Form Wash units have just started shipping, and those who were first in the pre-order queue will be receiving their orders over the next week or so.
While you’re waiting for your Form Wash order to arrive, check out the tutorials on Setting Up and Using Your Form Wash.
Use this thread to share your experiences with Form Wash, show us your new cleaning setup, or ask about the new automated washing process.
It’s a nice little unit, pretty adorable actually.
It does the job and is high quality.
As mentioned in the other thread, I was a bit surprised the lid had no gasket to prevent evaporation. Someone mentioned testing showed little to no difference with and without gasketing, so that was interesting. I can smell slight evaporation near the lid edge.
The display is nice, and so is the tool storage!
The basket is nice. I had a tiny print that flipped upside down and a piece of it tickled the rotating device below.
I was surprised that the lid automatically opens right when the print is done, forcing me to rush for gloves to take it out. Maybe put a 1 minute beeper or something to let people know to get gloves/etc ready to take it out?
I’m glad I don’t have to use the old tubs anymore to swish and splash my prints up and down in the alcohol! Less smell and mess.
Mitigating evaporation was important to us, but IPA has a low vapor pressure and can be challenging to contain. We tested the lid with and without gaskets and found that the gasketed version didn’t offer any reduction to the rate of evaporation.
Glad to hear that it’s working well for you so far! It’s safe to leave prints in the unit for extended periods of time after they’ve been washed. There’s a secondary cover that will reduce the amount of IPA evaporation. What would the function of a 1 minute timer prior to the cycle finishing be for you?
Thanks Frew! Wow I didn’t notice the secondary cover, that’s awesome! I think that answers my question and removes the need for the 1 minute timer. My main concern was evaporation if left unattended.
Key feature ask: Solve lack of jam protection
One thing I’m concerned about is the lack of physical resistance/blockage/jam sensing by the motor that drives the platform up and down. This can cause damage to the unit. For example, I put items (e.g. the spatula) nicely into the cage, but then they re-positioned due to the liquids as the cage descended, which then jammed the platform from going up or down. The motor appeared to have no control to sense physical resistance. I was worried it would break the motors or the machine. Ideally, the motor should sense a jam or obstruction, stop right away, and then throw an error for the user to clear the jam and press resume when ready.
Jam protection is something that’s currently implemented as well It’s based on how long the Z stage takes to reach the endstop at the bottom of Form Wash so if the platform gets stuck early in its descent, it may have a second or two of skipping. If Form Wash detects a jam, it will stop and display a message on the screen, and this shouldn’t cause damage to the motors if it happens periodically.
My wash is finally getting some use (after working through some printer issues). In short, it is wonderful. When I hear the solution being stirred… I like it.
The platform and part come out ready to detach, and place into the UV cabinet. I’m soooo looking forward to the Cure!
Suggestion? The UI is a bit clunky. I should be able to open the unit with a single button push. I should be able to close the unit with a single button push. I should be able to start the wash with a single button. Setting the time is just that, a setting, and the current UI is fine for changing it.
Fishing around with the knob for the sleep (to close the unit), and again fishing around with the knob for the start seems counter intuitive for a device that is supposed to be effortless to use.
PS: I really love the fact that I no longer have to alcohol clean my platform (in the sink)! I just detach the part, a quick wipe, and back in the printer! I love the fact I’m no longer timing the soak, and manually stirring the part!
Thanks for the suggestions! The UI went through a sizable number of iterations at HQ but that sample size pales in comparison to our user base so we’ll continue collecting idea for UI tweaks.
Glad you’re enjoying the Form Wash!
One subtle note about how I interact with the UI: the main menu clamps rather than wrapping, and we deliberately put start and open/close at the edges of the main menu, so your scrolling doesn’t need to be precise. If I’m walking up to a machine and want to start a wash, I grab the knob, give it a quick counterclockwise twist (which will put the selection at the top of the menu), and press it – which I can do without looking at the screen or precisely aiming the selection rectangle.
The direction in which you turn the knob is counterintuitive to me. I walk up to the machine and expect to turn the dial clockwise to go up. I think it is because the display is to the left of the dial, and I wish to move the selector rectangle down. Imagine the dial instead had an arrow on it pointing towards your selection, that is how I intuitively want to move the dial. If the rectangle stayed in the same place and the text moved, I would probably like it the way it is. Just my 2 cents. Machine works great and has saved tons of time/parts.
Received my Wash a few days ago and I’ve now sent a few prints through it. Very, very happy with it.
Parts come out much cleaner than with the two buckets approach. Plus, the ability to have a part come out of the F2 and get sent straight to the IPA where I can start the clean and leave it, without worrying about over washing or moving between buckets or manually agitating it, etc. Is great. Particularly like the drip dry after the wash is complete.
Best part of all is how clean it is. No matter how I tried with the buckets, I’d always have some alcohol with resin spill over onto the bucket platform, down the sides and onto the floor. It always looked messy and a bit gross. Particularly since my workspace isn’t industrial, having a clean process is a huuge improvement.
I have really benefited from my Form Wash as well. All of my equipment is in my home office and I have very sensitive and dry skin. Even with gloves interaction with 99% iso causes rashes, cracking, and bleeding but with the Form Wash I have been able to keep it in another room and only go in to start the wash and retrieve a part.
The parts do look great when they are done with the Wash but the real benefit to me was improving my quality of life while still being able to be a Maker.
I was having crash/UI issues with the Wash initially, and it still happens every now and then; display/knob will become unresponsive (the screen either stays dark or is stuck to whatever menu it was on). 2-5 times a week. Power off/on will get it back again, but resets the timer back to 20 minutes.
Mildly annoying, but not a show stopper. It doesn’t sound like a common problem, so I probably just got a defective unit.
Dental models will have a hollow underside so if I throw them in with the build plate, there’s a bunch of uncured material that gets trapped in there. So we moved to basket only, but anterior dies will poke through the mesh, get snapped off their base, and will fall trough. Models in the basket, dies on the build plate works just fine.
We’re aware of some users having UI issues and are looking towards fixes. Form Wash and Cure can be updated so a software update may correct this in the future. There’s no need to be complicit with a malfunctioning display and I’d recommend opening a support ticket so that we can work towards a fix with you.
I’m loving the new Form Wash. It streamlines our workflow, and noticeably decreases the mess of cleaning the platen between builds. Great product Formlabs!
I’ll have to add to this, the knob does seem to work backwards, I had to figure that out the first time I turned it. If the display were on the other side of the knob it would be fine. Other than that it works good!
LOOK MA, NO GLOVES!! need no gloves moving from FL2 to FW.
why don’t you model and print an adapter that when spun clockwise, spins the formwash dial counterclockwise?
I love the machine, but like others here alcohol leaked into my build platform after a few uses. I can hear it sloshing around inside when I tilt the platform.
I like that I can just open the lid and put the build platform in without having to use the knob to hit “Open” first.
If it could be done on the existing hardware and without compromising rigidity, it might be slick if a simple “push down” on the gantry lowered it back into the tank (similar to how the tray on your CD player works).
@gjgomes’ observation is insightful; I made the same mistake too the first time I used the knob, even though I generally think knobs ought to be clockwise-for-down, and moving it to the left side of the screen as @spineytoad suggested might make the majority of users’ dominant hands block the display.
I don’t like how quickly it evaporates alcohol when not in use. I appreciate the explanation on the lack of gaskets, but I do wish it had one along with enough weight (or a mechanism) to clamp it down for an effective seal. At the moment the device is in the same room I work and I’m concerned I’ve effectively introduced an “IPA humidifier” to my living space. Even manual clips like those on the original Form 1 wash bucket lids would have been fine. This is one aspect where I feel Formlabs has steadily regressed through the evolution of the finish kits / appliances.
A Form 1+ build plate adapter would be nice, if whatever tweak you do to fix platform leaks is applied to those too.
The machine definitely reduces the number of manual steps in the print process - one less event you need to “wait around” for.
I’m shocked the easter egg is still a secret.
The issue with leaks is actually an issue with recent platforms, as manufactured, not platform design in general. I’ve got a nearly 2 year old platform that works perfectly with Wash. The two platforms i got in the past few months, however, both popped open, and it happened during printing.
Here’s what happens:
- the platforms have plugs that are very slightly bent to begin with (they sag in the middle), which is likely due to a change in the injection moulding process
- this causes a bad seal, so IPA ingresses into the platform, bypassing the gasket
- when the temperature of the platform raises, either outside the Wash, or in my case, from exposure to heated resin in the printer, the gap closes, but the IPA inside the platform evaporates and expands
- the plug that’s the weaker of the two then pops out
I had support replace a platform with another one with exactly the same issue. Meanwhile, i continue to use the 2-year old one that came with the printer originally, perfectly.
Regarding the UI, i got used to quickly twisting the dial to the endpoints in the menu, but here’s a small suggestion: make the default menu item context sensitive!
No need to move the items around - just make it pre-select the logical next step in the sequence:
- From sleep state, preselect open if closed
- Then, after opening, preselect time
- On setting the time, preselect Start
- On wash cycle end, preselect Sleep
It’s a very simple state machine, and it makes most operations one click away.