Glass Tank


I’m interested.


I am interested, but would prefer the bottom only be glass. No sense wasting it on the sides, is there?


Is it Sylgard 184?


It’s great there’s so much interest in this - maybe Formlabs will pay attention…

If the sides aren’t glass, what should they be? It would have to be compatible with the resin and unaffected by alcohols. There has been some concern expressed about erosion of plastic causing dust that filters down onto the mirrors. We know glass works, using anything else would require some testing.

Yes, I used Sylgard 184 for the coating; it seems to work pretty well. I’ve considered other things, but again, it would take some R&D before we could be confident that they worked as well or better.

Andrew Werby


I am interested in getting the glass resin tank too. For long run, it saves money. I can replace the silicon coating by myself. Nice work, Andrew.


Andrew, just my opinion about making this glass-vat for sale. You see all the assessories (e.g. case, cover, stand, mount, battery, ear-phone) for iphone, ipad, android phones that available in market. I think you also have the freedom to make and sell this glass vat. Anyone has different opinion? Glad to hear that.Thanks.


Thanks for stepping forward and expressing interest here. I’ve contacted Formlabs directly, asking for permission to make and sell these glass tanks, so we don’t get into a conflict with them. Yes, you do see a lot of after-market products made and sold, but some companies are more accepting of that than others. Major cell-phone producers like Apple and Nokia release the specifications for their devices to make it easier for them - it doesn’t seem to have hurt their businesses. But a company that doesn’t want any others making parts for their products can certainly make things difficult for them - I’d rather not go there. We’ll see what they say.

Andrew Werby


Wait for your good news. It is a good news for all formlab buyers.


Good news! I spoke with someone at Formlabs, and he said it was okay to produce glass tanks that fit the Form1 printers and sell them to interested parties. I’m not going to be doing this myself, but I’ll let the person who fabricated the one I tested handle the whole thing. His name is Zak Timan; he’s a fellow-artist and all-around glass wizard based in Richmond California. You can reach him through his website:, or email him at ZTiman(at) . He’s open to ideas about improving the design, or making it more economically, so I’ll try to get him to participate in this forum to hear what you all have to say about it.

Andrew Werby


Good news, will Zak post some sample photo here or on his website soon, and the price? Thanks.


We should start a group buy thread so we can give him an idea of how many are wanted. It could potentially make them a little less expensive if we get enough people to order at the same time.


Yes; I’ve been in touch with Zak and he’ll be posting something here soon, when he’s figured out a final design and what he needs to charge for these tanks. Please do keep expressing interest here if you want one - I don’t think it really requires a new thread.

Andrew Werby


Hi Everybody! I’m Zak, hopeful future fabricator of your glass vats.

Thank you Andrew for instigating this situation, thank you Formlabs for your support, and of course thank you all for the interest and encouragement.

A little about me, I’m a sculptor and a fabricator working in the SF Bay area. I have almost 15 years experience in glassblowing and cold glass fabrication, as well as varied experience with metal machining, woodwork, and more.

As for where we stand moving forward- At this point I’m working out a final design for the tanks which will be tested for performance on Andrew’s machine. When fully refined and complete I will begin to produce and distribute them. As mentioned above, yes, a larger quantity would be ideal. At least for this first go-round I think something like 10 is a good minimum to hit, so hopefully I can get that number of preorders. Please feel free to email me if you are interested, and we can start that wait list moving, I’ll fill orders in the order that emails are received. I just created a new email account for this project- [email protected] . Please just message interest for now, we’ll handle payment and shipping specifics when we get there.

As for price, I’d like to determine the design and construction first and go from there. I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot by naming an inaccurate cost. However I would like to think I can get them to be relatively affordable, especially if we do not have to use expensive borosilicate glass. Which leads me to-

Material choices and design-

  1. Interesting to read above that regular plate glass transmits the UV light just as well as borosilicate or more “optical” glasses. This is something I need to research further and then test out. I know Andrew has some hesitations, as borosilicate is “stronger” and more thermally durable (for the curing of the PDMS although high heat cure is not 100% necessary). I’m also looking into tempered glass as a possibility if it is not borosilicate, but having trouble as the base plates are smaller than most tempering factories will work with.

So with transmittance being equal this is something that can be decided upon. If anyone has any strong opinions one way or the other let me know.

  1. As mentioned above, it would be nice if only the large base plate was glass. This makes the vats far more durable all around, and saves money if it does end up being borosilicate. I’m looking at PVC as a possible material for the sides and the bottom plates (effectively sandwiching the glass between, which would be perfect. From my research PVC glues well, is hard, and has good chemical resistance. Will research further and testing out. Again, if anybody has any opinions or advice I’m all ears.

  2. As Andrew mentioned, we did not drill in the spherical dents. Instead, the base ended up being a hair thicker thicker than the original FormLabs vat, and because of this had friction which held it in well. Andrew said this design may be preferable actually, as he had the spring pins get stuck once and he had to pry it out destructively. So again, this design feature is TBD.

  3. PDMS layer. Yes, the plan is to add the PDMS layer to the tanks before shipping to you. I suppose I will be using Sylgard 184 unless something preferable emerges. In addition to this, I’ve been contacted about doing PDMS layer replacements on used tanks (one of the forum members has a few they want to ship to me to replace). I’d be happy to consider this. Allow me to sort out the immediate hurdles and then we can talk.

So I believe that’s all for now. As for timing, I’d like to sort out a finalized version in the next week or two, and ideally begin taking and filling orders not long after. I’ll post updates here as they happen, and if you email me expect to be notified when we are at the next step. Thanks again everybody!



Dear Zak,

Welcome to join our group. Thanks for making the glass tray and turning it into reality.
I have some design ideas, I may show you picture next time.

For the PDMS layer material, let me give you some handling precaution as quoted from this thread:

Effects on fertility:
Test Type: Two-generation reproduction toxicity study
Species: Rat, male and female
Application Route: inhalation (vapor)
Symptoms: Effects on fertility.
Remarks: Based on test data

Please wear productive gear, avoid using torch to vaporize the PDMS.


It’s a myth that the printer uses UV light. If fact it uses blue light. Blue is near UV, but visible. So if the glass does not appear tinted to the naked eye you are good to go.

The PDMS cures at room temperature, and using heat to speed it up risks trapping bubbles. It’s best to just let it run it’s course.

Don’t stay at work too late, be sure to get home before you wife goes to sleep :slight_smile:


This sounds very promising, I’ll say put me down for one, depending on the final cost.

Keep up the good work lads, innovation is great.



Very interesting. Love to get one (if feasible shipped to Europe)


Thanks everybody who has emailed me and posted here with interest and advice. Shipping to Europe or Canada should be no problem.

I’ll be in touch as things progress!



i would like to have one. how can i order?


Hi Frank- Email me at [email protected] to talk further and to be added to a waiting list.

Thank to those of you that have already contacted me and to those who’ve expressed interest here. I’ve got the materials in and am about to start work on the prototype. Stay tuned for more info and pictures soon. Thank you for your patience and I hope to have some good news for you soon.