Form 2 Third Party Tanks?

I wish I had waited longer to make a purchase decision now. I’ve gotten so little done with my Form 2, because the current project requires tougher resins, and the LT tray. Unfortunately the tray is on back-order for months…

I believe I stumbled across a third party developer for the form 1 a wile back but have since lost references to it.

Wile I’ve seen some experimentation with resins, has there been any production in the side of form 2 third party trays?

Zvat sells a Form 2 tray that has been reconditioned with optical glass instead of plastic. Unfortunately the PDMS layer is the same and clouds up just as quickly. The good news is that you can recoat them (or have Zvat recoat them for you - what I do).

If you are looking to use the new engineering resins like Rigid, you are out of luck as they require the LT tray and won’t print without them.


Are we sure that the printer will flat out refuse to print without an LT tray though ?

On the announcement post it says “LT tank required for a longer lifetime and maximum precision.” so it’s a bit ambiguous.

EDIT : as answered by Frew

This isn’t so much an issue with abrasion as it is a chemical incompatibility between the PDMS and Resin.

So I guess it’s not a good idea to use standard tanks with the new resin anyway :wink: I’m sure people will try still, curious to see what happens.

1 Like

It was stated as required earlier by Formlabs.

If you have a specific sample they would probably print one for you to try.

What about using it in OpenMode?

Yes, Formlabs has stated somewhere on this forum that it will refuse to print without an LT tank.

As far as OpenMode, I’m sure you can give it a try, though I’m not sure you would get optimal results. Especially considering that OpenMode disables the wiper and you may need that mixing during the build to ensure the glass content remains consistent.

1 Like

Any news on why the LT trays are on such a long back order? If the demand is that high, why not ramp up production? I want to order only the LT tanks, but also really do not want to wait months and have them randomly appear while still being forced to order normal tanks in the interim.

They dispatched an email this week with an apology for the delay, stating that they have had issues with production. They said they prefer not to promise a delivery date yet so we have absolutely no idea when the pending orders will be shipped.

1 Like

Yeah, Rigid and Grey Pro shouldn’t be used with older tanks and we’re working to clear the LT Tank backlog as quickly as possible. This isn’t so much an issue with abrasion as it is a chemical incompatibility between the PDMS and Resin.

Hmm. That sounds fairly fundamental!!

Glad I read this before going with what had been suggested…

I gotta say its kind of alarming to have this many quirks with a $3500 printer so far… The extra cost of consumables wasn’t really spelled out, and these random issues with previous resins and newer plates is concerning.

What issues with previous resins and newer plates are you referring to? None of the previous resins require new LT tanks.

This would be why

PDMS will swell and cause print failures; LT tank is made out new material that is engineered to be very chemically resistant and it does not swell nor cloud.

Same way, it is ok to store water in plastic bottle, but storing acetone in a plastic bottle will cause problems due to chemical incompatibility.

You can probably print 50-200 layers in Grey Pro/rigid on the PDMS tank before PDMS will start to seriously degrade.

Again, neither of those resins are available yet. So I am not sure how you can say there are random issues with previous resins and newer plates.


From one perspective $3500 is a lot of money, but to put it in comparison the Form 2 is competitive with printers in the $30k range. There may be some quirks here or there but my experience has been overwhelmingly positive. If you want more frustration, buy any FDM printer and try and keep track of how many times you come back to the print head dragging around a bird’s nest.


People need to push that into their heads… I mean come on, yes 3500$ is a lot of money for some but when you see that a high-end makerbot is even more expensive, you’re forced to say that the Form 2 isn’t all that expensive. And then you compare to other SLA/DLP printers and try to find one with the same software support, same reliability and same service (as bad as some people say it is), there is nothing that is not at least an order of magnitude more expensive.


I’ve worked with high end sla and jet printers, CNC machines and laser cutters, and a whole lot more besides. Excusing reliability issues on the basis of price is ridiculous. If someone promises me a thing will do a thing, and asks a price, and I pay the price, I expect that thing to do the thing. If I bought a Nikon camera for £3500 and had to send it back for ‘repair’ after 3 months, I would feel pretty hacked off, It would be the same if it was a banana or a Ferrari.

I didn’t pay £3500 to be a beta tester… Which is how I feel right now.

1 Like

I wasn’t implying that, sorry if it came out that way. I was reacting to people saying “hey I bought an insanely expensive top of the line machine, it should shoot rainbows and glow like magic butterflies”. The Form2 isn’t an insanely expensive top of the line machine, it’s an affordable yet prosumer oriented desktop printer. I think people don’t realize that before a few years ago an SLA printer was at the very least several tens of thousand bucks from 3DSystems.

I definitely agree that there are some issues and we can’t say “that’s ok” but we should have some perspective still. Nikon did several times make recalls and they recently had pretty bad mirrors issues with one of their top of the line body, just to nuance things a bit.

1 Like

Back in the day one of the manufacturers we supply had some major reliability issues with an engine they were developing. There were sometimes less than an hour between failures. It was pretty ugly. The fix was to force the entire program to drive the vehicles to all meetings (on campus and out of state). We didn’t see the customer in person for weeks but suddenly problems were getting solved.

My suggestion for Formlabs is to implement a similar process with the micro factory that does the samples. Keep a few machines for long term durability and the rest should be machines that are returned and fixed. Any refurbished machine should spend a set minimum on the factory line before getting the OK to ship out. All tanks and cartridges should be removed and re-inserted regularly during this process. Until the team feels our pain there won’t be results.

1 Like