Form 1+ reliability and failure rate

Hi all,

I’ve read and heard that the failure rate for the Form 1+ can be as high as 70% of prints - is this true? What has been your experience? And what about laser degradation?

Also, is there a faster way to get a Form1+ than the 4-5 week timeline?



Failure depends on how much you do before you start printing! Using the form1+ isn’t generally just load your model into Preform, add supports and print away. You have to carefully position the model correctly. add and delete some supports to ensure the print is properly supported. (Quick) check if each layer isn’t floating in the air, or is unsupported for a while. Make sure you know the direction of the peel motion to position your model correctly etc.

Yes, if you’re in a hurry and want it to start printing immediately so you can do what ever you had planned during the print, you’ll probably end up with a failure. But when taking your time in Preform, the failure is either because the model really just can’t be printed, or you didn’t do a proper job in Preform.

Luckily Preform is a very easy application to work with and the auto rotate and auto generate supports is a great starting point to edit, but normally small adjustments do have to be made.

Laser degeneration; I can’t tell you exactly, but I believe that theoretically it should last 12.000 hours.Unfortunatly this doesn’t always tell give you an indication. atleast with lamps for a beamer for instance, they life expectancy is 1500h, however I have a lamp in my beamer which already has 5500h and is still working perfectly.

12000h should be more than enough for you to have bought a new version or a replacement printer, because due to the technological advances, after 12000h, these SLA printers (and any other home-printer) will be as old as DOS :P.

The 4-5 week timeline is something you’ll have to deal with… Although for me it was accurate. I got mine after 4 weeks.


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Anyone saying 70% is misleading you.

With my Form1+, I’m at 100% success. On my Form1, I made some mistakes and had some failures.

There is no reason it shouldn’t be practically failure free. Read these forums and you can learn from others’ mistakes.

I’ve made some quite large and complicated parts. Absolute perfection. (I’m sure I’ll have a failure eventually).

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Hey guys, great answers, very detailed, thanks a lot!

Will really help my decision.


I had 2 form1’s die on me and 1 form1+. It was the laser on all 3 occasions.

Hi Guys,
Just wanted to add that this printer is the most unreliable printer I have ever encountered. We use more than 10 FDM printers with these Form1+ printers, supposed to provide high quality printing. I would admit that the support is good, and, they are always on top of things, however, I’ve shipped my two sets of printers a record 5 times back to Formlabs for replacement. It may have been due to the galvos, the laser, I don’t know, but, it is so unreliable that when it starts to fail, everything fails. One printer was replaced 3x times already, while the other was replaced 2x. I’m always crossing my fingers that the new ones don’t break down anymore. I’m tired of the quality of their printers. It sucks big time.

I have recently received the Form one + I don’t have a good feeling with the performance. I have had 12 attempts and even 2 proven test prints from Form labs with 0 No successes… ALL FAILURES.
The ratio should be 99% success. I’m not happy at all!

Open a topic and we’ll see if we can help you on your way. Most printers need some inner cleaning before they work properly. Unforunately, SLA printers are very delicate when it comes to dust and shipping them will most certainly result in dusty mirrors (= failure).

We’re an Independent Jeweler and as jewelers we make very small models. Thin models and need compact stable tolerances be met. We work in millimeters and 10th of millimeters not large models. Every model we have attempted falls well within the design Specs.
In the past we have out soured our work to get the models created with success. What we were hoping for here was to make out Models for clients in house, for a quick visual presentation. The Form 1+ isn’t delivering as promised. That’s the frustration.

The outsourced model maker probably has an industrial type 3d printer not a $3,000 printer. With the lower cost comes with a steep learning curve but all of my models have been fairly accurate usually within +/- 0.25 mm at the worst. I would agree with Alex post some of the errors and there are plenty of people here who have great advise and are more than willing to help work through some of the growing pains.

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You are most likely correct its a Higher Quality unit. We were sold Outstanding Quality, Reliable Performance, Ultra Crisp detail, Consistent results. I’m just looking to show something.
Failure is a steep curve. 0 of 12 What advice can you support me with to turn this around?

Can you post up pictures of how your parts are oriented and pics of the failures. This should help us as well as FL help. I have had my fair share of success and failure but having all failures means something is wrong. Not always a bad printer. It could be something simple. We just need examples to be able to help you out.

May be good to hear from a new user here.

We bought a used F1+ a couple weeks ago (only 6 months old!) cleaned the mirror and began printing. To our delight the butterfly test print came out great using the default settings in Preform. We are using FL resin, v2, Grey and printed it in the center at .05

The first print was the last good print we got.

We loaded a 2nd model the next morning and just got a hardened layer on the build platform and in the tank. It would not adhere to the build platform. Each time we followed the instructions and cleaned the failed resin off the build platform and out of the tank and filtered the resin. We repeated this 3 times with the new object then fine tuned the platform height offset to - 0.10 still would not adhere or rather it starts to adhere and then stops.

This is all that I am getting from the build plat and tray

We thought maybe it was the resin so we emptied the tank, cleaned the tank, and poured new resin in. We thought maybe it was the model so we went back to the original butterfly test model and still the same failure. It will not adhere to the build platform. We cleaned the build platform each time by scraping lightly with the knife supplied, and wiped with a paper towel,.

As a note this was done with a brand new tank from FL. On the 3rd try we started seeing clouding in the tank

The claim made by FL is “One tank lasts for about 2 L of our resin. With a separate tank for each individual resin color, switching materials is as easy as sliding in a new tank.” I have seen in the forums they say that they have printed with clouded tanks at HQ and have not seen a difference in the quality. (roughy quoted) I think this is a little misleading and they should change that as it is very generalized. What if it was the same size part printed repeatedly with no varying of placement? Can we see pictures of the cloudy tank used at HQ with the same results?

Nonetheless we moved the location out of the clouded area and got the same results, no adherence. As a new user this makes no sense since we had success the first time and followed the directions to repeated failures and now wear and tear on the tank just trying to get reliable results. I guess we could keep fine tuning by negative increments by why should we have to do that when it worked the first time?

While I have heard many good things about FL I am equally disappointed at what seems to be a meticulous and costly production to try and achieve a simple repeatable result out of the box. This has not been our experience so far. We have ordered 2 new tanks and a new build platform to trouble shoot. but again this is an expensive process and hardly a simple button push experience.

A concern was also in the build platform as it does not appear to be to spec as it is not perfectly flat. Might this have something to do with it?

Initial first impression is this will be a real tips and tricks fact finding and gathering of lots of comments in the forum to try and get reliable results. Resin tanks should be re-designed to easily remove a bottom portion of the tank not the entire tank, too expensive. Once it prints correctly you should be able to repeat reliably each time. The amount of costly resin wasted on trying to achieve a good print is discouraging to say the least. Our reliability failure rate? 1 out of 5 so far.

We bought this to quickly prototype parts for a deadline but this will not be the case as it will require a lot of patience and cash to get reliable results. We have taken to asking if some would be willing to print for hire so we can make our deadline and are hoping we can learn by the way they set up the form files.

I reckon I wasted at least 3 bottles of resin due to faulty printers and steep learning curve. Try sanding your build plate with a course paper - I give mine a quick blast on a belt sander every now and again and it definitely aids adhesion. I’m guessing you have checked your mirrors (formlabs always says check mirrors first) I would also run the laser test, I can’t remember the link offhand but it’s on the forum somewhere - when I had that sort of problem the laser was the faulty item.

Hey Jason, thanks for that, (yikes wait that $450 just for the resin to learn how to print correctly!) I was wondering if that was possible. What grit are you using? Thing is it does start to stick to the build plat. as you can see in the pic but not sure why it does not continue.
Yeah I think the mirrors are fine as they printed fine once.
On the laser not sure but I would think the same. Here was the diagnostic result

This was the first print even with the laser in this position ( it is raw and i broke the piece) I think the finish is acceptable and if prepped with a little sanding it would be very good

To be honest I don’t know the grit number! It’s the belt that was attached when i bought it, its medium to rough I guess! If you are happy that your 3 mirrors are good, looking at that pic I would say your laser is screwed - mine looked just like that when I was having exactly the same problem you’re having now.

No I am not happy, I tried 2 more prints in the time I have been replying and all I get is the same result, a partial base print and then nothing. Knock our reliability failure rate to 1 out of 7 so far. I need to open up a support ticket and get this sent in. I am really resenting that "ready to print " screen. Dont want to say it is a very expensive paperweight yet, waiting to see how FL support responds

just messaged you . Yeah - reliability was a huge issue (and still is - I pretty much expect to have to send mine back every 3-4 months). I keep on top of the mirror thing, but if you use it more than 40 hours a week - which I do most weeks, then usually a motor or laser starts to play up.