Let's talk about print failures (baby)!

First off, I must say that I’ve had not much print failure problems. In spite of widely posted amount of failure by Form 1 users, I have more than 90% success rate with my prints. When prints fail, it’s usually because I mess with some ‘risky’ settings. Risky as in skimping on supports so that I use less resin or orientating objects that does not play well with peeling.

That said, when I do have failed prints, I notice that it’s commonly because parts completely failed to adhere to the platform. That is much less common. The most common failure that I experience that I feel is out of my control are support failures.

This is my latest print (clear piece). As you can see the base printed very nicely (a huge chunk of resin!!) but when it comes to supports, they just failed. Notice that it failed more towards the non-hinge side, which we already know is a big problem with Form 1. Also note that I selected supports with the largest touch-point size.

If you take a look at the 5 round gray pieces, you will notice that support structures varied thru out the print. This came out of 1 batch print (form file attached). They are duplicates that Preform oriented randomly. Again I printed this with the largest touch-point size. I find that even the largest touch point size are ridiculous small in actual prints and they often fail when peeling occurs.

My question to Formlabs, does supports print with lesser definition/fidelity than the actual objects? I know that the software can tell them apart. But are they handled differently during printing? Much like how FDM printers print the supports. They usually have lower density. If so, you need to stop doing so.

I’ve not raised a support ticket for this. BTW, all these came out of the latest 1.4.


If your supports are coming out fine but the part is not printing, then it may be a laser issue with your machine.

What? I specifically mentioned that the supports are not OK.

In some cases, it caused print failures. In some cases, the part itself still manage to merge because of the remaining structures.

I don’t think it’s a laser issue by any measure.

“My question to Formlabs, does supports print with lesser definition/fidelity than the actual objects? I know that the software can tell them apart. But are they handled differently during printing? Much like how FDM printers print the supports. They usually have lower density. If so, you need to stop doing so.”

From my experience, no they do not do this.  The supports need to be stronger or at least as strong as the raft and model or the part will not print correctly.

Unfortunately, I consider myself an expert in laser failures.

I am sure Formlabs is working with you to determine the cause of your issues.

If you have not done so yet,

I would:

Try an old vat with new resin, print out the 1 large butterfly clip.  Do not modify anything from the original orientation or supports.

If that does not print properly,

Do the same test with a new vat.

If that does not print properly,

Do the laser spot test.

Let FL know the results.

I am with Monger, I believe your laser is failing.

Good luck and let us know how you make out.


I’ll third what David and Monger are saying.  I had a laser problem with my first Form1 and your photos look a lot like the trouble I was having.


Thanks, I’m currently working with support staff to determine the issue.

Still waiting for reply from Support and I guess from most of the post here, it’s what Formlabs would categorise as laser failure.

I did another test print and it failed again. I notice some patterns with the failed prints. The half of the platform away from the hinge side is pretty much useless. If the laser is failing intermittently, I would expect more randomness? Maybe just wishful thinking on my part.

The supports that failed to build up correctly also has a pattern, only those on the rims failed. Again, doesn’t seem like something random. They all failed at the same height, which is also weird. Also if the base printed correctly, that means the area the support goes to has no issue with the mirror or dust.

If you look at the closeup, the laser marks look perfectly aligned and straight for areas that turn out correct.

Any ideas?

Continuing my lone battle against print failures…

From the last post, I went back again to my gray resin. I didn’t have a lot of it left so I guess it’s time to test resin mixture. I put in less than 50% B9Red to the Formlabs gray.

While mixing the resin and ‘grooming’ my resin tank, I noticed that the PDMS is getting much foggier than I less use it. Since the foggy part clustered at the centre, I risked the print by avoid that area but actually, I know it’s going to fail since the part tilts towards the problematic area as it builds.

Anyway, this is the result. Must say, this is mainly my fault as the resin tank was less than optimal. But interestingly, the supports are perfect. Sharp and straight and fully attached to the part. Contrast this with my previous post? Should the difference in resin tank and resin type make such a huge difference? Bear in mind the previous clear part has a almost brand new tank and newly opened resin.

Apologies for breaking this up into multiple posts, the forum software allows no formatting.

With the above failed part, I guess it’s time to ditch the resin tank. I decided to clean out the clear resin tank I used earlier since that is my only other tank. I fired off another test print and this time success!! So again, how can my laser be degrading??

Some of the support have issues again while some are just about as perfect as it can get. It’s just very puzzling. Surface finishing is also terrible. But at least this is something that I can use.

This is printed on PerForm1.4

Bolstered by the previous success, I decided to print something slightly more ambitious.

The orientation of the part is slightly challenging but I think it’s got the smallest profile when printed this way. Anyway the print failed, for reason totally unfathomable to me other than to echo what others have said about the Form1’s inability to print tall prints. I guess this increases the risk and as soon  as any bits of unattached resin gets dislodged from the part, it just snowballs.

Also noted that the surface finishing went totally nuts! So much for supposedly better surface finish. This was printed on 1.4.1.

The supports are perfect again this time.

The failures continues…

In another thread.

I’m having print failures as well, or partial failures anyway. In reading over these threads, I’m reading about other people’s problems, but I’m not hearing anything about solutions. Do the tech support people or Formlabs engineers actually read this stuff? Are they allowed to respond? Or is this forum just for venting?

Andrew Werby

I see on top of the post you have a pic of the part with the longest supports away from the hinge side.
I have the best results with the longest supports facing the hinge side.

One thing to really watch for is use the layer slider and make absolutely sure you have supports as the model is built. Sometimes there might be a small part of the model that has an overhang that is not supported and it causes an unconnected layer that will cascade into a failure. Little cured pieces in the resin there after will cause more problems until you clean out the tank and strain the resin.

I have gotten in the habit of just cleaning out the tank and straining resin between prints. The 2 min it takes is better than a 3 hour failure. Also gives me a chance to really mix the resin up and inspect the pdms. Sounds like a pain but really is pretty easy.

We’re in here, Andrew! You’ll see a variety of responses from Steve, Jason, Craig, Adam, Jory, and others—engineers and customer support, who are all part of our team. I encourage you to start a separate thread to discuss the issues your facing, as this one is fairly old (and using third-party resins, as well, which limits our ability to troubleshoot).

I will say that we do typically point people to our ticketing system, as there we can give people more focused attention.

I’m going to close this thread for now, as I know @TeckWeeTan has continued posting in other threads. (Good advice, though, @KenCitron).