New Improved Resin Tank?

One of the biggest downfalls of the FormLabs 2 printer is the short life of the Resin Tank. Is there any solutions available to stretch the life of these tanks?
FormLabs 3 wish list…
Bigger Build Platform
Longer life span of the Resin Tank
Faster Prints


It seems the higher the resolution the faster it wears out. But at least the trays only 59$ each. seem to last 1.5 cartridges at 0.025
which is what I run my models at. you need to move your pieces around so your not using the same place too often that will give you more life on the tray

Well in this F3 upgrade item a better resolution also coming to a high quality level.

There is a tutorial floating around on how to make an entire printer. In that tutorial they make the tank. They take glass and coat it with some chemical.

I suppose you could replace the bottom with glass and coat with that chemical, and have a perm tank, but since the tray has a chip in it, I’m sure #formlabs would like to make sure that tray ends up in a landfill. For me it’s not as much about the cost as the environme talk impact of disposable parts.

Maybe #formlabs will hear is and come up with a better solution. We already pay a lot for materials.

Perhaps you guys need to look at the ZVat industries tanks.

Their tanks have glass bottoms and are designed to last indefinitely (So they claim). All you need to do is periodically replace the PDMS layer as it fogs up.

The owner is a member here, and should be able to provide you with additional information.

Disclaimer: I, personally, am not affiliated with ZVat, nor do I own one of their products, but the idea does have merits, especially for those concerned with the environment.


It’d be nice to have a higher quality vat that you could clean with IPA and replace the PDMS without scratching it and stuff like that. I kind of like the trays as a consumable because I know they are clean and properly set up
The ideal solution though is something that would last much longer (or forever)

I machined a vat in exactly the shape of the formlabs vat out of chemical resistent engineering plastic(already tried IPA and laquor thinner and is still in great shape) for some experiments. You could easily put a glass window in it and apply a new PDMS layer a hundred times or more. It only does not have the chip(but you can buy this exact chip at maxim IC for a few cents, I have not reverse engineered it yet so it could be encrypted).

But machining an exact vat like that costs like 150 euro per vat. Up to you if it’s worth it.

I expect that it is even possible to make one with a separable bottom so you can change the glass window if you happen to scratch it(making cleaning even more easy!) and if the chips are encrypted, you just take it out an old tank and put it in the new one.

If there are enough people interested, I’m always prepared to think about the possibility to make a batch. :slight_smile:

Maybe someone can explain this to me.

I have 2 broken tanks for Form 2.
If I don’t use the printer for a while the silicone starts floating inside the resin tank. Each of the 2 tanks was used for a maximum of 200 ml of resin. MAXIMUM.

Why is this happening?

I really hoped the tank problems will dissappear if I pass from Form 1+ to Form 2.

Are you sure its the silicone floating up off the glass?

It could just be resin curing from light in the room.

I make sure the vent is closed on the resin cartridge and cover my form 2 with a large black trash bag to keep light out in between prints.

Can you upload a picture of what you’re describing? I’ve never heard of the PDMS layer detaching from acrylic and certainly not on 2 separate tanks. If your PDMS layer is somehow detaching, we’ll absolutely want to look into it and you should open a ticket with our support team.

I had the same happening on a form 2 tank. Both corners at the front started to peel off. I suspect that the root cause is touching the edges with the spatula while cleaning the tank. The spatula probably started the peeling, Printed almost 2 liter and made it an open mode tank after discovery as I didn’t want to waste the FL resin on it in case it went worse(it’s certainly not the alternative resin as that exact resin doesn’t damage my other tanks).

Haven’t had any case of the PDMS coming off the bottom of a tank

Really. Me too. I’ve used maybe a dozen over the last couple of years, F1+ and now F2. So 2 months on average before replacement. Never had even a hint of separation of anything in the bottom of the tank.

What resin are you using?

I’ll add to the Form 3 wishlist, or maybe there is a different thread for it. I’d like to see better resin overflow control. We had a disaster that destroyed our machine. There should be a better catch basin and overflow tube to divert it. Our machine was replaced under the Pro Services plan, so it paid for itself. But what a messy, frustrating experience!


Z-Vat industries has tanks with glass bottoms and offers a recoating service.

As @KenCitron has mentioned, z-vat industries sells a tank with a glass bottom and with a chip. It is only 70 euro if you send them an old tank, or 94 euro if you don’t (plus shipping). I have one myself.

I’ve had the same issue, but I think it was because I used a dry paper towel wiping it off which is quite sticky, now I only use paper towel after dampening it…

Uhm, yes I know, and that is exactly what has been discussed.
Zachary_Brackin was asking for a more durable tray, which can be properly cleaned and used over and over again, resisting IPA so cleaning can be done thoroughly.

As far as I know, the ZVat still wears, you can’t replace scratched glass(which is harder than PMMA of course) and you can certainly not clean it with IPA.

Never use paper on glass or PDMS. The wooden fibres in the paper will create micro scratches.

I did look into Zvat’s about a month ago. The owner of the company stopped manufacturing. He gave no explanation.

Wonder if it was a licensing issue on making tanks?

I had been saving my old tanks so I could recoat them but they tend to start crumbling so recoating doesn’t really seem to be an option.

If you soak a tank with IPA you do risk having the IPA creep under the PDMS which would lift it. I had that with my first tank. Yellow Magic cleans the PDMS and tank walls without any creeping and doesn’t craze the acrylic tank.

I would love to see Formlabs offer abs or polypropylene tanks with glass bottoms and a recoating service. Do the tanks really need to be clear on the side? I think Acrylic is a bad choice of materials for that type of part. Seems like a waste replacing an entire tank with every bottle or 2.

I had been tempted to cast my own tanks.

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