Form 2 Cartridge worn out must replace! NO not this!


well- when my cartridge of Durable- that I had had less than a month and not even run half the resin in stopped working. Formlabs sent me a replacement cartridge full of resin, free.

that’s the one I cycled the remaining resin thru.

When the resin is old- and can’t be mixed with new resin… i think that may be as much to ensure you don’t ruin a lot of prints or the tank as much as trying to sell more resin.


If formlabs would do exactly this, I would be very happy.

However, I now have 8 resin tanks that failed within 1 liter of usage. They don’t fail by wear(clouding), but simply the PDMS releasing from the acrylic. Some leaking the full 200ml of resin on the ground and table.

If formlabs would have said like “hey, this is a structural problem and we’re going to replace them free of charge”, I’d be happy to pay extra, knowing that I would receive a quality product.

But no, they happily accept my 540 euro which I can throw in the bin almost directly and wasting hours cleaning up the mess.

Same goes for the optics. When so many people have this issue, it’s not a coincident anymore, they should solve it for free for all the printers facing this problem. Luckily warranty is very generous due to european law, but people outside of the EU would have to pay 20% of the machine price to fix it.

So yeah, as long as this is happening, I have to resort to cheaper resins to make up for the loss and will do everything to continue working on getting these cartridges hacked and printing cheap resins.


And yet- I have not had a single tank fail.

Which begs the question whether something YOU are doing is the cause of your high failure rate- or if you have just been unlucky.

And I am not suggesting its NOT bad luck…
Sadly- this kind of experience is getting more common since most companies selling products do NOT actually manufacture them. They have them made overseas, and shipped by the container full- rather than as they come off their own in house production line.

As a result- it is not unusual for a company to discover they have stocked and sold a whole container’s worth of faulty products. But because the nature of an issue might be complex or subtle, it can take a company quite a long time to even identify that the issues customers complain about are indicative of a widespread quality issue or fault in the design.

And, sure - you’re gonna do what you’re gonna do- but don’t be surprised or whine when you don’t get the level of product support you would like because a company isn’t making enough money to afford to offer that support.

Really- try and think it thru. You wish they would just GIVE you free tanks to replace your faulty tanks… and where do they get the money for that? Every tank they sell makes a small profit. Maybe 30%- that profit won’t pay for a whole new tank they won’t get paid for, will it?
If I double my costs in selling a product, that’s gonna make me money— but if I get a million dollars worth of product orders that means I need to pony up HALF a million dollars just to MAKE the products I sold.

And hey- you gotta do what you gotta do to survive… but the Ethics of your actions are EASY to determine… for ANY action you contemplate taking, just imagine what the end result would be if EVERYONE did the same thing.

If everyone used third party resins in their Form2, then Formlabs would either go under- or charge dramatically more for their printers and tanks to make up for the loss.

If everyone hacked their cartridges and tanks- then formlabs would likely go under and you wouldn’t be able to even get parts- your web based services would evaporate.

However- if Everyone running a Form2 exclusively bought resin and tanks from Formlabs, what would happen? They would be able to LOWER the prices of resin and perhaps tanks, because they would not be charging an amount to make up for those buying third party resins.

I am sorry you have the bad experience of failing tanks… if you can hack a more reliable solution- SELL that solution to Formlabs.
They fully understand that if they can make their products more cost efficient, they could sell a whopping lot more of them.

But I’ll maintain that undercutting the profitability of the technology you rely on is not a long term business solution.’


Then the questions is, are you printing as lot as we do on our two machines, were the tanks manufactured at the same time and what kind of parts are you printing. There is not much the user can do wrong here. Tanks go into the machine and you press print. This is a peeling issue due to bad adhesion of the PDMS. Not some user error due to piercing of the layer. The formlabs engineers are in the USA, I guess you are too. So maybe our tanks were made in a different location.

If they would even care just a little bit then I would be OK with it. I sent pictures, wanted to ship the tanks back to investigate. Yet they didn’t even care. They know there is a problem. There are more reports on the forum here, it’s not just me. If it was a user error, I’d expect some help and an explanation why… They couldn’t give me any!

It’s not about giving. It’s about replacing something that’s not OK. I guess you would accept it if the electric motor of a Tesla model 3 would fail within the first 100km and you’d have to pay for it? Cause it’s an innovative company, state of the art product, blabla. No, you would not(well… I would not)…

Ohh my ethics are just fine. If they don’t want to be open and fair about these issues, only take money and not listen to user input, then I feel the need to find a solution.

Nah, not really. That happens in a utopia only. They’re a business, and business need to keep shareholders happy. So as long as long as a customer complains and keeps buying, they know they ask the right amount of money, they’d never lower it. That’s business. But if they offer something extra that the competition can’t and stand behind their product, I’m happy to pay the extra.

If everyone hacks away the cartridges and buys their consumables from competitors, it means formlabs is doing something wrong and doesn’t do the things that justify buying consumables from them. The competition is there for tens of years already, they know how to sustain a business and what price to ask. It’s no secret how much resin really costs and that even competition that’s asking 100~150 euro a liter is still making a very healthy profit. Same goes for the machine. Sure, formlabs does a lot of R&D, but they can ask these prices cause people are willing to pay for it. UV resin exists for ages, these chemicals aren’t too expensive.

They are not interested in a more reliable solution. There were companies here offering their services to improve the resin and they were simply ignored.

Did you know that the wiper and heater used to be available in open mode? From one day to the other, it was taken out of the firmware. They never explained why.

Exactly! Finally we can agree to something. If I can engineer a washing machine that lasts exactly 5 years instead of 10 years, I’d do that, so I can sell twice the amount and sustain my business! :slight_smile: I would still ask the money for the 10 years though… cause people are prepared to pay.


So yeah, as long as this is happening, I have to resort to cheaper resins to make up for the loss and will do everything to continue working on getting these cartridges hacked and printing cheap resins.

The only time I’ve had a tank fail is when I used a third party resin. So I suggest that using cheap resins is likely to be a false economy.

As the optics. I’ve just followed this youtube video, cleaned all of the optical surfaces and restored the output to something very close to what I was getting with a new machine. So the cause of the optical problems id not exactly mysterious.


Nah not really, all these failures were with original formlabs resins. :wink:
I’m only switching now to cheaper resins as I am annoyed by how this was solved.

You think I wouldn’t know that after two years of usage. :slight_smile:
No, it’s not the solution. Read the topics on this forum. There is a problem with the galvo/laser itself. The beam changes shape after a year of usage. Formlabs charges 20%(800 something usd) to replace the galvo and laser. If it was just dirty optics, they wouldn’t replace it, right? Luckily my machine was within the EU warranty period but there are people who were less lucky.


I have had three tanks fail. Two had third party resin in them at some point the other did not. It was only ran with Formlabs clear. I was taken care of and had that money put towards a LT Tank (it took forever to get it) I almost forgot about it but I do applaud them for working with me on that one. So now I’ve got 3 LT tanks.

But I do keep a close eye on all my standard tanks because they cannot be trusted.


Nope. The cost effective way of dealing with these repairs is to replace the galvo block with one of a known quality on all machines and troubleshoot, refurbish and recalibrate the blocks as separate operation.


Formlabs charges that amount for all back-to-base repairs. It represents a contract price that was fixed before any units were shipped.


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.


Alright. I’m pretty much done with the way you’re ‘teaching’ us using capital and bold letters, so I guess you won. Best of luck with your printer and your work. I hope you have success.

Interesting, wasn’t aware of that. I read about people getting parts replaced for cheaper, but I guess they were sold only parts and assembled it themselves.

Yes, that sounds logical. In our case, we work with high power production lasers and maintenance on a regular basis and do know how to properly clean lenses and mirrors. I guess we were just unlucky(all steps you shared in the video were followed, however, we used acetone as this does not leave streaks/clouds like IPA can. It’s perfectly safe to mirrors and AR coated glass but be careful with plastics). However, I wonder how these mirrors get dirty over time in the first place. The printer has been dust tested and the optics are sealed(due to lessons learned from the F1 I suppose).

Anyway, if formlabs is reading here:
It would help if they would not only respond to beginner questions. I think a lot of frustration comes from the lack of response or a response that keeps people in the dark. It used to be very good… Many of us here are engineers and are naturally interested in the ‘how’ and ‘why’. :slight_smile:


Wow!, Sculptingman, really, you need to take a step back, not EVERYONE in the world thinks that every company should be a clone of the Apple company. There is no room for growth without customers and all there crazy ideas to make there product work for them. It’s a give a take I know. You might consider that you haven’t found anyone jumping to your beliefs on this thread.
I’m done as well, good luck.
Mike A


I agree with @Sculptingman.

Apple is a perfect example. I have an iPhone and I have several Android tablets so I use both OS’s interchangeably and pretty regularly. I admire and enjoy the stability of IOS while I like the freedom with Android.
Here is the rub, my tablets are for fun and my phone is for work, or for you millennials, “adulting”.

That means I need rock solid stability in the IOS and the apps, Android doesn’t have that. Never has,

If Formlabs has to limit some things to retain enough control that they don’t have to deal with idiot complaints which will tarnish the brand, the product and the companies future, I support that. Some people are like goldfish, they will eat and eat and eat to their own detriment so imagining some users just using the same bottle for months, years even is not a stretch of the imagination and like any good millennial, who will they blame when the resin hits the fan?

YOU mlabird might be an outlier that will monitor the bottle for physical wear but Formlabs can’t operate a global business on the desires of an outlier. Unless you want to write a very big check, then I’m certain you would be sent a very special firmware. Have at it.


I have an F2 already for two years and my leser is already dead formlabs no longer wants to do the exchange of the leiser I have a printer that is no longer for anything, as a company does not provide more technical support on their machines and does not replace pieces this and formlabs madness never again.


From what I can figure, it’s not the physical cartridge. Rather the issue lies with the sensor chip on the cartridge itself. I’ve tried using one of the other cartridges I’ve purchased like clear as temporary solution but that does work because the bed is likely heated to different temperatures based on the sensor chip embedded information.

I’m running an open mode test right to see if it still comes out consistently but I’ve got a feeling that it will likely fail. Maybe I’ll get lucky but I’m not gonna hold my breath.

Notice the clear no the left is fine but the gray tag on the right is worn down. This was fine up until 5 minutes ago. Meaning it likely receives some type of wear and tear when the cartridge is removed and re-inserted multiple time.