Form1+ laser flare issues illustrated - pics and video

So if that helped, what was the main reason that you sold off your form1+ ?

FormLabs support threatened my warranty if I used it, then they promised me a printer with a perfect laser spot, but sent me another printer that had a WORSE flare. Then said I had to live with it.

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What about the focus?
What about alignment issues?
People dropping the projector or spilling resin onto it?
Heating issues?
Non-uniformity of the illumination?

Exactly, i’m just saying it’s not as much of a move forward as it might seem.

I solved all those too, but let’s not discuss it here Ante.

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@Monger_Designs from what I could see of @JoshK’s (effective) design the difficulty was that it required precise and very fragile manual positioning - that could easily be disrupted. Presumably he wasn’t prepared to go through the same process more than once - given that FL were committed to voiding his warranty.

It really wasn’t so bad to position the choke, it’s just that I determined the Form1+ had design flaws and FormLabs support was ignorant.

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I have a feeling formlabs is in the process of designing something like that themselves. They still would not allow people to install it themselves even if that was the case.

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I agree Monger.

Positioning an iris is an issue if you’re not the person designing the printer or if it’s DIY.
I had to shim the iris with strips of paper (on top of adjusting the position with set screws) on my DIY printer to get it centered over the lens, for example. Plus, that’s with a cheap, variable aperture iris.

With a fixed aperture and when you’re in full control of the production process, it should be easy peasy.

I’m getting the feel Formlabs are adamant at treating the laser as a black box, perhaps due to some agreement with the OEM of the laser module. Of course i can’t claim this with any certainty, but reading between the lines, it would seem they don’t even open the laser to adjust the optics (i.e. focus / collimation) - they just pop the laser in there, adjust the distance and calibrate the galvo drivers.

That’s the wrong way about it, IMHO. Clean, properly focused and collimated laser profile should be the FIRST thing in the chain. Relying on scanning speed and resin curing profile to fix issues with the beam should be the LAST thing you do.

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@JoshK I have never heard of a “Laser Choke” but I am assuming this is bleeding off the unwanted energy around the beam. The response you got from FL makes me wonder. Was their concern about reflections back into the laser or did they just feel propriety about a user changing “their device”?

Am I to understand that this was at the end of the Form1 laser failure days and that FormLabs released the Form1+ already knowing about this type of issue?

@Ante_Vukorepa You are correct about the laser module being the first thing in the chain. I also find the scanning speed vs curing profile dubious.

FormLabs has never seen my design, so they made no comments. I would have shared if they cooperated. I first announced the laser light choke here: (22 days ago)

At the risk of going way way offtopic, here’s what my DIY’s iris and beam profile look like.
Granted, my optical path is order of magnitude simpler (no galvos, no mirrors), but hey - i’m a single guy playing with 3D printed parts from open source STL files. If i can make the effort to clean up the beam profile and do so, i’d trust Formlabs, with the brains and resources at their disposal can too :smile:

(NOTE for people skimming the thread: THESE ARE NOT FROM FORM1 or FORM1+)

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this has been their approach throughout, which I have railed against at any opportunity, especially given what I regard as the F1’s pure&beautiful design. I remain optimistic about us (not FL) coming up with an easily repeatable (I implicitly trust @JoshK’s results given our conversations) iris/aperture/choke.

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My senior engineer just commented that what they need is something like a spatial filter

or a pinhole. He knows more about optics than me.

@JoshK - Hey, I thought you sold your printer already. Did you have more than one?

he can’t help it, he still cares - thankfully for us.

I am gutted that @JoshK is leaving - long may he stay…

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Those pictures are from almost a month ago. Rather unrelated, but yea I did the program where you pay $2035 for FormLabs to send the replacement printer before they get the old one. So the day I decided to sell I had TWO Form1+'s on my desk with the same laser flare issue at the same time. And support giving me BS.

Yea I’m still here.
FormLabs engineers probably enjoy my posts and FormLabs sales and support probably had a fundraiser to push my eBay add over the reserve price and get rid of me. :slight_smile: (I think the reserve-winning bid came from California, driving distance from FormLabs. haha. Probably a coincidence.)
But I do like to help everyone!

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Hi all,

As well as the how too run the Laser Spot Test video I’ve created a paper template that we can download and print / record out test results on.

It can all be found on YouMagine if anyone would like to try it - LINK

Happy laser spot testing all :wink:

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