Form 3 problems...terrible grow, murky details filled in

First 2 grows on the Form 3 were ok but the Build Platform had to be replaced and the WASH tank came with a busted hinge. Formlabs replaced, very kindly but after a couple weeks.

Form 3 GROW 3…thought I would be posting how cool this grow was. My heart sank, I can not believe this is what I got. Help…please! Yes, newest software dowloaded and installed right before a 16+ hour grow, 50 Microns, small rafts.

And the build platform seemed to have cured resin on it.

Closeup of another problem I noticed,why would this be?

I really thought I would start saving money for myself by growing my own 3D prints and casting from them AND I have people waiting to pay me to grow projects for them. What is wrong? This is unacceptable…what the heck do I try and do? Its the weekend, so I thought I would start here. Any suggestions? Is everyone else seeing this too? I have lost alot of faith on this machine working at all with the problems I have HAD since I received it!


I have only had the resin tank out of its plastic container 3 times for the 3 grows. On the bottom of the tank, looking at it tonight when I put it away, there seems to be a streak as if something dragged on the bottom of it from Side to Side. Same direction as the wiper goes. Close to the edge, the width of the streak is probably 1/5th of the tank. Odd, not sure why that would happen or if it was that way when I got it. It is NOT below the areas that the print failed or filled in the details. Would something be dragging on the bottom side of the resin tray to do that? When it runs? Hard to get a picture of it.

Red lines represent the area the streaking is. Not sure, what would cause that? Is something dragging in the machine?

  • ?

Yes, the rollers that keep the film stretched taut.
They appear to collect debris from somewhere, which then gets scratched over the bottom of the film.

I’d recommend contacting support about it (i did, still waiting for a reply), but if you’re curious, put the LPU into maintenance position, unplug the printer, remove the vat, and check the rollers on each side of the optical window for any debris/deposits. Take a photo and send it to support.

PS: what’s a “grow”?

“Grow” my way of referring to a 3D print…3D grow. Thanks, I will look at that. I guess I got to get used to fixing this myself then.

Wow, yeah. There is something on the rollers, rubbery like they need to be cleaned. Didnt look like uncured/cured resin…more like the sticky substance from the back of a sticker OR if a rubber roller was breaking down. WOW. Was this something I was supposed to clean before using for the first time? Or clean everytime before use? I cant believe I would have contaminated these or the tray going from box to box.

I think whatever it is already came with the printer or the vat.

Either there’s something on the bottom of the vats that eventually gets deposited onto the rollers, or, the rollers pick something up from the roller holder over time. It can’t be roller wear, the rollers are way too hard for that.

So after looking at the bottom of the resin tank closer, at that bottom film. With gloves on, I touched it. It is not on the outside it is actually under the film. I figured that the tank is ruined but wondered if it was cleanable at all. But in this case there is no way because it is UNDER the film being smooshed and scraped back and forth. Some type of a leak in the tray? Now I can clean the rollers with paper towels and isopropyl alcohol and wont be for sure the laser is ruined or not. BUT I will have to buy a new resin tank to see if all will work properly correct? And this picture…are these rods that covered in grease? Or is that Resin coating them? Picture was hard to get and not the best.

Thanks so much for your help and input Ante_Vukorepa this kind of ruined my weekend of printing. I am careful and use all precautions with these things. I have tons of experience using a Form 2 at work and been using larger Object machines for sometime. Something has to be faulty on this…again. After waiting weeks for replacement parts on the CURE station and new Build Platform I thought I was finally gonna get some work done! Not the type of learning experiences that make others confident to use me as their sculptor for prototypes. Jake

In my case it wasn’t between the films, it was on the bottom film.

I don’t think it’s grease or resin.
It seemed powdery, at least on mine.

Either it’s some kind of coating on the film getting worn off (perhaps some surface treatment to keep the films from sticking to each other, and to reduce friction with the rollers) or some kind of powdery contaminant from the production process.

Can you rotate the rollers manually (try it with a gloved hand)?
Mine can’t be, and i’m not sure if that’s because they need to be pressed down to allow rotation, or if there’s some other mechanism that locks them. If that’s NOT intentional…


Please contact support and send them your findings and photos of the rollers and the tank. The more feedback they get, the faster they’ll figure out what’s happening and fix it.

Yeah, I have a contact that sent me a new part for the CURE and Build Platform because it was opening up. I have already sent them the same pictures and concern, they just dont work over the weekend when I do. I should have been up and running a month ago when i got the Form 3…I dont own a Form 2 this is my only machine, these problems are frustrating at the least. If I cant get work done for the shows I have already paid for i am gonna start losing money on this thing.

On that last picture, I could touch it and it is liquid. It is definitely not a powder. My first thought is its resin, just thought i was crazy and it has to be a grease of some kind.

Got a response from support asking for photos re: scratches on the tank film.
But they did confirm rollers not, well, rolling is normal.

Yeah, I am following your “Dust on the LP” thread too, I assume they are gonna send me instructions the same way. I hope. I also assume that my RESIN TRAY is ruined and the lead time on those is gonna be awhile. I just wonder if this blamed on me, that I will have to order and pay for that. Someone suggested draining the Resin in it to inspect for holes or leakage from the inside, I may have to do that. Wondering if that means I lose all the resin in the tray or if it can be stored in another container. Awaiting response from Formlabs for now…

It can be stored in another container and you can pour it back.
In fact, on Form 2, that was common practice, as leaving the resin in the tank for a long time (> 2 weeks) would deteriorate the tank.

Also, it’s relatively common thing to do so you can filter out any flakes of semi-cured resin after a failed print.

So that makes me think in waiting for the parts that were broken that formlabs had to replace and my downtime, the Resin Tank might have had a chance to deteriorate and leak resin below when I put it back in…? I am speculating, there is that chance then but seems to be. At work with our Form 2, I havent seen that problem and we switch out between 3-4 materials we use back and forth. I dont know that I have heard of such a problem before BUT makes sense. Also makes sense that alot of people are going through the resin trays pretty quickly then if it deteriorated. AND i understand this is all speculation until I inspect more and hear back from Formlabs.

No, the Form 3 tanks are rated for way longer resin storage and way more liters.
They’re completely different, they don’t have a PDMS (silicone) layer on the bottom like the old Form 2 (regular) tanks, but a FEP-like film and an additional protective film underneath.

That’s why they come with blue light-proofed storage boxes too - they’re made to be stored with the resin still inside AFAIK.


This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.