I am very sad with the company Form labs

That big square you see around the laser dot is the small mirror. I think it is covered with a haze or layer of fine dust. I would suggest cleaning that small mirror, galvos and check the big mirror again and make sure it is clean too.
Also suggest getting a cover or making one for the machine to keep dust out when not in use. I can’t tell you how much a cover has kept my machine printing reliably. Prior to that I had many issues with supports failing, ragged prints and complete failures. Now unless I make a mistake the print comes out every time,

Hello good afternoon.

I have a dust cover when I do not use my printer.

I know my Form1 + I have been with it for many years. I know when I have to clean the mirrors (large and small) or Galvanometros.

The fault is of the Laser I interceded with a role between the laser and the Galvo and surprise, the same error in my paper.

Still waiting for FormLabs to pick up my printer, last message received from Formlabs, on Friday.

That square, is an indication that the laser collimating lens is missing, misaligned or broken or something, as there is no visible beam.

Thanks for the reply.

Believe me I would like not to have to send my printer again.

This Form1 + “SplendidCub”, came from the repair service 2 months ago.

It is normal? this error? Do you think we can do something? … I do not think so.

I would love to know the life of use of this received printer.

I have many other FDM printers with closed software that tell me.

Why does not Formlabs help customers to be able to do more tests? just clean mirrors.

And as it is evident if the laser fails. Why does not Formlabs send a new laser or sell these parts?

It’s worth the calibration … please, we already pay a lot for these equipments that they teach to calibrate it, after all they are ours !!!

I wish I had an adjustment potentiometer, etc.

I do not understand what happened seriously, the printer has not had a bad use, I treat this equipment like a baby xd.

While Formlabs takes its time, any objections or tests to be made?

Of course the laser has never been like this. I check it month after month.

Thanks Friends for your answers. :frowning:

IMPORTANT!!!

I just got very nervous !!!

I just received a general email from Formlabs !!!

Formlabs stops giving support and repairs of our Form1 + and stop making the tanks and resins !!!

Those of us who have Form1 + are condemned !!!

Please, Formlabs help us.

You should know how to treat the customers of Form1 +.

I’m serious. Will you do the same with Form2? Will you leave the customers abandoned when the time passes?

You must make a reasonable renovation campaign. We have always trusted you can not do this …

Hi @SPSpain,

First I am sorry for the troubles you are having with your Form 1+. I have been a Form2 user for almost 2 years now and only had great experiences.

Regarding the Form 1+. In Formlabs defense, they did announce this back in August 2017 here. What you just received was a more of a reminder. There was a long discussion on that thread which you can read yourself, I will not repeat here. IMO a company has to make a decision with regards to how long they will support a product. Just like Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP, Formlabs cannot support older machines forever.

That being said I sincerely hope you get your situation resolved ASAP.

Kevin

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Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on which side of the fence you find yourself, there is a recourse: The Lemon Law. YOu can read my post here: The Final Services Date for the Form 1+ is Coming Up

Microsoft sells software, not hardware, so the rules are different, however, Windows XP was introduced in 2001, and mainstream support ended in 2009, 8 years (extended support ended 2014, almost 13 years)

I read your post. It may be valid, I am not a lawyer. I feel my points remain valid although FL may need to extend their support by a couple of years to adhere to this. Will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Hello again.

I can not keep wasting time. Taking into account this situation and now knowing the future of Form1 +, the time that I have with this incidence …

My Partner and I have met, we must continue with our work or we must close the business.

We are forced to buy a Form2.

I am a very technical person, in my previous Form1 + printer. I had my personal maintenance sheet.

I completely know the Form2.

I need to know:

1-What should I take into account with my self-refilling resin cartridge ?.
Should I shake this self-refilling cartridge before each impression?

2-Once the impression is finished. What do I do with my tank and leftover resin?

3-Before each impression.
Should I put the remaining resin of the previous impression in my self-refilling cartridge ?.
or
Should I must move this remaining resin from the previous impression with a tool?

4-I guess I forget cleaning optics, mirrors, galvanometers. true? Only the top glass with my IPA and PEC PAD. (when necessary).

5-How can I know my printer’s statistics ?. Print time, Layers, Liters used ?.

6-What version of Preform should I use and what resins are problematic? Been reading and the standar V4 has given problems. True?

If I buy Form2 it is not for pleasure, but out of necessity, I worked very well with my Form1 + … but I can not play anymore with time, my small company is in danger.

Can you please answer my questions for when I get to work correctly on this new equipment for me?

I need to know if I’m doing the right thing.

Thank you

Hi @SPSpain

Hopefully, I can adequately answer your questions.

  1. The resin cartridges should be shaken if it sits unused for more than a few days. Same goes for the resin in the tank. I simply remove the tank from the printer and use the wiper to gently mix the resin.

  2. Each resin should have its own resin tray. So if you use Black resin in a tray, simply leave the dispensed resin in the tray for the next use. No need to remove the resin. Some people do completely clean out a tray and repurpose for a different resin, however this is not advised.

Also note that the printer calculates how much resin has been dispensed from a tank. Manually pouring it will throw this calculation off.

  1. Again do not remove the resin from the tank. Just leave it for the next print (impression).

  2. This is true, you only need to clean the glass if there is an issue with printing or you have spilled any resin.

  3. Printer stats can be found at www.formlabs.com/dashboard however that link will only work once you have a Form 2 Printer registered with the dashboard.

  • Kevin

I run a small printing bureau and am all too familiar with how difficult it can be to have to delay customers because of hardware failures. It’s disappointing to hear stories like these as customer success is a top priority of ours, but I imagine it’s more more challenging for you to experience it.

The Form 1+ does have lesser reliability compared to the Form 2, but nonetheless requiring 4 repairs is far outside of the customer experience we work towards. I’m hopeful that the Form 2 works better for your needs, and thanks to @kevinduhe for answering each of those questions!

Hi @SPSpain I just saw your PM about the 6th question. This is not one I can address directly as I have always used the newest version of Preform and Firmware. I too have seen a few other posts about issues with certain types and versions of resin. In those cases downgrading to an earlier version of Preform/Firmware seemed to yield better results.

One thing I know for sure is 99% of the time, @Frew and the other FL employees will recommend using the latest versions and then try to work out any issues from there. I hope that answers your question.

Are the tanks already discontinued? I may have to get either some from z-vat or make my own but would like to know if I need to make the change over now or not.

I opted out from purchasing the Form2 simply because of design features I found that may fail or pose issues. Though they say it is more dependable I find it hard to believe since just about every print has been a success on my Form1+ once it was properly serviced. (t was shipped to me dirty).
I think out of 3 liters of resin I had one small flaw in one print due to some fuzz that had fallen into the resin tank.

Form2 requires proprietary tanks that depend on a sensor to fill prone to miss reading, leaking etc.
The sealed optics are not done in a clean room and are not air tight so if you have dust you cannot simply just blast it away with a rocket.
Tanks are still the same old acrylic base which is fragile to IPA
Wiper blade is driven from one side which makes the opposite end prone to flexing. Not sure what kind of issues that can pose other than perhaps loosening towards the mechanism.

With all those efforts I would have hoped they came out with a top down printer instead that does not require tanks and have very little force applied to the part between layers. There is more call for a descent top down rather than a convoluted traditional sla.

Not sure the real reason Formlabs disbanded the Form1, maybe because of the patent infringement they had with 3d systems but who knows. Cutting their users off from supplies, tanks and parts so abruptly makes me think I made the correct choice in not getting a Form2 and most likely my next printer will be from someone else. I’m old school and believe there should be some legacy in product lines and even minimal support especially for users that had purchased less than a year before it was discontinued.

My advice, shop around.

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Hi Ken! maybe I can help a bit:

The sealed optics are not done in a clean room and are not air tight so if you have dust you cannot simply just blast it away with a rocket.
While the optics module is not air tight, it still provides extremely good seal. We tested Form 2s in dust chamber to make sure that it works properly.


Window on a Form 2 has also a secondary role that prevents resin from dripping on the first surface mirror, if the user removes the tank before removing build platform. If the resin drips on the window, it is much easier to clean it, then cleaning delicate first surface mirrors. The window can also be replaced by removing two screws. Optics on a Form 2 is still accessible through removing protective window.

Tanks are still the same old acrylic base which is fragile to IPA
Form 2 tanks LT are made out of new material that does not crack with IPA. Tank LT printing surface also has 20x longer lifetime then Form 1 tank, so you will spend less money on consumables in a long run.

Wiper blade is driven from one side which makes the opposite end prone to flexing.
Wiper is driven from the side, but the load is moved to the middle of the wiper with a hinge mechanism. Wiper significantly improves print quality and allows Form 2 to recover from small failures.

With all those efforts I would have hoped they came out with a top down printer
Form 2 peel mechanism is significantly more forgiving then Form 1 peel mechanism. You can print full brick volume without any failures. Form 2 automatically adjust peel cycle to the geometry of the part. Top-down machines, while have 0 peel forces, have significant issues with layer thickness due to surface tension and viscosity, therefore layer thickness is usually limited to 100um, if you don’t want any big print artifacts. On top of that, if you get a failure in a top-down machine, you have to filter a lot of resin. If Form 2 was a top down machine, it would require to filter 4 liters of resin, incase of print failure. In contrast, Form 2 never stores more than 200ml of resin in the tank at any given moment.

Not sure the real reason Formlabs disbanded the Form1.
We are going to provide consumables (tanks and build platforms) for quite a bit, resin sold in cartridges is also compatible with Form 1. We also have plenty of replacement parts left, but we are not going to make any new parts. We no longer make Form 1s, because it is over 5 years old machine and Form 2 does everything that Form 1 does, but better. Form 1 will always have a special place in my heart, but Form 2 is very much superior. We probably spent 20x engineering time on a Form 2 vs. Form 1.

Keeping any machine that relies on optics to work in a dusty environment doesn’t make sense to me. A dust cover has solved just about every issue with failed prints with my Form1+ . I have seen many complaints with qc with dust being on the inside of the F2 machines. QC was a big issue when I purchased my F1 where the optics were horribly dirty. I personally believe I could have assembled the machine with better results in my workshop than how the F1 was presented to me. Sealing the system in a clean-room environment and having good qc seems important to me.

Glad FL finally changed the material used for the tanks. I had questioned the use of acrylic on tank walls when my first tank failed. a few years back.

That makes sense putting the load on the middle of the blade, by the looks I thought it was driven from one end.

Many top down printers have wiper systems, some even have resin recirculating to keep resin mixed. Granted yes they do need a full tank to print which is expensive. With proper supports on the model and near 0 stress on parts printed AND the fact you do not need to use a consumable tank where pdms wears out, the overall design makes more sense and seems like a worth while pursuit.
As far as being able to print a solid block of plastic, it doesn’t seem practical, why? Models used for patterns, prototyping for injection molding and even sculptures would never in any practical sense be done solid. Not only is that a waste of material but it would not represent the final part.

I am still far from convinced on the cartridge system, reminds me of HP and Epson with their systems. The other problem I see is the leaking issue with the cartridge. I know i toss in resin in my F1 and I know it isn’t going to drip all over my machine… It would have been nice to put in a pause command on models that exceed the resin amount allowing the user to refill their tanks on the F1 but for the few years I have had mine I only needed to do this once.

Back to killing off the Form1+. Other than royalty issues with 3dSystems it would have been better to keep the machine as an introductory product to round out the product line for consumers. The R&D invested into that simple product should still yield additional revenue for the company. Makes no sense to leave customers hanging on that in hopes they will simply run out and but the F2. Even at 3k price mark there should be some time alloted to people can get their return on investment.

Thanks for some of the clarification

No problem at all!

…tank where pdms wears out…
New Form 2 LT tanks don’t use PDMS anymore and last up to 20-30 liters of prints.

As far as being able to print a solid block of plastic, it doesn’t seem practical, why? Models used for patterns, prototyping for injection molding and even sculptures would never in any practical sense be done solid. Not only is that a waste of material but it would not represent the final part.
You are absolutely right! I gave an example of solid brick, because this geometry generates biggest peel forces, and Form 2 can still peel it gently. Sorry for the confusion.

I am still far from convinced on the cartridge system…
Form 2 supports open mode; you can disable cartridge and the wiper and use the printer exactly the same way you use Form 1, we are not forcing you to use our resins, and you have the benefit of better peel mechanism, bigger build volume and stronger laser/heater that lets you use our new materials. Form 2 has a set of sensors that makes sure that the tank is not overfilled.

It would have been nice to put in a pause command on models that exceed the resin amount allowing the user to refill their tank
Form 2 has this option if you use printer in the open mode. Print will pause and wait for you to refill the tank manually, if your print is bigger than the volume of the tank.

If you want top-down:
If you are convinced that you want top-down machine, you should look into older Viper machines. They are bit expensive, but they are very reliable. Cheaper machines usually don’t have good re-coating mechanisms, and in my opinion, vacuum recoaters are the way to go.

Not that I have Form 2 but I didn’t think the heater worked in open mode. Did that change?

For me the issue with the cartridge system is the ability for something to go wrong and potentially dump a cartridge full of resin all over the printer. It happens to be one of my biggest fears about migrating to a Form 2. I personally couldn’t care less about 3rd party resins working in “closed” mode though I believe it was opened up for few days a while ago. But that version was quickly replaced when many found that the models being printed were not dimensionally accurate. The replacement version closed Open Mode backup. There was no discussion on what actually happened and why it hasn’t returned.

My other concern is the laser and its longevity but that is a topic for another day.

Except it’s not available for the Form 1/1+ is it?

I’m not sure if FormLabs realizes that not everybody is willing to migrate to the Form 2 or can even afford the Form 2. For some of us, the original expenditure to buy the Form 1/1+ was more that we could logically justify, yet we did it because we felt we were getting a product that would work for, and be around for a long time.

Now we come to a point where FormLabs not only announces the EOL of the product, but that no new replacement parts will be made, AND the consumables will be be gone as well.

II know we can use the resins from the cartridge, although FormLabs has been tweaking the formulas lately to improve printing on the Form 2, more often than not at the expense of the Form 1.

But then we hear that FormLabs will no longer make the tanks either, is this a way to force users to the Form 2? Because if it is, it’s the wrong approach. Without a replacement tank, the printer becomes a doorstop.

It’s like buying a water filtration system for your home, spending thousands of dollars on it, only to find 3-4 years down the road, the company has changed the filter to something new, incompatible with your old system, forcing you to buy a whole new filtration system.

So, what are the plans here? Is FormLabs planning on providing the existing tanks for as long as needed, or making an LT version for the Form 1, or is this indeed it?

Right now as long as parts and supplies are available for my F1 I am not in the market for a new machine. Down the road maybe I’ll look at SLS if i can find a descent machine that can handle zinc and nylon and 50µ layers. Or perhaps a polyjet.

Thanks

So let me ask you a question. How will you feel a year from now about discarding a fully functional printer, just because you won’t be able to buy supplies?