Okay, so yeasterday the replacement printer showed up. The box overall looked fine except one corner had s mild hit… nothing different than typical shipping wear. Just a mild crush. I took the printer out of the box and noticed it wobbled quite a bit after placing it on my office desk. I looked at the legs and they were all screwed in so I’m not sure why I had a wobble of over 1/2" movement. Then I saw on the right rear side that the rear plastic cover was out and not seated under the rear of the side of the aluminum. This clearly was damage either due to shipping to Formlabs or from Formlabs. I didn’t even get as far as removing the shipping stickers. Another very upsetting thing to see was the amount of dirt inside the machine. Either this was not a new replacement or it’s cover was open and dust and dirt accumulated inside.
Needless to say, I sent a video and pics into Formlabs and waiting on their response on how to proceed. I also received, as I’m sure everyone else did, a formal email from Formlabs stating that the 3 most important resins that truly matter and used by most of us are formally not compatible with the Form 3 and they have stated their is not set time to rectify the situation. For those that purchased the 3, they should have received a coupon code for a free liter of any resin that will work with the 3.
Review: Form 3 is not better than the Form 2 with respect to, and only to the following key points that matter to end users… build size, print quality, print speed, and resin selection. Newer tech… yes. But, what does the 3 have over the 2? In my opinion, you are taking a step back. People are saying the quality is better. I won’t get into any discussions other than… I saw no difference in print quality between the two machines at any layer height. However, I saw significant print time added to builds vs the Form 2. Significant by several hours. I saw print anomalies and print shifts across a range of small to large prints. I agree with Joxol… the printer was released way too soon. I know Formlabs knows they released a printer before finalizing important things like… resin compatibility. No way they didn’t know. I was told early on that they hoped to work all know issues with software updates or resin adjustments. Seeing a coupon code being handed out and a formal statement that they have no set time to fix the issues is not a good sign.
My advice… keep supporting the Form 2. I ran 2 form 2s non stop through two seasons of Altered Carbon on Netflix, Deadpool 2, Skyscraper and a couple others and they performed flawlessly! I had no (ZERO) fails. The only fails I had were when I tried to push the machines to do something I already knew it wouldn’t. The Form 2 is (in every point important to end users. Build envelope, print times, print quality, and reliability) better than the Form 3. Knowing this… how can I justify making a business decision to purchase a Form 3L.
There ya go guys… my honest review of the Form 3. No embellishments or fabrications… just my honest experiences with this machine. Do not purchase this machine unless your intent is to help fund Formlabs financially to work out the issues. If you want a reliable printer with faster speeds, better print quality, and the same build envelope as the 3 (which actually is the same as the 2 I should say. lol), then do yourself a favor and just buy a 2. To all you guys that have 3s and love them, I ask you… did you have a 2 first? If you did, you either didn’t do an actual print comparson between the two machines using the same print file with no changes or… you got extremely lucky with your Form 3 printer and I’m jealous for that. lol