Is it worth buying form 3 ? :)


#1

Hi All,

After reading all the cons. Discussions , i am getting afraid . I really like this printer, i am in 3d printing business so i just want to get an opinion should i buy this Printer ?

Thanks :relieved:


#2

I mean it is a cheap machine and pretty much average on most areas. If you get a good machine ( no machine problems), it is good to run for business. But remember, your competitors may own the same machine. So you need to think about how to differentiate yourself.

It also quite depends on your main customer pool. If you are serving most engineering jobs, yes it makes sense to get one since FL has a good resin pool and some unique engineering resin. If you only print minifigures, get a LCD printers. Look at the Etsy, so many people there selling 3D printing service by using the LCD machines.

If your client is very niche and you are the only service guy to them. Just ask them which machine they prefer and give you the money to buy then.


#3

Hi,

Thank you for your detailed opinion, i am a character artist working for gaming and vfx studios but recently i have started my 3d printing business to serve printing services and i am also using lcd printers but the quality is average. Form 3 can deliver awesome quality prints i guess


#4

As long as the client is happy, then you are doing the right thing. lol
When the client is not happy, it is time for you to start to look for alternatives and figure out the difference from every machine.

good luck.


#5

Haha thats right

Are you using Form 3 ? :slight_smile:


#6

I’ve had a Form1+, a Form2, and now I own a Form3. They’ve all worked great for me. The Form3 has yet to produce a print I was unhappy with (at least, that wasn’t my own fault. I tend to override a lot of the supports defaults in Preform). I traded in the Form2 for the Form3 because the Form3 has less peeling forces which allows (in theory anyway) more delicate prints. I’m a bit disappointed in its print speed, which is markedly slower than the Form2. But I really like the fact that it’s not wrenching the print every layer as it performs the peel. The Form1+ just tilted the resin tray and the Form2 does this tilt/slide thing. Both apply a lot of longitudinal and lateral stress to the print during peel.

With regard to complaints about the Form3 on the forum, you have to remember that people who don’t have problems aren’t complaining. We don’t know how many printers Formlabs has sold, but I think it’s safe to assume it’s at least a few orders of magnitude greater than the number of people reporting issues. Based on how much negative traffic I see regarding the Form3, I don’t think it’s a big risk at all. Which is why I bought one even though I am mostly just a hobbyist who uses it to make stuff for myself and/or friends.


#7

Thank you for the help :slight_smile: . I totally agree with you.


#8

Reading the SPECS I guessed the same - it SHOULD deliver awesome prints.

Buy a Form 3 if you have the time for troubleshooting. That troubleshooting will mean spending $$$ on resin as you figure out the issues - then adjust your expectations to the reality.

I`d wait for Form 4 and see if it brings something that a 4k mono lcd printer cant. Or buy one of the better LCD printers. They are not all equal.


#9

Formlabs have improved the print quality since the rollout. With that said, I probably wouldn’t buy again. There still can be a lot of iteration in order to get acceptable results. Depending on the resin, the areas around the supports never seem to come out within the same dimensional accuracy. This is one of my biggest issues with print quality. Sometimes this can be improved with reorienting and playing with support parameters Therefore, an iterative process… So, the cost of resin and tanks combined with the short lifetime of tanks would be a deal breaker for me. I was led to believe the tank lifetime would be much longer. Even when the V2 tank was released, the tank lifetime did not increase much (IMO). I’ve seen some very good quality from some of the much lower cost LCD printers. However, if you have the budget for an iterative process, then it might be worthwhile.


#10

Thanks :slight_smile:


#11

Speaking of 4K mono printer output, here are a a few busts I printed on my Photon Mono X

And here are a couple of minis. These are Warhammer gaming minis, so they are 32mm scale. The 2 on the left were primed in black:


#12

Out of curiosity are these busts hollow or solid?


#13

The busts are hollow (1.2mm wall), the Mandalorian is solid, and the 3 Warhammer Minis are solid


#14

Got it thanks. These machines look pretty great for small parts or parts with small cross sectional areas. Super cheap too.

I think people often make the assumption that they are “better” than the Form 2 and 3 because of this.

I suspect if you’re printing large engineering parts with thick sections you would either get deformation from large peel forces or your support touch points would be annoyingly large in comparison.

Looks amazing for what you’re doing though!


#15

I’ve printed larger, solid parts before without any issues. Don’t forget that these printers use FEP film, which does not require as much peeling force as PDMS does (which is why Formlabs went to FEP on their Form 3).

I printed this guy on my small Photon printer, and had to be scaled to fit on the platform, so he’s about 80 (W) x 60(D) x 65(H)mm. He was printed solid using the translucent green resin, direct on the platform with manually generated supports for the ears. I’m not so sure my old Form 1+ would have been able to print that solid.


#16

What’s the Photon max build volume size? And what size touchpoints do you usually end up using?

Even the Form 2 LT tanks had a film of FEP on top of the PDMS actually. But I imagine the peel force of the Form 3 is significantly lower than a tensioned FEP film like on the Photon, etc.

The speed and price of LCD printers is definitely very enticing. I’m just disagreeing with users who are globally comparing it to the Form 3. There are applications where the lower peel force and engineering resins of the Form 3 really make it a much more obvious choice over small hobby printers like the Photon. Likewise, there are applications where a cheap LCD printer works perfectly enough and it doesn’t make sense to buy into the Formlabs ecosystem.


#17

Yes,

I own a Form3 ( don’t use it too much and think about selling it.) and 10+ Form 2 machines.

Plus a group of LCD printers+DLP printers+Industrial SLA machines.


#18

When you said “small Hobby printers” I think you were referring to the small LCD based models like the original photon which use 5.5" LCD panels.

The Photon Mono X uses a 4K monochrome 9" LCD panel and has a volume of 192 x 120 x 245, so it can print objects larger than the Form 3 if you orient them right.

As for supports, it depends on what I’m printing. For small miniatures I usually do light supports, with only a couple of medium size ones at the bottom.


#19

Thanks for the share :slight_smile:


#20

Can you share some pics of printed items ? just want to see some form 3 print quality ? Thanks