Form2 Open Mode

So I received my Form2 finally, last friday. But they shipped the resin separately and it’s still in transit. So I decided I’d use some Tough I had for (but could never get to print) my Form1+ and “Open Mode”, just pouring the resin in like for the Form1. Old school.

The good news is, the printer prints flawlessly even without a heater and wiper. But… Truly “Open” would let me use these features with alternate resins as well as just the basic printer functionality. Or in this case, with a Liter of Tough I bought many months ago but could never make work.

“Open” is really more “ajar” than truly open. If the heater and the wiper could be enabled optionally in Open mode, it would be truly “Open”.


I agree with you. Open mode is quite limited.
Why can not I “open mode” use resin v.1?
Several companies have created the recipe for formlabs resin v.1 and not v.2.
Prices for these alternative resins are up to 4 times cheaper (incl. Transport)

Perhaps we could ask for that feature to be added to Open Mode as an enhancement. Its obviously just a Firmware/Software tweak.

I think if that was the case I might buy one!

The reason why those features are disabled is because they don’t know what the behavior of the resin might be, with the wiper you wouldn’t want it to splash the resin around the printer.

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True but if there was the option to turn the wiper on or off you could make sure it was turned off for resins that are more runny than the Formlabs one. If however the resin you were trying to use had a similar viscosity then it would be worth the wiper being enabled. There are some properly elastic resins out there I would like to try and Formlabs don’t make a true elastic resin. Being able to experiment with other resins would be very useful and something that might help Formlabs develop their next generation of materials and printers. A big warning about using other resins and possibly saying to do so invalidates the warranty. Similarly a thermostat on the heater that went from off to 35 Degrees and could be set anywhere in between would be really good.

“Open” mode shouldn’t mean “Protect me from my own mistakes”. It should mean “I understand I am experimenting at my own risk, let me do what I want”.

As a long-time software engineer and engineering manager, I think I can say that the “Enable Open Mode” setting screen could easily include a field allowing users to set the wiper speed and the heater temp. “0” means “Off”. How tough could it be? The wiper and heater functions are already there, and are presumably being programmed to different values as a function of the resin you specify in non-Open mode. All that’s needed for Open mode to use them is a little code to accept user input for these settings instead of using pre-programmed settings.

“Idiot proofing” as a justification for limiting the functionality is IMO severely flawed. As the saying goes “build a system that even an idiot can use, and only an idiot will want to use it”.

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So who is willing to write this recommendation directly to Formlabs. Let s vote. I think that a lot of owners of Form 2 wants to use a resin other companies.
Thank you

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Well put Randy!

I’d be willing to purchase an “Open Cartridge” that would allow for auto-refilling and an truly “Open Mode”. IF, I could use reuse the cartridge as much as I wanted. I don’t mind paying an additional fee to balance the loss of material sales, as long as it is a one time fee, and is on onerous.

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You can refill a cartridge, right? So for example, if I had a 3rd party resin that used the Clear 2 power level, I could put that through a Clear 2 cartridge (after using or decanting the original resin) couldn’t I?

I haven’t read up on all the details of how the cartridge system works yet…

You can reuse a cartridge, it only checks how much resin is in the tray, not how much is in the cartridge. You would I think have to use a cartridge that uses the material settings that you want, since it checks the type of resin that the cartridge says it is.

Thanks for all the input about Open Mode. It’s a super new option, and something we’d love to continue improving. From the conversation here, there are two risks to understand for cartridges in open mode. Given that we don’t want any printers flooded with resin, we wanted to point these out for anyone exploring Open Mode:

  1. So far, the valves that are used to release resin from the cartridge bottom are only tested to successfully dispense one liter of resin. Given the limits of this testing, we do not advise refilling a cartridge; overuse may break the valve.
  2. Our print settings account for the resin’s viscosity. For a non-Formlabs resin in a Formlabs cartridge, the flow rate of resin may be too high or low to fill and not overfill the tank, so keep this in mind before skipping Open Mode for other resins.

We’re looking forward to more options for Open Mode, so please keep the ideas and explanations of your plans for Open Mode flowing. Be sure to also check out what we’ve written about using Open Mode.

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Hi Stephen,

Thanks for the information and warnings when refilling cartridges. I have two suggestions. 1. If you are concerned that the standard cartridge valve may not be robust enough to cope with refilling. How about you manufacture an “open cartridge” this would be designed for re-use and supplied empty. Obviously the valve would be more robust to cope with re-use. 2. The cartridge chip could enable an open mode option where the user is asked to enter the resins characteristics including viscosity. The parameter would then be used to adjust the timing on the valve opening to compensate for more and less viscous resins and prevent tank under filling or overflow. It would also set the wiper speed and lastly the temperature could also be user set.
I have ordered a Form 2 and I am eagerly awaiting its arrival. If there was one thing that concerned me it was the lack of a truly open mode. The above would dispel most of my reservations.


You could sell extra valves, it’s just a rubber thing that’s easily removed and replaced

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So the tank fill operation is accomplished via a timed valve opening, it is not actually metered? If I put a new bottle of resin in to a machine that already had some resin in its tank, the first fill of the tank could overflow?

I’ve been pouring Tough from a bottle I bought for my Form1 in to the resin tank of my Form2 because the resin I ordered with my Form2 didn’t ship the same day as the printer (which I might add, kind of annoyed me). Now it finally arrived, I have the Form2 resin bottle installed but there is still resin in the tank from my prior manual fill. Is the printer going to auto-overfill the resin tank when I kick off my next print?

I am a little confused about open mode.

I understand FL wanting to disable the heater and wiper for resins that they do not manufacturer. Maybe they will open up options to support other resins one day. The part I do not actually understand is: There seem to be many customers that have a 1 (and or a 1+) and a 2. That means there many of these customers have bottled resin that is completely compatibly with both (technically all 3) machines. Why can’t FL enable the wiper and heater for the FL resin that is bottled where the actual cartridge for the 2 is not being used. I do not have a 2 (yet) but I could see myself having an issue deciding which format to purchase my resin in. If I only need a small amount of flexible or castable resin. I would not want to waste money purchasing a full liter of resin I might not use up over a year but would want the full printable benefits of the wiper and heater. Since I remember seeing something saying that “open” mode has degraded performance, why should we be penalized for using up our older resin or when we purchased a smaller amount of fully compatible resin that happens to come in a different container. I may have to fill the vat more often as I am sure the working resin level is lower in cartridge mode to limit splashing but being able to use the machine to its fullest potential is the whole point of the machine. Does this mean that I should start purchasing all my resin in cartridge form so when I get a 2 I won’t have this problem? Maybe all resin should just be sold in cartridge form.


Yes, that’s currently the case–if you have the resin bottles the only way to use it is Open Mode even though the resin is the same–since it’s not in a cartridge.

I think that resin v1 is not the same composition as the resin v.2.
Why have Preform for each resin other settings ? Form 1 have not the same power of laser like Form 2… See appendix.

is that because the Form 2 has a more powerful laser?