Dust in the machine


I have learned recently that the Form1 is very susceptible to dust. I received my machine
about 2 months ago, and the first 15 prints came out marvelously. Since then I’ve
had failure after failure. I’ve been working with Customer Service for about 5
weeks to determine the problem. The culprit may bedust settling on the first
surface mirrors inside the machine. Luckily, the machine is still under
warranty, and Formlabs is willing to swap my new machine out for used
equipment. I’m curious what happens after the warranty period lapses? Does
FormLabs comp mirror replacement and cleaning forever? How are you preventing
dust from infiltrating your printer?

You really can’t prevent it, it’s just a design oversight that the mirror area is not sealed from the world. The main mirror is actually cleanable if you have balls and endless patience. It’s the galvo mirrors that you have to pray never get too dusty to work.

Hopefully on the Form2 when you install the tank it will complete the seal of the mirror area. And I mean a real seal like a breather filter being required to prevent pressure from building up within the area.

CourtlandtGross - I’m sorry the troubleshooting process was so long for you. We are working very hard to decrease the amount of time required for troubleshooting.

We do not recommend cleaning mirrors within your Form 1 without explicit instructions from our support team. The reason for this is that these are “first surface” mirrors, meaning that cleaning with the wrong materials can cause damage to the surface.

You can check out our “non touch” cleaning procedure in our inspection instructions here: http://formlabs.com/support/help/care/mirror-checking/

If your mirrors require physical cleaning, support can provide a detailed writeup on the materials and process.


Simple to clean the machine add ones. Buy a compressor. With an oil filter. First blow the air inside the air. NOT in the first please inside the machine! After 20 seconds blow it in the corners of the machine. NOT on the mirrows and the back middle ( moving mirrows ).

I haven’t bought a compressor yet, but I’ve been using canned air. its difficult to get all of the dust particles off. It seems like you just push the dust around to different places around the mirror/machine.

If you suspect that you’re having issues related to the mirror on your machine, please contact us directly at support@formlabs.com. It can be surprisingly tricky to get those mirrors really perfect and they can be easily damaged inadvertently.

I wouldn’t use compressed air because you risk it delivering the dust to your galvos in back. The galvo’s best protection from dust is gravity.

Compressed air is completely safe to use in the Form 1. It is safest to use compressed air from a canister. Be sure to use the straw from the can to reduce blowing any of the can’s contents onto the mirror.

I do realize that attempting to blow dust off the mirror sometimes kicks up some dust from elsewhere that lands back on the mirror. A few small bits of dust is a much lower risk to the print success than the possible damage resulting from an attempt to cleaning mirror with some form of contact. And as Sam mentioned earlier, contact Support@formlabs.com for additional advice if you think you might need to clean your mirror with something other than compressed air.

I wouldn’t recommend this for everyone, but what I did last time there was dust on the mirror was get a cotton swab and look at it to find a loose thread. Then I carefully used the loose thread like a hook to insert between the mirror and one of the arches on the dust particle. That way I can remove dust without touching the mirror or blowing it around. But I have slightly better than 20/20 vision, a very steady hand, and lots of patience.

here’s me trying to use a finger pump. its not very effective.i would say that on average I am pumping from about 2-3 cm above the mirror, but still getting no air force. this is why I think i need an airbrush gun.

It looks like you are going to need to clean it with the pec-pads.