Form 3L disappointing performances

Hi Everyone,

We’ve had a Form 3L in our office for about a year now. Previously, we owned a Form 2 which provided us with very good results for approximately 5 years. We replaced it with a Form 3+ which has also been satisfying so far.

However, our experience with the Form 3L has unfortunately been inconsistent from the beginning. Unlike the reliable performance of the Form 2 and Form 3+, the Form 3L has consistently failed about half of our prints (we had pretty much all kind of failures). We invested in it hoping to print bigger objects and/or more objects at once, but it has not met our expectations and we end up wasting a lot of time and material.

We exclusively use clear V4 resin and meticulously follow the printer’s maintenance recommendations. Up until now, we’ve been using the “Tank V2” and have recently replaced it with a V3.2, although we have not tested it yet. (Unfortunately, it is difficult for us to share any photos or files of our prints due to confidentiality reasons).

Has anyone else encountered similar issues? Given that the Form 3L appears to be more prone to failures than the Form 3+, what precautions, best practices, or settings should we consider to ensure more successful prints?

Or do you believe our printer may be malfunctioning and require repair or replacement?

We appreciate any insights or suggestions you can provide. At this juncture, we are open to any ideas that could help improve our situation.

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I will say that my experience is exactly opposite of yours. I have 3 Form 3Ls printing pretty much nonstop, 24/7 for the last 3 months. And we’re using black, which is way more difficult than clear.

I’m curious about “…replaced it with a v3.2 although we have not tested it yet.” The V3 tanks reduce failures by something like 60%. Weird that you wouldn’t have tested that before posting this.

I will say that getting our black parts to print well took a lot of work on the front end ensuring these parts were well suited to printing. Had a lot of failures attributable to the model and not the printers. Once those were resolved, we have had zero issues.

Otoh, My 2 Form 3s have continued to have problems printing these black parts. Everything else prints fine. Just not black.

Hi SteamFactory

Thank you for sharing your experience.
Yes, we noticed in the past how difficult any pigmented resin is to use and therefore decided to use only the clear one.

It could be of course that the preparation of our model is not suitable.
But we noticed that the 3L could fail with a 3d model that the 3+ would print without any problem.

For instance, we tried recently to print four (1/4 scale) identical car rims at once with the 3L and all 4 pieces failed.
We used exactly the same 3d model (same orientation in space) and gave it to the 3+ to print (but one by one) and it went well.

We haven’t tried the tank V3 yet because we decided to pause any print for our 3L, seeing how much failure we got recently, we decided we needed to investigate first before wasting any more material.
(Also, a 60% decrease in failure would be a huge improvement, we would definitively take it. But in our case, it woul still mean about 1 out of 5 jobs would still fail). So let’s see…

I will keep this Post updated with the (hopefully positive) result with the new version of the tank.

Thank you again for your answer !

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Thanks for the response. There does seem to be a bit of voodoo in this biz. You may try sending the .form file to Formlabs and see if they have any luck with it, though in my case, they didn’t fare any better.

All I know is my 3Ls work great with models that my 3+ machines struggle with. In my case, it could be that the models use pretty much the entire build platform on the 3+. Edge ‘parallax’ was an issue on Form 2s but I assumed that’s no longer an issue on Form 3s with LPU.

Definitely keep us posted.