Let me say this up front, Formlabs has the best support team I know - period. So yes I would think that the majority of users would contact support first anyway, should there be a problem.
Now having this said - I was in contact with the support team, because of the resin sensor error, this often happens right in the middle of an important build - but until the resin sensor error was fixed I tested the machine to see if there were internal components like the sensor board (mine is already the revised version) or the resin release at fault - of course they weren’t if they would have been I could have let the support team know what the problem was. So in my mind it would have made things easier and faster, to get my machine back on track - in the end it was a firmware problem - or let’s say it was fixed with the latest firmware version. By that time I had my machine back running in open mode again. I do understand that Formlabs technicians don’t want to see users opening up the machine and try to troubleshoot it, for obvious reasons we all know.
There are most likely few people like myself who would take the machine apart and search for problems and rather have spare parts available before going through that long, costly process of shipping the machine out to Formlabs, waiting for it to be fixed and then most likely getting a different machine back.
When it comes to dialing in the tray, there are some basics that one should know about how the machine reacts when building a part at certain distances, what needs to be done when this or that problem occurs. That’s why I said with some knowledge of the machine… Now you are referring to “different components” that are also calibrated in relation to the tray.
I can’t quite follow there - the distance between the tray and the building platform is what relates to everything else. If that distance is off everything else will be off. Please do correct me here if I am mistaken.
The laser is set, the mirrors are set so whatever hits the large mirror will hit the building platform at that spot. Wherever that building-platform is that’s when things become important. If the tray is too high we’ll have pressure on the building platform and the connecting components that put extra stress on the mechanics - if the tray is too low we simply have no adhesion on the building-platform.
My method is really not that simple, the tools are. I also believe that most people would not “mess” with the tray. The key is to have support platforms build properly as well - if they are hanging off - which can happen the machine has a built in Z-Axis correction feature which - of course is controlled by the software, can also cause complete building failures if overdone. Even if the support base hangs off on one side only (let’s say left) the Z-axis correction feature will not only move the building-platform down on the left but entirely, causing an imbalance right there. Once the machine leaves Formlabs one should not have to mess with this feature in first place - the crazy thing here is that this was the case for one of my Form 1+ machines - nothing would adhere to the building-platform properly right out of the box, so I had to use that Z-axis correction tool. Instead of that one theoretically and practically could also “just” move the tray up or down as needed.
Which shows that this is what controls the calibration. Of course the laser itself needs to be calibrated also - I have not taken a closer look at the laser unit and whether you guys changed it in terms of assembly from the form 1+ where the laser had some play and didn’t “lock” into place when inserted.
So I am not sure which other components would be jeopardized, except for those being directly “manipulated”. Again, please let me know if I am missing something here.
The machine is quite simple in the way it’s put together and laid out - which is not to downgrade the machine and those who worked on it - as a matter of fact the best machines are simple yet effective, like the Form 2. My machine is not dialed in 100% as can be seen on my tests but it is within that window where it performs flawlessly. I could waste more resin on tests and dial it in even closer - Considering the machine can build 0.025mm layers I am off by 0.07 on the test in the video and got closer on another test to 0.06 (not on the video) I am sure I can get even closer by wasting more resin but the machine operates within that window (flawlessly from 100-25microns). I also tried to get some info from the support team on the actual length of these square columns, once built (these are from you guys - optics test file), but I never got an answer on that, so I relied on parts I had made before and how they should look coming out of the machine to get the initial setting.
I don’t think you guys need to worry too much as I doubt many users will actually need to have the tray re-calibrated.
Those who do and use the built in Z-axis calibration feature are probably more experienced anyway or were advised by you guys to use it. And most of them probably wouldn’t “mess” with the tray itself. I also keep saying in both videos that it is not recommended to take the tray off so those who do know what they are in for - I assume.
Some people are even reluctant to take the glass off even if advice by you guys…now that’s a crazy one right there.