@Andrew_Miller Of course, it would be interesting - but right now, knowing the exact failure mode won’t help us customers much, since printing those resins on the Form 3 is simply not enabled in PreForm and the Form 3 Firmware. You can’t even select those resins in PreForm when you have selected a Form 3 printer.
You are absolutely correct, there isn’t even an open mode at the moment. I hope they find a way to address this issue even if that is to put a disclaimer on the screen that tells you the tray will have it’s life shortened.
Wow. Talk about “burying the lede”. This announcement is titled an “update” to resin availability.
The “update” in this case is that the newest, most useful and popular resins for the Form 2 are fundamentally incompatible with the Form 3 resin tank. Nice.
Just going out on a limb here, but I’m guessing there’s a reason they didn’t mention this limitation when they launched the Form3. Because nobody would have bought one until equivalent resins were available.
In my case, a few months ago I paid 100% in advance for a Form3L, which I expect to see some time next spring. Maybe by then the new resins will be launched?
Having worked in device development I’m fairly certain R&D said “It’s not ready”, while marketing and management said “I don’t care, it better be ready when units ship!”
They weren’t straightforward with us because they assumed they could get the problems worked out in the truncated time frame. The deadline was missed so here we are with a heartbreaking “Update” on resin compatibility.
Not sure why everyone assumes companies run by a bunch of imperfect humans are by default nefarious. =P
Just one theory.
It’s not a case of being “not ready”. Its a case of, to quote the original post, “Rigid, Elastic and Grey Pro are incompatible with the current Form 3 Resin Tank”.
The Form 3 tank, a component essential to their new process is fundamentally incompatible with these materials. Sorry, but there’s no way they haven’t been aware of this for a long time.
Considering they designed a new tank with new materials, they absolutely would have tested it with every resin a long time ago.
I clearly missed the fact that they are not just behind schedule but outright do not work with the tank material, my apologies.
It is tough to excuse this downfall. I’ve always said that FL hardware is only marginally better than the competition, their real value is in the library of resins. I can certainly understand why people are upset about being cut off from the engineering resins.
It takes days for the form 3 tank to be effected by the gray pro resin. There are any number of scenarios in the product development cycle that would have missed this incompatibility. Not the least of which is simply not having tested it for more than 5 days with the gray pro. Hind sight is 2020 and if your chemists do not ever suspect an issue then no one does.
They could have been very intent in figuring out how long the tank would last due to its dynamic strains in normal use (the form 2 tank did not have this). They could have done most of that testing with the less expensive resins.
If they had figured it out weeks ago they would have said so and stopped the mistry back then.
They can either change the tank or change the resin or both. I bet they will have it figured out in no time.
Finding this hilarious for some reason.
@DKirch I don’t want to be an ass here, but this is very, very important and a lot of money I’ve paid Formlabs hinges on it. I really need an answer please. No response from you in 7 days. I’d really appreciate an update at least.
Absolutely not being a jerk at all. Totally understand where everyone is coming from. Full response coming shortly(aiming for this week). Only reason for the delay is that we know how important this issue is and I want to give as much info as we can about what’s going on.
EDIT: Originally intended to have a response up on Tuesday, but it should be up by Friday. Thanks for your patience everyone!
Thought this would be a good place to direct folks attention to this thread too: Print Quality Issue with Black Resin
It’s not clear to me that the standard resins are fully locked in w/ the Form 3 either.
(aiming for this week)
Am I imagining things or yesterday did that say “aiming for later today”?
You’re not wrong, but that timescale changed and I wanted to make sure it was clear that I hadn’t forgotten, I’m happy to make it clear that was an edit.
Thanks. Just wondered as I’d set a reminder to myself to follow up and look for the response. This is a dearly important topic to me, and other users - and I’m sure to Formlabs.
Thank you all for raising these concerns and questions and sorry for the delay in providing more context on this issue. This is a materials compatibility issue between the Form 3 tank and these resins. How much we can go into specifics is somewhat sensitive.
Rigid, Elastic, and Grey Pro Resins are incompatible with the current Form 3 Resin Tanks, causing them to leak prior to reaching a desirable lifespan. What one considers a ‘desirable lifespan’ is of course something you can go back and forth on, but leaking as a failure mode is not tolerable and many of you would reach this threshold during typical printing. These factors combined led to our decision.
We became aware of this issue prior to launching the Form 3 during validation and put all our efforts into characterizing and understanding what was going on. Our engineering team got to work on adapting our tank design to mitigate this issue and early results were promising. Internally, we were under the impression we were on a path towards a viable solution when we announced an October release date, as provided in the material availability support table. The intention was to roll out these changes to our tanks, releasing print settings in tandem. While these new tanks showed some improvement, it was not a perfect fix. Through further validation and discussion, we ultimately deemed it unacceptable for release on the Form 3.
We understand that Rigid, Elastic, and Grey Pro are popular materials and important to many of your workflows. We are sincerely sorry for the disruption that this has caused and are continuously working toward a resolution. Tank changes require significant validation, and we have seen promising early results do not always sustain through rigorous print testing. As such, we are unable to commit to a timeline for when we will have a solution. We will provide updates as we progress.
The settings delivery table may have given the impression this was about getting backed up on settings validation which, has kept us busy, but is not the blocker here. I also want to assure you our lack of commitment to a resolution date should not indicate we are not committed to reaching a solution. We continue to work hard on this materials challenge.
We also think it’s important this community understands the primary failure mode is leaking tanks. We do not recommend pouring these materials into tanks or getting creative in an attempt to print with these materials if you have some on hand.
Resin tank Lifespan
@JenniferMilne thanks for the detailed explanation. Is this leaking mainly a failure point at the welded/glued interface between the film and the other layers inside the tank? Is this a solvent vs resin incompatibility? Are there other ways to seal the film to the rest of the vat (ultrasonically welding, etc.)?
Will any of us early adopters receive a credit of sorts if and when a new tank design that’s compatible with these resins are released? I print with Elastic quite a lot and the low peel forces (and elimination of a shear peel - which is really important for hysteresis in Elastic) was really important to me.
Yes that is the primary interface affected, we are exploring other approaches to sealing. I can’t particularly comment on credit at this time, but can reassure you when we do have a solution we will be delighted to roll it out and will do our best to get current customers up and running as quickly as possible so we will consider ways to remove any barriers they may have.
Totally understand your desire to print in Elastic resin, it’s a unique and popular material so this news impacts many different industries and applications. This is a high priority internally and we hope to land on a solution as soon as we can (that is well validated before we roll it out!).
Yeah I bought a tank explicitly to run rigid before finding out it won’t work. I guess it’ll get used eventually, but that eventually could be quite a while (I already have a spare tank)
Ultrasonic welding should be possible, but costly and not very easy.
Fluoroplastics (i assume we’re talking FEP or something similar) are notoriously hard to weld ultrasonically (or, well, in any other way). Especially to another material.
It’s not impossible, just very very hard.
One way to solve this might be to make the bottom frame of the tank from high density FEP (or whatever is used for the film), weld the film to that, then mechanically couple the high density frame to the rest of the tank assembly. I’m not sure if that would affect splash-proofing, though.