Form 3 vs. Form 2 Faceoff!

Have you tried with the new firmware 3.2.3 from a couple days ago?

I`ve got a print going just now. Fingers crossed.

No not yet… I’ll get it downloading right away

I seem to always discover new firmware/preform releases here in the forums a few days after release by reading some random thread. Does anybody know if there is there a way to get notified?

1 Like

Would be helpful.

1 Like

According to the firmware release notes the printing improvement is for grey resin at 100 microns .

You mean Preform release notes.

You could always set up a monitoring service to notify you when the Preform release notes or Firmware release notes pages change. I just set up alerts on, which watches up to 3 pages for free.

1 Like

I really like your usage of the term warping to describe what’s happening here. I think that’s a much better descriptor than layer shift, as shift implies a discrete, but permanent change in x/y position. In all the examples I have seen, the artifacts appear to be regions of distortion or potentially erosion, but often times the outer bounds of the part are congruous, and usually the print continues on without indicating a true loss of position. It also usually seems to happen for at least several layers at a time before returning to normal, so it affects more than one layer before subsiding.

“Warping” does seem to be a better description.

Very useful post. The parts appear to be more clear on the Form 3 but there are issues with shift lines that could be a problem for some users.

I would like to print a small fluid reservoir (50mm height, 50 mm diameter) in clear resin on the Form 3. Can anyone on this forum do this? I will pay for the part and shipping.

yo puedo

Since my original post, Formlabs has released several software and firmware updates. Sifting through the release notes, I tallied improvements for:

Black: 25μm, 50μm (twice), 100μm
White: 50μm, 100μm
Tough V5: 50μm, 100μm
Dental Model: 100μm
Castable Wax: 50μm
Grey: 100μm (especially small features)

So I decided to do some fresh comparisons in Black. The items below were all printed at the same time at 50μm, using firmware rc-1.5.17-573 on the Form 3 and 1.19.15 on the Form 2, with Preform 3.4.5, and default support settings for each printer. They were cured for ~30 mins at 60°C in the Form Cure.

One thing I noticed right off the bat is Black prints seem a little overcured on the Form 3. They were very difficult to remove from the build platform, and in most cases the raft cracked, leaving bits stuck to the platform. We really need a way to adjust build platform adhesion on the Form 3. You can also see the exposure difference on the surface texture.

The really good news is, any rippling or shifting artifacts seem all but gone. The only place I noticed any, was in the front-right corner of the box on the last photo, and it was extremely faint.

I was encouraged by this, and re-ran a few of the original prints in Clear (again, at 50μm, but I updated the Form 3 firmware to 1.6.2 in between this print and the last run). Note all of the prints below are from the Form 3:

The rippling seems a little better, but is definitely still present for Clear. I hope Formlabs is close to releasing a Preform update targeting Clear, with similar fine tuning as Black and other resins have received. I’ll try again once I see that.


Thanks for the tests - without side by side its hard to tell, but it looks like the ripples are less deep?

Still very obvious but a bit shallower?

I think that’s a fair description, yes.

I posted a detailed, side-by-side of @larsenstephen’s ship model in Black V4 here:

Here are some quick photos of a 25μm print in Black v4. Sorry for the dust (it’s been a few days since I washed these) and subpar photography. The results parallel what I’ve seen at 50μm and 100μm and are barely distinguishable. Form 3 is on the right.

We’ve been using a Form 2 for the past 3 years now and had our fair share of problems. When we can get it to print, it does produce a nice quality part. Although, now it takes upwards of 3 hours to heat up before we’re able to start the print job.

We are thinking about switching to a Form 3 but are curious if they’ve solved a lot of the reliability issues.

What do you say? Switch to Form 3, yay or nay??

Does it time out and require you to restart the job a few times?

My heater is taking an hour lately and I thought that’s a long time.

That’s a tough one. If I could rewind backward I’d probably just keep my Form 2 and wait for a Form 4. But the story isn’t over yet - Formlabs really has made tremendous progress tuning the resins, and part of my decision to buy the Form 3 was anticipation that new resin formulations and features would only be introduced on the new platform going forward. We’ll see how that plays out over the next year or two.

Do NOT bother. Form 3 is not ready for BETA even today. I havent had an acceptable print YET.

However if you lower your standards to accept that the Formlabs advertised performance/function and quality wont be met, then you`ll LOVE the Form 3.

1 Like

One thing I was thinking - I will not be surprised if the Form 4 does NOT use the flexible trays or the Low Force “tech”.

1 Like

Form 2 by much