Has anyone used the tough resin yet?

Tough Resin Blues…it is kind of bluish isn’t it?
Well, I’ve failed at my parts, contacted a great Formlabs tech Nicholas, who had me try the butterflies in Tough…Fail. I tried the butterflies in Clear. Perfect. I sent him the little pivot cup I’ve been trying to do in Tough Resin, and he returned a test .form file with a cluster of 3 of my little parts located in the build platform in the back, left hand side. Basically located in the back of the tank, left hand side nearest the “hinge” of the resin tank.
I tried his way and location with default settings. only the part in the extreme corner printed.
So then we tried again, this time moving the build platform .1mm closer to the silicone.
Partial success. Now the part in the corner, and the one along the back edge printed. but the one which was supposed to print closer to the center of the platform…nope. No base adhered.
Building upon that partial success, I figured that if moving the platform .1mm closer yielded 2 of the 3 parts…then moving it .3mm closer would be even BETTER!. Nope! this time all three failed!
Finally, I tried printing the same 3 parts but fine tuning to only .2mm closer yielded the same results as the previous test, the same 2 parts printed, the one closer to the middle failed to even adhere a base.
I’m running out of ideas for Tough Resin. And running out of Tough Resin. I have 2 build platforms and 4 resin tanks. the Resin tank for the Tough was brand new, out of the box. The only prints on this tank are the multiple failures, now 8 or 9 in total. My build platforms do have a bit of camber, but not enough to slip a .003" thick piece of copy paper under the straight edge. Plus, these platforms and resin tanks work great for Clear and Flexible resins.

I love the whole formula and open source gig, but just maybe Tough Resin should have not been released until a LOT of beta success. No?

Similar experience here Tim I have no idea as to why it works in some areas of the build platform and not others the closer I seem to get to the hinge side the worse it gets. I am still waiting for support to figure out my issues as well I am almost out of my first resin bottle of tough with about a 30% success rate. Hopefully it comes out as a bad batch of resin or something that is easy to fix. I just really dont want it to be a “well we don’t know what happened keep testing it for us”… :no_mouth:

Wow, the closer I get to the Hinge side (back left hand side of the resin tank) is the only place I can get a successful print with Tough.
I’ve completely taken apart my #3 build platform to note that the sidewalls are now bowed outward and goo and IPA got passed the little black
gasket. Makes me also wonder if IPA can leak back out into a resin tank. IPA and Resin don’t like each other.

NEWS Flash! My old engineer (who left for a med device company, and got me to buy a formlabs printer after he bought his…) strongly suggested to me
that alcohol can’t remove all the film of the resin off the aluminum surface. He suggested to, once cleaned with IPA, to let dry then come back with Acetone (but don’t let the rag
touch the plastic.) and that film will be removed completely.

I can’t believe Tough resin got through beta with no problems. I don’t mind doing the work for Formlabs, when I have the time it’s kind of interesting, but I’m working and need to get things done NOW.
If formlabs wants us to do extended beta testing, give us the resin. Then I’m all in.

Has anyone used the tough resin yet?
Yes. I printed something small. My experience was good result, but support removal was not trivial. This was a test piece.

There are a couple areas I needed to sand more, but I put it outside to fully cure. Hence, the pic.


Greetings folks,

I’ve noticed many saying they’ve ruled-out the “platform flatness” being part or all of the problems printing with tough resin, by using a straight edge to measure the flatness. If you are not using a $50.00+ piece of stainless steel over 8" which is only used to test your machinists squares are square…then you are not using a straight edge to measure the platform for flatness. And to measure the peaks and valleys, only a stainless steel gauge will do, depending on the humidity, paper will have over 10 noticeable thicknesses throughout a day.

There’s a reason we are not able to print at 25 microns using the Tough or the Flexible resin. I cannot comment on the chemistry involved here, but I do know there is no difference between a 3D printer and a milling machine when talking absolute “0” in the z axis. Both the Form1 and a milling machine must know or set a reference point in the z axis. The z axis reference point of zero on a milling machine is very easy to configure compared to the Form1 3D printer.

Formlabs uses both the silicone layer in the resin tank and the aluminum platform in the support base fabrication process to set a reference point in the z axis, which is not actually required to print, What is required is the last layer of the support base to be flat for that model/part.

For any one given printer, If there are varying degrees of support-base adhesion success based on where the model is printed on the platform, then it’s my guess the flatness of the platform is paramount. The support base is very important, but only because the last layer of the base must be flat. Whether you print with supports or not, there’s a minimum number of compressed layers that must happen to get to “flat”. The silicone surface in the resin tray provides a compressible surface while the printer builds the support base thus creating a flat surface for the accuracy to follow.

Back in Aug 2013 I experienced a few problems, upon tightening the tolerances of the peaks and valleys relating to the flatness of the platform…those problems went away. I’m still using the same platform that came with my Form1 during the Kickstarter campaign.

Again, there are reasons why we’re not able to print Tough or Flexible at 25 microns. It’s all about the layer height in relation to flatness and the chemistry of the resin.

The only accurate fine-tuning available for the Form1 is in the z axis.

If one can determine where on a platform a model prints in Tough resin successfully, then move the model around til it fails, mark the precise area the model failed in relation to the model printed successfully and then use a straight edge (guaranteed and certified) with a tolerance of less than the layer height used over 8 inches…then you will be able to identify the areas of the platform requiring flatness adjustments.

cheers and good journeys,

Guys ‘n’ gals… what @BrentONeill says :smile:!

I posted a small, simple and quick-to-print file in a (looking back) hideously long post - it’s at the end of this post.

Have a quick look at the pics (you don’t have to read all the text if you can’t be bothered - printing the test file is probably quicker :smiley:!) and then print the 8 small parts (print time only 15 mins in clear 200µ clear or 100µ white) and measure the thickness. It’s that simple.

Target base thickness is 2.00mm, so anything much under about 1.6-1.8 will be over-compressed, stick like hell and probably be brittle (can’t say with regards to tough); anything much over about 2.15-2.25 will be under-compressed and in danger of dropping off. The thickness values can help at the very least with knowing which areas of a non-adjusted build platform can be used for good adhesion at whatever z-offset you are using or are adjusting to; if you want to go the extra mile(s) like in my post, I can only say you will have MUCH more predictable results and easier removal of parts from the platform.

Exactly @Seagull , the compression of the support base will be the easiest way to determine which areas of your platform require some flatness adjustments. You will not need to purchase a certified straight edge, just use the cheaper resins or overstocked resin to perform @Seagull 's method. Both methods will get you there!

Thanks for all the work you have devoted to this problem @Seagull, I really like your support base measure tech…clever!

cheers and good journeys to all,

G’day all
Just tried a print with newly arrived Tough Resin - FAIL !!
Print didn’t adhere to bed.
Brand new resin tray too.
I have been printing with Vorex resin and every one is a success but I thought I would try Formlabs Tough Resin to see which resin is tougher / stronger.
I’ll try another print today and try again.

Yeah my support ticket was closed and with no solution. It is very frustrating that formlabs will not formally admit there maybe an issue. I asked for a refund as I bought 2 bottles and have had 20% success rate, no word yet.

Damn, i have 4 bottles and yet have not had the time to try (I am printing a complex model on multiple parts first). This sounds like a major blow.


“Hi Thomas,
I just wanted to touch base with you and see how things are going with the tough resin. I hope all is well. We have seen a few similar cases to yours recently and may have figured out a fix for this issue with non-adherence and the tough resin.
I know this may sound counter intuitive but it seems to have worked for customers who are experiencing similar issues. But raising the build platform to -0.5mm seems to resolve the adherence issue with the tough resin. Note that when you raise the build platform the increments are in the (-) negative value.
Have you had any recent success lately with the tough resin?
Keep us posted.

Hopefully this will be helpful to others who may try the tough resin before I do.


I finally had partial success. I have been able to get the resin to stick on the outer edges of the build platform.

Print one on my new tank, build platform at 0.0mm, had parts sticking on the outer edge and easily removed.
Print two, build platform at -0.2mm, had parts sticking on the outer edge and not hard to remove but no longer really easy.

This sounds like promising news for those having trouble. But doh! Looks like it was on Formlabs troubleshooting page all along though. Whoops got ahead of myself looks like a number of you have adjusted this value.

Formlabs is telling you to do the opposite of what this says. This says if you’re having sticking problems, move the platform closer. Positive is closer, negative is further away. FL told you to move negative, further away. It is counter-intuitive, but I will try this, too…

Tried this one myself from -1mm to +1mm but found I still had issues.

Yeah agreed. Formlabs mentioned in their email to Thomas that it sounded counter intuitive but seemed to be working with their internal tests.

This tough resin clearly seems to have different properties than the standard stuff which I’m assuming these “troubleshooting” pages were written for.

So i have followed the instructions per FormLabs Support and very first print failed… I rest the offset back to 0 and ran the same part it worked! but then … I ran it a second time only to get a lack of adhesion to the build platform. Ran it one more time and it appears so far to be working correctly (about 50%) complete… so out of 3 attempts with out changing a single thing I will have 2 success and one failure. I am starting to think that more and more it could be a simple bug or glitch in the software perhaps something to do with the LASER intensity and or slicing data? its becoming a real head scratcher again…


We have recently purchased a formlabs for the first time, I have been trying to find a UV curing cabinet for some time with no luck, is this something you have made yourself or brought online?



Simon, we bought ours through MSC industrial supply I believe but they can be found on Amazon and Ebay as well.

Chris i have looked on amazon and cant really seem to find anything similar as the one in a post i have found on here is no longer available.

i have found this one, do you think this would work?