Lots of wild assumptions, entirely unsupported.
JUST because YOU would rather build a machine that only lasts 5 years rather than 10 because you imagine you would get more sales and make more money is not evidence that Other folks in business think like you, or similarly lack comprehension of HOW business actually works.
Once more- THINK it thru- Every Product made is a balancing act. Cost versus profit in a market with competitors. Sure, you COULD make a more robust washing machine… that would last longer… at considerably greater cost because more durable materials and construction would cost more. That you would sell replacement machines half as often only drives the price for the durable machine up.
But then you are faced with competitors who will sell a less robust, but initially equally functional machine for less- and guys like you would JUMP on getting what you want, cheaper.
Would YOU pay twice as much for a longer lasting Form2? Or would a machine that printed just as well but half as long be more attractive? Clearly your attitude says you would buy the cheaper machine.
Partly because you want to lower your costs without regard to the viability of the company you buy from… and partly because you know that in 5 years- there might be an even better machine or technology you would want to shift to, anyway.
So- given that reality of the market- that competitors will jump on- what is a manufacturer to do?
One path- the path you advocate, is to simply make the cheaper machine. Which drives your competitors make even cheaper machines- and what you end up with is a marketplace full of poorly made crap. Barely fucntional enough to sell at discount prices.
Another path is to make the more expensive machine- but to try and sell it at a lower cost than you can afford by making up the difference in repeated materials purchases for that machine.
So- Really - your argument falls apart. If formlabs profit model is dependent on consumables sales to support a LESS profitable price on the machine Then they are more interested in making high profit on consumables- than they would be on making a low profit on selling you a replacement machine. Ergo its in their best interest to make the best machine they can for a reasonably competitive cost- because they want you to, first of all- Buy In- and secondly want you happy with the machine and buying more resin.
One sale every 5 years compared to twenty sales every year.
Seriously- they do not sit around trying to think up how they can SCREW their userbase- they look at their books are try to think up the means to STAY in business and remain competitive.
As to the wiper and heater once working in open mode- well, because i develop products and trouble shoot production issues I don’t NEED them to explain why they disabled those features. Its obvious.
1- They spend a lot of money tweaking resin formulations and tank construction so that they can get their software to prep models and run the machine in ways that get reliable results with a wide variety of resins… and they can’t begin to guess the properties of whatever 3rd party resin you might dump in the machines.
This exposes them to a liability issue wherein the user might lodge a claim that their machine ruined a third party resin print. If the resin you used required a certain temperature- but the Form2 heated it to the WRONG temperature, then you might have a valid claim- because the argument would be that in ALLOWING you to use the Formlabs heater with 3rd party materials they had partial responsibility for the failure.
But if they Turn the feature off- presto- they told you it wouldn’t heat your resin and that YOU were responsible for the temp of the material. Similar considerations apply to why cartridges and tanks have expiration dates. If they DIDN’T expire- then they would be liable if they knew that they had a limited reliable lifespan.
2- In addition to this simple consideration of not having to field numerous spurious claims, I am SURE a big part of that decision was that when they allowed the wiper and heater to function in open mode- that their sales of resin dropped precipitously.
Because folks like you don’t believe in supporting the companies that INVENT the technology you rely on.
So they were forced into trying to add yet another disincentive to going open mode. Just one more impetus to support THEIR business making a profit.
But Consider that they could just as easily have eliminated open mode entirely.
That they allow you guys to run 3rd party resins AT ALL is evidence that they are trying as best they can to work with YOUR needs, Yet you act like YOUR working with their needs is too much to ask.
Well- good luck with that. Every small company and designer I ever met with that mentality went bankrupt.
Oh- and no- I haven’t run thru many tanks as of yet and I am absolutely concerned with folks reporting tank failures… but unlike you , if it turns out to be a problem I am NOT gonna ascribe it to some irrational belief system casting the folks who run Formlabs as either profit mongers who care not about their customers, nor as morons who don’t understand their own business.
I’m gonna assume that they are having a production issue… or that they are just discovering something about the lifespan of their tank materials and assembly… or that a change in resin formulation might have had an unanticipated result… because those kind of thing HAPPEN to manufacturers all the time.
(You think car makers WANTED to replace all those Takata airbags?)
OR- when the failure keep happening to some folks, and not so much with others- I might just assume that those folks are doing something DIFFERENT in either working with or storing their tanks.
And I call bullshit on the idea that they would be uninterested in a viable design for a better tank- Just because someone SAYS they have a better design, doesn’t mean it is. A large part of my career has been fixing what was wrong with other folks designs.
The better tank they are looking for would have to be retro-compatible with the Form 2s already in use.
And chances are every idea for improvement that HAS been suggested is one they already thought of, and tested, and found did not work.