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Form 3L Issues


I’ve had my 3L since January. I’ve printed both Rigid 10k and Tough 2000 successfully. Most of my parts cross the laser seam-line. I have printed a few parts that covered the full extent in all dimensions. My largest print so far was 2993 layers in Tough 2000 that took 51 hours to print (result was fantastic).

Though it’s best to contact support if you’re having issues, one thing you can look at if you’re seeing intermittent failures is the optical window in the LPU. There are instructions on the FL site for checking this for smudges or anything that might scatter the laser, it’s pretty easy to do.


Hi Titon,
I will also receive my replacement today or monday. It’s fast and I appreciate that too.
I second all you mentioned in your reply. I also have my Form 2 working beside the 3L.
I am confident that FL will help us to resolve all the problems occured.
Hi Pankl_3D,
Thank you for your reply about the LPU versus Tough 2k. I appreciate knowing that.
Because I need the Tough 2000 working. It’s the most interesting resin for engineering parts, in my opinion.
Hi Steven_Hines,
Good to know. Thanks. Of course, yes, we have contacted support for this issues. Yes, I also have already check the optical window in the LPU. Note that all the issue I am getting is with the Front LPU + Tough 2000 resin. the other resins are ok for now.


Ok, unfortunate. I hope you get it working quickly, it’s quite a remarkable machine when it is running well.


Steven Hines, glad to hear your having great success. I would like to print in Tough 1500 but waiting to make sure that I can get the standard grey to print first since that’s the most economical to print with.

I have not looked at the optical window to see if there is a smudge of any type. I guess I never thought about it since the machine is only a week old. But I will check that when I replace the tank this weekend.


Hi guys, I have messaged a few people but i’ll ask here too.

Does anyone have the form 3L test file that Billucas ran in this post? Formlabs was supposed to send it to me but I never got it. I received my new tanks and would like to run the test before attempting anything else.

If someone is willing to share i would appreciate it.


Edit: Thanks to Billucas i have the optics test file…much appreciated!


Thanks to Billucas sending me the optics test I was successfully able to print after changing out the tank. There is obviously a serious issue with these tanks. Printed in standard Grey turned out great. Surface quality still superior on my Form 2 but I would imagine that will change once the firmware is updated to handle .5 micron or better.


Yeah, hopefully they manage to get it all at .5 as soon as possible.
I’ve been doing tests with Model resin (one that prints at .5) and they’ve been great.
The only downside is the long waiting time but we can’t have it all.

Here’s today’s test (random mini baskets from public STLs) which don’t have lots of details but it does show how good Model works and how a 50 setting does shine on the 3L as compared to the usual 100. Not washed, straight out of the printer so still too much resin in there.


Those look awesome! Wish the .5 was here!


We’ll get there eventually.
For now only the Model resin can do .5 (and only .5) on the 3L. All others are at 100 and the draft can go up to 200.


Just some photos after a quick wash & cure.

I think they’re the same quality as if they had been printed on a Form 3 at the same definition, I really can’t see a difference.
This means the 3L, besides some quirks that definitely need to be ironed out, can really get us a Form 3 quality in a much larger volume.

One just needs to be patient and hope all gets fixed as soon as possible.


It’s a good machine. I have been printing all day with it now since i swapped out the resin tank. Been working flawlessly since.

I just got to get used to using it differently than my form 2 and orientation.


You are right. I am also thinking that. Your parts are looking good. Thank you for sharing us.

How is it differently oriented than the Form 2? I would appreciate to know, please? I did not thought about that.
Do you see a difference between the support touching points of the Form 2 and the 3L?

I am also curious how you guys are planning to wash and cure your Big Parts, that can’t be put in the Form Wash and Form Cure? Did someone tried TPM instead of IPA? Because I bought an Ultrasonic cleaner… I will not put IPA inthat for sure, but maybe TPM, or maybe Mean Green?


With the low force technology setting up the prints like the form 2 doesn’t necessarily need to happen. I did the latest print setup to use the form 2 layout but I believe you can orient prints on the 3l that doesn’t have to follow the angle concept suggested for the form 2.

The supports come off much easier. Depending on the size of the print I have already reduced the point size down to .35 and it came out great and very easy to remove. What i am seeing is preform over compensating because of the larger print size so editing your supports is a must. Especially when printing something smaller.

Curing will require the sun at the moment until I can rig up a larger chamber of some kind. Using the tank Sent with the machine to wash the parts.


I went with Meccatronicore’s BB Cleaner XL and BB Cure XL along with Elma’s P300H.
The Cure XL arrived today (after over a month’s wait) and it looks great. Solid, lots of space and it even comes with FormLabs’ materials predefined (reset so that we can add our own settings which they also have recommendations for). Here’s the “White” example:

I’m still waiting for the BB Cleaner XL (should arrive in 2~4 weeks) and also the Elma Supersonic P300H to arrive.
I’ll use the Supersonic for the initial clean. They have a FormLabs compatible kit with the tub for the TPM and other things and the P300 does have sweep mode and an optional 80kHz mode which should result in an amazing cleanup. After the initial TPM ultrasonic cleanup it goes into an IPA bath (or water, still to be decided because 40L of IPA is quite too much to handle) and then cure it.


Sorry to jump so late into the discussion here but I’ve had my 3BL since January and I’m still working since then to qualify it with T2000. You might find it in some forums, but the 3L and 3BL are half baked and it’s a real mix of people that have had either great success or massive failures. I’ve had more than enough failures and I’ll share what I’ve learned from my few months navigating Tech Support.

  1. The tech support team for the 3L/3BL is not the same teams as the Form3’s. They are highly trained and this team is working directly with the engineers, which is nice, but they are severely understaffed for the amount of issues that are cropping up.

  2. The 3L/3BL’s have a known Tray issue where the bottom material prematurely stretches and sags. The service team will send you unlimited trays if you keep having issues with them and this failure typically shows up within the first one or two prints and only gets worse. For me, it was the wiper side, front LPU which seemed to show the worst quality/failure and got better the farther away from the wiper it got, but a few free trays later seems to have pointed pretty clearly to defective trays. Form is still not sure how many bad trays exist in the wild and more importantly, they are not sure why.

  3. The 3L/3BL resin tank indicator is pure crap and I’ve brought it to their attention many times but with no solution on the horizon. Before each run, I take out each cartridge and squeeze the bite valve to make sure it’s not stuck, but their estimation of resin flow is way off. Currently I have am showing a near empty cartridge of T2000, but I visually took off the cap and it’s still about 2/3rds full.

  4. The 3L/3BLs really struggle with slim and long profile parts on the platform. I see in one of the images a part that is very similar to what we print here where it’s only about 20mm x 30mm wide, but 250mm tall. The 3BL doesn’t seem to like it and we get layer shifts along the path, especially when you only want to do one or two. What we’ve been told by Form is that better quality happens with these long/slim profile parts when you fully stack the build plate (20-40 parts) with them rather than the ones or twos. I have not done a singular massive print yet, but rather many smaller duplicates and I get a mixed bag of quality across the build plate. I think a singular massive print works better from other 3L owners that have posted pictures, likely due to less variation in flex across the tray.

  5. The wash station provided with the 3L is pure garbage. A commercial kitchen vegetable steamer basket. I’ve been told that it’ll be Q2 before we get access to the proper wash station that should have been provided.

Lot’s of little quirks for sure and I’m just as hopeful as every other 3L/3BL owner that they can get this figured out pretty quickly.


Oh yeah, one other pet peeve is the fact that T2000 sticks ridiculously hard to the 3L build platform. I’m on the cusp of having to buy a new build platform because I left several prints on it over a weekend and had to use a chisel and mallet to get the parts off. Damaged the parts and nicked the platform all over. I don’t have any of these issues with the Form 3’s. Same resin, same LPU’s but they must turn up the juice on those lasers to get through the thicker tray film.

I see others work with heat guns and IPA to break it loose and that’s something on my horizon.

Okay… that’s enough from me today…


Thank you for your valuable input @jdubose
I (and I think pretty much anyone else) can agree with the wash station’s inutility. The only part I use from it is the tray which is good enough to dry prints and do some work on it but everything else I have never used because I reckon it would bring me more stress than relief.

Regarding the Tough 2000, that was actually the first material I tried out and I did find it to be the second easiest one to remove of the build plate. I printed quite a few times with it and it always comes away nicely. One or two bits may give me a harder time but nothing that would last a full minute. My experience comes from a range of attempting to remove it right after the print ended to about 48 hours later. And this is why we’re sharing experiences because what to some is easy / good, to others it’s a pain / terrible so we’re simply gathering tips and warnings to what we can or not expect BUT, in the end, it may turn out to be different from unit to unit. While I do assume all resins are the same, the failures in the LPUs and / or resin trays may contribute to all this randomness but perhaps there’s something else in the mix that we don’t know about.

I did have the same issue with the build plate you mentioned but with the White resin. It was almost impossible to get out as if it was really glued to it. Again, didn’t happen with Tough 2000 but the end result was the same you got. Coincidently or not, that only test using the White resin also was the only one were most parts didn’t print properly so I’m assuming that a bad tank could be the cause for both our experiences especially because the two resins are worlds apart but this is only a guess, I really have no idea.

Still haven’t tried any slim and / or long profile but I’m sure to share what I get once I have the need for such a part. I still haven’t got to actual large parts simply because I’m still waiting for the ordered wash stations and I refuse to use the kitchen appliances we got.

Yes, the resin indicator is off most of the times. What you reported happened to me but the other way around: It stated I had half a cartridge (on each) of Tough 2000 but they were actually empty and I had a print sitting there for hours halfway simply because the printer was trying to fill the tank. No errors or anything, just an endless loop of trying to fill.

Best of luck and again thank you for your detailed input on your experience.


Here a brand new tank replacement received today. Please see day used and First Fill Date!
Right after inserting the new tank for the first time : . “The tank has reached the end of its recommended lifetime… “



Filling a tank years before getting manufactured… Inception, Back to the Future or a glitch in the Matrix?

On a more serious note that’s set to the Unix epoch (default initial date) which, regardless of the date, shouldn’t have happened as it was never filled. Probably resetting the tank will do the trick?
I had one brand new Form 3 tank, purchased directly from FormLabs’ website, that came as “used” and assigned to a different resin (can’t remember which). All was sealed as always so it was glitch. I reset it and all went fine.

Btw, that tank’s LOT# is almost 2 months after the one I did the Model resin tests with and the tank I had issues with White resin is only 2 days before the Model one. I’m just trying to figure out if by the manufacture date we can get some idea of which batch (or period) of tanks went wrong.
I purchased 15 in one go when I got the printer so mine are all 2 days apart but one failed so this might confirm that there’s really no way to know.

Anyway, please keep us posted as always!


Wow that’s crazy! When i removed the first tank i used the bottom material was sagging greatly. Since replacing the tank i have had good results with smaller prints. I have not attempted a larger print and possibly might not until some of these issues are resolved.

If it continues Formlabs could have a major issue on it’s hands especially with the cost of these machines being so expensive. They could have a serious lemon on there hands and will have to do some kick back of money to the end users before it’s all over.

Guess i should have waited but here’s hoping that it is resolved quick.