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Form 3 Unboxing and First Impressions!


Hey there!

Open Mode is absolutely coming but nothing to talk about at this time. More details coming soon. :slight_smile:

Form 3 Resin Availability Update

Thats good to know - any idea of how long before its likely to be implemented?


That’s good to know. Does “similar in scope” mean that Castable Wax will not be available as print profile, as seen in How open is open mode on Form 2??


Do the contact points look identical when you view them in the slicer? Do you think the tips are smaller because the support structures are printed “more accurately”, or do you think there’s some software/firmware trick going on?

Ah, I was concerned about artifacts stepping might produce. I assume those are the less dense lines seen on the sphere, perpendicular to the layer lines. Hard to tell, but it looks like the shifting isn’t exactly uniform - is that correct? Does it occur on other layer heights as well (or to varying degrees)? The lines look pretty feint - any estimate on how proud the “worst case” steps are?

That’s another question I posed before buying. Could you elaborate on your experience so far removing failed prints? Is it tough to do without damaging the flexible membrane? Is the software patch to union failure areas out yet (or do you think it will help when it is)?


The supports look the same in Preform. I don’t want to speculate too much on why they came out smaller until I have more experience with the printer.


We have done a small comparison video from the Form2 to the Form3 if you want to check it out here.


Good demo but comes across like the same videos Formlabs puts out to sell the form 3 product & not a actual end user review. I follow this discussion for REAL end users reviews of the form 3.


Not even seeing many write ups… much less videos? Why is everyone too quiet?


100% agree. Such a large product and not one big media review that I’ve seen. That’s pathetic at best.


Como dice Mouriño, porque…?
Porque aun no hemos visto ningun video real de la f3 trabajando???


Well I guess the reviews speak for them self’s lol.


Not sure if folks seen one of the first reviews, from Make Magazine.


Have seen this review and it is a great one. Sadly it is one of very few that shows a fairly comprehensive view of the new printer. Sadly this needs to be in the hands of more industry professionals to get the word out and for sure more consumers so they can get to printing.


This is a decent review but again, its just a feature review of all the things we already know. I would like to see a review from a actual daily user of the form 3 machine producing parts and would be even better if that user came from using a form 2 printing daily. Giving the machine to a user just because of followers to get views is… to me at least… not a good review. They just highlight all the bells and whistles & do not know the frustrations of printing with previous versions of the machine & how this version is actually better. I’m sure as soon as people actually receive there form 3 …we will see some good real end users reviews with notable comparisons between the 2 machines.


@dave55rc agreed - only value in that review is for people who’re not familiar with Formlabs. There’s no information besides what’s already in the sales brochures.


have a little patience-
how many of you got great results from the get go with your first printer?
Being a new device- I read several folks saying they had some issues that it took some time and support to clear up.
Another saying that after the first firmware update that its running much better.

Formlabs is obviously trying to rely on the early adopters to help trouble shoot potential issues that will only become visible when Lots of different individual are trying to set the thing up and get it running.

And frankly- I don’t really care about ANY review from someone who’s had the thing a month.

I will wait for reviews of its operation over a year. I need more than slightly better prints in the first few weeks of ownership… I need long term reliability.

I am happy, however to see the new design is clearly aimed at eliminating the need to ship printers to Formlabs for repair. I am sure servicing Form 2s has been a major loss leader for Formlabs. User replaceable optics units is a huge improvement- most of us who make stuff are handy enough to swap a module.


How many of you had a Maserati as your first car?


Can you explain the maserati analogy? Maybe I have it wrong, but the Form 3 is hardly a maserati if that is what you mean. At best it is a Lexus. Maybe even just a top of line package to a base Corolla. Not an insult to the Form 3, but a real SLA system (maserati) is $100k.


Fair enough, but my point is that for most folks, their first 3D printer is not a Form, it’s a cheap FDM model. We can and should expect more from something more expensive.


I was one of the first to receive the Form 3 and have been working with for a while now. There are issues with the printer… some new… some Formlabs is aware of. Im surprised at the lack of input from the forum in sharing the issues… unless im literally the only one with problems. I have been printing since the early 90s and have had every iteration of the Form printer so ill be speaking on issues only and not just on how beautiful the Form 3 can print.

I have videos and pics i have sent into Formlabs. But ill share what ive seen so far.

  1. First, the printer does print beautifully but does not show a noticeable difference between the Form 2 and 3 in either 50 or 25 microns. Just want to be clear with that.

  2. It is loud during x axis motor travel… mainly during the rapid movements. Since the housing is completely open inside, it acts like a megaphone. Now, my machine has an issue with the stepper so the noise is even worse. The Form lab techs watch my video and confirmed it was extremely loud. They also were aware of the noise for X travel and are working to solve the issue with a software update.

  3. Dashboard and the printer fail to update the firmware. It stated, in the beginning, that the firmware was up to date… even though it wasn’t. I had to manually go in and update the firmware. Now, when i check it, it states an unrecognizable firmware.

  4. The printer, when placing setting up a new tank, kept ejecting the mixer/wiper to the right. Even though the mixer was placed in correctly, it kept popping off to the right as it was wiping to the left. What i did was bend the little snap arms back and forth on each end of the mixer/wiper to soften up the plastic. Almost like forming a bending hinge so that the mixer snaps in place to the left easier. This kind of solved the issue. It still kept giving errors to put the mixer in correctly. It gives you an option to ignore and proceed. During video taping for Formlabs, it took about 30 min to eventually get the printer to start printing. Once the tank had resin in it, the mixer popping off stopped.

  5. When starting a new print, i would get a fail to start print error. It didn’t matter if i chose to reprint the last print from the printers screen menu, from the dashboard, or uploaded the same print again, i would get this error and the only way to fix it, was to reboot the printer by unplugging the power.

  6. I have print shifts and surface anomalies when using 50 microns. This can be the result of the X axis stepper issue. However, when printing in 25 microns, i can’t really see print shifts or anomalies… there was a couple tiny issues but because of the layer height, its not really noticeable.

  7. The Form 3 is no way faster than the Form 2 and Formlabs has confirmed that. An example: I printed the same form file on the Form 2 and Form 3. I did not change orientation, or density, or point size, or layer height, or material. Its exactly the same print. I printed this file at 50 microns. On the Form 2, the print was a tad over 9 hours. On the Form 3, it was a tad over 16 hours. Again, Formlabs is aware and has stated the Form 3 is not faster than the Form 2 and told me their working on a software update to help with that.

  8. The software on the Form 3 currently has no idle mode… it stays on and the fan runs constantly. Formlabs recommends just leaving it on all the time or to shut the machine off, you just unplug it. There is no off button or a setting to place the printer in idle mode. So, the fan noise is normal. If its on your office desk, it may bother some but its not too loud.

  9. Dashboard does not, at least at the time i was running prints, give you feedback on print times on the Form 3. You have to rely on the estimated time on the printers screen after you upload a print. Print times are actually longer… as i was running an independent timer going.

There ya go guys. I have tested the machine and compare it to the form 2 and have only mentioned the issues with the printer in this post. Formlabs is aware of the issues… again… some new… and some they already were aware of. One of my main concerns was the release of this printer with a non final software package. I was told that the software will be an ongoing update to address the issues, add features, but also to speed the printer up to speeds equivalent to what you see in the Form 2. I have recommended adding a feature to allow you to control the mixer/wiper arm. This way you could set the printer to heat and mix the resin in the tank periodically when the printer is not in use. This way you dont have resin settling if you dont print every single day. I think the tank will last longer and the resin will always be mixed.