Flat / new touchpoint design - Formlabs rant


There has been discussion here and here (both about Draft V2, also apparently found in Castable. But way much more questions than answers.

Now, all of a sudden, Tough 2000 has them. I get it in the case of new resin, but T2000 isn’t new and even has a beta setting already, so why the change? Does anybody now any advantages or reasons for the “upgrade”? I can’t find official help about it.

It’s kind of annoying. Some of us use this printers professionally and rely on own past experiments and experience to set up supports. No I need to set up 5 print jobs for the weekend and I find myself with sudden uncertainty and have no time for new tests
Is this change because of ease of removal? reliability of attachment? quality of surface after removal? better flow of IPA around them?
Do I need more or less supports than what I used to be comfortable with?

Size seems to give no clue. It seems that 0.4mm or 0.9mm TP size refer to the length of the touching rectangle and the width is the same. If so, a TP of 0.9mm has 40% less touch area, besides being randomly directional. So how does this behave now?

Automatic supports generation doesn’t help, either or it’s broken.
Left is 0.5 and middle is 1.5 density setting for 0.4mm TP, then 1.5mm 0.9mm TP… It doesn’t make sense.

Flat spacing changes in settings but TPs do not reflect that. Smaller TP size used to output greater quantities, since TPs are more fragile.

So it’s a complete leap of faith and huge risk for my deliveries monday.

I’im certainly all for rapid development, progress and continuous improvement.
But why @Formlabs can’t write the release notes of Preform go really deep and comprehensive on what changes?

If you are seriously targeting professionals, this needs to be addressed. We choose Formlabs because of the reliability of the ecosystem and this includes Preform!

Have a nice weekend! :grinning:

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I hate when they change things without notice. If you wind up getting any elaboration from Support on your questions (especially how to convert touchpoint sizes to achieve equivalent release force), please do share it here.

It’s interesting FL are aiming their products at “Professionals” and indeed I would class myself as one having been using SLA and other additive processes since 1986. We are all “Professionals” to some degree, as lessons are learnt daily as to how best to use and maintain the machines.

So quite why FL choose to remove us from the loop by not letting us know what’s actually going on is a mystery. My 3LB did two firmware updates by itself in I think 3 days, and details of what was actually changed was sketchy at best, often just a reference to “Bug fixes”, which may be just that to FL but an operational nightmare for us.
So, FL, please treat us all as adults, and better use the vast resource that you have (us), but the information exchange needs to work both ways.


You mention the firmware updates. Is there an option to opt out of updates, or choose which updates you want to take and when?

Even Microsoft gives you the option to take or defer updates. But Firmware updates are different story altogether. Those are hardware changes that could brick you printer. It’s really not that different than updating the BIOS on your PC.

Can you think of any hardware vendor that forced hardware updates. What happens if the update fails due to any number of unforeseen situations (power failures in the middle of the update, or corrupt download?

I would hope these updates are optional, and that the user can choose when to install them, rather than automatic without options to postpone, choose, or opt out altogether. I mean what If I have the printer set just right, I have the right “recipe” so to speak. I don’t want it changed. The old adage is still valid, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

I’ve seen no sign of a change in touchpoints in T2000, but then I try to reduce touchpoints to a minimum in both size and numbers.

Morning all,
just ref the firmware updates, the issue here is that it is “busted so needs fixing” hence we are somewhat beholding to FL here. If they say an update is needed, I will always take it as they are not doing these updates (both Firmware and in Preform) for “fun”. I just wish that (even after the event) more detail was given about exactly why something was changed, their implementation of these updates is a bit “open loop”, much like their control of the amount of resin consumed.

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I forgot to mention, I am using the “Beta” printer settings (in Preform 3.16.0)
With “Default” settings, the supports haven’t changed.
These are the supports.

I hope the “Beta” designation is not used as an excuse for not disclosing the changes… the print time estimation is less than 50% faster in beta!


OK, I’ve just checked. If you choose 0.1 mm layer height you get the flat points, but if you choose 0.05 or adaptive layers you get the original round points.


Self-reply for someone reading this. There’s a blog article with some information on rhe subject

Great to know.
Thanks for sharing