Is this forum going the same way as Makerbots?

I’ve just gone to update / reply to @Alex_Vermeer thread “Any news on my printer?” to find that it been removed from public view. Now only people with a direct link can view it - LINK

Makerbot had a history of deleting or removing posts that showed them in a bad light, until out of the blue, they shut the forum down in August 2014 – LINK

If this is a sign of things to come then we would be better off setting up our own Google Group where we won’t be censored, like what we did with Makerbot – LINK

I don’t think anything said in @Alex_Vermeer thread was untrue of offensive, perhaps Formlabs would comment.

This is what I’ve posted via the direct link -

To be honest I don’t even think they have even looked at it and have said that due to a “unexpected delay” they will need another 7-10 days. I don’t understand as all that was required was for them to change the laser and re-calibrate.

I’ve had the printer for almost 5 months and haven’t been able to use it for a single commercial project. The one I did try, failed, and left me letting down my top client.

I’m so disappointed and ready to through the towel in.


I agree @Steve_Johnstone,

What if other community members are having similar issues with lack of communication concerning their tickets. At least now they can contact a Formlabs member to ask about the status rather than waiting and waiting and eventually ask a similar question as I am. This can save them a lot of time and money perhaps.

Maybe there are some internal strugglings (which is nothing to be ashamed of because every company run into issues eventually. Especially concerning communications). The only company who should be ashamed of having internal communications issues would be Vodafone ironically :stuck_out_tongue:

@Steve_Johnstone and @Alex_Vermeer I don’t know at what point the “Any news on my printer” thread was de-listed. I have re-listed it and am going to look into what happened. A lot of people here at Formlabs have access to the Forum Admin tools, and there is an ongoing debate as to how those tools should be used.



Thanks Michael!


Hooray. Power to the people. :smile: I wasn’t on that thread but thank you @Michael_Curry.

To get back to this topic with some positive news!

I got my printer back! (I hope you did too @Steve_Johnstone, or atleast will get it back very soon).

The support team mentioned my large mirror was replaced and the printer was re-calibrated. However, when returned I noticed the whole Galvo block was changed (new small mirror, new galvo mirrors and what seems to be a new laser (at least the laser pattern is notably different than the old pattern (perhaps this can be done with calibration??)). Had to clean all mirrors after shipment because I could already see a smudge on the small mirror straight after unpacking. I cleaned all the mirrors thoroughly and did a laser spot test afterwards.

Though I don’t know if this is an actual improvement of the laser, I’ve done some testprints:

I’m pretty happy with the results. There are some minor rough surfaces on the cross test piece. Somewhere in between @Ante_Vukorepa’s front and hinge side (just as reference):

The minimum feature test was a decent test. It was printed at 0.5mm and measurements were accurate to about +/- 10-30 microns on most test. A small failure at the end. I don’t know why, but after a little repositioning and it came out flawlessly (I only have a photo of the first try).

The helical walls is what I’m most impressed with. These came out perfect.

One thing I do find strange though, is that the original small feature test print didn’t stick to the base properly and the helical walls didn’t stick to the base from the start. I measured the base of the prints that did stick and these were 2.2mm (instead of 2.0mm). So I lowered the build platform (0.2mm)to print the helical walls again. Again, the helical walls didn’t stick to the build platform. I lowered the platform to 0.4mm with the same result. Therefore, on a hunch, I thought; why not heighten the build platform and see what happens. Maybe I’m going at this the wrong way. So I heightened the build platform with 0.2mm and suddenly the helical walls stuck to the build platform and printed properly…

This doesn’t seem to make sense to me… Perhaps someone can explain to me why the build platform must be set 0.2mm higher rather than lower??

Anyway… Here are my results of the “refurbished” printer:

Cross piece:

Minimum feature size test:

Helical walls:

Though I realise white isn’t the best color to do tests in, I was out of black resin. Still, I’m pretty satisfied with the results!


It’s nice to hear some good news @Alex_Vermeer.

My printer has literally just been delivered so FormLabs were good on their word - thank you :grinning:

| haven’t unboxed mine and haven’t had any feed back from the engineers yet. I’m hoping to spend some time with it over the weekend as I’m snowed under at the moment.

@Alex_Vermeer I don’t know why your parts are not sticking but I will tell you a couple important things to keep in mind while trouble shooting. First the tray and platform are not usually parallel so you need to measure the thickness of a base at all four corners of the platform to get a more accurate picture of how to set your platform height. My four squares print is good for this. Second the Helix Walls is sensItive to over compression since it has one drain hole to regulate pressure. If there is too much compression this hole comes out too small so the pressure doesn’t equalize adequately resulting in poor adhesion or blowouts.

Good to see you got your printer back in good order. I also just got my printer back, but I am not happy with the situation. But that story will be told later.

Thanks for the explanation @RocusHalbasch. It definitely makes more sense after reading your comment. I shall print your “4 square” model to see what the results are.

Hope your printers doesn’t have any serious issues after return. Atleast no issues which need to be handled back at Formlabs!

I haven’t had time to do any test so with the work piling up just decided to go for it with the last part that failed seen here - Laser Flare & the effects on your prints - Part II

Before printing -

  • Blew dust of the main mirror
  • Prepared a fresh resin tray with fresh resin

Printed at 0.1mm later heights with clear v2.

Obviation -

  • The print completed :smile:
  • The surface quality is much better.
  • There was some flaking
  • The areas of the rearward face of the print have a mottled / pitting
    type surface.
  • There was some part cured resin in the tray that needed to be
  • On most of the forward face you can see the individual 0.1mm layer
    striations which is perfect and what I would expect to see.

All in all there is a hug improvement, but as you can see from the photos there are still some issues.

So the big question is are they user related, machine related or just the limitations of the printer.

The part part shown is a segment of a cap and there are another 2, the same size, that need printing.

To rule out me not orientating the part correctly, I’m going to ask Formlabs support to orientate the next piece and then print it.

I haven’t opened up the back of the printer so haven’t examined the galvos or the small mirror - they should be clean as its just come back from repair.

While I’m waiting, I will get Sharon to take @RocusHalbasch, series of DSLR pictures to add to his laser pattern comparison document as I feel this is by far the best way to analyse the laser pattern (if you have the equipment).

Glad to hear there are improvements, though not as much as you would like to see. Don’t rule out the galvos or the small mirrors. Mine were definitely smudged after unpacking the printer (you can easily shine a torch on the small mirror to inspect it without having to take off the galvo block. Unfortunately I believe the things you’re experiencing might indeed be a limitation of the printer. I haven’t seen many tall objects print without these symptoms. It seems to be a resin flow issue?

Though yes, hopefully it’ll be a user-related issue and the support team can give you proper instructions how to properly print your piece.

@Steve_Johnstone I look forward to your pics, however you will have to open a new thread as the stupid 14 day rule just killed the DSLR laser spot thread. :frowning: Maybe if we yelled really loud for @Sam_Jacoby he would open it back up for you. :smile:

@Alex_Vermeer how did the 4 squares print come out? I’m always really interested how crooked different printers are.

@RocusHalbasch, I just printed them this morning. Here are my results:

Any thoughts?

@Alex_Vermeer that’s not quite what I meant. I meant this print.

Which you are supposed to print at 100micron layer height, then measure the thickness of each of the four squares. However I can probably work out the same stuff from your print. However to do so I’m missing some important details. What are the dimensions of the cubes as modeled, and for each cube you list four different numbers, what are these numbers? The numbers that are actually important are the heights of the four squares and the modeled height.

Ok I actually figured out what all your numbers are. I actually just want to know what the height of the four cubes are, also if they are all about 9.5mm thick you have a lot of unnecessary compression, and will likely get much better results increasing your platform height by another 0.5mm or so.

Ahh right… Let me do your sketchfab print and see what the actual results are.

Your calculations were correct @RocusHalbasch. Your print came out at 1.53mm so that would mean I should heighten the build platform by .4 or .5mm, right?

Did all four come out the same thickness. They often vary. Sometimes significatly. Mine have varied by as much as 0.85mm. The trick is to get all four as close to 2mm as you can. So if they vary by say 0.4mm you want to adjust so the thickest is about 2.2mm and the thinnest is about 1.8mm. This also will result in the middle being close to 2mm in thickness. Make sure to reprint it to check your results you may find it’s not quite what you thought it would be and still do another small adjustment.

I plan on doing a detailed explanation of this and other geometry checking prints I have designed, but I haven’t gotten to it yet.

Actually there was minimal difference between the four pieces. Everything was in the margin of 0.1 - 0.2 mm. I will place the build platform at 0.4mm higher and see what the results are after the weekend.

Thanks for the help @RocusHalbasch! I’m sure I’ll find the right settiings for printing now!