Is The form3 better than the form2


#1

So I was considering Form 2 purchase a while back, but held off because of some issues that people had with the machine and Formlabs service.

Just came back to the forum to check on how people like the Form 3, at first glance looks like nothing has changed, may even gotten worse?

Whats your opinion, has Formlabs uped their game with the form3 ?


#2

Upped their game but there’s definitely new product issues such as longer print times, incompatibility with established resins, along with a few other items here and there. They have been working on these items however through firmware updates and a new vat that allows for further resin support. It depends who you ask how their support has been. At times it works great with some excellent service. Other times it has you wondering why there is not better support for their printers in terms of DIY repairs, then again I suppose that would only cut into their profits.

I still advocate for the Form 2 as you can find very good used deals ranging from $1200 or more depending on included materials. Formlabs themselves still sells refurbished Form 2’s for $2800 which is fairly steep considering a Form 3 is $3500 retail but can easily be had for $3000 brand new using a referral code such as mine FORM3-8XCHYT. This code will save you $500 on the purchase price of a brand new Form 3 and provide me with $500 worth of materials which is a win win situation. You must call however to place your order to make use of this referral code.

In either situation I believe they’re still some of the best in the business with print quality and ease of use that is highly regarded. There also seems to be a growing community of DIY repairs and 3rd party support for fixing Form 2s and smaller issues with Form 3s. I suggest joining the Facebook Formlabs group if nothing else there is a lot of support and examples of the machines at work along with their failures with some fixes to boot.


#3

Thanks for that reply Char,
I guess the scary thing with form labs is their inconsistency which has not seemed to changed. Going with form labs you seem to be taking chance that things will work out, not what I like to see when buying any machinery. I think as more lower priced resin printers come into market, someone is going to knock this type of relatively simple resin printer format “out of the park” with low cost, reliability, and functionality, My guess is it will not be a formlabs machine.


#4

I feel like it’s already happening to a degree. Your general consumer will not want to spend that much on a 3d printer. I find that many of my friends or forum members I have seen prefer something like the Elegoo Mars or Mars Pro. It is very cheap, fairly easy to use, great quality prints, cheap variety of resins and cost effective easy to replace parts. The biggest downside being its relatively small print volume but many in the market are not printing THAT large. So there’s definitely a market for cheaper printers but there is a certain level of quality that is unmistakable with the Formlabs. The biggest issues being price and consistency in quality or customer support thereafter. I really wish they would go to a more user friendly approach to repairs and make parts with instructions readily available. It would save them time and increase community confidence in their products. Downside would be them losing repair cost money but if your users are more confident in your support then I feel more would be willing to buy more printers/materials which would easily have a larger return in the long run.


#5

Sounds like you would be a good Prusa customer, if they come out with a larger version of their SL1. They have their roots in the Rep Rap community, all open source, a lot of web info from them on how to work with their machines.


#6

Prusa is awesome from my experience. I have a Prusa Mini on order and I’m very interested in their Prusa XL whenever that releases. Not too sure if they’ll make a larger SL1 but their resin printer just doesn’t have the same innovation as their FDMs in my opinion, still cool though.


#7

I have been using the Moai 130 for about a year and then decided to buy a form3. I find the Moai very usefull for smaller parts. The form3 is very good in all sizes and very accurate in messurements. Since I always let the Form3 print during evenings and nights the speed is not a real issue for me. I had very good results with the form3 overall.


#8

I was using a Moai as well for a while. I feel like the support dropped off once they came out with their Moai 200 and then the Phenom. It is still a fairly solid printer though but it just does not match the professional quality of the Formlabs printers in my opinion. Then again it also is only a third of the cost in most regards so there’s surely a balance to be had. Great use of your printers though there’s a situation in which many of printers excel its a matter of finding and exploiting it.