Grey v3 issues on Form 1+


#1

I had previously posted about some of my issues, such as the inability to successfully print at anything other than 0.1mm, and the surface pitting issue with Black resin.

Now I’m having really bad issues with the New Grey v3. In fact, other than being able to print “some” of the butterflies in the FormLabs test, I was never able to successfully print anything else, especially if that print is taller than 400 layers, or if it has relatively thin walls (~2mm).

I currently found some old, expired Grey v2, and I still have some Clear V2 which I can successfully print with with the standard settings for that resin. I still have issues printing at 0.05mm, but at 0.1mm the prints are fine, and don’t exhibit the pitting I saw with the black resin.

To make matters worse, FormLabs is no longer offering the other greys for sale, only v3. I’m not sure where the reasoning for that move came from, not everyone likes a matte finish, but that’s where it’s going. Every time they release a new resin version, the previous version are gone.

Now for the interesting part. I was watching the printing routine that the new grey v3 has, and I’m not sure if anyone else noticed, but after the vat returns after the peel process, the laser doesn’t actually start drawing for quite some time, for the base layers, that delay appears to be about 13-14 seconds, and for the model, it varies from about 7 seconds in the early layers, to about 1-2 seconds at the end. I also noticed that the layer counter number on the display doesn’t increase until the laser actually start drawing. So the vat drops, then comes up, then there’s the delay, then the layer number changes and the laser starts drawing.

This routine seems to be the reason the prints take much longer to print with V3 that V2, I don’t know if this is the behavior that other are seeing, but this is what my Form 1+ does.

So I thought I’d try something else last night. Instead of printing with the correct profile, I selected Black v1, because it’s supposed to have a longer exposure time, and printed the same part that had failed twice earlier with the Grey v3 profile. The print was successful, although there was some pitting on the near vertical sides of the model. So then I tried Black v2, which has a longer exposure time, the part came out nearly flawless, although there is still some very minimal pitting, but a lot less than the previous test.

So all this brings up the question, is it just me, or are others affected similarly?

Is there a way to either increase the power of the laser (trim pot & voltage measurements?), or the exposure time, without resorting to OpenFL, which to this date, I still don’t know how to use, primarily because FormLabs has not posted any INI information except for the Clear.


100% print failures. Nothing will stick to build platform
#2

This is bad because I only use the gray V2 still have not bought the V3 they should not have stopped selling V2 for not knowing if the V3 would have an acceptance in the market!


#3

Here are some photos of the print tests mentioned above. The first one is the failed print using Grey v3 profile. It’s actually the second failure. The first failure was oriented 180° in the Z axis.

The next one is the Black v1 profile. You can see the print is complete, but some surfaces, especially the sides are pitted. Also the edges leave something to be desired.

These last ones are the Black v3 profile. The surface quality is better, but still not smooth. It also feels rather gritty, like fine grit sandpaper.

I’m not sure why I have to resort to this to print V3 grey, but I do. I wish FormLabs would still sell V2 , because I’m not a big fan of the matte finish either. Maybe the finish I’m seeing is a result of using the “wrong” profile, but this is the only way a can print with this resin at the moment.

It would also be nice if someone at FormLabs would chime in regarding this.

I’ also wondering how many users are currently using this resin in their Form 1+ printers and what their results are. The only posts I found so far mentioning the new grey are from Form 2 users. I can’t be the only one that’s tried this resin so far, can I?

EDIT:
On a side note, all these tests were printed in the same spot of the tray. The front of the model is facing away from the hinge, and the print is located centered and back near the hinge


#4

Sounds like the finer resolutions are slightly underexposed. Maybe try using the black setting on the gray 3?
I had tried a 3rd party resin that used the gray1 setting and had failure after failure but had reasonable results with the black setting.
If you have openfl running maybe you can tweak the gray 3 settings for the finer resolutions.


#5

Sounds like the finer resolutions are slightly underexposed. Maybe try using the black setting on the gray 3?

That is what I’m doing here. In order to print with Grey V3, I have to use Black V2, otherwise the print fails. And as far as the finer resolutions, I haven’t even tried those with Grey v3. All of the above tests were done at 0.1mm.


#6

So, none of the Form 1/1+ users have had a chance to use the Grey V3 yet?

Am I the only one??


#7

I am planning on getting a bottle but it will have to wait until my printer issues are sorted out.


#8

Colehammer started a new post in the General Discussion, in which he praised the quality of the new Grey v3. It turns out their printer is Form v2.

Part of the section below was posted on the Colehammer’s topic, but I think it should be here as well, so here it goes.

The lack of feedback on this topic from FormLabs, to me points to the lack of development on the Form 1+.

I don’t mean they should keep developing new features, but FormLabs has released new firmware for the Form 2, along with just about every release of new software and new resins, while the last firmware release for the Form 1+ is more than 2 years old.

I can’t help but think that the Form 2 is given all the fixes and tweaks to go along with the new software updates and the new resins, while the Form 1/1+ is being left behind, and whatever “testing” that gets done, if any, is simply perfunctory.

If I’m wrong, then someone at FromLabs should set me straight, and explain to me why there haven’t been any firmware updates for the old printer, yet there are firmware updates for the new one just about every month or so. Was the Form 1 so perfect from the onset that it no longer requires any updates, and conversely the Form 2 is so poorly designed that it requires tweaks and fixes every few months? I doubt it.

I’m sorry to be so testy, but at the moment, I’m feeling that I’ve been abandoned by Formlabs, and I have an obsolete machine on my hands, which soon enough I won’t even be able to use.


#9

This is very likely that there will be no update and no F1 + manufacturing with the new update provvemnete of F3 will leave the line F1 + this and arealidade!


#10

It certainly would be nice to hear from Formlabs on this as well (Frew, anyone ???). But apparently there’s no interest in dealing with this subject, even if to set me straight on the subject.


#11

It looks like you’ve been in touch with our support team and we’ve had a tricky time troubleshooting the issues with your printer. We do quite a bit of testing on both the Form 1/1+ and Form 2 for all new materials to verify that they’ll perform optimally and consistently on each machine. This is much of the reason materials like DentalSG and Durable aren’t offered for Form 1/1+. Given the difference in process, we can’t produce reliable and acceptable results on Form 1/1+. This is not the case with Grey V3 which is why we do offer it for Form 1/1+.

In addition, our support team closely monitors the frequency of tickets for every given issue. If there’s an uptick in tickets for a given issue, we immediately escalate and send it to the appropriate team to investigate. This gives us consistent feedback on how materials are performing in the field. Your issues in printing Grey V3 might be specific to your printer rather than the material itself. The forums are also a very valuable tool for getting feedback on new developments so we encourage any users having issues to post here.

We are committed to continuing to support the Form 1/1+. There is a cap to how much we can improve the Form 1/1+ which is why software updates have tapered off. The Form 1/1+ has a simpler peel motion and lacks things like the wiper and heater. There are fewer variables to control and thus less to optimize with updates. The big advancements currently are creating custom material profiles that allow new materials to print successfully on Form 1/1+. Each material profile does come with process tweaks custom to the Form 1/1+.


#12

Thank you for responding. How many users with Form 1/1+ have reported issues with the new resin, any types of issues relating to the resin? I don’t see any here. It’s rather hard to believe none of the Form 1 users have had any issues with the new resin, unless they haven’t tried it yet.

Going back to my “special case” with my printer. I don’t dispute the fact that it does behave strangely, not being able to print 0.05mm or finer resolutions, yet it’s OK at 0.1mm. Unfortunately, I’ll have to live with it since I can’t afford to have it fixed.

How does my printer’s inability to print finer resolutions, correlate with its inability to print at all with the new resin, unless I bump up the exposure time by using the Black v2 profile. BTW, what is the exposure time for the new grey v3, compared to the Grey v2 and the Black v2?

Perhaps the 2 seemingly unrelated issues might give one of your tech guys a hint as to what could be wrong with my printer. If they can at least put me a path toward repairing it myself, I could give it a shot.

Could the problem be the laser going out maybe? What’s the life expectancy of one of these violet lasers? Mine currently has about 155 hours on it. (assuming the lasertime numbers are in seconds). I’ve read somewhere that violet/blue lasers would have a life expectancy of 4000-5000 hours, and assuming the laser is driven at only half power, it should last even longer.

Here is my odometer log. How does it look?


laserTime=555653
tiltMotorTime=594031
zMotorTime=566838
printingTime=1471551
pausedCoverOpenTime=182
pausedCoverClosedTime=100
idleCoverOpenTime=76470
idleCoverClosedTime=50564677
initializeCount=67
printStartCount=337
layerFinishedCount=97884
printFinishedCount=155
printAbortCount=4
userPauseCount=5
coverOpenPauseCount=4
buttonPressCount=0
SDErrorCount=0
FATErrorCount=0
photodiodeOverrangeCount=0
galvoXSteps=289293565
galvoYSteps=277978459
zMotorSteps=208438
tiltMotorSteps=475031


#13

We haven’t seen any increase in ticket volume associated with Grey V3. We are consistently tracking for any changes in relative ticket volume for each material.

I’m not familiar with your conversation with support, but it does sound like an optical issue and you’ve done a great job troubleshooting things like exposure and layer height. I would imagine layer height would correlate strongly with exposure. It’s best to continue your conversation with our support team to work to get this fixed. They’ll be best suited to help out and forwarding this thread would be a big help.


#14

Regarding the optical issues, the support team had me open the unit up, and clean all the mirrors (large, small and galvo), which I did at least 3 times.

In fact I just did one more just this past weekend, and I did see some vertical streaks in the small mirror. So now all the mirrors are clean, no streaks visible under high magnification and with light shining on them at an angle. this has indeed helped with some of the surface imperfections.

Since I had also put in a newly coated tank, I though I’d give the 0.05mm a shot, but it was a complete failure (nothing above the peel transition height). I’ll post some photos of the 0.05mm and the 0.1mm later this evening.

Most of this information above has been passed on to the support team, including the issues with fine resolutions and grey v3, but all they were able to do is ask me to clean the mirrors, adjust the build platform height and print lots of butterflies. After that, they said that all possible remote troubleshooting was exhausted, and I needed to send the printer in for repairs, which as I mentioned before, I can’t afford.

So here I am, with lots of questions and not enough answers…


#15

It sounds like our support team has done pretty in depth troubleshooting and we’ve exhausted what we’re able to have you do.

Some issues like those with the laser itself need special equipment or calibration processes to complete successfully so we’re unfortunately unable to help customers ‘DIY’ it.


#16

Really? Is this your definition of in-depth? It’s kinda like telling a guy trying to fix his car to change the oil and then take it for a test drive. “Oh it still doesn’t run, then have it towed to the shop, we’ll fix it for you”.

Why? All we ask is for information?

I hope you realize that a lot of us here, have mechanical and electronic experience, we “know our way around a soldering iron” so to speak. I for one am the senior Development Engineer of a Computer firm in Silicon Valley, and started as a computer repair technician in the early '80’s, So I’m pretty sure I can figure out how to make this work, if someone was to give me some pertinent information.

But FormLabs chooses to treat their user base as nothing more than basic users. Maybe some are, maybe some users just want to print and aren’t interested in diving into the guts of one of these things. But some of us are, and I don’t see the harm in providing the requested information. Besides, the machine is out of warranty, so FormLabs is not on the hook for repairing something that could go wrong.

Anyway, 'nough said. I for one, am quite disappointed.


#17

And now for a success story. A few days ago I scored a couple of cartridges of the older Greyv2 resin, which I got yesterday.

Last night I did a few small successful prints with it, and overnight, I printed a very large part for my Imperial knight model. It printed perfectly, without having to resort to any weird trickery and different profiles… Here it is. It’s 78ml worth, 804 layers and it took 4:13 hours to print. It’s perfect.

Maybe I’ll give 0.05mm printing another try. But for now I’m quite happy. Just goes to show that my “special case” printer is still capable to print with the right resins.


#18

Many of the troubleshooting and repair steps require either precise calibration hardware or processes which is why we’re unable to have users DIY it. Our support team does attempt to exhaust remote troubleshooting options before requesting that the printer be sent in for repair.

I noticed in an earlier thread you mentioned that you replaced the power supply on your machine and that was causing some issues. Were you able to correct those? It’s possible that the power supply is somewhat incompatible with the laser and is contributing to the issues you’re seeing in Grey V3.

It’s great to see that Grey V2 is performing well for you but we of course want to help get you up and running smoothly with all materials. If you haven’t done so already, it might be worth mentioning the change of power supply in your support ticket.


#19

All that was mentioned to support, and I even got a brand new PSU with the correct voltage, it didn’t make any difference.


#20

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