Form 2 vs Form 3 print quality, am I missing something?

I had a buddy print a figure for me on his Form 2 (on left) I printed the same figure on my brand new Form 3. You can pretty clearly see that the Form 3 is much softer. Mine is printed at 50m. I also printed one at 25, with the same results. Is this just the way it is right now? Because that makes the Form 3 pretty much useless to me.
Or am I maybe missing a setting, some where? I’ve been printing on a Moai for the last 6 months with decent results, but not quite as nice as what my buddy can do on his Form 2. I thought the Form 3 would be another step up from there. Anyway, I’m not brand new to resin printing, but still digging my way through the software. So would appreciate any advice.

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You might be interested in this: Form 3 vs. Form 2 Faceoff!

That said, still worth opening a support ticket and running through the paces to make sure there’s nothing wrong with your Form 3. If you share your model maybe someone else will try printing it on their Form 3 to compare results.

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Definitely worth talking to us so we can figure out what might be going on! I’m confident we can improve that quality.

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I sent in a note to support. I’l post the files in a second.

There could be some quality differences due to how many supports you have on there. It seems weird to print upside down with the top of the head, usually you’d want to avoid doing that so that you don’t put supports there, but it looks like the Form2 print was done in the same orientation.

Yeah, you would think that, but with the fingers and the direction of the hair it actually makes more sense to print in this direction. The figure has individual fingers, so if I printed him standing up, each one would need a support, and they would tend to fuse. So this way leads to fewer attachment points overall, and the marks are easier to hide in the hair. The .25 supports barely leave a mark, which is awesome. The form 2 print was done in the same orientation for these same reasons.

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What resin are you using?

I think the standard gray v3 is better than the v4.

I’m going to do a big update in another thread.

While I’m sure that support will be able to help you out a lot, my initial reaction would be to check very carefully that the window under the tank is pristine and clean.

When my Form2 had some minor dirt on the window under the tank, I had tremendous issues where the resultant prints had losses of detail in some areas, and spots where there were highly visible layer lines. Adding insult to injury, those poor prints also had poorly defined rafts, so they were nightmares to remove from the build plate. (The rafts had an almost ‘soupy’ look where extra resin had pooled.)

A good cleaning later, and most of those problems are history – and I think once Amazon ships me my pec pads, I’m going to do another cleaning that I imagine is probably going to get me back to my original build quality levels. (Or close to them.)

Wishing you the best of luck - keep us posted!

Unfortunately his issues described are with the Form 3 print, which he said is softer. Considering the Form 3 has eliminated the window there is nothing to clean as you describe in the Form 2.

I had no idea - so much for that idea! I’m going to have to go Google how the optics are kept from getting contaminated with resin, now that I know there’s no window - very curious now.

It does seem like there is something that could potentially be cleaned, but, not sure if it’s going to do as much for your Form3 as it did for my Form2:

My apologies for the less-than-useful suggestion since it does seem like the optical window is in a different path on the Form3.

The optics are housed in a completely closed unit in the Form 3 (called the LPU (light processing unit)), which keeps them mostly free of major contamination concerns.

I just decided to do the update here as people are commenting.

  1. Formlabs told me that they are working on firmware updates for each resin at each resolution 1 at a time.
    Currently they have done Grey V4 at 100um
  2. I placed 5 heads around the build plate and printed them at 50 and 100um. They all looked exactly the same, so it isn’t anything from contamination or a blur from the tray (V2)
  3. Formlabs told me that I had missed the most recent firmware update, which must have happened since Friday, but my prints with the update at 100um look the same as piece prior to the update.
  4. Despite the firmware update, my friend sprint on the Form 2 still looks better than my print on the Form 3 at any resolution.
    In particular note that the figure loses definition of the lower eyelid at 100um.

    You can also notice a slight difference in the resolution around the gem.

    The definition in the hair looks the same however.

    I don’t think I am crazy…

Yep I agree with the Form 3 print quality being not great. I have a very lengthy thread going about my problems with the form 3 print quality. However it truly is not a great idea to orient your print the way you have it there.

An inherent issue with SLA printing is that details are always much less clear on the side facing the build plate. As such you would probably get better result inherently just by flipping your print 180 degrees and having the supports along the neckline of the bust rather than the top of the head, even if this was how it was done on the Form 2. I would imagine you’d have an even better print on the Form 2 by doing this as well. Now this will mostly only affect the details where the supports are… so things like the unclear gem, the facial features, etc., will not be affected by reorienting your print.

I’ll have to check out your thread as well. I did ask if it was a hardware or firmware issue. Of course they said firmware.
Normally I wouldn’t lay out the figure this way either. However, in this particular case it works better. Normally I only print the entire body, not just the head, and when you print the entire body, this direction seems to make the most sense. Plus it is the direction that my buddy set up his Form 2, so I wanted to match. Since I didn’t want to waste resin or time printing entire figures, I just set up only the head and did it to match what had been done previously.

Either way, the biggest issue is that the Form 3 doesn’t seem to be able to meet the same level of detail as the Form 2. Yet. (I hope)

Check that your printout dimensions are right (test that with proper test model - not figure). It can be blurry if laser is not there where it should be…

I got one Form 3 first that has terrible quality (not accurate models and blurry). I returned it and now I got working unit.

So should I print the butterfly? I’d have to figure out the dims on it prior to printing.

Hey @BippiInc, just wondering if you ever looped back and tried this again with a more recent version of Preform. I know they did some work on the resin tuning, wondering if the quality you’re seeing is any better now.

I did. It has gotten much better. I have gotten much better at laying out pieces as well.