LT really 57% less likely to fail print?


#1

Recently got a marketing email from Formlabs quoting a statistic the LT tank “reduces the likelihood of a print failure by as much as 57% compared to a Standard Tank.”

I’m skeptical of this claim. I don’t doubt their collected data shows 57% less failures, I’m just not convinced it proves a causal relationship.

e.g. When I’m doing experimental stuff - which is more likely to produce failures - I tend to avoid LT tanks. That’s namely due to their cost (for work that’s disposable in nature, e.g. resin alchemy, I pick the more disposable tanks) and concern over abusing the premium tank surface (i.e. more scraping = faster wear). So I know I’m skewing the numbers a tiny little bit.

I expect outfits who are doing continuous “production run” manufacturing have switched to LT tanks, primarily to take advantage of their longer life (lower TCO). They’ve already dialed in their designs to the print process and resolved other factors likely to produce print failures.

I’d be interested in seeing data from a long-term experiment where a variety of identical prints were sent to LT and Standard tanks over their useful lifetimes. And hearing from users about their experiences with any tricky prints that failed in Standard but subsequently succeeded in LT.

I accept longer lifetimes alone would lead to reduced failure rates, since you get a lot more successful prints out of the tank before fogging starts to produce failures. Also that anything to reduce peel forces helps (i.e. non-stick layer). So I have no trouble believing LT tanks do reduce failure rates, I’m just not sure all 57% is accounted for by the switch. I think of Formlabs as having a fairly data-driven track record in analysis like this, and kind of expected a bit more rigor.

What do you guys think? Am I being too hard-headed, and have you noticed higher success rates from LT?


#2

Funny, I was thinking exactly the same.
We also run the more experimental stuff and also very large prints with the orange tanks. They seem to be more forgiving and are less expensive in case of failure.

We used to use LT tanks for this, but large cross section prints were not as sharp as with the orange tanks and the slightest print failure would damage the surface. Even a small dent was enough to have to throw the tank away, something we never experience with the orange tanks.


#3

My experience with LT tanks has been that they have just as many issues if not more as the standard tanks with the exception that you cant re surface the tank. I have had more prints fail on LT tanks then standard tanks. The LT tanks have rippled, dented, & all of them get bad scratch marks from the wiper & with Formlabs saying finger prints, hair & small dust will affect print quality… the scratches in the LT tanks are the worst. I seen the e-mail promoting the LT tanks and just shook my head. I try to stay away from them but with them making all the new resins only compatible with LT tanks I have removed a LT tank chip and use it to trick my form 2 into thinking a standard tank is a LT tank. Still in testing.


#4

haven’t done any controlled experiments, just anecdotal that we have fewer failures on the LT. It just depends on how they set up their experiment. If they ran the same 100 prints on both tanks, then I expect the standard tank to fog up and start having failures. If they used a fresh tank for both only and used 100 fresh tanks of each then I wouldn’t expect a big difference. Maybe they used a really difficult print file. They might also define a failure as certain features not showing up or surface degrading by X% which I would also think degrades faster on the standard tank.

Overall, it just seems like an odd claim to make since the value proposition to me is simply the life expectancy. It is totally worth the cost in my experience.


#5

Thanks for the feedback; it’s helpful.

@gjgomes, I think the 57% stat came straight from users hitting “Success” / “Failure”. Some more detail is here, broken out by material.

I do respect that real-world figures speak volumes vs. a lab experiment, and appreciate the company sharing the aggregated metrics. I just feel like the interpretation may be skewed. I know some people are big fans of the LT tanks, and others are detractors.


#6

Just had 2 print failures with rigid resin due to one of the parts not sticking to the platform and another where something broke off. The result for both tanks was a dent. It’s really hard to remove stuck parts without damaging the vat. Pretty bad for stats like this. I’m sure they got the 57% from somewhere, but not telling how they got it makes it an arbitrary number without meaning.


#7

I print mostly with Rigid resin, which requires a LT tank. I got ripples after about 2.5 liters of use. What happened to the claim that the LT tank lasts 20 times longer. I feel mislead.


#8

Doesn’t apply to Rigid, which is pretty hard on tanks. From the Printing with Rigid Resin article:

The extended lifetime of Resin Tank LT does not apply when used with Rigid Resin, a high performance material that can accelerate wear on the tank. When used with Rigid Resin, Resin Tank LT lasts 1–2 liters before the elastic layer begins to show wear.