long time no post
Over a Year ago my printer broke, and a print shop told me that i needed a new mother board. Well, the cost of fixing it is $900 according to formlabs and man i don’t have that kind of money, took me years just to afford a printer in the first place
But now i want to get back into printing! i miss it and I’m going to designer con. So if anyone has any recommendations i would love to hear. SLA printers have come a long way and i see a lot of $300-$500 printers for sale now! I know they won’t be as good as my beautiful form 1+ but I gotta get back in the game
Check out the Peopoly MOAI, better specs than the F2’s and they haven’t discontinued support or supplies for them. It is fully open architecture allows you to use different resins and tanks instead of being locked into a proprietary system.
I have my eyes on the Moai too, and I have been lurking on their forums for a few months now. My takeaway and the reason I haven’t bought a Moai 130 yet is :
They are truly open to community feedback and very reactive on the forums. They support user mods and even lead other users to useful mods. Their printer seems to be functioning like a Form 1 with tilting bed and no resin dispensing, but they have an FEP vat option. They’re the only manufacturer in their price range and segment offering a dedicated software for their machine, while still being open to other solutions (you can feed standard G code to their machines). Their design is simple and made of mostly standard parts so it’s easily use-serviceable/modifiable/reparable.
Now for the negatives… I honestly think they’re more tinkerers than professionals. The design isn’t well thought out and well tested, and they’re still figuring basic stuff out. One example :
- There has been an ongoing issue with Z banding (horizontal artifacts)
- One user shared a hardware mod to make the Z axis more rigid (it’s not very well thought out hardware-wise to begin with, and this is more a patch over bad design)
- Reports from other users are so-so on this mod (some have seen their solution solved, others report no changes(
- Peopoly announced an “add-on” to make the Z axis more rigid, but hardware-wise it’s again a not very good solution… and they have since admitted that some people have had their Z axis delivered with faults in the assembly. So tightening some bolts solves the issue but Peopoly is still planning in selling a hardware add-on to solve it ?
- In the meantime, another user has been investigating electromagnetic emissions from the add-on heater module provided by Peopoly, and has realized it was perturbing the galvanometers. Peopoly has since said on the forums that some PSUs for the heater are faulty, without being able to say which batch and initiate a replacement.
- Non of these issues and resolution have been the object of a formal, official post on the forum, blog or website
Now to be clear I am STILL considering buying one of their machines. Another I am considering is the Phrozen Shuffle XL or their new Kickstarter the Transform. These seems to be much better build from a mechanical standpoint, but also have their drawbacks and since it’s not an open design fixing stuff is only up to the company whereas with Moai at least you can fix a lot of the issues yourself. It’s also a an LCD DLP machine and this leads to some hard-to-find parts being semi consumables (the LCDs).
All of this is the reason I have bought two Formlabs machines at work and not another machine. They’re just the best at this price point. There are two reasons for me to not buy a Form 2/3 for personnal use :
- Being dependent on Formlabs’ willingness to continue to support the machine to be able to use it is a big no-go. As an individual hobbyist unwilling/unable to get any revenue from his 3D printer I have to make it last as long as possible
EDIT : feel free to contribute to this thread if you feel like it : What would you choose as a printer for private use?
I might be able to help you fix the broken motherboard if you are interested. I hate the fact that they want £900 for a relatively simple repair. Let me know if you want to talk about it more.
Yes! absolutely D: I will message you, thank you!
There are parts available that fit the Form1+ from Ali Express but a motherboard might be a daunting task to get to work unless Formlabs can tell you what you need to do to use one, ie calibrations. I don’t know if all of that info is stored on the sim card and if that sim card is even usable if the board got fried.
My Form1+ still runs like a champ with little or no errors so I will continue to use it until I can no longer fix or make parts for it.
My next machine will probably be a Peopoly and definitely not a Formlabs because over the time I have had my Form1+ the constant changing of materials, the software updates that sometimes caused more issues than fixes and the attitude of Formlabs to simply disregard their customer base and assume everyone will just jump to the next gen machine like sheep as it was some sort of cloud based hardware service makes them less than a reliable business partner and certainly not a reliable source in a production environment where variables should be made to a minimum. It seems they tinker more with machines and materials more than the opensource guys and not always with improvements.
I think with that in mind the Peopoly machine are the way to go and the vast community support and input can be more reliable to establish a reliable workflow with consistent results. The mere fact your not locked into a proprietary system that can be junked at the whim of the manufacturer is very appealing to me.
When I first got my Form1+ I never expected them to just walk away from their customers and use their revenue to engineer against their very own customers. They treat their customers and hardware as it if was some sort of Cloud subscription rather than a customers investment. They do not care about the customers return on investment. Don’t be fooled, Formlabs is not that cute crowd based funded company anymore and is purely profit driven. Their customer support is left hanging trying to appease the disgruntled crowds and attempt to keep the Likes up while corporate is doing it’s best to squeeze what they can out of their customer base.
The way Peopoly does things is the way to go, in principle. In practice someone else following in the steps of Peopoly while actually knowing what they are doing would be better.
You can use third party slicers and feed non-proprietary data to Phrozen machines and they are simple enough hardware-wise that most of the servicing can be done by the user, I am strongly considering them as well.