Form3 evaluation

I heard from the engineering team to add more support.For goodness sake I dont think they even looked at my post.Completely unacceptable response which leads me to believe they have no idea how to fix this.I asked them specifically to have the engineering team take my preform file and orient it and add supports to show me a perfect print and they ignored my request.If you look at the boxes where on earth could you even add supports.The model is failing at the point where there is the most number of supports .How would adding more supports-even if you could find somewhere to put them-actually make any difference.I already did a pritn where I added as many supports as I could and got the same result and I did a pritn with fewer supports and got the same result.Why do I have to waste even more resin to prove to them something I already know?

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If anyone’s interested, I tried the box upside down directly on the build platform (with a vent in one of the sidewalls to avoid cupping). Here’s the form file.

More photos and details are on my Faceoff thread. Let me know if any of you try it as well.

Excellent.So your results confirm mine.With zero supports the form3 actually does better with boxes than with supports. And yet the recommendation from Formlabs was to add more supports? Of course there is a very simple solution here.lets have the Formlabs engineering team take the files we have all posted on the forum and orient them and add supports to prove to us the problem is related to supports and orientation.They can then post the files on the forum and we can print them. I simply cant understand the reason why this has not already been done.Formlabs is asking users with ZERO experience of using the Form3 to know how to orient and support parts when it is pretty clear that our experience with orienting and supporting on the Form2 is of no benefit . The alternative is for us to keep fumbling around and wasting time and resin and continue posting failed prints.I cant believe that is in any way good for the sales of the form3.

That’s normal, the Form 3 tank is huge, volume-wise, and fits about 500ml from what i’ve seen.
Once you’re down to 500ml, the cartridge is empty.

You can just dismiss the message and continue printing (unlike on Form 2).

That makes perfect sense because when I swapped out the cartridge at the direction of formlabs support the cartridge I took out felt empty even though I had only used about 500ml of resin.


@darbyvet The direct-on-base print still wasn’t perfect. There was some rippling on the sides - see the additional pictures in my link. The Form 2 had one severe layer shift partway up, while the Form 3 had less severe artifacts (mostly localized ripples) scattered along the walls.

I tried the direct-on-base print because I recall it mitigated / avoided a similar issue I had on the Form 2 with layer shifts and bowing on what was essentially a box.

All that said, I completely understand your frustration and share your sentiments to some degree. The print quality needs improvement, in particular to eliminate the layer shift lines many of us are seeing. The working theory that layer shifts are correlated to the tank lift and stir action which occurs every once and a while is interesting and might have merit.

I expect Formlabs is working hard on this in the background, but could do a better job of sharing visibility into those efforts. I wholeheartedly agree I’d like to see their team take some of the popular prints users here have reported problems with and reproduce/investigate/resolve the aberrations.

after how much prints optics degraded? Is it possible to change optics

AMEN , amen, amen.

I didn’t pay $3500… let’s call it $4000 considering resin, tanks, etc., to be a beta tester. And that’s EXACTLY what is happening. Several users here are FAR more willing than I would ever be to happily print and reprint using materials THEY BOUGHT to help Formlabs along. And I commend you for that, but man, it’s not right.

There’s no reason, as @darbyvet said, why Formlabs can’t be running their own prints to see what they reproduce. And maybe they are… but all we’re hearing is “add more supports per our engineering team”. And this is clearly not the issue. I would also be more accepting if it was happening on certain TYPES of prints or very specific orientations… but from my own experience, and as seen in MULTIPLE threads posted, it doesn’t seem to matter WHAT is being printed… round objects, square, oriented this way, oriented that way… whatever it is these shifting artifacts are there. Mostly related to supports, but even present when an object is printed support-less.

And as @Darbyvet said, being blanket-statement told to add more supports is just silly. Because at what point am I to know, on any given print, when I have added enough. Clearly the software is not to be trusted, as told to me straight from Formlab’s mouth… rather it should be used “as a starting point”. But I have to have SOME indication of what is good enough, and I can’t afford to randomly guess on every. Single. Print.

That’s. Just. Silly.


My optics degraded after 1 year of pretty heavy use.You can clean the window and mirrors.One of the benefits of the Form3 is that the optics is easier to swap out if there are problems.

So I heard back from Formlabs support and they said the orientation of my boxes was good and they suggested adding more supports inside the box. I have added more supports and also added a solid box and will do another test print.

I also printed a large figure on the form3 at 100 microns and it looks pretty good.I cant detect any layer shifting, but will have to prime it to be sure.So maybe the issues we are all seeing are related to small parts only?

My company prints relatively large things compared to what people seem to be complaining about with the Form 3 and exclusively functional engineering parts and not cosmetic parts. We almost never do 25 micron, 100 is normal, 50 sometimes, lots of Draft resin at 300. 119 prints so far and we have absolutely no complaints about the Form 3 whatsoever and are extremely happy they launched it when they did. I don’t consider myself a beta tester as others have said since it handles all of my needs. Don’t mean to diminish the complaints of others, but I think it is important to recognize that the machine is quite versatile and although it may not do certain things as well as the Form 2 yet, it handles a lot of them better than the Form 2.

I have no intention of providing free development to them for any resolution/material but look forward to and have appreciated the improvements they have made so far.

Yes for large scale parts there dont seem to be issues.I am curious what do you think it handles better than the form2.It is significantly slower than the form2 and the only improvement I have seen so far is slightly smoother surfaces.

I understand that, but the fact of the matter is 25 and 50 microns are options available to us, and work exceptionally well on the Form 2 for needs such as mine and others. The fact that the Form 3 is putting out what it currently is, at these resolutions or not, means, for me, it is useless, and a huge disappointment. I’m sure it will improve, but I didn’t spend money on it to sit around and wait. I spent money with the intention of it besting the Form 2 and providing an even better experience than it already does, and at this point I can’t rightfully print anything that would satisfy my needs. As such my Form 2 is currently running a large set of miniature prints while my Form 3 sits idle.

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I share the concerns voiced here, but should point out I did several prints where the Form 3 using Clear was significantly faster than my Form 2. I’d love to know if anyone else replicates that.

I don’t think it’s the size of the part that’s the issue, it’s more that 100 micron layers have been properly tuned while 50 and 25 microns haven’t.

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No I have seen issues with my boxes at 100 microns too. I did print a large figure and that looks fine, but the small delicate parts may have problems in my experience so far.

SO here are the latest prints.I added more supports to the inside of the boxes per Formlabs engineers.I still have the same issues with layer shifts. I also made a solid box and it also had very similar layer shifting.This definitely not a support issue.This is a problem that currently does not seem to have a solution.If Formlabs cant fix this it will make this printer useless for me.

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The most frustrating part about the Form2 and clear resin is removing the supports without chipping the resin.

We print a ton of stuff on a farm of Form 2 printers using Grey and Black resin. We have found that soaking the newly-printed parts in 60C water for 30 minutes (before IPA wash or curing) makes the supports flaccid so that they can be simply pulled off the part like wet spaghetti noodles, without need for clippers and without leaving divots in the surface of the part. Haven’t tried this with clear resin yet but it’s worth a shot. Saves a ton of time and headache when it comes to processing lots of parts.


Yikes. Yeah that’s bad.

I heard back from Support yesterday but it was a short message saying they would be sending my file off to the engineering team. I was told I would probably hear back later in the morning but… here we are, TODAY, and no word.