I am smarter than the printer!

I’m an engineer, I get it. Sensors are nice and useful. It’s a good way to keep the wrong material from mixing in the wrong tray. Or the wrong material from being used on the wrong print job. But what happens when the sensors break? The Form 2 becomes absolutely useless.

Why isn’t there an override? I know that the tank is installed correctly. I know that the material matches. I know that everything is as it should be. But because the sensor only works intermittently, the machine becomes useless. And worse, it starts to work as it should, but then decides that the cartridge is no longer installed mid-print wasting time and money. And pissing off my customer in the process.

What can fix this? An override. A simple, “are you sure you want to proceed” or a manual selection of what material is installed. An advanced “I’m actually smarter than the machine” mode is what we need. Why doesn’t this exist? And I’m not talking about Open Mode. I purchased the Formlabs materials, I want it to work with the advantages of the machining knowing those materials.


Run in Open Mode and bypass the sensor totally. You do have to manually fill the tray and the wiper and heater are turned off. Those should be options on the screen but FormLabs want’s to force you to “Do It Their Way!”

Like my Kawasaki dealer telling me to only run the bike in 1st and second gear?

No. I paid for a machine to work in all its modes, I paid a LOT of money, and I do not think it is unreasonable to expect it to work.

I’ll run it in Open Mode if FormLabs will refund me half the money…

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We’re looking into adding bypasses for a few of the more common failure modes like empty or missing cartridge notifications (as well as improvements to the sensors themselves). There are a few cases where this is a bit risky. If a tank isn’t inserted entirely and the tank missing error is bypassed, that could throw off the level sensor and lead to a spill. Those cases and we’re working on reducing failure modes that pause a print which would otherwise be successful.


That’s good news. Please add an advanced mode or something that has no error checking for cartridge insertion, tank insertion, material, etc. Bury it in the menu or require a (given) password if you must. I’ve been using this machine for a couple years now and won’t be making a mistake inserting the tank or something. This will allow for the use of cartridges with a little resin left without erroring out as low resin, or use of cartridges that the sensor doesn’t work, etc. I would assume this mode already exists in some sort of diagnostic mode for internal use, so it’s probably pretty easy to implement. Thanks!

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Also need to allow the wiper to be turned on in Open Mode. I really see no reason it’s turned off.

My guess is that a change to the manufacturing process or something caused the resin sensor to stop working correctly, which caused a huge spate of posts here about the issue (since obviously it was preventing people with new printers from printing).

Rather than bypass the error (and potentially miss an actual problem), I think there are ways to adjust the sensor so that the intermittent failures go away. Maybe worth looking into. FWIW, I have an early Form2 and in two years of use have never seen this error.

My printer is going back for ‘Repair’. It is only 3 months old, has had only 1 complete cartridge and a couple of builds-worths out of a second, and the '‘cartridge missing’ errors are not intermittent, they are essentially continuous. They happen as, or just after the resin tank motor starts to move sideways. I have swapped the cartridge floor assembly for a new one, to no affect, the errors are still happening.

The machine built perfectly well on its first cartridge, the errors started happening after the swap to the new cartridge, and coincidentally, a software upgrade to the current version. I suspect a software issue, and/or a current drain issue causing a voltage drop which the sensor system takes as a break in contact with the cartridge.

I’ll be frank, I am pretty hacked off with this situation. I paid a LOT of money for the ‘Ferrari’ of desktop ‘pro-sumer’ 3d printers, and while I have been impressed with the part build quality (understatement!) and the support service, the fact that I have had to a) swap out a faulty touch screen, b) strip the big window out and clean off a haze of oil or grease on its underside, c) clean of a load of dust and particles off the angled mirror, d) loose at least 3 weeks of zero builds trying to get to the bottom of the cartridge errors, e) am now facing 4 weeks without the printer while it goes back for ‘repair’. with no guarantee that the problem will be actually solved, is not exactly confidence-inspiring.

I didn’t pay FormLabs £3500 to be a quality control manager for their production facility, a corrective engineer to fix their production failings, or a beta tester for their machine and its software. I paid £3500 to have the best desk top 3d printer available, and to supply my customers with the fantastic quality parts I know it can produce. I now have to turn away work, miss deadlines, give refunds, take holiday form work to be in when the courier collects and returns my printer, delay launching my website, and have another month where the machine is not earning its keep.

Yes, I’m hacked off…

OK, I;m not sending my printer back yet, its the software that is causing the problem. I watched a build right through and it printed perfectly, and it was just a stream of cartridge errors, when the cartridge wasn’t moved a hairsbreadth. . And the errors ALL popped up when the resin tray started to move. EVERY TIME!!!

Please Formlabs, sort this out.

TimpErry who is Wunwinglow as well…

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