Resin cartridge valve came off during print!


#1

Turned my back for 5 minutes, returning to find my LT tank filled to the brim with resin!

The cartridge nozzle had somehow fallen off into the tank filling it will resin. Thank goodness it wasn’t a full cartridge!

Was I just unlucky with a faulty cartridge or has this happened to anyone else?


#2





#3

Definitely a faulty cartridge. It hasn’t happened to me. I would reach out to customer support to see if you can get sent a replacement.


#4

It has been reported a few times these last few months, not an isolated issue but probably not widespread either. Pretty scary though because if the cartridge is full it can flood your printer, potentially ruining it.

I have been thinking about building/printing a skirt to make the tank higher and allow it to be filled by a whole cartridge + the build platform. I believe if the tank if filled to the brim the printer will eventually throw an error during the next resins sensing operation and stop printing. I don’t know if you could build a skirt high enough that it will till fit under the cartridge though.


#5

Yes, it was pretty scary indeed. I feel so lucky that the cartridge was only 3/4 full when it emptied into the tank and that the wiper didn’t slosh it over the edge, otherwise that would probably have been the end of my 1 year old Form2!

I’m currently taking to support, they will be sending me a new cartridge and hopefully a replacement LT tank as that was only 3 days old but is now covered in resin all around the outside due to it spilling everywhere trying to pour the overflowing resin out. What a mess!

I’m terrified/paranoid that the next cartridge is going to do the same and destroy my printer :grimacing::see_no_evil:

Adding an extension to the height of the tank would resolve any potential spillages but I guess the resin sensor wouldn’t work as there would be additional weight with the added skirt?


#6

Seems like this issue has been reported on here before, this guy wasn’t as lucky as me though :frowning:


#7

I had exactly the same thing happen to me yesterday on a brand-new cartridge. By sheer coincidence, I happened to stand right next to the machine when the valve came off, so I could pause printing and close the venting lid, which prevented the tank from overflowing.
Because I really needed the print to proceed and I had no spare cartridge left, I had no choice but to reapply the valve. The one that came off seemed to slip on and off too easily, so I eventually used one from an empty cartridge and the print proceeded without error.
This is definitely a very scary occurrence and really undermines the trust in the process.


#8

Oh dear, this is not good. There must be a faulty batch of cartridges out there. Were you using the Standard Grey V4 Resin as well?

I’m not going to feel comfortable leaving the room while it’s printing from now on, not sure how that’s going to work out for +8hr prints : /


#9

@Beth, yes that was a Standard Grey V4 cartridge.


#10

I’m concerned that FL doesn’t take sufficient responsibility for poor QC, and the resulting problems.

We know there’s an issue with the carts dumping out resin. We know it then requires a lot of user time to mitigate the damage, plus the time out of production.

. My opinion is that FL could be lots more generous in help. As it is, it feels like they walk away with few consequences. “Sorry, pity, sucks for you. Here’s what you now need to do to fix the problem we caused”.

If it cost them more to fix, maybe they’d be more aggressive in getting the bad supplies out of the market? It’s not like they don’t have resources.

We just let them get away with customer doing the repairs, rather than a cross-ship of working equipment. Why?


#11

To be fair the choice of the dispensing mechanism always seemed very risky to me. Oftentimes I see risky/unseemly stuff but sometimes it’s the result of months or years of rigorous testing for a very good reason (like optimizing the shit out of a structural member to gain weight on a plane or space vehicle design), and they in fact work well because it’s been engineered to the limit… I have somewhat a difficult time imagining Formlabs performing such deep studies for a valve on their cartridges, and it seems to be they just tried to find the most affordable existing option (that’s basically Camelbak’s valves).

Yeah I would have guesses as much, given the sensors seems to be a simple 0/1 dielectric sensor. However I have been dumping the remaining of almost empty cartridge in the tank to avoid running out in the middle of a print, and I have gotten a couple of times a “tank too full” warning (maybe the wording isn’t right but you get the meaning). So I guess it would work. That being said, a big number of layers can pass between resin level sensing and during that time a lot can happen.


#12

I had this happen too, on a ceramic resin cartridge… It is very unfortunate that the valve isn’t attached to the cartridge in a better way.


#13

Thanks for your input everyone. I have read many many previous posts on here about the cartridge valves failing causing catastrophic disasters.

Here is some advice from Formlabs on how to double check if the valve is secure before inserting into the printer…


#14

The above response was posted by them in August 2018

‘We have seen a rise in bite valves falling off of cartridges in the last few weeks and identified and resolved the root cause. This problem should not appear with anything near the same frequency moving forward.’

…obviously it has not been ‘identified and resolved’ because it’s still frequently happening! :frowning:


#15

Hey, that’s me!
Let me tell you, you got extremely lucky. Our dear sweet printer MysteriousFly was taken from us via a hot swap after a lot of dismantling and pictures, as well as the entirety of a 1L cartridge of resin being drained from the chassis. A rough lesson to learn, but now as soon as a cartridge comes out of the cardboard the nozzle is checked for bite valve attachment as well as incomplete separation of the bite valve opening. Cartridges dated late May to early July seem to be most affected. I think FL really should have sent an alert to users who purchased from this batch of cartridges, we have had continued issues with “self healing” bite valves from cartridges ordered in the above timeframe.
Anyways, congrats on dodging disaster, I suggest buying a lotto ticket with that kind of luck :slight_smile:
Cheers,
Jordan

ADD. In case you are interested, it appears the resin sensing system in the form 2 is a capacitive liquid level sensor solution, and does not use weight. About halfway down this page: https://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?p=4641


#16


Hello. On the same subject;

This is what I’ve received. One clear resin cartridge leaking and on black resin cartridge with a non opened valve. What happened to you is scary. I wish to not living this. Quality test improvements?


#17

@IALJordan Sorry to hear you were one of the unlucky ones, but glad to hear that they gave you a replacement printer at least. I agree that there should have been some kind of warning from FL. Yep, I will be double checking all new cartridges from now on. Off to buy my lottery ticket now :wink:


#18

@BILLUCAS I was sent a replacement resin cartridge which didn’t have an opening on the valve as well. They told me I should push the valve against the side about 20 to 30 times and eventually the opening appeared. (Don’t ever use a blade to open it as this could cause the valve to fail in the printer!)

I would send the leaking one back for sure!


#19

@Beth Thanks for your suggestions. My supplier changed the 2 defective cartridges. But this is still 2 defective cartridges on 5 that I have bought….


#20

Three of the last 6 cartridges (different materials) I purchased had a bite valve without a slit. I tried pushing the valve until the cows came home but it did nothing. In the end, I made a slit with a scalpel, and they have worked fine ever since. I also check that they valve is firmly attached and regularly monitor the prints.

I personally have suffered at least three spills over the last year from different causes, but Formlabs has always taken care of it via the service plan. Most of my spills come from prints tearing off, then sticking to the tank, and causing the wiper to flick resin out of the tank. Only one case was it a straight overfill where the printer just kept dispensing resin for some reason.

I can’t image owning one or more of these printers without the service plan. Trying to clean them up after a severe spill is a royal PITA and causes excessive downtime. Even a minor wiper splat spill makes a holy mess, takes hours to open the printer and clean, and makes me nervous as a cat around water with each print afterwards.

IMO, the tanks should be able to hold the entire cartridge, or the printer should have a drain system to catch overflow into a bottle, or the cartridge should be redesigned to prevent these types of mishaps with a mechanical valve.