Okey guys cant find this info officially. How this flex vat gonna work,how big lifetime its gonna to have,how much it gonna cost ? Any info ?
Until @DKirch chimes in here, the Product Demo streamed around March/April indicated the Form 3 vats would be sold at the $149 price point. If I remember the video, they claimed they’d been continuously running the vats to test its durability – presumably inferring the vats have gone beyond the 2-litre longevity that the Form 2 vats were rated for.
I bought into the Form 3 specifically because it seems to have evolved past the Sylgard-lined Form 2 vats. I’d be quite surprised (and hugely disappointed) if the flexible bottom Form 3 vats were still using Sylgard (aka PDMS). Been there, done that with another SLA printer (my #3) and was thus never interested in the Form 1 or Form 2.
By comparison, the vat in my very first SLA (#1) seemed to use a stretched FEP (?) membrane. No complicated tilt mechanism, no sliding PDMS design… Provided workhorse service for at least 5 years of continuous prints.
What hasn’t been mentioned so far anywhere was vat pricing for the large Form 3L. This alone constitutes the biggest reason why I couldn’t pull the trigger on it’s pre-order. The 2nd runner-up reason is the unknown about the real-world longevity of this new flex-bottom system. Given that printer #1 cost me $15k+ back in 2012, I’m game for the “affordable” Form 3 for giggles… but to plunk down $10600 for a 3L and not know what the long term consumable costs would be? Hard stop. The big boy 3L is 2.8 times the cost of the 3. Maybe the Formlabs bean counters will justify the vats to cost $420… even just doubled at $299 would not put me in a trigger-happy mood if it turns out real-world end-user experience is that they last roughly 2 liters worth of resin.
Just tossing some feedback to Formlabs from a potential 3L buyer on why pre-orders might not be as brisk as hoped. I like that you’re making the light engine modular, I like the shrinkage of the laser spot size, I like that you’re shifting from the old tilt mechanism, I like that you built-in some safeguards in case of a catastrophic vat leakage, and remote progress notification feels pretty modern… but without knowing some key info like the cost of the larger vat or whether a replacement light engine module will cost 70% of the printer itself, that $10k feels waaaaay better sitting in my bank account than yours.
I’ve been summoned!
The information provided by Carter is largely correct.
Form 3 resin tanks will cost $149 at the time of release. Longevity testing is still ongoing, but we’re quite comfortable saying the tanks will last as long or longer than the Form 2 LT Resin tanks.
Because the forces involved in printing on the Form 3 are so gentle, we’re really optimistic about the amount of prints folks will be able to get out of these consumables before needing a replacement.
You can be sure as we have more specific tank lifetime information we’ll be sure to share that with our community ASAP, as well as 3L accessory prices when those are available.