Form 3L not initializing

Hi, my form 3L when powered on comes up with the logo on the screen with the loading bar bellow it the fan comes on but it stays in this state. It does not start initializing. I have been in touch and was told to try a factory reset. I did this and it stated that it had completed factory reset but stayed in that mode. I turned it of and on to see if the problem had gone away but it hasn’t. Form have now said that it is probably the motherboard which is a non replaceable part and that it can’t be fixed. The machine is only 2 years old. Has anyone else had this issue?

I don’t know about the specific problem, but speaking as someone who repairs electronics, the parts must be available to be fitted in the first place for manufacture so they ought to be available for replacement!

How hard can it be for Form Labs to have the factory have spares available, or a board exchange programme for non-damage related hardware (or firmware) failure?! Ok the printer identity would need to be programmed in but this should be a non-issue.

To write off the entire hardware for what could probably be a single board-level component failure is utterly insane!

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So in other words, a Formlabs product has a lifetime of 2 years basically. That´s troubling to say the least. I wonder if that policy applies to all of their machines.

I must admit that I am shocked by this service
“As in the previous email said, there is unfortunately nothing we can do to repair this printer.”
That machine is in perfect condition and to just through it away seems madness

This is indeed troubling, especially when it’s one of the very expensive machines we are talking about.

I have some thoughts on this, but will hold back as to not turn this into a rant.

Please rant away, I’m furious! I am even an ambassador to Form having given up spare time to do webinars and promoting the company

Ouch… seems like some people at Formlabs are dropping the ball and either the higher ups don’t know or worse, don’t care.

Do you happen to be in the United States and know about the Right to Repair? You may be able to get that motherboard, but they may make it super hard/expensive to do so

No I’m in Scotland. I think it will be a case of being a custom made board that only they have access too

Hi @SteveB,

Thank you for getting in touch about this. We are actually working on making the circuit board in question a user-replaceable part (not the exactly the motherboard, but another circuit board mounted on the motherboard). We are still a number of months out from being able to offer this as an option. I recognize that this may not necessarily help in this case, especially if time is of the essence, but I wanted to let you know in case waiting for this replacement would be an option for you. The alternate and more immediate solution would be to go ahead with a printer replacement.

Many companies have a full set of spares available for direct purchase throught their online store, no need to ask the support first.
Like prusa 3d printers were you can find spare parts everywhere.

Let me buy the part and it’s up to me how to fit it in the machine.

Also most devices have external power supplies because there are the most common to fail and are easy to replace. Recently I got a new power supply for my Ultimaker 3 printer (80 euros). If this happened to my Form3 I would have to buy a new printer (5000 euros). Am I right?

PS: Don’t take it personal, all of my comments refer to the company.

Hi @agiorgitis,

Thanks for reaching out, and I appreciate the PS. We do have a limited selection of replacement parts available on our web store, but I certainly hear where you are coming from. In case of a power supply failure, since this is not a user-replaceable part on the Form 3, the printer would need to be replaced. The cost for doing so would be significantly less than the cost of a new printer, although I do not know the exact price in euros. I understand that your question is hypothetical, but in case you do wish to know the exact pricing, EU Support would be able to provide further detail on this.

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Just having the same problem with my Form 3. Gone through support. They had me try reseating the flex cable and that was it. Didn’t work and the next contact was like, well you gotta spend another small fortune to replace the whole printer. Not even a mention of what the issue could be. From here on the forum I see possibly the motherboard. Definitely disappointing and very hard for my small business that invested in the printer in the first place. Feels like a huge over sight by Formlabs not to be able to fix or have spare parts. Will have to think long an hard before spending more money with them.