Yesterday I was at the TCT show in Birmingham UK and had a chance to go along to the Formlabs stand. Ive ordered a Form 2 so it was great to chat to the UK staff and have a good mooch around the machine and get some technical questions answered in person before delivery date. Its a beauty! Very well made and presented. You can just tell there is so much more engineering gone into this over the Form 1. The resin cart is fantastic and was confirmed that you can top it up rather than buy a new one each time, a big bonus. The wiper system is simple and effective as well as the new peel method just looks flawless in operation. I had a whizz around the touch screen GUI, very intuitive and easy as well as adding a lot more functionality. I also looked at a load of model prints that were on display in a number of resolutions. These were clean and very tight, I could see an overall improvement or the original Form 1+ prints which I always considered to be brilliant anyway. All the big boy companies were at the show with their mainstay industrial machines and new hardware so I was keen to look round and see what a $20,000 + machine was capable of nowadays. Well, all I can say is we get so much more bang for our buck thats for sure. Some of those prints I looked at are easily on par with what the Form 2 puts out. And now the wait until november…
Thanks for stopping by the booth Lee!
Just as a side note, you are not able to refill the cartridges as it will confuse the level sensing system, but we will be posting final details on everything very soon. When you run out of resin, the printer will let you know and you can easily insert a new one!
Me too, I was there as well the Form2 not just a pretty face obviously a very well thought out and considered machine it incorporates all the hard earned knowledge gained from the Form1 over the last three years and it really is beautifully implemented, KISS engineering at its best.
A little surprised as I saw no sign of the Ripon people but then again I did not speak to all on the stand. Noticed there was some interest in UK based technology and smiled when Max used the term again in his presentation …“my ‘first’ law suit”…
man on a rock
So if one can not put back the resin on the tanks, how one change resins? Have to take the whole platform full of resin and keep it with the lid somewhere? I’m suspecting now the system will keep it always almost full so that will be a lot of resin on something that can potentially be spilled and ruined.
I went to the Design & Manufacturing Philadelphia yesterday to see the Form 2 in action.
The staff was very helpful in answering all kinds of questions I had.
Great improvements. Can’t wait to get a Form 2.
Yes, to change resins you will have to swap out the resin tank as well. The tanks come with lids and are stackable. The polycarbonate is also UV blocking to further facilitate storage.
The resin tanks have a “max fill line” that takes into consideration the displacement caused by the platform submerging into the material. This will prevent the resin tank from being filled to the very top so moving the resin tank around outside of the printer is not difficult.
How is the resin level adjusted? I assume after a failed print the level could be higher than expected. What do you do to correct that?
As I mentioned above, the max fill line leaves space for displacement and the smart system can pause if it detects a failure.
Also, the resin control system will only add resin to the tank if its needed meaning it won’t just continue to add material if the printer is not printing.
Let’s say your tank gets cloudy and you spill while changing it. How do you prime the new tank? What if you over-prime it?
Josh, the smart system will detect that there is no resin in the new tank and fill appropriately. It’s all automatic!
So, how can we use 3rd party resin and how can we use old (in bottles) formlab’s resin in form 2? Without new level (for materials) system?
There is a way to disable the refill system so you can manage the tank Form1 style.
@Jory, thanks for all the resin cartridge/tank info. another question: can you elaborate on how much resin the printer dispenses for each print?
ex 5ml vs 50ml vs 100ml prints?
Also, the cartridge not being refillable is a bit of a bummer. On multiple occasions, for some random reason I’ve needed to remove the resin from the tank (usually filtered/strained back into a bottle). What is the Form 2 : Form 1 failure rate you guys are seeing?
Will there be the possibility to tell the Form 2 you’ve removed the resin from the tank?
If it’s not possible to tell the Form 2 you’ve put resin back into the cartridge, any suggestion on a source for similar (but smaller) lightfast bottles like FormLabs’?
I don’t have a specific dispense amount as this depends on the smart sensing that the printer does based on the volume in the tank.
One big reason to not refill the cartridge is if debris is poured in, it could clog the dispensing unit. The “failure rate” is also another metric that I don’t have a measurement for as this wildly depends on what you are printing and how you are printing it. In house we’ve had amazing success with the Form 2 thus far. It’s handled very well with everything we’ve been throwing at it (including large chunky parts).
If you remove resin from the resin tank…the smart system will be able to detect it.
As for light proof jars…I’ll speak with our materials team and see if I can lock down a recommendation.
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