Form3 vs competition

I ran across a couple of Facebook groups for people using resin printers.

I am so glad I can remain totally ignorant of the various problems those folks using other resin printers are having and the technical things they have to try to fix it.

“Yo! Printer! Go print this!” is 99.8% of what I need to know in order to get a good print. And support from the manufacturer is good, so that covers the other 0.2%.

I have too many hobbies already, I’m so glad having to be a printer system administrator isn’t one of them.

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Hmm, I don’t know about that. The competition resin printers seem quite a bit faster than the Form 3. And while they require more maintenance, they are generally open. i.e. they don’t lock you in an ecosystem where all the prices are marked up.

I will probably get an LCD printer when I move on from the Form 3. But right now the Form 3 is treating me well-enough.

Shortly after I purchased the Form 3 I had no end of trouble with failed prints. I spent a lot of money on resin and build trays, all troubleshooting the printer. Eventually the printer was replaced, but Formlabs didn’t reimburse the money I burnt on resin or build trays, nor my time.

IMO it’s a trade-off. When things aren’t going terribly bad, I could see the appeal of Formlabs products. But the expense and the customer service being just a little less than what I’d expect (given the price), is a little frustrating.

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I don’t need it to be open because it’s meeting my needs as is. The resin is too expensive, I’ll grant you that. Then again, I’ve gotten $1000 worth of resin for free with my coupons from purchasing the printer and hope to get another $500 to $1000 within a few months.

I use this to produce models for casting jewelry in silver (and eventually gold), so the cost of the resin is trivial in comparison.

I’ve had very good assistance from Formlabs support. Sorry to hear yours was different.

I love not having to futz with undocumented arcane settings in the hope that it will do what I want.

Yeah…agreed…those of us that want reliability and support from real folks it is important. Raw speed and size “screenwarz” isn’t the only issue… say what you want this is similar to those of us that prefer apple…sure its a “walled garden” but we see intrinsic value beyond just the name… its a ton of little things that add up to value for us. It is hard to describe for those that are “just” price sensitive and will always just go cheap… they won’t understand. When you do this as a business these extra bits let us sleep better at night!

For me it’s about the price of the supplies. I’ve been looking at the Phrozen line of printers to find that the resign is $75 instead of $175. The print tray again is $75 instead of $175.
I will probably pack up my Form3 and purchase the Phrozen.
I’ve continually told Form that their supplies are way to expensive.

I get the feeling that while initially this will seem expensive to maintain resin and tank replacements…but once you build it into your produced product cost it shouldn’t be too bad

First of all, I agree, the resin prices are too damn high.

To be fair, the resin containers are also more than just plastic bottles. They have chips in them and are also dispensing units. However, we should be able to buy resin in a cheap container (with a replacement dispensing nozzle because those will also wear out and it’s better to be on the safe side with such a cheap component) and just pour it into the dispensing container. I wouldn’t object to Formlabs insisting on a new dispensing container every so often as long as it was justified by wear and tear data.

That said, I’m using the $299 purple casting resin which is one of the more expensive resins. A typical jewelry sized piece is about 75 cents worth of resin.

I suggest folks copy and paste my suggested way to drop resin costs whilst still providing for safe use of the resins and send it in to support and sales.

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not to mention environmental recycling cough cough

Sent this suggestion on to product support and got a positive response.

The more people who do this, the more likely they’ll move in a direction we want.

There are low and high tech ways to use third party resins in your Form printer. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to figure out a way.

But I don’t really understand the price sensitivity here. If you are going to purchase a professional level printer (which the Form products are) you are doing so for the platform as a whole. Using another inexpensive resin may work, but the properties and performance are an unknown.

I use FormLabs resins exactly because I get real honest to goodness specifications on their products and they work perfectly in their products. The premium price is the worth it for this reason alone (for me at least)