Failed prints and minimal support

Let me start by saying that I received my Form 1 on May 15. Set the machine up at the University for my class. Made one successful print, the rest was downhill from that. Thinking it was the student files…we had previously printed on makerbot  Replicator 2 , and ZCorp machine. Not a problem there., we reformatted the files and still failure after failure. So this made the promises to the students a little redundant. The quarter ended and we made no prints.

Really embarrassing, for the digital fabrication class I teach. I tried switching trays as it appeared after the failures that there was a lot of hardened resin on the tray. No matter how hard you try and be careful you still leave a mark on the silicone as that is where the resin has cured. Tried manipulating the part into different orientation to avoid the cloudy section. Still failure.

Tried another tray …had one success and then it appeared to go downhill from there. Contacted support got one response with general questions asking for images etc. Sent them and have not heard back. Whilst I was waiting, I really needed to get this model done…so i risked another tray…this is my fourth now. By the way I had an inspection on the machine internally , all looked fine …blew off some minor dust inserted new tray , tested laser spot, and yet again it made it almost all the way then failed again. And yes the resin was stuck again.

I really wish someone would contact me with some support.

The other annoying point of contention is that on June 10th Formlabs announces their Form+1 …hell I had my printer 3 weeks, and it was inoperable except for two prints, 4 trays and litre and half of resin. And now they want $750 for an upgrade…why the hell did they send me this in the first place…this is no way to operate a business, lets just gouge everyone as much as we can. And then to top it off there has not been a response to my ticket for two days. Obviously they are trying to place this machine of the week end hobbyist, not some professional design design team that can count on reliable prints for their clients. I am done with this.

I want to send the machine back but have had no response to my email.

Been there done that. It looks to me like you are on the “large print failure” merry-go-round as I am. Have you been reading the other threads about the laser focus and large print failures? I’m kind of surprised that your laser is focused per your attached photo.

Actually, it’s the “large print failure/Formlabs support” merry-go-round. I am guessing that they are totally inundated with complaints.

But anyway, I looked around at different review sites and many have the Form 1, but I was surprised that they have no reviews posted yet.

But Lawrence your print failures look alot like the same problem I’m having and yeah I’ve been dealing with the same support issues as many. They usually help but it takes alot of precious time!

The Form1 has issues and takes a little time to gain experience and knowledge of what strategies to use to get the best out of it.

These look like relatively large hollow objects with internal supports built vertically, especially the textured jigsaw part?

Angle/lay the part over and create some holes >3mm dia so that the resin flows freely (no vacuum, air trap or bubble inside part as it’s built).

and try with and without internal supports?

Hi guys, new here and first post. I come from a traditional model making and casting background within the Movie industry so know a thing or two about stuff but only got my Form1 2 weeks ago (not + but has new laser). Been printing 24/7 since on a project and had no problems until I started printing a hollow object. 3 failed prints and two messed tanks over the last couple of days so, I came looking here. I personally think the air its air being trapped in the model and expanding with heat, weakening it as it grows until rupture. The larger, the worse it is.

I’m in agreement with the suggestion from Marc.  I’ve been printing quite a few large hollow objects.  I try to print them more at an angle and add a few air holes!  That does seem to help a lot!  I’ve also found that the angle that the print is set at does affect the overall accuracy of a print.  For an example, if I have two large pieces that need to fit together when finished, they might not have a great fit the first time.  But if I try a different orientation the next set will fit better!  With experimenting, I’m starting to get a feel for what angles will provide the best fit and support.

Same here! I was printing thin-walled objects and every print was a failure. After making them solid, the prints were perfect.

The printer just does not like hollow objects.

@ ann, would you mind sharing your achievements with different angles printing if you will get any good results? Thanks!

Hi, we also have big problems with failured objects. Often we have a “shadow” at the bottom -after the first print of a new tank- after we scrabbed the hardened resin of. At the most time you can forget this tank. How does this come? I think the biggest problem of the form1 is the tank. Who wants to buy a new tank for 49€ every two days. My idea is a one way tank…told this to formlabs. This would be much easyer for all customers. Formlabs can sell both tanks. But can anyone help me with my problem? What can I do not to get the hardened resin at the bottom of the tank? Hi Hrvoje, you wrote the printer does not like hollow objects…I think it also don’t like full objects :wink: Hope for all of us we find an answer, because it would be a great machine.

Markus, what does your laser spot look like? Attach pictures.

Markus – we recommend you replace the tank every 2L of resin, or so. We’re working to design the resin tanks to be as durable and reliable as possible.

As for hollow objects, there are some very good thoughts on the matter in this thread:

Hi Daniel, here the pictures of the failed print. My feeling is…if the objects are high and there is a little dirt at the mirror or the resin at the bottom of the tank gets more and more after a while then the risk of a damaged print is higher. The crazy thing is…after this print I did a test print only with one model. It was perfect. I placed it horizontal. So it had only 285 layer. The failed print had nearly 600 layers. Is this the point? What do you think?

Hi Sam, thank you for your reply. I´m sure you are working hard to improve the system. I attached the pictures…

Hi, it looks like my printer really does not like any parts any more, not only hollow ones. After a few hollow object failures now everything fails, even objects that printed out perfectly in the first attempt, wherever I place them on the build platform (to avoid printing on the already “used” part of the resin tank). The printer has been printing approx. two weeks and has burned out 900mL so far. I think I have to contact the support team…

Yup, same here. Had it about two weeks and used nearly a full bottle of resin with no problems. I print my first failed a hollow print then nothing wants to print. I even switched to a brand new tank and resin and tried multiple tests. Gave up on trying to print hollow now nothing prints at all and my second tank has had it, wasting that and a full bottle of resin trying to get anything out. It appears the resin cures Ok on some layers and others just stay soft, travel and ruin the print (& tank). I did a laser spot check which looked sharp and check the mirror, that was crystal as well. I raised a ticket start of the week with loads of pictures process breakdown and technical info but so far have not had much in the way of a response. I hope this gets sorted soon, I’m using this professionally and each day down is costing me lots. Did anyone get at soft spots of uncured resin in any of their prints prior to hollow printing? I had a few on two prints before the failure.

Those of you who have tickets with us, thank you for being so patient while we sort through requests. We are in the process of expanding our team to provide quicker service. Those of you having issues, we will get you back up and printing as quickly as we can.

Markus - After looking at your ticket, I agree with Stephen that this ragging is likely due to dirty optics. The mirrors on the Form 1(+) are “first surface mirrors” and should not be cleaned without detailed instruction from us (they are easily damaged). Stephen will get you taken care of.

Hrvoje - Send us a message with photos of your printing failures.

Lee - I’ll make sure Meg gets back to you today.

Markus - After looking at your ticket, I agree with Stephen that this ragging is likely due to dirty optics. The mirrors on the Form 1(+) are “first surface mirrors” and should not be cleaned without detailed instruction from us (they are easily damaged). Stephen will get you taken care of.

Hrvoje - Send us a message with photos of your printing failures.

Lee - I’ll make sure Meg gets back to you today.

Just a comment before this post fades out…

I think that I am now beginning to understand why prints are failing at my place. As the Formlabs support people say, if the prints start to fail, try to change the position of the print within the building platform. Meaning, if the prints start to get damaged, move the part within Preform to another spot at the building platform. Obviously the resin tank wears off very fast. This is, I think, also a reason why large objects cannot be printed properly: during the print the resin tank wears off (looses it’s function) and the print starts to be damaged although in the beginning it started perfectly.

Now about the tricky part: which part of the resin tank isn’t “spoiled” by a print yet? I have moved a sample print around the building platform until a perfect print came out. This is very time consuming since prints are getting damaged randomly somewhere in z-direction and, of course, costs resin.

@ Formlabs team - is there a way to include an option in Preform which remembers the print positions (support shapes) of already printed objects so the user knows which part of the resin tank is not spoiled by a print? Maybe this data should be stored in the printer itself in case more computers are feeding the printer with files. This “footsteps” should also take into consideration the amount of resin that was burned by the laser, meaning a large object would have a more heavy footstep then a small one. The color intensity of this “footsteps” could change from white to black (or dark blue) depending on the amount of wear in the particular place and a “failure danger” scale could be added.

I believe this would reduce a lot the frustrated posts about print failures caused by unknown reasons.

I’ll post my failure pictures tomorrow.

Ive tried to print all over, with a lot of different angles and tank positions without ANY success. Every print fails regardless and are getting progressively worse. Before I read up here about the silicone layer, I was printing in the same spot on my first tank and before I printed the hollow piece, managed 5 large pieces and 15 or so small pieces. In the later few, I started to get the soft spots before major failed parts.