Preform Print Time estimates not showing for F3

Pretty much as the title says, my copy of Preform 3.0.3 is not giving any print time estimates for jobs, I have to upload to the printer and get them either from the machine or the dashboard.

Is this an error on my copy of Preform or an omission by FL?

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Hey there @Ticking_Fox!

Print estimates are currently disabled for the Form 3, so nothing wrong with your specific hardware or software at all.

I’m not 100% sure when that feature will be reinstated, so I’ve reached out to our software team, and as soon as I hear back I’ll edit this post!


Hey there. I am reprinting something that took me 1 day to do on the form 2, it’s showing a 2 day print time on the Form 3. Is this an error or does the Form 3 tend to have longer print times?

The Form 3 indeed takes longer to print than the Form 2. Shouldn’t really be double the time though. (And I sincerely hope that FormLabs will improve the Form 3 print speed with future updates)

Ah god. That is really disappointing. I thought that the Form 3 was billed as being faster.


Unfortunately, I think the print time cannot be shortened like Form 2 because of the LPU system.
As you know, Formlabs changed the X-axis control type of the laser from the galvanometer to the stepping motor with the LPU.

The movement of the galvo mirror is ultra-super faster than the stepping motor.
Formlabs got rid of the wiper time and shortened the lift-up time of the build platform, but the print time was significantly increased by the slow movement in X-axis.

Form 2 had many issues with detaching prints from the surface of the resin tank in case of any layer with large section area.
It was the biggest problem of the slide peeling type of Form 2.
Therefore, they needed to find any solution for reducing the peel force for the size of Form 3L.

As I think, how to solve the peeling force issue was more important than the print time.


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I do see your point. However, the rationale behind my hope of more speed with firmware/PreForm updates is that most probably, they shipped the Form 3 with quite conservative parameters (nothing much worse than shipping your printers and then everyone getting print failures all the time), but will continue to tweak them once the initial load of getting the resins to work with the printer at all is over and they have the resources to really fine-tune the profiles and approach the limits of the hardware more closely. With the Form 2, there were quite some remarkable changes over the product lifetime - without the hardware changing.


Yes, the performance of Form 2 has been amazingly updated without the hardware changing.
I believe it is the biggest difference of Formlabs from others.
I also hope that Formlabs can reduce the print time with adjusting all the resources.


@DKirch any updates on this topic?

@DKirch When will we get the feature back? It is quite annoying to not have that, especially if you have to calculate a price, which of course takes into account for how long the machine will be used by the print job…

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We can absolutely use the print time feature, as we have multiple users and are trying to phase everyone’s work. Knowing what our overall print load is is critical to efficient work flow.

It is a very slow feedback to see what’s going to happen to the print time when you make a change to the layer thickness, for example. Very frustrating. Make a change, send to printer, go to printer and look, then rinse and repeat. Very silly.

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When the print starts I see an estimate on the dashboard, why can’t it show the estimate before I print

Hi @DKirch , it’s been quite some time now the Form 3 is out there, would you please consider contacting your software team again to ask them when we will finally get the print time calculation back?


It is disrespectful what formlabs are doing with us.
I have manufactured several pieces that the approximate time is 1 hour and a half and the printer takes 4 hours or more. This is a nonsense.
I have paid a lot for a printer that lies at print times.
Very unprofessional


Print times are crucial to production I don’t understand how we’re supposed to utilize these printers for anything if I can’t schedule my workload and downtime accurately. I’m fine with print times that are ± 5% but +80 and over is egregious…

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I want to keep this post alive. I’ve just started using my Form 3. The machine is in another part of the building. I am having to upload the file to the printer to find out what the build time is. That is a real pain. It won’t show the estimated time until the machine has warmed up, so it might be 20 minutes before I can see what the estimated time to build is. I don’t use the machine every day so I turn it off completely after a build. The estimate the machine gives, is typically 25% under estimated from actual build. Uhg. I sold my Form 2 to get the latest machine. This kind of sucks.

Is this with preform 3.3.0 from jan 7th?

Nope, I am using Preform 3.2.0.

Then update first and re-evaluate your post. :slight_smile:

Improved Print Time calculation
Improved highlighting of tiny minima
Improved speed and consistency for the Auto-Orient tool
Improved general performance
Added a new loading screen for PreForm
Resolved various bugs
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