Form 3 blurred details and layer shifting

@CraigBroady Any idea why I can’t get the the F3 to print these holes with out them being filled in? The piece on the left was printed on a Form 2 at 50, middle is a Form 3 print at 50 and right is a Form 3 print at 25. All are using the grey v4 resin. The printer is updated to the latest firmware (1.3.4-456) and I’m running PreForm 3.1.2. You can see the layer shifting that happens at 25 on the print on the right.

I’ve also tried printing this at a number of different angles and I get the same results every time. As you can see from the angles in the filled in holes, the version on the far right was printed at a different angle than the one in the middle. Is this the current print quality that the Form 3 can produce or is there a trick to printing on the F3 that I’m not aware of?

The hole size is 1.4 mm at the top and 1 mm through to the back.

Thanks in advance.

1 Like

It seems like they haven’t quite figured out the Grey settings yet. There are lots of complaints about that quality v. Form 2.

1 Like

Here is a print of clear on Form 2 and Form 3. Form 2 filled in an annular space that was completely open on the Form 3 print. I have similar experiences with Flexible, Draft, and White. I don’t print much in grey so I haven’t done a comparison there but as I said before, that seems to be a resin a lot of people use and are having issues with. The one with the green line is Form 3, red line is Form 2. Also notice how much less yellow the Form 3 print is. They went through the same cure cycles.

1 Like

@gjgomes That’s very interesting - this is the first post I’ve seen showing better results on the Form3 than the Form2 - and it’s also interesting to note it’s the first comparison of detail level I’ve seen using clear resin. The clear resin does have that nice inbuilt indicator of over-curing issues - you can see it in the yellow level before post-curing, although in your case even after post-curing you can see the difference.

However - that filled in gap on the F2 print looks really bad - that gap seems as though it might be larger than 1mm?

Maybe there’s something wrong with your F2? I know my F2 has problems printing clear resin, but I don’t think it’s that bad.

Would you consider doing a test print in clear on your F2 of @Joonghyun_Cho’s test pattern? it seems like a really good test file, and what we want are like-for-like comparisons

And perhaps someone else might like to do a F2 test print of that model in clear for comparison? I would but as I said, I already know my F2 has overcuring problems with clear so I only use grey at the moment.

1 Like

I agree that my Form 2 may not be in tip top shape, I would expect it to not have filled in that gap as badly as it did. When the clear came out of the Form 3 it was remarkably clear, I was super surprised. It turned significantly more yellow during the cure process (60C 30 minutes).

1 Like

It looks like you’ve already gotten some feedback while I was away on vacation. Your picture certainly shows better results on the Form 2 than the Form 3. While this is not the intended result, I don’t have any tips and tricks for you at this time. As was mentioned, we are constantly improving our materials and material settings, so there could be some grey improvements in the works. There may also be something defective with your Form 3 or resin tank or LPU, which you would need to open a services ticket to properly debug.

In my personal experience, I have found that our GP resins tend resolve negative features better at larger layer thicknesses, but you have the side-by-side comparison with Form 2, so that’s not the case here. Sorry I can’t be of more help. Our services team may be better equipped to help you here.

@CraigBroady Thanks for chiming in on this. Since I have preorders pending for a 3 and 3L, I’ve been closely monitoring the feedback and photos early users have been graciously sharing here in the forum. The poor quality of those holes really concerns me.

You mentioned a possible issue with @TravisRogers’ machine / resin tank / LPU. Would you be willing to try his print on your own Form 3, to see if the results are any better?

1 Like

I can try to give it a print if the files are posted. I’m just coming back from vacation, so I can’t promise it’ll be quick.

Hi Craig,

Thanks for the reply and I hope you had a great vacation. I’m happy to send you the .form file with the model to test on your end. Let me know where I can post it privately to you. I may wait in opening a support ticket around this until I see your results so as not to spin unnecessary cycles for your team.

You should be able to send it to me using the private messenger on the forum. But it’s worth noting that the services team is better equipped to help you out than I am.

It’s incredible to me that all of the settings and lessons learned on the Form2 are essentially thrown out the window with the Form3, and we are once again starting all over experimenting with settings and wasting resin in the process. We are your beta testers…for a machine that was obviously released with half-baked settings. You (Formlabs) should have worked out the kinks BEFORE selling the machine, not expecting us to ruin a ton of prints and waste expensive resin so that we can tell YOU what needs fixing. This is terrible company leadership, IMO.

What was the reason to fast track a machine that’s not ready when the Form2 had such great prints? It’s rare we see a 3d printer machine (of any tech, FDM, SLA, or otherwise) perform substantially worse than it’s predecessor, but that’s what this is.

You guys need to come clean and offer discounts on resin for all of us wasting it on mangled prints. It’s not right that you charge full price for Form3 owners when you don’t even have the settings correct, nor provided us with a timeline of when said settings will be available. I hope and expect that you are printing like mad on all of your Form3 machines to resolve this because it’s just unacceptable. I got better results from my Form 1+ (honestly…it was not as reliable but the prints are as good or better than what I got from the Form3).

Disappointed. REALLY disappointed.


I can also testify to the Form 3 covering up holes and rounding 90 degree corners AND edges… while using the Castable Wax Resin at 50um. I hope this is a software issue with the XY accuracy regarding the laser. Waiting for the 25um layer thickness to finish beta testing is useless if each layer isn’t sharp at its edges.


I feel like being able to set our own settings would probably help with this. sure not every one wants to do that. but would help increase quality. every single fdm printer slicer ive used has had a multitude of settings to tweak, even ChituBox has more options to edit the supports, model, and print settings than preform does. it would also go open mode is (never used form-labs printer yet, so i assume its print anyway mode with whatever custom resin is in there) not a list of materials and 3 layer heights. then you could also advertise your a multi resin friendly printer.

At least then I knew I messed up and not the faceless worker tweaking the settings that I have to rely on to not screw up the quality of my prints.

I’ll start by saying I haven’t read through all of the threads about the Form3, but I have read through a few of them.

We have a Form3 and are having the same issues as listed here, using Dental Model V2. The results are very similar to when our galvo mirrors on the Form2 get hazy.

It does seem that the print results for some of the materials has significantly improved with software updates, but I can’t believe there isn’t more(or any) talk about the resin tank. The bottom is translucent. By dictionary definition: Translucent - _

allowing light, but not detailed shapes, to pass through; semitransparent.


transmitting and diffusing light so that objects beyond cannot be seen clearly.


Obviosuly, I’m not on the product development team at Formlabs, so I don’t have all the facts on the materials they chose. However, it seems like even with improvements through software updates, the resin tank will still cause a slight diffusion of the laser spot. Similar to when the galvos on the Form2 get hazy.

Just one of the thoughts I’ve had while thinking about this problem. If someone has information that refutes this, please share. I’d love to put this concern out of my mind.

1 Like

When everything is pressed that close together during the printing process, the fact that the tank isn’t 100% optically clear to the eye doesn’t really affect printing at all. Totally understand where you’re coming from though. I had similar questions when I first saw the new tanks.

I don’t think it’s simply the case of some exposure settings, the exposure would have to be really high for the effect it’s having so I’m kind of wondering if it has to do with the laser pathing

Resin tanks of the famous NEXTDENT (3D SYSTEMS) 5100 printer have bottom translucent films too and the print quality is superb. The difference is that this one is DLP but is the same concept of light passing through a translucent film. As an electronic engineer I know that this issues on the Form 3 are going to be solved by fine tuning the laser settings… pure software

Hi Craig,

Sorry for the delay in reply as I’ve been away. I reached out to support earlier today and will update this thread with any new findings. I updated to Preform 3.2.1 and F3 firmware RC-1.4.3-426 yesterday, but am still seeing the same results with the Grey V4. This print was done after the updates…

I made a smaller model so as not to waste so much resin. The holes on this are the same as the cuff at the top: 1.4 mm at the surface, tapering to 1 mm through. Printed at 50. The holes always fill in in line with the build plate which makes me think that it’s an issue with the flexible film.

Best / Travis


I feel your frustration and couldn’t agree more Matt. The results have been surprising to say the least. I was one of the original Kickstarter supporters for the Form 1. It was a machine that had a lot of potential and saved me a lot of time in trying to validate forms vs the months it would take to get highly inaccurate and very low resolution Shapeways prints back in the mail, but it never really worked. I would get about 1 fully formed print out of 6. Most of the time it would only print half of the model and almost every print suffered from some sort of half cured resin leprosy. I decided to buy a Form 2 early this year after trying to resurrect my perfectly intact Form 1 after several years of sitting in the closet only to find that it had even more problems with the new software. I had been holding out for the Form 3, but couldn’t wait any longer as I needed it for my business. When I started printing with the Form 2 it felt like I traded my Flinstone’s car in for a Model S. The 2 printed PERFECTLY every time and every print felt like some sort of technological victory worth celebrating. Then a little over a month after I purchased my F2 the F3 was announced (of course). Given my experience with the F1 and the fact that it was no longer supported and the fact that the F2 product line was already 3 years old I decided to sell (somewhat reluctantly) the F2 and upgrade. In hindsight I wouldn’t have sold the F2, but I wanted to future proof, get the value out of it while I could and buy into a higher precision / quality system that jewelry design demands. There’s definitely an early adopter tax being paid here and while I wouldn’t at all compare it to the F1 The experience of waiting for updates and running test prints at varying angles and support point densities in hopes of finding the magic combination that I can document and use as a foundation to start production definitely feels familiar. Unfortunately due to the quality I’ve mainly only been printing test prints and have yet to really start leveraging it as the production tool for my business it was intended to be.

Granted with that said others seem to be having different experiences and it’s possible that I have a faulty unit in some capacity or that the grey v4 resin is not yet printing properly. I have had positive experiences with the support team in the past and believe they’ll make every effort to correct the issue. Regardless though, without a doubt, this machine was oversold and underdeveloped and it’s unfortunate as they did such a great job of hiding the fact that they were building a 3. No one knew that it was coming out and as a result they could have pushed the launch another 6 months and delivered a product that actually performs as advertised.


Thanks for this info Rhhj. I have an extra tray and a new bottle of the Castable V2 that I want to break into and start production with, but have left them in their boxes as I don’t want to use such expensive resin for beta testing. I was half tempted to open them today until I read this post.