Open Material License $6k per printer

If you search the forums you can find several posts asking about Open Mode on the Form 3 series of printers (3, 3B, 3L, and of course the “+” variants).

I’m pleased to see the recent Open Platform announcement. Could someone from Formlabs elaborate on the difference between Print Settings Editor and Open Material License?

Will the Print Settings Editor provide adjustments on par with what you have on the Form 2? Will it allow you to use any third party resin (no cartridge), and pause for manual refills?

When the 3 was first announced, the Formlabs marketing materials promised Open Mode and third-party resin compatibility as a feature. Months before the printer was released I had a conversation with a salesperson who assured me it would be implemented. That was a factor in my decision to pre-order, and I was disappointed when years went by and it never materialized.

I’m a little concerned the company now wants to charge me $6k (per printer!) for the capability, and suspect it might expose them to litigation risk given the original marketing and sales assurances.


I have a question,
Will the Open Material License be enabled on older Form 3 machines? Or does this license require a new Form 3 machine?

My guess is that the “Print setting editor” is for tweaks for existing, approved resins, but will still require a cartridge with chip and counter. And that the “Open Material Licence” will not require such a chip?
But i am curious to know how filling such a resin will work. Can you just reprogram any cartridge with another resin name and keep filling it up?

Hi @rkagerer,

Thank you for getting in touch! I can provide some clarification here.

Regarding the Print Settings Editor, I would expect there to be finer control over various print settings compared to Open Mode on the Form 2. Quoting the announcement you linked, users will be able to customize “exposure, layer height, resolution, scaling, heating, wiping, and interlayer motion”.

The Print Settings Editor alone will not allow for any resin to be used - only Formlabs resins or certified third-party resins. As such, there will be no need for manual refills. The ability to print with other resins would be unlocked via the Open Material License.

@Victor_J_ST The Open Material License will be available for purchase for any Form 3/B/+ printer.

@consol With the Form 2 Open Mode, automatic resin dispense was disabled. I don’t know as of yet how resin dispense will work via Open Material License.

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i guess the license is for companies going to make compatible resins and need them for r&d?
Because no normal person is going to buy a 6k add on.


Is Formlabs idea to charge me three times the cost of a printer to use 3rd party resins?!
Must be a misunderstanding?

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I was super happy seeing these new features, but looking at the price, I’m not sure who would be buying this $6k option.

The first 3rd party resin manufacturer seems to be focused on dental applications, so I suppose it’s for high end materials that are difficult to ship(or cert.) world-wide.

I guess it’s good that there is still the Universal Cartridge to print with 3rd party resins(although you can’t change exposure settings). It only costs $90,-

well you can change the exposure settings soon, with the “Print settings editor”

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I’m hoping the combination of the free “Print Settings Editor” feature (which as others pointed out is supposed to allow you to change exposure) along with the third-party Universal Cartridge will allow the use of “uncertified” third party resins. I suppose it will depend on just how far Formlabs allows you to deviate those settings from the baseline parameters associated with its stock resins. If any developers are reading this, please throw us advanced hobbyists a bone. I’ll be quite pleased if the feature set finally delivered surpasses what was available in Open Mode on the Form 2 - maybe it was worth the wait!

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I don’t know about anybody else, but this still is pretty unclear and they’re still not telling us really what the deal is