Replacement Fuse 1 not working - PART 2

This is a follow up report on all the issues we’ve had with Formlabs and the Fuse 1 system as a whole. You can go read them all and particularly the FUSE 1 IS DEAD thread before this but essentially…we are still down without a Formlabs system that will work.

After all the issues we had and the last Fuse 1, Sift and chamber being faulty, in which we were told is extremely rare and never happens, we were finally “allowed” to pay another $12k to get a Fuse 1+ 30 as a replacement to the faulty Fuse 1 we’ve been dealing with.

It arrived last week and it has not run anything as it is showing the same problems. I assumed this was to do with the original two chambers we had getting screwed up when the first Fuse 1 cooked itself after the December Firmware update but in the past week, I have swapped gaskets with no luck and last night I fully disassembled the Chamber bed on one unit and did maintenance on the fiber gasket and metal mesh tube buffer around the edges till I thought I had a pretty good mechanically operating chamber. Ran another print and the same failures with cracking along the edge of chamber in the initial powder prime and preheating.

NOTE: These two $3500 (each) chambers I’m fully dissembling (they sent me the service manual for them too) have less than two dozen print jobs on them…and here I am pulling them apart to troubleshoot them.

They are sending an entirely new chamber to cancel that out but as of this morning and my multiple photos and videos of the failures…they are now also sending me a “dozer assembly and expecting me to fully disassemble the brand new Fuse 1+ to replace this dozer as a possible issue”…

I am a little lost for words at the moment and extremely irritated as if they truly think this is now a dozer issue on a second brand new machine…well then I guess I am unlucky as this supposedly “never happens”. I’m also tired of just being expected to install new parts myself to get this new unit running.

I am more irritated that no one at Formlabs can finally get me a running system as I was sold on full support in keeping this thing going and not yet to have a single voice call, zoom call or even the in person service I was expected to receive.

I know additive is a new thing…new companies…but this is not how you survive in the manufacturing world. If this was any of our CNC machine companies handling business this way…they would be done. Our friends in the manufacturing and sales markets are in shock at our experiences so far and the handling of this situation. I did not plan on getting qualified as a full service and repair rep for Formlabs when investing in this system…I already wear enough hats.

If I did not have this system running successfully for a few months prior to their firmware update, I wouldn’t even believe this system actually works and would have given up on it entirely. I’m about at that point, as I am getting past the point where any return on investment would/will be possible as a viable business option for production parts.

Go ahead and look at what they are expecting me to do…to this brand new replacement $30k printer I just received last week and dropped another $12k on over the first lemon…and tell me what you think…

Service manual
Replacing Dozer assembly

Here is what is still happening and failing prints


Scraped away the powder to show where the cracks are forming over the chamber wall. I still think this is a heating issue in the chamber walls translating up through the powder and cracking it… but it seems were all guessing at this point.


Hi LEADNAV,

Thank you for sharing these details with us, and we apologize for your experience. I went ahead to inform the relevant parties and pointed them to this thread - below is the information I am able to share on what we are able to do on our end:

Our support team is actively working with you to resolve this and we are exploring all options.

Specifically, we provide our users with options to solve issues they encounter; providing spare parts and SOPs to install those parts is one of the options we offer to solve the issue as quickly as possible. We understand this is not ideal for every situation; we are scheduling a time to go on site and complete the repair on your printer.

Here is the best video representation highlighting what is going on repeatably. This video is one of two I filmed yesterday with the same pattern happening on both chambers one after the other.

Second Chamber Run - Video

0:00-11:15 You see layers being laid down perfectly on Priming/Preprint
14:00-14:45 You can hear me describing what I think I see is three individual roller marks in surface (never noticed before but now you have me questioning the machine itself with the dozer suggestions)
18:45 You see the first crack show up out of nowhere on the right side as the printer reaches temp (under the Abort Print popup)
18:46 At the same time you can see cracking forming on left side developing from printer reaching temp. This is happening with no roller action. (To me…it’s almost like the bed is raising up slightly)
18:55-19:07 Before any roller action, Both cracks on either side grow larger JUST BEFORE the first preheat roller action which then makes them both significantly worse
18:59 The next roller action plows through somewhat eliminating the cracks but stacks powder up on the lower edge of chamber
21:00- The next roller pass totally plows through the powder causing catastrophic failure and the popup

Both chambers do this as here is the other chamber run yesterday just prior to this.

First Chamber Run - Video

Watching the first video again, it is almost like the bed on both chambers is raising slightly during preheating to cause cracks along chamber edges and/or the powder is raising like a loaf of bread…to then cause the roller to smash through on its next 3 layers.

If this is in fact a brand-new upgraded printer issue, then we are not only dealing with and troubleshooting two fried chambers from the last faulty printer baking itself after firmware release, but we are also dealing with a second faulty out of the box printer.

At this point I’m not ripping this new printer apart if that is the next suggestion to replace the dozer. You all are going to have to provide me a unit that functions.

Just curious but has anyone at formlabs been able to actually print your parts on their machines in house? I feel like that’s the very first thing they should do to reproduce your issues

Leon

Yea…I mean we’re way past that point if you’ve been following along.

We’ve printed at this point around 1000 units in dozens of full chambers perfectly fine prior to the machine frying itself from the last firmware update. They literally sent us a new machine and if you’d actually watch the videos in this thread…it is failing in the priming and preheating stages.

Nothing to do with the print job. It’s not even getting to the print stage.

In fact these videos are of us trying to print “their XY calibration test print”.

At the moment, they are assuming this is a bad dozer from factory on this second machine.

Oh I’ve been following lol.

My question was more whether or not they’ve even been able to replicate all these issues on the same parts given there were some weird firmware update bugs and stuff.

I can’t imagine that you’ve been so unlucky on your machine and replacement parts…so curious if FL has even been able to print your parts successfully with the new FW and stuff or if they also have issues.

Oh, Yes… I’ve been questioning in my mind, whether anybody but me is actually printing Nylon 12 GF on a consistent basis…whether it be out in the real world or even in testing at Formlabs themselves.

I was just thinking today if I should roll this brand new Fuse 1+ 30 watt replacement unit back to the old firmware just to see if there’s any difference…but I keep telling myself that there is no way that Formlabs would have released a firmware update without testing it heavily on all material types…right…? Haha

I was wandering this however on these new XY calibration prints they released. As you cannot slice the file yourself. It is preset per printer and per the material type you set. I was kind of wandering if there is anyway their XY test file would not actually run Nylon 12 GF… but surely they tested this all heavily! (again laughing it all off at this point)

They are now pretty sure it’s a dozer issue on this new printer so that would be another faulty printer. Supposedly someone is actually coming on scene but have not heard when yet so hopefully we will see what happens.

I would really push them to print your parts on their machines in the same material if you haven’t already and have them prove that they can repeatability print those parts without issue on several machines.

If they see the same problem in house it’ll be so much faster for them to troubleshoot, otherwise they’re kind of shooting in the dark to some degree with all the replacement parts.

Status Update

Coming up on over a month since our system has been down. Back and fourth whether I believe a Formlabs rep will ever show up as discussed next week but here is the latest on my own troubleshooting.

Just spent the past 48 hours doing a total clean out of both the Fuse 1+ and the Sift of all old powder. Full blowout and wipe down so that I would be practically starting from scratch on clean machines.

I also rolled back the Firmware on both the Fuse 1+ and Preform to what was working before which was 1.15.6 and 3.28.0 just to cancel that out.

Total clean out and wipe of both old chambers.(Hopefully receiving a new one to try this Tuesday)

Put one new jug of Nylon 12 GF into the hopper from the new shipment I just received. (More on that below)

Running a single row chamber job of my parts and I am seeing the same pattern.

Lays down powder perfect on the Prime then when chamber hits temp the sides start to crack and I’m seeing flakes and chunks appear out of nowhere.

So, rolling back the firmware and starting from scratch we are only left with a few possibilities

  • Chambers heating elements are not functioning properly - Possibly but strange they both went out. Will be able to verify this with the new Chamber coming
  • Second printer is also faulty - Seems unlikely that this printer is faulty in the same exact way as the original Fuse 1
  • Multiple bad batches of Nylon 12 GF over the past few months - This one is interesting…

So the reps brought up again off my videos that the powder may be the cause. This is the second time I’ve heard of possibilities in Formlabs “mixing up labels on their jugs”. Over the summer I heard of some bad batches of Nylon 12 GF and recalls and the same thing of possibly mixed up labels on the jugs of different material.

So this made me take a look at it closer and I realized the last XY calibration test print I was lucky to successfully print amongst dozens of fails…looks a little off to me compared to my other Nylon 12 GF prints.

You tell me. These were both one of few prints I was able to successfully get to print without failure on this new Fuse 1+ over the past few weeks.

Note that I have been running all these tests from the last shipment I ordered of Nylon 12 GF before December. 3 Cases / 6 Jugs. I have run these tests of this shipment as 70% refresh tests through the sift and after doing hopper clean outs with 100% tests straight from the jug. I actually went and grabbed these cases and jugs out of my trash to have on hand to hopefully track for issues.

Nylon 12 GF is all I have and the only thing I’ve ever used so not sure about the consistency in the other materials and or known issues but to me…as I cycled these jugs, one of these does not look like the other… (the cup is a test pull straight from the hopper that Formlabs requested next to the last XY print that looks different)

Hence me spending the past 48 hours totally cleaning out both the Fuse 1 and the Sift while throwing another 3-4 jugs worth of powder into the trash, doing all the above and adding a brand new shipment into the hopper…

Felt lucky…but nope. Seeing the exact same patterns in trying to print.

After we cancel out the Chamber on Tuesday… only thing I could imagine would be

  • Multiple bad batches of Nylon 12 GF and in this case I’d hope Formlabs could tighten up their own material portfolio and quality control. At least avoiding this known issue of mixing up jug labels.

  • If that is not the case then this is another faulty printer with heating and/or dozer issues

Both these at a minimum being Nylon 12 GF issues and me being the only one out here actually running Nylon 12 GF having these issues. Otherwise, I’d still love to hear from anyone else in the world running Nylon 12 GF constantly and successfully to prove me wrong.

More on the possible powder issues…

After that print with a fresh Nylon 12 GF jug I looked in the hopper and I’ve never seen this before

It’s like the surface powder had a heat or air reaction and turned black…?

Very strange with nothing to do with any changes in humidity or room temps being the cause

I’m pretty sure there are some major issues going on with the latest batches of Nylon 12 GF as the root cause…

Believe Formlabs better check in with their materials manufacturer