SD-Card FAT Error

Hey there

I’ve got an old printer (from the kickstarter days). After grabbing the new PreForm software and following the instructions to do a firmware upgrade, the printer stopped working and reports a “SD-Card FAT Error”. And I can’t seem to get around it.

When the machine shows the “SD-Error” message it also says “Press to reformat…” which I’ve done but that doesn’t seem to change the game.

Is there a way to do a hardware reset on the machine and force it to reinstall firmware or something? I’m not sure what to do…

Any help would be appreciated.

Software : Preform 1.8.2
Firmware 1.40

@MrRogers Hi - Obviously you’re out of warranty, but you might as well reach out to support, they may provide you with some useful info anyway.

In case they don’t - the SD card in the F1 is used to load up the layer data for printing, Its a standard SD card and is easily visible and removable/replaceable when you remove the machine back cover. It’s next to the USB socket - see in pic below.

In fact I’ve previously removed my SD card and plugged it into a PC to look at the contents; there’s a file for the machine metadata (number of prints and so on) and then numbered individual files containing the data needed by the machine to print each successive layer.

Since flash memory is known to support a limited number of writes, and the layer files are overwritten with every print, I bought a replacement card and taped it inside my machine just in case. I haven’t had to use it yet, but going by your error message, it sounds like the machine knows how to format a blank replacement SD card.

So if support doesn’t come back to confirm the SD card replacement procedure - I’d just go ahead and do it yourself, I seriously doubt you can do any harm. The SD cards themselves are dirt cheap - here’s the one I bought (less than £5)

Here’s a picture of the original card - and the just-in-case-replacement I bought some time ago. I may have actually tried the replacement to confirm it works (formatting on PC Fat32[or possibly fat16] and copying files over) - but I can’t remember.

hope that helps.

Thanks for the info. That sounds promising.

Does the back panel just snap out? Or do i have to take the machine apart?

Actually - i may have found the instructions for that here IT'S ALIVE! Mirrors Cleaned, Printing Fine!

If you know of a better “how to take it apart”, please let me know.


@MrRogers the “it’s alive” instructions have most of it, it’s quite a long detailed post, but I didn’t see a description of the side screws - they’re the two middle blacks ones at the rear sides. My printer only has four screws holding the back panel though (presumably cause it’s an upgrade not a brand new F1+), the two sides ones and the two top ones on either side of the cover hinge.

You need an M2.5 hex key - undo your 4 or 6 screws (remember to unplug the power and usb) and the back panel just slides out.

Thanks so much.

The tip worked. Put in a new card and it’s working on a print as we speak.

I found what you mentioned about the screws on the side. For anyone else digging in, here are a couple photos. I had only to remove 4 screws… 2 silver ones from the top and 2 black ones from the sides. Given this was my first time opening it up, they were firmly in place. Make sure to use a 2.5mm hex or you might strip the heads.

This shows the panel coming out and the two screw holes on the top (the screws sit directly under the orange sneeze guard cover.

This picture shows the side view. The only screw you need to take out is in the middle of the two silver ones.

Again… thanks @KevinHolmes for the tips. So excited to get the printer up and running again.



Hi, software developer from formlabs here. A neat tip: format the SD-Card as FAT32 with the largest cluster size you can set (where to set this depends on your operating system). This will make upload faster.

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