Form 1+ Worth it for Steep Discount?


#1

I can get a Form 1+ for 300, I wanted to ask whether anyone would consider getting one, and whether they can produce good parts. It’d be my first personal SLA pritner, but we’ve had a Form 1 and a Form 2 at work. Are any replacement parts available?

Otherwise I’d have to save up for a more modern Form 2 or 3.

Thanks!


#2

If you have a Form 1 at work you know what you are getting into. They are certainly capable printers, but the peel process is more aggressive and the optics aren’t sealed. You would need to figure out a way to add a heating element or forced air heater if you want to use any of the new engineering focused FL resins.

The most annoying thing going forward is figuring out a vat solution that works reliably for you, whether that be a couple glass vats and getting good at redoing the PDMS or a FEP flex vat.

If this sounds like too much hassle for you, save the money and put it towards an inexpensive DLP printer. They are getting better all the time and while most output quality that isn’t quite up to the standard of Formlabs there is something to be said about having a company and community to support you.


#3

Vats are available from 3rd party sources. Some of us are using the MOAI vat with a small modification (do a search for MOAI). 3rd party resins that work without any modifications are available from multiple sources, Myself and several others here are using ApplyLabWorks with good results.

The only issue is repairs and repair parts. Some parts you might be able to find, others are more or less proprietary, and FormLabs is not making any of them available, nor are they repairing these units any longer. So this is the real sticky issue. What happens when something breaks.

For $300, I’d buy it if it’s running order. Yes, DLP printers are making good strides, but what set the Form printers apart from the rest is the software. If you like to tinker with open source software and such, then maybe a DLP should be something you should look at, if not, then there’s no substitute for PreForm.


#4

See if you can find out how many hours on the machine. <5000 hours it’s worth it. 3rd party vats are fine. I use ALW resin and love the detail it has. There is a good chance that the FL resins will not work or work well on the F1’s as FL is engineering their resins to use more laser power than the F1 has.

I would be curious if anyone has tried the Peopoly resins and if they work on the F1+.

You can get many of the parts from AliExpress but note that the clear tanks sold there do not have the same PDMS layer thickness so you will need to adjust settings on the sim card as well as trim the back of the tanks so they don’t collide with the build platforms post. I believe those tanks fit the Peopoly machines but don’t have one to compare.

Working F1+ for $300, is worth more in parts easily.