Horrible Prints! Don't know what to do!

I bought my form 1+ the first of August 2015. The prints that I had in the beginning worked great. Seemed like I had a 75% success rate on my prints. Nothing major right. I recently bought (2) Black 1L bottles of resin and (2) new resin tanks and I have had nothing but problems. I had only (2) parts turn out ok. Not sure if the resin tanks, resin, laser, mirrors or something else. I have had 15 parts fail big time after many hours of prints. Over 120 hrs of failed prints. Basically going through the 2Liters/$300 on failed prints.

Could it be the laser, mirrors? I don’t know what to do and I can’t keep this up because it is draining my pockets! Please help! God bless!

My process.

After each print, I clean the resin tank out to insure that it is free of “boogers/debris”. I then use a paint filter and filter the resin back into an empty “Black” 1L bottle. I then scraper out all of the resin and drain all resin out of the tank (filtered into empty “Black” 1L bottle). After that I shake up the resin that I filtered and then pour it back into the resin tray using a paint filter to make dang sure I have not “boogers/debris” left in the resin. I clean my build plate and begin a new print.

Hi William,
From what I can see is that you have supports at the top and bottom of your model but not much support for the
mid sections. The mid section slices are long and need to have plenty of support. I would put supports on the
outer flat sides of the models.

It might also help to tilt your parts up just a little more of an angle… but if that does not help you might try only printing one or two of those pieces at a time could be too much pressure on the PDMS layer when it peels off. Last if none of that helps you may need to clean your mirrors and or check your resin tank for dust or hazing. Unfortunately I see some huge flakes in there so it is more than likely that you need to clean your mirrors out. Be sure to follow the guides on cleaning them and never use canned air (if this is your first time cleaning them)

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I don’t think it is the orientation. I looked on my main large mirror and it looks good. However I looked on the small mirror that is visible. It has a mark on the bottom left, not sure what it is and what looks to be fingerprints. This is the first time I’ve looked at the mirrors and have never cleaned nor stuck my hands in them. I bought this printer not one month ago. Looks like they were not cleaned before it was shipped to me. Not sure how to clean the small mirror? The large mirror looks pretty easy to clean as shown on Formlabs support site. Thanks for your advice!

You will need to put in a support ticket for the instructions (they are floating around on here and on youtube) but getting the instructions from formlabs at least covers you if something goes horribly wrong. Be sure to only use “clean compressed air” and pec pads along with clean IPA. I tend to clean my mirrors about 1 time every 2 months and I work in an office type setting but there was lots of dust and small particles in my printer when it came straight out of the box.

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Hi William,

I 100% agree with you , and got the same trouble as you, also I have use the new platform and new tank with new black resin, but enven clear, white resin ,I don’t have good quality, I also clean the mirror, but no improve at all, and I don’t have the problem 1 week ago everything smooth with same CAD , Hope you got the solution soon. I also need the solutions!

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Here is a picture of the lower mirror. I put in a customer support ticket few hours ago. I think my problem is grease or oil on the lower mirror. Not sure how to get it clean and waiting for them to tell me how. Hopefully after cleaning the mirror it will solve my problem.

I’ve been having similar problems lately. I just cleaned all the mirrors and the problem was not fixed. We have tried three trays and two different liters of resin. After months of success, we’re getting failure after failure.
You can see how the quality starts poor, even before it gets to the thicker sections.
Could really use some help.

Has anyone thought that excessive cleaning and filtering might be introducing problems?
I used to carefully spray IPA onto my build platform and wipe it off, hoping for it to dry.
What I didn’t notice is that there have always been nooks and crannies where the IPA can be missed by a paper towel during cleanup. If the IPA gets into the resin tank then the resin is diluted a bit.
I noticed ragging/flagging one day too. I did the laser test, butterfly tests, wasting a bunch of time and resin.
I have tried filtering resin using a paint filter, but I am starting to wonder if that is also introducing something into the mix that affects the resin and the printing process? Has anyone been able to figure out if disposable paper paint filters might add something to the resin?
Fortunately I was able to upgrade the original model to the Form1+. I think the laser or the tiny mirrors/galvos were failing or very dusty, but I don’t know as I never inspected or cleaned those tiny mirrors.
I would start communicating with FL support (support ticket) and do all that they recommend. Worst case you send it in for them to repair under warranty.

Hi TemujinKuechle,
I agree with you.
I believe that you mentioned filter paper would help, because I noticed after I printed models, the resin comes out some particle resin , when you flow the resin you will see it.
I will try a new tank and a new bottle resin and see if my idea is correct or not.


Ok, I received an email for cleaning the Galvo Mirror’s. Took me all of 45 minutes and I was done. So I did a test print right after I cleaned up all of the mirrors (very dirty). Looked to be grease specks and or bearing grease. I came back a couple hours later and the test print worked great. Cross my fingers, with the next print. It is printing as I type. It will be the same print as shown in the original thread. Knock on wood that it was just dirty mirror’s!

Here is my test print. .05mm resolution.

FWI, those are 1/16"/.0625" dowel pins. Tiny print!


I got reply form formlabs, need to clean all the mirror, (1 big 3 small mirrors), and I did it with SOP, also I found there are some particles swimming in my resin tank, I reload new resin and my trouble solved!
Hope my experience help!



Have you put in a support ticket to Formlabs? Not sure what is wrong with your printer but it could be the dirty mirrors! It seems like it did the trick with my printer. I am printing a new print to see if it 100% did the trick. Cleaning the mirrors was a breeze! Hope this helps!

Well, the print quality is a lot better since I cleaned the mirrors but still not getting good finished prints. Every print seems to run great until the last part of the print. I don’t know what the heck to do. I have tried 3 different build orientations and on my 4th just with these small parts. I’ve moved them also from the Hinge side to the opposite side to see if it make a difference. Has anyone ever tried to print vertical? I know formlabs recommends laying it angled but what happens when it is printed vertical?

I also put brand new resin in the tank with the last failed print. Here are some pics. All 20 of my prints have the U shape or unprinted section right at the last part of the print. The rest of the print looks ok.

Here are some pics.

I print vertical with no supports if the part that I’m printing has a flat surface. On the case below it was a scale version of a rack (0.4 module - tip of the tooth 0.1mm) with guide. Anyway some times I also get failed prints without any apparent reason. But then I just filter the resin, carefully clean the tank with dish washer soap/water (let it dry afterwards with the silicon layer facing down) and I manage to print it. This is my personal experience.

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I tried to do this last night and I had major sticking. Part sticking to the PDMS and after every time the tank tilted it made a pop sound (part separating from PDMS). I mean my parts are sticking to the PDMS like glue (New Resin Tank 5-6 prints). Is there a Mold Release that can be used for PDMS & Plastic without messing anything else up?

William take a look at this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJ-UEyyAEc0
It will not damage the PDMS

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Great idea!

My biggest problem is with the peel and my part. I cannot get a part to come out right because it sticks to the PDMS like glue, failing the part towards the tend of the print.


What size are the parts you are printing? Can you post a screenshot of the ones that are sticking to the PDMS?


Thanks Aaron!