Print Successes - I'd love to see those too!

Hi all,

I’m hoping to enter the world of 3D printing shortly and have been doing some research on the subject. I am feeling that the Form1 or 1+ is the one I’d like to go for, but after reading about all the laser issues, failed prints, mushrooming and jellified resin, I’m worried that my research is flawed.

I am pretty sure that the Form1/+ is being misrepresented on the forums as it’s usually when you have problems that you hit the forums, so would would really love to hear a few success stories to reassure me about spending such a chunk of money on one of these.

Has anyone here had continued success with their printer? Any early owners that have still got well-functioning machines? Any tips on how to keep a printer printing out good models for long enough to justify the cost?

I’m sure if I do bring a Form1 or 1+ into my business (currently mostly small sculptures but looking at setting up a little print bureau which will bring deadlines and pressure to get good prints), that I will have a number of failed prints and a steep learning curve to deal with, but would just like to know that as long as I do everything I’m supposed to, I’ve a decent chance of a 3D printer that I can rely on enough to be able to confidently take commissions with.

I’m a 3D CAD user, been doing this for 15+ years so I’ve got a good grasp of the digital side of it, but I’m not a computer programmer, IT technician or much of an engineer (built a car once, but never built a computer!) and worry that I may not be technical enough to take on a 3D printer now, while they still need a little nursing along.

As far as I’m concerned, yes, Kelly, if you know what you’re doing, you can certainly get a 90+ succesrate at printing. There are of course always times when you learn that some things are just very hard to print, but with experience you’ll be able to judge that before even starting the print.

I’ve had my Form1+ for nearly 3 months now and at first, I had a few issues with prints failing. However, I can say that my last 15 prints have all been printed perfectly.

It’s things like choosing the right layer thickness, positioning the model properly in Preform as well as positioning it properly on the build platform (where is the hinge side). Ensuring that your resin in mixed properly and that your build platform is secured without lash/play to ensure your model wont shift while printing.

This all may sound like a lot, but once done a few times, it’lll only cost you a few minutes to set up a print which can be printed perfectly.

Concerning your research. you’re right. There have been laser issues with the Form1 as well as the Form1 upgraded to the Form1+. The Form1+ (original) has much less laser problems, but, there are of course exceptions. The Formlabs support team, however, is great in handling these issues if you have one.

I’ve only had an issue with my mirrrors and opened a support ticket because my prints were failing as well. The help I received was great (many after sailes/support teams could learn from these guys/girls)!

All-in-all it takes you a little bit of time readhing/researching and printing to understand exactly how the machine works, but once you get to that stage it’s a joy to work with!

You’ve probably already done this, but if not, install the latest preform software and play around with it just to see how it works.

What ever you choose to do. Good luck! :smile:

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Hi Kelly,

I just sent a note to a user who sold his Form 1. I can understand the frustration, that users have. I do product design and development, so I print out pretty functional stuff. I think the Form 1 is a valuable tool that will let you explore ideas without breaking the bank. If you learn the art of Silicone mold making, you can turn ideas into functional parts quickly and cheaply. It’s pretty cool when it all works.

My partner and I have developed a camera mount for kayak paddles ( The plastic parts are currently made using Laser-Sintering, but we made dozens of prototypes on the Form 1 while we were getting it right. We saved the price of the Form 1 on this project alone.

As I mentioned to JoshK on another thread: I just completed a small project for a client which included printing out a set of parts for a fit-check. Needless to say the first set of parts ripped off the supports! I looked at service bureaus and realized that they would be too slow in delivering the parts to meet the
deadline, so I went ahead and printed a new set which came out of the Form 1 about an hour before the client needed to leave town with the parts. It also meant a 1:00 AM trip to the shop to start the second
I use an old Windows XP computer in my shop, and the display is a little sketchy with the PreForm software. This seems trivial, but you might need to budget for a newer computer to sit next to your F1.
Finally, make sure you have a warm place to run your F1. They don’t do well in cold environments.

Good luck! Maybe we’ll see some of your parts up on the forum someday soon!

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