PoisedWhale reporting for duty


Thanks for all this great detail! Keep it coming.
Shame about the worse smell. Remind me, where’s the air vent? Any chance of jury-rigging a light-duty external exhaust fan and filter?


The fan vents are all intakes.
The exhaust is simply all the gaps on the case and the lid, as far as i can see.


Managed to do a quick test print (grey resin) before packing for trip…
Impressions so far:

  1. the surfaces are indeed smoother than on Form2; edges are nice and sharp - you could scratch or maybe even cut yourself on an acute-angled edge of a printed object with no fillet

  2. that said, the new LFS peel isn’t magic - you’ll still get layer lines and artifacts on thicker cross sections, as well as the usual odd surface artifact

  3. technical prints can still get slightly deformed, straight lines can still get curved, right angles can still end up oblique instead of right

  4. that said, you can get away with less support than before, and less forethought - i printed a few relatively tiny parts, but non-hollow, with 0 preparation and thinking, using the automatic layout and support, with supports reduced to 0.4mm, density 0.8, layer height 100um; I normally use those settings on Form2 for hollow objects with a 1mm thick shell, and i normally lay things out carefully by hand

  5. supports are still the same, their geometry is exactly the same as Form2’s, meaning you’ll still get warts on your prints - again, it’s not magic, it’s just an improvement over the previous process

  6. curiously, i got some layering artifacts where i normally wouldn’t expect them on a Form2 print (namely, at the very last layers of a (fairly short) object, where the cross section starts to get smaller, not larger

I took some quick snaps with my phone, I’ll try to post them later, probably from the airport.

Edit: I hope the new vats are more resilient to resin, as i’m leaving the resin inside it for 2 weeks until i get back. On Form2 i’d usually empty it back into the cartridge or into a jar, as the resin would inevitably eat and delaminate the PDMS, sometimes in as little as 3 weeks or so.


Thanks indeed for your thoughts! Many things mirror my own experiences, for example our Form 3 also hung on “initalizing printer”,

I do really hope that future PreForm and Firmware releases will take full advantage of the new peel process, higher laser power etc. - because right now, the speed and the auto-supports are a bit underwhelming.


Back home after a 24 hour 4-leg plane trip.
I’m not sure what time or day it is anymore and weird ideas are popping into my head.

Like the fact that PoisedWhale means there’s a PoisedPorpoise somewhere out there.


Okay, finally got around to uploading the pre-trip photos and doing another test print…
No comparisons to Form2 yet.

First of all, here’s how LFS deals with engineering parts.
This is the print from here, pre 1.3.4 update: PoisedWhale reporting for duty

The good news is, when the surfaces are clean, they’re REALLY clean:

The sort of non-news news is, you’ll still get non-square / bent / rounded vertices and surfaces in the direction of the peel:

The bad news is, LFS won’t magically get rid of layer shifts:

Finger for scale:

Bad prints out of brand New Form 3

Now here’s a non-engineering / non-functional, hollow, super-tiny part.
Printed at 100 um.

Check out the top of that main tower:

Also this tree:

The resolution / resolving power is definitely there, even though the edges and textures are a bit on the soft side.
I’ve noticed grey comes out almost NOT in green state and requires very little post curing, so this might be just an overcuring issue.

I’m not 100% convinced i’d get the same result from Form2, especially not with as little support. This was with 0.80 support density, 0.3mm touch points, only on the bottom of the castle, printed very slightly angled.

The model in question was hollow, 1mm thick shell.

You can find it here if you want to print and compare:


This was fixed in firmware 1.3.4.
Unfortunately, the LCD and the formlabs logo (front light indicator) still stay on - would be nice if those timed out and blanked in idle mode. I’m not sure, however, if it’s possible to blank the display and turn off its backlight, but leave the digitizer on so Form 3 can be ”woken up” via touch. It normally is on most displays, but who knows ¯_(ツ)_/¯


Another test print:

Something weird going on here, on the back of the head:

Those surface irregularities aren’t part of the model, as far as i can tell, and aren’t layer shifts.
Maybe the geometry was screwy.

50 um seems less overexposed than 100 um, but i have no measurements or quantifiable tests yet.
Again, i’d say the resolution is definitely not the problem, nor the laser spot size.

Edit: Apologies for the ugly fingernails.

Bad prints out of brand New Form 3

Updated Preform, 50um (realized the update was for 100um grey too late), more test prints:

Printed in two different positions (middle of Y axis and beginning of Y axis - i.e. the place where preform puts it by default):


Why don’t you try @Joonghyun_Cho’s test print? from this thread Print Quality Issue with Black Resin - It seems like a good test model to standardize on for apples-to-apples comparisons of Form3 print quality.

Form file



It’s already printing.

That model’s not quite a perfect test, though.
If printed on the platform, there’s a lot of overhangs (good for testing the peel, not so much for other aspects of the quality). If printed angled, you’re bound to get separation issues at thicker layer heights (even with a perfect resin profile).

Ideally, i’d like to reprint some test prisms with holes that we used to test the Form1+ and Form2 with quite a while ago, but for some reason, i can’t find the model anymore…

Edit: That test object is also a nightmare to wash, thanks to all the nooks and crannies.


Here we go:

Left to right - 50um slits along the LPU motion axis; 100um along; 50um perpendicular

All positive features i’ve checked measure as they should / dead on.

Print Quality Issue with Black Resin

Stuff i’ve noticed:

  • the “3DMON” text is much clearer on the 100um print, suggesting 50um setting is overexposing more
  • the smaller rounded pillar is thinner at the bottom than it should be, then thickens by about 0.1-0.2mm - not sure if this is a peel issue, a compression issue (this was printed directly on the platform)
  • prints took 1h30m at 50um, 0h50m at 100um
  • perpendicular is worse than parallel - the movement ratio of X to exposure/Y galvo motion might need adjusting
  • there’s still slight overexposure everywhere, and those smallest slits should be cleaner, even though they aren’t THAT bad right now


Your results seem to be noticeably better than the results JC and I have been getting. Congrats. Anything special you’re doing or maybe your printer is a lucky one?

I’d be curious to see your results with https://pinshape.com/items/35775-3d-printed-hole-and-shaft-test
(You might want to hollow it out first, I didn’t)
On my system I couldn’t fit the peg in any of the holes (as mentioned in JC’s thread).


Anything special you’re doing or maybe your printer is a lucky one?

Nothing special, apart from a very thorough rinse (before and after 15 minutes of Wash). There was a lot of resin stuck in all the crevices and in between the various protrusions, even after the Wash cycle.

I’d be curious to see your results with https://pinshape.com/items/35775-3d-printed-hole-and-shaft-test

I’ll give it a go.


Holy crap that part is unnecessarily huge!


Yeah I didn’t realize just how much resin it would take until I printed it out. I suspect hollowing it would save the bulk of it. It’s recommended in an official Formlabs Whitepaper.

I use the Form Wash for 10m on my parts which I’d think gives it a pretty thorough rinse btw, so not sure that would explain the results. I have definitely found that a thorough wash is far more important than a thorough post-cure for part quality.


I usually do 15m for smaller parts, up to 20m for larger, although with not-exactly-fresh IPA that i’ve also recycled once already. I also do a manual bottle-rinse before and after.

For larger parts or parts with lots of cavities i sometimes do an additional rinse with an airbrush filled with IPA.

Interesting thing to note is that prints out of Form 3 practically don’t need a post-cure after a wash and a good drying. At least with the gray resin. This seems like a good indicator there’s some overexposure going on there…


Sent a hollowed out hole part to print.
Says 4h14m, it’s now 1am, we’ll see how this goes…