Many prints failing :( help!


I’ve had varying success with prints since I’ve been using the Form1+. Lately I just seem to be getting more and more failed prints. I usually set-up the print with a fairly default slanted orientation with supports at defaults. With failures on this setting, I have then usually upped the density (and sometimes point size) and sometimes the slope multiplier. I would still get fails at ‘in-between’ settings and also with settings at maximum density/point size. If feels like the failures are happening on the larger parts. I’ve had little trouble printing small parts.

I have also swapped trays to a recently barely used one (that was clear of clouding or marks and had previously successfully done 2 clear material prints). The resin is a freshly opened black resin, well shaken, use by date Nov. 2015.

On these latest fails… they all seem to fail at different points and with quite a bit of ‘flaking’. On my previous grey prints, these came out fine. I always check my tank after prints, removing all cured bits and running a clean comb though to pick out the tiny bits. I usually do a quick visual on the mirror as well as the underside of the resin tank. I use pec-pad lint-free wipes lightly on occasion, to clear any dust specs I see.

So my questions are…

  • Should I try these prints in a different resin?
  • What is making the black resin cause so much ‘flaking’? I haven’t seen that with other resins (I’ve used white, grey and clear).
  • Am I not orientating/supporting parts correct enough?
  • How do you analyse a failed print to really work out what went wrong?

Advice to a noobie will be greatly appreciated!

Recent failures (didn’t bother soaking in IPA due to them failing, hence the shine):

Box of fail (21 pieces):

Boxes of Win:

Is only black failing/flaking now, or is it with all colors of resins? You may need to perform additional mirror cleaning. (It sounds like you’re already doing a great job by only using pec-pads lightly on occasion). You can reach out to customer support here via a ticket to get the mirror cleaning instructions.

It seems to have only started flaking since using the Black resin yes. I completed some grey and clear prints without any flaking.

Such anguish, much sorrow! I see these pictures and feel your pain. Some months ago I was getting pretty bad black flaking, not unlike this. Cleaning the two mirrors and the gyros sorted me out. Follow the instructions from Support, they are champs.

Also if you happened to have tried this already, I’m curious do you see any difference between 100 micron vs. finer resolution?

Wishing you buckets of win.

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I had the same sort of failures. It was a dirty mirror. I made the mistake of using compressed air and ruined a mirror. Formlabs sent me a new one and it has worked ever since.

Hi Lisa - feel your pain and frustration… had 2 weeks of trouble-free BEAUTIFUL printing at the beginning, then things went down hill, just like with you, flakes, flakes, flakes… and I so used to love cornflakes for breakfast :smile:! Here’s a post on my experiences which may help.

After initial hiccups and a steep painful learning curve I am more convinced than ever that buying a Form1+ was a great idea (and no, I’m neither a salesperson from FormLabs nor in any way connected with the company). Am currently involved with a research project that just wouldn’t go any where near as fast if it wasn’t for the Form1+.

Anyway, since getting the printer (a bit more than 3 months of intensive printing), I have cleaned the galvos twice (the first time was unnerving, the second time not so bad, and the third time - it will come, and soon, I expect - will be fine) and replaced the tilt motor (that was the weekend just gone, it was wearing out already) and am now printing again nearly 24/7 with great results.

In both instances I saw exactly what you are seeing, flakes. It is definitely worse with taller parts, since the effect of the laser scattering due to mirror contamination sums up over the layers; in addition, it is, I think, worse with black than with white, since a black layer requires more laser power than white, which in turn results in faster flaking; likewise for 25µ (more layers for the same model height = worse) compared to 100µ.

HOWEVER; I have had some really MASSIVE flaking with clear, white and grey as the contamination gets worse… I’ll try and remember to add a picture tomorrow of one of the worst examples which makes your examples pale… really… that’s supposed to be a positive message :smiley:… remember, I’m printing 24/7 now with great results after some minor maintenance and definitely not having to send the printer back.

I would encourage you to do some more reading on the forum - there’s a lot of good advice here - but more than anything else open a support ticket… the support guys ‘n’ gals are, in my experience, fast (although it does notice that I don’t ever get more than one reply per day), helpful and really out to help. There are plenty of other support teams that could take a leaf out of their book!!


P.S. What field are you in? Those parts look somehow kind of product development engineery… like the grey mounting clips, clear led lightpipes (?) and small black housing with the on/off icon…

Thanks Richard, I shall give cleaning the gyro mirrors a go at. Regarding the resolution, I have printed the white parts from my photo at all resolutions - mostly at 25 microns as there is text on the part which shows up much sharper at highest resolution.

I moved back to 100 microns for these latest black parts as they are quite large with no text, so the quality can be lowered on these. So currently I haven’t tried a 50 or 25 on these parts, but I could try a 50 to compare.

Scott, I have a rocket blaster that I can use. I had read that using compressed air was a bad idea due to the fine residue it leaves. I will try this (rocket blaster) on the mirrors and go for another print!

Thanks Seagull. It looks like you are all recommending I try a mirror clean. I have not tried cleaning the gyro mirrors before - but do regularly wipe the large mirror with a pec-pad. I shall look at some documentation on it and give it a go! I’ll take your advice and open a ticket though and follow any of the official documentation they recommend. I’ve been away so couldn’t reply to this thread until now, so nothing to update until I get going on the mirrors and try another print :smile:

Yeah they are prototypes for some electronic devices, some R & D projects! I can’t really say much more than that, but it will house a pcb. The current failures are the charging bases.

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