Repeated Catastrophic Overflows

We have had many catastrophic overflows and replaced our printers multiple times. I am sick of it. Our pro service plan has expired and we are now on our own. It is a fundamental design flaw in that overflows are not better contained and flow onto optics and electronics. At one time there was a wish list for the Form 3, if one was ever made, and this would be on the top of my list.

What are the recommended alternatives to the Form 2? I love the quality of the prints, but I doubt I’ll buy another of the same design.

What were the causes of the multiple overflows ?

Mostly due to prints that detach, then slosh around by the wiper. We also have had sensor failures.

every other decent printer needs a lot more hand holding. Most require you to top of the resin tanks by hand, which is a pain on a 32 hour print. Like getting up at 4 am to feed the baby.

the big question is, given that alternatives will be less automated… what would make the trouble worth it to you?
The same resolution of print? a faster print at lower resolution? a larger sized print?

I have had my eye on the Phrozen printer of late which is supposed to ship by summer. While I am loathe to be the guinea pig on an unproven machine… I am actually planning for the eventual demise of my Form 2 in 3 years or so. By then I should know its track record.

I agree on the overflow problem. Running unattended and something happens and huge mess in the morning. Looking at design and a simple “drain” would work. A tube from overflow tray that could have a “cup” or other catch tray that would catch the overflow, let the user know there was and overflow, and easy cleanup by lightly rinsing with alcohol into catch tray. At least something that keep the liquid from the optics would be a necessary fix. There is absolutely NO error that happens when the part breaks free of the pallet. How hard would a torque sensor be to put on wiper? I would think it would be pretty constant going through liquid rather than pushing a failed part. (just a thought)

I agree.
Formlabs has done some work to try and keep the optics clean… I had two massive spills, one from debris from a failed print sloshing resin out of the tray- and one from the pinch valve not closing and it just dispensing the whole cartridge into the tray AS it printed… Really fun when the little spout moves out from under the pinch valve on peel and fills up the catchtray under there…

In both of my spills the existing top catchtray, and under cartridge catchtray managed to prevent the spill from getting into the optics… of greater concern was that the top catchtray has a very small reservoir in the front left corner that can hold SOME resin- but not enough to contain an entire cartridge.
If IT had overflowed, then resin would have spilled into the electronics bay and god knows where else… but both times I was amazed how well the existing design funneled spilled resin away from the optical window and optics bay.

I figured it would have taken a failure in the tank floor to get resin actually on the optics window.

I don’t see any reason why the top catchtray can’t simply funnel resin either all the way thru to bottom of the printer where we could all have a shallow but sizable vacuum formed catchbasin… just in case.

Or even funnel the spilled resin back into a small, removable tray that can be slid out and will hold the maximum amount of resin the system COULD spill ( i,e, One full cartridge plus one tank’s worth of resin )

If I ever have to take mine apart again to clean up a spill… I am thinking about either fabricating a tray, or drilling a hole and installing a tube to drain the top catchtray out the bottom of the printer.

My last form 2 did the exact same thing only it was a full canister and it completely flooded the optics. I printed a tray for the machine to sit on with my Fortus 400 but simple cake pan would work. (amazon 14x14 cake pan - $22.00) The spill did get thru the machine and was running all over. EXACT same thing were the pinch valve kept running while it printed. Machine did error but material still flowed all over the place (HUGE MESS) Formlabs did send me a new unit to replace the mess, but machine was a loss. I am on same page with tube and drilling thru. I would lift it, wipe the feet, clean the tray, and continue printing rather than return the totaled printer.

when I opened it I saw there was enough room internally to fit a thin box shaped bucket where the catchbasin well is.
I think a simple opening on the left side of the bezel would accommodate the overflow bucket- so it can be removed and the resin reclaimed.

Maybe they can “give out” the bucket to print and simple directions to fix on our own… Nah…that would make it too easy!

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