mind.

Perhaps I’m being naive. I know that there were trim pots on the form 1, but not on the form 1+. Looking at images of both machines, I can see that the galvos are different - they have a different number of connections for a start. This video is of a guy calibrating galvos (Nice guy, incidentally - I emailed him a question and he got back to me in 10 minutes!). I figured it was worth the gamble to at least try this if I could get the part.

Formlabs have really shut me down on this one. They won’t sell me the part, and their resellers and repairers can’t sell me the part without explicit authorisation from fl (which, of course, they won’t give).

The Form 1 has the trim pots. The Form 1+ does not. The Form 1+ can NOT be calibrated by the end use. .ie, us.
Formlabs has never waivered with selling the laser or galvo’s. They just won’t do it. I don’t blame them regardless if I like it or not.

I already said “I know that there were trim pots on the form 1, but not on the form 1+”

I don’t know if the youtube video I’ve posted above would work sufficiently for calibrating the galvos, but I’d certainly be willing to give it a try. I’ve already ordered my form2, so right now this becomes a challenge. Can I get the part somewhere, or an equivalent? Can I calibrate it by hand, like the guy in the video - how precise can I get it?

We have 2 opposing views here -
1: It’s a sealed unit - get it repaired by fl, or have an expensive paperweight.
2: Hack it!

How to find out what’s possible? Experiment.

I don’t know about you, but part of the reason I have one of these machines in the first place is that I love to tinker and experiment. I doubt very much that when Max Lobovsky was building his first form in his parents’ basement he shied away from hacking components and seeing what was possible. At the end of the day, if I get a part, try it, and it fails, what have I lost? Some time and a couple of hundred bucks, probably. It’s not like I’m losing anything by the machine being more broken, or working but wonky.

Where’s your sense of adventure @DavidRosenfeld :smile:

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I completely agree and feel your pain of not being able to get replacement parts simply because FL chooses to withhold them to make a profit. The whole argument about the parts not being user serviceable can only go so far. They can always put a disclaimer that you buy and do what you need to do at your own risk.

But I digress.

A long time ago, someone tore down the Form1 and tried to figure out what was in it. Some of the parts are still pertinent to the Form 1+. Below is the link the site describing what was found, including some infor on the galvos:

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Thanks. I’d actually already seen that article. The links to the galvo manufacturers and retailers are dead. Besides that, I found during my investigations that the Form1 galvos have a different number of connectors to the 1+, and run off a different board.

I’m about 99% certain that the 1+ galvos will be COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) technology. Somewhere, there’s a factory, not owned by formlabs, that’s churning these things out.

I suppose I could always request fl’s financial records, and see which manufacturers they are paying…

What about something like this:

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PM sent.

Did anyone manage to do this?
I have a Form1+ and I just ordered at couple of galvos from Aliexpress - not knowing wether they’ll work out at all…

I had to take my Form1+ apart for cleaning as a tank cracked - and left resin dripping out of the machine! :frowning:

Now it seems to skew all parts by printing to small in the y-direction and too big in the x-direction.
I’ve tried everything I could think of - did some alignment calibration with “a cross on a piece of paper”…but that won’t change the skewing.
I guess - if it would be possible to change a “gain parameter” for each galvo - that would do the job. But there are no trims…as in the Form 1 (apparantly).

Hope someone out there can help!


Have you tried the Galvos? did either work?? I received a follow up email from FL support basically stating they won’t help but good luck anyway.

I had the best luck for parts on taobao ( the buying process does require one extra step ) This is the 3rd post regarding replacement parts i’ve seen today, regardless of where you find replacements, make sure the wiring matches up. Most of the parts have some type of numerical code on them, find that.
I repeat this so others do not auto-assume a 3rd party replacement part comes wired properly, this goes for any/all replacements for any machine. all you need is a pair of tweezers to resort the wiring properly… Im sure there are retired F1’s / f2’s out-there just need to find a way to make contact with others who can spare the parts out…