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Form 3 Unboxing and First Impressions!


I started with brand new 95% IPA. If I look at it 8 prints in, it has a white cast to it (I have white resin), but the hydrometer still says it’s "new"ish.

I’ve sprung for a Cure. Maybe it’ll make the difference,


If you have a sticky texture, then try submerging the print in water and cure it for a few minutes that way. Oxygen prevents the resin from curing to some degree so submerging it in water blocks the oxygen and the outside can cure more easily, and it only takes a small amount of time. Be careful though, if you cure one side for too long then that side will end up with a lighter sun-bleached kind of look.


I just took delivery today of a Cure, so we’ll see if that makes a difference (I can’t imagine it won’t).


Plus it opens up the possibility of using engineering resins which would have been problematic otherwise.


Well, step 1 for working with new resins will be getting more tanks, which doesn’t sound like it’s going to be happening this year (I have two orders in).


… And on that, I stand corrected - my first order for an additional resin and tank have shipped. I’ll be able to try out the clear resin shortly!


I have had good luck with a Formlabs distributor having stuff in stock since they make large bulk orders. Pretty sure they have Form 3 tanks in stock.


Yes, we have plenty of Form3 tanks in stock, along with everything for the Form2.


OK, I’ve had mine for a couple of weeks now, and here is my impressions:

OK, for background I have had 2 Uniz Slash Chinese mSLA printers. and for background I am a physician, and we have a lab at the hospital with multiple Form 2s and we even have a Form 1 kicking around somewhere. We have a varied set of applications from medical device design to molding clinical stents, and orthopedic clinical printing.

So the unboxing was super easy, I bought the bundle so also bought wash and cure stations (as I was sick of the swamp cure station I built with 200W of 405nm UV powered by a bench power supply along with tupperware washing).

So, from a hardware standpoint the machine feels very solid compared to my Uniz machines and I like all the sensors that stop stupid errors (haha don’t think I didn’t try and start a job without the build platform still in the wash station… the display stopped be from being that guy). So I decided to try a first print of the medieval castle from Thingiverse as my first print. It is designed for no supports and throwing caution to the wind I printed it straight on the build platform (testing the new low suction thing). Unlike the Slash which made an audible ping when that suction was released causing the table to vibrate, the Form 3 just did it’s thing.

I will note that when I went to switch the resin tray out, it didn’t sense it, and I was worried something was broken, so I actually watched the directions (shocking). And noticed there is a little push towards the back after clicking it down. Magically the display beeped and noted a new tray had been inserted. Currently the trays are rarer than unicorns (although I found a 3rd party that had them in stock)

For some reason I bought clear resin as my first resin…

While some are saying the quality isn’t any better than the 2 (which also had amazing quality). I haven’t done any objective testing to decide if that is true. But at least on my printing so far the quality has been gorgeous. And the low suction peel has allowed way more fragile things to print than I was able to do on prior SLA printers. The quality on that first print was stunning (on the castle the roof shingles are all individually visible - yes sorry clear is a terrible resin for photographing details).

One problem I encountered (solved by support) was that the mixer blade would pop off repeatedly on the back stroke to the left before the tray was filled. I tried the mixer from another tray, with the same result. Support was able to document the same issue, and suggested “lubing” the mixer by pouring in some resin manually before starting, which solved it.

I did get one cartridge of gray that didn’t have the bite valve cut (support helped me resolve that). And no it wasn’t just stuck it really was not cut.

So things that I like: easy set up, high quality components. The software chain works well and makes it easy to get succesful prints. The display is very crisp and readable. The speed of printing is basically the same as the Form 2, which is to be expected for a SLA printer. The wash works very well (although I wish it had the resins loaded in, so you just selected clear or whatever and it knew what to do). The Cure seems to work well (same caveat). The one annoying thing about the wash is that to get it between the lines it took just a bit over 2ga of IPA (ugh since I bought 1ga jugs). I had a failure (my fault) and the print made a big booger on the tray, which was so incredibly easy to peel off with my finger compared to the mSLA printers I have used where that was so adhered to the FEP that you often punctured it getting it off.

Things that I didn’t like: The lines on the wash station are almost impossible to see in any normal lighting (black lines on the inside of black tinted acrylic are almost invisible). The Form3 reports it is ready for printing even when it is not (the printer status button will show that something is missing like the platform) It won’t initiate a print in reality, but telling you it’s ready rather than telling you the platform is missing or the like before you upload a job is less useful. I really wish you could upload a job via the dashboard rather than having to be direct connected. This is mostly useful in a complicated work network where you may be many sub-nets away from the printer, at home it’s obviously not an issue (I am on gigabit ethernet at home so super fast). The printer is certainly quite enough for a work environment (I don’t care since it is next to 4 FDM printers and a laser cutter [which seems as loud as my husqvarna chain saw] but could totally be on my desk at work). The time calculation doesn’t show for me in preform (they are trying to figure that out)

Wishes: I wish there was an internal camera to do time-lapses (and monitor the job remotely), I wish form would increase tray production, I wish all the resins worked in the 3 (really want to try elastic!). I wish preform had hollowing/drain hole features (even the Uniz software had that as janky as that was). Better sealing on the wash to prevent evaporation of IPA.

Anyway, very satisfied with the form, and so far have only had 1 failure (which in faireness was my fault as I messed with the support settings and made an error) which is great. I feel very confident that I can start a print, go to sleep and wake up and there will be a succesful part hanging down from the platform waiting for curing/washing.


Wow, I’m glad you wrote that so I don’t have to, as it matches my list of wishes pretty close to perfectly. I’m currently using Formware to hollow/drain but it should be in PreForm.

Also wish: A openmode cartridge. Not just pour in, but sell carts that are chipped and empty, and can have a specific profile associated with them and let me refill them. Said open mode would use the damn heater, etc. and permit refilling. I understand that resin is a revenue stream that formlabs likely needs, but their resin doesn’t cover all needs. Get us to buy their resin because it is ultra reliable and great, and then let us easily and nicely use our own other times.

The surface quality has been amazing. The ability to print delicate features can be surprising; this Eiffel Tower has ludicrously fine railings which mostly printed fine (and at least one of the damage to it was my fault post printing).


Very glad to hear that the Form 3 is producing some good models.


Thanks for sharing in detailed.