Seriously: Why is the printer designed to be always on?


#1

Since my Form 3 has no OFF switch I was thinking of plugging it in a wi-fi enabled socket.

According to Formlabs:
"Formlabs SLA printers (Form 3 and later) are designed to be left powered on when not in use.
https://support.formlabs.com/s/article/Turning-off-a-Formlabs-SLA-printer?language=en_US
Ok but why?
I read it speeds up print startup since this keeps the resin at a closer temperature than the 30ºC or so required for printing. How much does it take to elevate resin temp by 10ºC? Is it then worth it?

Because: what about the disadvantages of Always On?
What about saving energy? On idle it consumes about 18 kWh per month
Also, isn’t there gonna be burn-in of the Home image on the LCD after a long time otherwise?
There might be some other reasons to turn it off-then-on sometimes too: like Double Printing Time or Firmware update LCD scare

What I am asking is, @Formlabs: Are there drawbacks in “altering” the printer by switching it off, by default? You know since the printer “is designed to be left powered-on”

I like my workaround otherwise, that way I can also remotely turn the printer on.
(I’m betting a remote Priming function might be added in the future)


#2

What I am asking is, @Formlabs: Are there drawbacks in “altering” the printer by switching it off, by default? You know since the printer “is designed to be left powered-on”

I regularly turn mine off at a power strip switch. No ill effect.

I sometimes go days or weeks without using it, keeping it on and using resin temperature as an excuse is a seriously daft design choice. Not everyone runs a printer farm operating 24/7.


#3

This is nice to hear. Mine would also be off for several days.
Some official comment would be really interesting though. To give peace of mind to everyone.


#4

For some reason FormLabs seems loathe to comment officially here, about almost anything, and usually recommend that you contact the support team directly.


#5

I agree, this is a frustration, our printers are powered through a back up (UPS) so you have to physically pull the plug out the back of the machine. The idea that it keeps the resin at a better temperature is a stretch, if its sitting idle isn’t the advice to remove the tank and keep it in its box?