Disappointing e-mail from FormLabs


I ended up placing my order for my Form 2 last month, super excited to receive it. The day before I ordered I called to confirm the 8 week leadtime. This was verified via phone, which is fine with me, its communicated very clearly on the site. A week or so later, I shot an email confirming all the payment went through because the order was still “processing”. The customer service rep cleared that up and assured that payment went through, and that the printer was still on track for 8 weeks, even stating a mid May expected ship date.

Well, since its April, I wanted to have an update on my order. E-mailed today, and was told there will be a 4 week delay… This is very disappointing. Now, I do understand that there are component issues and such… As I work in Logistics,… but… The only way I would known about this issue was to contact the Customer Service like I did?? Also, 4 weeks? That’s borderline non acceptable. I really want to stick this out, but the complete lack of communication, and just plain being in the dark, after dropping this sort of cash on a product is kind of scary… I’m hoping someone can clear this up for me on here. I really don’t want to cancel the order, but from reading other stories, and the complete lack of communication… I’m very hesitant to go through with this transaction.


A very nice man gave me an update. The cause of the 4 week delay are the plastic Orange hoods.

4 weeks?

If you want the printer, then stick with it. You aren’t going to find a different one that’s better for the same value. Waiting isn’t a big deal–anything that’s not in-stock already is going to be delayed. I’ve been buying Sideshow stuff for years and everything they make gets delayed and they have a massive amount of experience. 4 weeks is nothing, and since this isn’t kickstarter or anything it’s not like your money is at risk.

Well I don’t agree with 4 weeks not being an issue. That is half the leadtime givin to me when ordering. Also, after it was verified 8 weeks twice. And this is a huge investment for me. Close to $5k is something to be definitely worried about in a situation like this. Im sure I’ll be extremely pleased once it arrives, but what’s stopping another 4 week delay into July or August? At what point do you start questioning?

Delays suck, sure, but it’s pretty common and expected.

In what realm? If I’m quoted a lead time by a supplier then my subsequent planning is geared around that lead time being met.

Slips need to be announced in good time so that contingency planning can be put into place - but at the same time suppliers need to have done the same to avoid slips like that. If - as a manufacturer - you’re slipping a month because one of your suppliers has screwed you, you need to have a plan in place to switch suppliers.

Basic manufacturing practice.

I’d like to hear Formlabs’ input on this; I may be in the same boat and in this particular case I have timescales that are going to be screwed up (or at least incur significant additional costs) if this is the case.

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When you aren’t able to spend millions of dollars to build up stock before putting up orders it happens. It’s happening to Oculus right now, and it happens to pretty much everyone that starts orders before they’re in full production. They’re still probably catching up from the delays from last year’s orders.
I got something last year that was delayed more than a year because they ended up having to switch suppliers 3 times

Has anyone ordered their machine in 2016, and received it yet? I doubt it…
Otherwise they ordered after me, yet got it before my 2015 order, which would tick me off.

Mine is still delayed, reason given is due to orange lids… which seemed to be a reason from months prior to my order date as well. It may be their cookie cutter excuse.

I am currently entering week 15

But thats exactly what you are supposed to do from a logistical standpoint. Build up stock, and satisfy the orders. Right now it seems as if each one is made as ordered… which is fine is a business climate of maybe selling 1 every 3 months, which I doubt is the case.

I get what your getting at here, the only thing I want to make clear is, Im upset that I was told twice of an 8 week leadtime. If it was going to be 12, thats fine… but tell me. I mean, even now if you go look at the page to order, its still listed as 8 weeks. There needs to be clarification…

Or not build up stock if you’re working to JIT or variants thereof. Any stock you hold is money you have to lay out before the sale - the goal is to have parts coming in in time to meet the delivery date. Small companies have far more flexibility & opportunities for responsiveness (and reacting to change - major advantage) over larger, traditional manufacturing bases. The world has moved on and the old models no longer hold true across the board.

Speaking as an engineer, despite working as a jeweller (with deadlines to meet still) now.

From my POV, the 8 week lead time forms part of the contract to supply. I’ve not been informed that it’ll be breached to date.

That’s not how everyone works–for example right now you can put in a reservation for the new Tesla, which won’t be shipping until next year. Formlabs can’t account for everything that can go wrong. They’ve been busy ever since they first opened orders for the printer so it hasn’t had the chance for them to catch up. Meanwhile, if you want a Form1+ you could get it within a week or two, since they have those in stock already.

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As a long time supply chain person, this is not how things should work. That being said, it is how 3d printers in this price space seem to work where customer parts are outsourced and demand is high.

When I ordered my Makerbots before they were shipping, I had the same issue. My Form 1+ had a similar issue.

I think they should have better policies and systems for updated customers on delays in today’s world. Ideally, I would like to know the cause of the delay and if they learned something from it, but I think that is asking too much.

On the plus side, every interaction I have ever had with them has been positive including swapping out my Form 1+ after it developed issues that we tried to fix with mirror cleaning and a replacement window. Cracking trays have been handled well, also.

So yes, more proactive info would be better but they are doing a decent job for a small company.

My FedEx tracking number says my form 2 is arriving tomorrow. I am having it drop shipped to a FedEx office rather than risk having it left on my front steps for drive by opportunists.

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I just encountered an issue that has nothing to do with FormLabs, but is a manufacturing issue. Since 2007, Milgard, maker of Windows and doors, had to layoff workers and close some manufacturing facilities. So, as a result, they have run out of manufacturing capacity. It takes at least 8 weeks to, hopefully, get product from them. Welcome to resource reallocation issues. The problem is when you don’t see these things coming, and expect that everything is magically available off a shelf somewhere without understanding the drawbacks of on-demand supply chain risks. With a fast tech upgrade cycle, where parts become obsolete quickly, then it’s very challenging to get what’s needed when no one makes the parts that you need to assemble your products. That and China’s manufacturing problems might becoming an issue for stuff we want and need.
I’m not pointing any fingers here by any means, stuff just happens sometimes that is unexpected because of how unusual it is. Anyways, hang in there.

Richard, great that you are getting your Form2. About when did you order yours?

Later November or early December.

The majority of the parts on the Form2 are custom, so they won’t have the issue of parts being discontinued–like how the Oculus dev kit 1 couldn’t get their screens anymore. But, that still means if the factory that builds them messes up then it affects everything down the chain.


That is about a month before my Dec 31st order , so I might be told soon that I will have to wait another month, if they have not sped up production yet. I was told a few weeks ago to expect a tracking number next week, which will be week #15.

Most equipment is built as needed, customer of mine ordered a 6 color automatic screen printing press and it took nearly 4 months. You are better off with a lead time rather than have a company build hundreds of units and have a fault in the design that gets shoved onto the market where as the machines build are more recent revs and typically a more mature product.

That’s my 2 cents


I ordered my Dec 20th and it just shipped last Friday. I should get it this Tuesday or Wednesday. It will be approximately 16 weeks. When I ordered the timing was stated as 12 weeks. I got one email at 12 weeks about the delay, in which they predicted it would ship last week. That was a disappointing, but accurate email.

I’m not sure if you are more frustrated about the long lead time or the lack of communication. For me it is/was a matter of both. My Tesla only took 7 weeks to get to my door, which was less than half the time that I’ve waited for this printer. 12 was a stretch. 16 is even harder to accept. But there aren’t many good alternatives so its likely best to wait and accept it.

The harder thing for me was the lack of communication. One email about the delay at the 12 week mark isn’t enough. I’d like to see more frequent estimates of ship time. Or even better just add it to the order dashboard. Be open and let us know about a bad shipment from a supplier, or a quality issue, or whatever. But let us know. Right now it is a black hole of information when waiting for an order.

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I havent been responding because people are trying to explain logistics to me. When in fact I am a logistics planning analyst for a heavy machining company, I know logistics. Thankfully, you have seemed to grasp my main complaint here, its the communication. All I have been saying, is there was no communication. I had to contact them to find out about the 4 week delay, which sounds like it was going to be an issue from the date I ordered it.

Im fine with 12 weeks… I get it… There are component delays, tooling issues, supplier issues, quality issues ect… BUT, when I call and e-mail, and I am told 8 weeks twice… then I place the order and it jumps to 12 weeks, it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Thats the main issue, there is a communication disconnect… thats it.

Edit: also, its still listed as 8 weeks… Form 2 Leadtime

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