Need cleanning in only 9 months and out of warranty?


My form 2 has only 9 months.
Since ± 2 months ago I have problems with the quality of prints.
Here the support service has been guiding me to clean the transparent base and the inner mirror.
The technical service is fine.
The quality has been better since then, but there is still a problem.
The service explained that probably the galvo mirrors must have dust, or can need an adjust.

My surprise is:
1- This happens only 9 months after buy the printer, only spending 1 resin tank replaced now with a new one.
2- The technical service informs that this cleanning / adjust has a cost of 229 Euros because as they explained, the clean of dust is out of warranty.

Here in Europe the warranty is of 2 years. Less than 1 year… and needs aditional cost for maitenance ? Is… as is ?



If it is only cleaning, you can do it by your self. The support is providing a cleaning kit and a very detailed instruction manual - all is free of charge. It took me about half an hour to do so. It is also giving you the understanding how the printer is working.

The dust is depends on the environment the machine is located within, for me it took something like 1.5 years. It is not the amount if prints performed, it is about the time of exposure to the environment. I’ve printed more then 16 litters during this period and then I had to clean the mirrors.

This will save you the 229 Euro.

Hope this helps.


The big inner mirror is clean like the transparent base. We used a manual for that from the country support.
The rest of maintenance in question is for the galvo mirrors. Just in the head of the laser unit. The cleaning kit / manual that you speak about is for the glvo mirrors ? I would like to have it, has been not sended from the technical service.

In the other way… yes, I think like you that depends of the environment. But this is an office ( not much dust in the air, except the coming from the opened windows in a big town ). We have during 15 years normal laser printers for paper, and never had this problem. In the case of the big mirror and the transparent base that we cleaned, the problem only was 5 little points of dust, and a soft coat of frog, problably from the town’s pollution.

For me at this moment the worst point of this printer is the box closing the optical unit. It is not airtight. I supose that the laser requires ventilation, but it’s a very bad idea to have the closer on top side and near the tray. But is only my opinion.

About the cost of maintenance in all other products, is out of order and can have cost if you make something wrong that damage the product. Or at this case taking to the limits, if we use it in an exceptionally contaminated place. But at this case could be needed to warn… “For use only in LABS”. :grinning:


The fact that there was fogging on the optical surfaces suggests that there has been resin spilt into the printer. I would suggest that you should print an ‘Optical Test’ file and tell us what the results are.


The fogg was in the transparent base. I cleanned this and the inner big mirror for clean 3 dust particles in it.
I made a test and the support explained that looking it, there was a problem with the galvos. And made the same question. If resin split into.

Following their instructions I opened and… nothing. One time with the printer opened, I opened the optic box. Nothing into. But I observed and cleaned a barely perceptible fog in the main mirror. I do not know if as rest of the first cleaning.

After this clean I printed a new model and the result was much better. I can’t make your test as is for black, but I am re-printing the white test that my support sended me. They are closed now… summer hollidays. Let me a few hours and I will upload.

Much thanks.



Sorry the poor quality. Is too much near for the focus of the camera.


And this is the sate of the optic box BEFORE the second cleanning.


The only component that is most seriously worn is the resin tray that is quite blurry. But what worries me is that in your tests you always aim at the galvos.


That looks like dirty gal’s. But you now mention a seriously worn tank so replace it as well.


“seriously” compared with the new condition of the rest. And I did not mention it before because the support after 1st test appointed directly to the galvos.

Yes, I can replace the resin tray. But could be nice after hours cleanning the printer and 2 tests, answers confirming or not the need of the support maintenance, and if the photographs show such extreme pollution to justify a payment for it outside the warranty.



Sorry for the late response. The galvo mirror is pretty easy to clean, its 2 very small mirror on two different small motors. You clean it with ear stick wet with IPA.

Here is a link for the cleaning method (valid for 3 days so be sure to download it for future use).

You already opened the machine very close to it so it will be no problem for you.

If you want the cleaning kit ask it from formlabs support and not from your local support.

By the way, you can print the optic test with while or clear as well,

I didnt got the cleaning kit so I just blow some wind on it with my mouth, use a good sorce of light and you will be able to see if any dust left on the mirrors from the ear stick after cleaninng.

Be very gentle, dont touch with bare hands and keep the time the machine is opened as short as possible but dont be hasty.

Good luch, keep us posted.


This is really a great help !! Thank you very much !!

The problem was not only the support cost. Is almost the cost of transport to the country service go / back. All for 400 ? 400 each 9 months = around 2.700 in 5 years in/out warranty.

As IT profesional this could be like a maintenance contract for software. But if the soft contracts could be compared to this printer, after 5 years you could end receiving a free Form 3 as an update of the Form 2.

I understand that the resin is a very complex problem. Dirty and greasy enemy of hardware. A new problem not present since now in this market. But maybe you must look to EPSON or OKI in the way to make hard well closed structures. Very well protected from dust and without maintenance during lot of years.

Is true that the 3D printer users are accustomed to mount their own printers. But the IT customers not. They want a product that solves their requeriments, and if you ask to spend hours working in the machine or add a payment support under warranty, you must be ready to learn as a minimal… shouts.

You could speak about is not a so easy machine like a home hardware. Bad idea. The industrial machines are a special market where the machines are super-protected to work in dirty environments such as factories. Bye.


Well, this is a one way to look at it. The other is cost perspective. Think of making the machine dustproof, the cost is extremely high, the components are more expensive, validating that it is really dustproof is very expensive and solving problem with a dustproof case is even more expensive for the support as more equipment is required. There are companies that do it and therefore their products are more expensive then Formlabs.

There is always somthing to improve and there is always some weaknesses in each and every product that concluding so much tech in it.

Look at the manual instructions that I’ve posted, the team knew about this problem of ddust, so they written a cleaning method that everyobe can perform easily. This way the machine is cheaper. There always somthing that come on the expenses of somthing else.

I’m pretty positive that the Formlabs 3 will be much more better because they now have the founds and the experience gathered from Formlabs 2.

This is an evolution of a product and company, things are good and they are strive to be excellent. I think they will get there, its just a matter of time.


I understand perfectly what you explain. You are writting a new way and must be as you say an evolution.

Only as idea, the current optical container is only a case. It would be necessary to change it to a rigid plastic container, for example with rails that would allow to extract all the optic unit with the main mirror included in a single plastic box. The closure would be much more airtight, and for ventilation an isolated duct away from the upper closure of the main box.

This is a price increase. But I think this point is is a priority and will spare users and yourselves many headaches.

It is true that it is a price increase. But other manufacturers like the ones I mentioned distribute many functions that you have installed in different models. That way each user buys what they need without paying for things they don’t use. example: wireless or not, network or USB. But I also understand that it would complicate the production in different models. well… are ideas. And again many thanks for the help.


Giving the option to extract the mirrors can cause to further malfunctions as the mirror location is a very accurate and therefore, is fixed to the frame. I agree it could be more sealed with and i’m pretty sure it was considered while designing Formlabs 3.

A matrix of extensions to reduce the price for basic software is an option. I’m personally dont like it, or you get it with everything or dont get it it all. This is my opinion anyway.

To conclude, I think the value for money is pretty good, I’ve printed hundreds of parts during the last 1.5 years and if i had to manufacture it using subcontractors I was paying thousands of dollars if not more.

Keep us posted on the results after cleaning.


Have you been dealing with Formlabs or a 3rd party reseller? Because the costs you quoted don’t sound like the way that Formlabs operate.

I cleaned the galvo mirrors on my first printer twice in two and a half years, and when that machine finally failed I paid £850 +VAT for a back-to-base repair. Though instead of a repaired printer they sent a different refurbished one.


The country distributor as reseller.


I suggest you try dealing with FormLabs support directly.


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