Heatmap improvements

Hi all, Maarten from Amsterdam here. I just learned from Formlabber Craig " I can tell you that the heat map only shows the most recent prints ( approximately 10 prints) and displays them in the way that you see." Especially if you do many small prints, this in no way represents the actual wear on the tank. Tank wear is an important cause of print failure, so this really needs sorting out. This is what is needed on the heatmap:

  • show actual use of current tank
  • show in Preform as a background while laying out.
  • show areas that are in danger of malfunction in a different color.
    Implementing these would substanstially add to the awesomeness of Formlabs.
    kind regards, Maarten Visser

Showing it as a background in PreForm would be outstanding! I second these suggestions.


IMHO they could solve this by simply creating a transparent heatmap image of the current project and merge it with the previous one - At least do this within PreForm.
That being said I’d prefer to see the heatmap being applied to the PreForm workspace to begin with - Opening up the browser and loging into my account to get a representation of my tank is getting old fast.

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Now that Formlabs have produced the LT tanks, that don’t suffer from laser degradation, I don’t see that they have any incentive to upgrade Preform to cope with the older tanks.

@billb I think I have to disagree with you. Formlabs states that the LT tank lasts twice as long as the traditional tank, while being 60% more expensive. So the arguments stay the same. As the tank lasts longer, only showing last 10 prints make the current heatmap system even less relevant. By the way, I do not know if tank wear is caused by laser energy only or also by the print being sheared off the tank bottom each layer.

Although I agree completely that showing only the last 10 print is makes the heat-map feature irrelevant, I have to comment on this

I was surprised to see this and I believe they only recently changed the advertised lifetime as in the original annouvements it was 10-20l so at least 10x longer than the standard tank. Also this is further confirmed by this post :

Here are a couple of quotes from the linked post in case it gets edited :slight_smile:

I usually replace mine if I see decrease in print quality (round 15-20L) .This number will vary depending on what you print and what resin you are using. In theory, LT tank should last indefinitely

I have yet to see ANY kind of wear on my 4-5 LT tanks using Tough, Grey Pro, Grey, Rigid and Durable and I have printer several liters of Grey Pro and Tough, much more than 2x the advertised lifetime of the standard tanks which for me were showing visible degradation after only 1l and I rarely reached 2.

In practice however, print failures put some wear on the tank, and over time, cumulative wear can cause print artifacts.

Of course it depends on the use-case !

@JohnHue That is very encouraging what you say about the LT tank! I suppose Formlabs are being cautious with their claims.

Just a quick question, LT tank is already available in the US Store? Because at the european it says 12/2018.

Just order them at their distributors. We have no problem sourcing them from the EU.

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I order from the EU store too. LT tank has been available for a while now, but they have trouble with producing it and they are always out of stock, there has been a 2 month delay for this tank since it launched.

As @fantasy2 said, try to hit the distributors as they might have some in stock.

Yes it is a good idea I checked with 3dhub.gr here in Greece and it is available, probably stock that they didn’t sell. It’s always a good idea to get it straight from the source (it will always be a newly made product) but since that is out of option distributers are fine. Thank you guys!

I absolutely agree with the OP!

Add my vote for the background image…

Another vote for background image in PreForm. I tend to print small, high parts and that means I get very localized wear patterns. No, I can’t lay them down because they need to be perfectly round - that is easiet to achieve standing straight up :-).

See also: Heat Map Overlay

+1…this would be great