OpenFL: an API for the Form 1 / 1+



Just saw all this. Very exciting stuff. When will you rogue hackers get all this onto Linux? (edit: oops! looking at the code, seems it does!)

Seems like leveraging Blender might help things along. Worst case, just a commandline tool to push a saved .form out to the printer would really help a lot. Currently, I have to boot a dedicated windows box just to use the printer…


Hey, look at the bright side, you can buy a used Form1/1+ for 1/2 the price of the original, that is if you want to do your own research experiments. This is really a great thing going forward, especially when people share their techniques, sources of materials, and settings. The more technically inclined out there will be making some interesting discoveries no doubt. The future looks bright, 405nm bright.


@T_Joseph_Nkansah_Mah, I’m glad you asked about the communications channels. Internally in the development of the Form 2, they were particularly useful: Before we had developed the three-motor system that drives the Form 2, we used a Form 1+ to drive the hardware. It went something like this: To trigger the wiper, the flp stream included a SerialPrintCommand("wipe") command followed by a WaitOnPinCommand. A separate computer ran a Python script listening to the serial line and used Phidgets to drive the wiper motor, wait for the wiper to return to its limit switch, and trigger the Form 1+ to continue.

You can tap the serial line and listen. A regular print won’t say much. The printer says a few things on boot but otherwise it is quiet. I will point out SerialPrintClockCommand, which I found useful in doing metrology on prints. You see, the Form 1+'s system clock isn’t super precise, so over a multi-hour print, I found it drifting by a fraction of a second. We added SerialPrintClockCommand to allow us to synchronize our metrology with the progress of the print.

There are no other pins. Between SerialPrintCommand, WaitOnPinCommand, and SerialPrintClockCommand, I think you can do just about anything. You can use your own electronics to listen to the serial line and send a pin high or low if you have other electronics that wants that as input.


I am getting a Form 2, but I have to say thats a bit of bummer that the 1 is more open than the 2. I urge you to reconsider!


It’s unlikely they will reconsider. Often once they have decided something they don’t waver. So don’t hold your breath. As a bright note the Form 2 is a good printer which is something I never experienced with any of the Form 1’s I ever owned.


Thats a bit of a bummer! I was mainly interested in being able to tune 3rd party resin.


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Has anyone had luck messing around with resin profiles? I have been tempted to but have gotten discouraged by only having the one profile as an example. I think it is awesome that FL gave us the ability to mess around with this but I feel we are crippled without more profile examples bound to waste resin with sup-par results.


The main reason for Open FL is to use resins other than the Formlabs. We really don’t need all of the settings but it would be nice to have some hardware limits to stay within. How fast can I run the laser for instance (is 1500 the limit?).

I just did a trial print with some Fun To Do black resin and the default profile except 20 microns. As I was kind of expecting it was over cured but it did finish the print without issue. Backing the laser down a bit and trying again.

We probably need to share the final results when we tune in a new resin. Maybe a WiKi or something would work.



See this thread 10 Micron Print Layers. I posted a settings file for FireCast resin. But read it through.

I bought some Photocentric resin to give it a try (this is the result of my first try: but none of the standard settings work on my Form 1+. The resin gets overcured. I’m now doing a settings file for their grey resin and will be posting it in the next few days.

Just one final word. Formlabs has expensive resins in comparison with other suppliers and I as an hobyist in Europe find it hard to agree paying approximately 200€ per liter of resin (resin+vat+transports). But the truth has to be said, no other resin that I’ve tried is as easy and has such good results as the ones from Formlabs.


I think I may have been the first person to post relating to Photocentric resins, and as far as I’m aware, the best results have been for form2 users. I’m currently helping Photocentric with testing of new resin formulations, so should be able to post some results at the end of the month. With regards to what Silvio states regarding prices, he’s absolutely right, it currently cost £150 or so for 1 litre of formlabs resin in the UK, the Photocentric resin is around £45 per kg - not sure which is the largest quantity, but there’s not much between them in terms of quantity and it’s a no brainer in terms of budget. I have had great results just using 100% firm grey, others report great results using the Hard Grey (again, all on form2). But I have also had very good result using a mix ratio of 1 part formlabs grey to 2 parts photocentric firm grey.


I created this icon so I could differentiate between PreForm and OpenFL. I sent it to FL but all I heard were crickets so I figured I would share it with everyone.


Does the API work for the Form 2?


No, this is only for Form 1/1+.



I’m not sure to understand the difference between the motor speed and the laser speed. Can somebody explain this difference please?


When the laser is drawing, it moves at some speed, typically on the order of a meter per second. That’s the laser speed. When the motors are moving, they move at some speed, typically on the order of millimeters per second. That’s the motor speed. Does that answer your question?


Does anyone know if it is possible to set the raise height in openFL ? i have a rubber material and i designed a custom flex fep vat and build plate that works great but i cant raise the platform enough for a good separation.


I think you need to create a custom build platform for that. There is a guy that is making FEP tank and maybe his build platform will save you the trouble:


I have been asking for this since the questionnaire sent out to Kickstarter backers of the original Form 1 before it even started shipping and on the Kickstarter forums. I have also if you look through my history had terrible luck getting machines with some real problems, but I’ve stuck by you guys believing that most of the machines you make where better than the ones I ended up getting and upgrading as time went on hoping you had fixed some problems and a new machine would be in better working order. The last round of this was me selling a freshly recalibrated and repaired Form 1+ and cashing in the Kickstarter backer coupon to get a shiny new Form 2. This resulted in me, for the first time since I received my Kickstarter Form 1, having a dependable Formlabs printer without any major flaws, even though it’s still not aligned as well as I would like. Now my request has started to be met but the only correctly working Formlabs printer I’ve owned out of the many I’ve been through is excluded :(. Well it’s good to hear it’s out there and hopefully you guys will extend some of the features to include the Form 2’s as they are awesome machines and more flexibility would be awesome.