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Form 3L Issues


The tare of the cartridges kind of works.
I was alerted that one of the cartridges was empty just before a print was over and again when starting a new one. It still had a bit left of resin (10 to 20 ml) so not exactly empty but it was a very approximate guessing.

One thing I noted both on all Form 3 and the 3L was that after the last firmware update all of them started reporting that they weren’t leveled and kind of intermittently. The desks are screwed to all walls which prevents them to tilt in any axis so something changed there as well. After leveling them again (and it wasn’t just a bit) it didn’t ask for it again since.


I put a Nest indoor camera outside my 3L, on the convenient ledge at the back. From that ledge you can look down a bit into the tank as well as across most (but not all) of the build plate. It’s pretty good and requires zero maintenance. With long print prep times and very long print times (48+ hours is pretty normal for the parts I print) it is invaluable. Also, you can create cool time-lapse videos.


Cool! I just bought a cheap TP-Link camera and will try setting it up sometime.


Well, I thought the last post was going to be the end of our origami saga…unfortunately, the replacement tank also became a master of the folding art after 50 years of Zen meditation, 3 weeks in the printer, and 220 hours of 10L+ Rigid10K. The wrinkles were so massive on both sides near the mixer it caused the wiper to detach partially, and the wiper was almost crushed through the tank by the build plate as it came down. Luckily we had eyes on the thing and got the lid open in time before pushing it into place manually.

Please take a look before the prints starts incase your origami machine also decides the next shape on the list is resin jacuzzi…


Oh man George that sucks! I have not touched mine since the latest update.

You would think that they would have this tank issue resolved by now!


Did you say the build plate kept coming down even though the wiper had popped off? You would think the machine would detect the wiper detachment and stop. Might be a good one to report to Support as a bug, could save someone wrecking their machine if that’s the case.


Told support right away once we saw what could happen.

The machine does in fact detect wiper detachment (as we later tried), so if its fully detached and not detected at the end of the tank I’m pretty sure it would have stopped before even lowering the build plate.

However, the issue in this case was that the wiper was not entirely detached, but partially so. Since the wiper does NOT touch the sides (where the detection happens) once it starts lowering the build plate, what happened here is that the wrinkles were so big it basically pushed one side of the wiper off and up towards the build plate as the wiper was returning from the final wiping run (barely visible under the resin)

Since there’s not much clearance between where the wiper is parking and where the build plate is, that bit of difference had a little part of the wiper under the build plate…and it looked like it could have been quite the disaster. (Maybe it would have floated away with the resin as the plate came down, or maybe it would have done another detection cycle at the end, but based on how immediate the build plate typically gets shoved down after the final wiping run…that wasn’t something we were ready to find out)

Definitely reminded me of the my previous form 2 disasters where the machine pressed detached parts on through the tank, unglued the tank bottom, and coated the entire optical window…


Well in my eyes Formlabs needs to completely redesign these tanks or recall the machines. The tanks issues are not going away and since there go to is to send out new tanks by the hundreds it might be time to say that this thing is a huge lemon.

Like i said every time you start it up you risk major issues. I’d also suggest Formlabs issue another year of pro support for this thing to all who purchased it!


I think we can be sure they’re working hard on the tank issue and that it’s prioritized. Their beancounters can’t be happy with how much it’s costing them to keep sending out replacements.


Firmware v1.6.6 for the 3L was just released:

  • Improved tank lifetime display
  • Improved print reliability
  • Various bug fixes


The “Improved tank lifetime display” seems to be only to NOT show the date of tanks from 1970.
Had one sitting on the 3L which now reads:

  • Days with resin: 0/75
  • Hours printed: 239/250

The last value should be real but obviously the first one isn’t. Either they screw up or they reset it once the printer detects one of those bad thanks. All fine by me but the correct way for any programmer would be to set the date to the first print when it was from last century. Oh well…

Edit: the dashboard still shows the correct numbers even after a logout / login:

  • First Fill Date: 01/01/1970
  • Days used: 18815

That’s complicating a problem with additional discrepancies in an attempt to hide it.



Mine is now showing the correct fill date through the dashboard but the days used reads 0.

On the machine itself days with Resin reads 0 and hours printed 61.

But no 1970 anymore…lol


Yesterday, I received an E-mail that Formlabs has shipped me a pre-relese V2 resin tank. “This tank has a new design that reduces the likelihood of the film wrinkling issue which causes print failures or defects”. “If validation continues to be successful, we expect to launch this product in late summer.”

I’ll post pictures of the V2 tank when it arrives. My experience with V1 tanks was that only 2 in 5 worked… and one of those only worked for a little while before developing a massive wrinkle. Hopefully the V2 tanks do better.


End of summer is actually good news if they can deliver them by then.
I can’t complain much about tanks. Other than the 1970 date I only had one in around 20 that had bumps so high that the mixer wouldn’t go through.
Print quality has been amazing in Rigid 4000 which is the only I’ve been using for the past 6 or 7 weeks. The others had mixed results for me (probably due to the bad tanks) so I gave them a break until things settle. Probably the V2 will fix every major flaws the current ones have but please do share how that prototype worked for you.


This is what we are waiting for and good news too.
We knew that these V1 version have some problems.
Thank you for letting us know.


I also received the email and a shipping notification of the new tank this morning. Should have it by early next week.


I received a V2 tank today. They have added a channel along the edge of the flexible membrane. The edges of the flexible membrane are prone to wrinkling, and I suspect that the channel will add some stiffness there. It might also act like a spring, and keep the rest of the membrain under more tension.


I also just noticed that another V1 tank died, just from sitting in the machine. It appears to have sagged under the weight of resin, and developed a nasty wrinkle at the edge. Hopefully, this won’t happen to the V2 tanks, but I might avoid storing tanks inside the printer when not in use.


And that’s all that was changed?
Btw, the photo doesn’t show (here at least).