Still curved, non usable results

I am trying now since several month to get Form1+ running. This is already the SECOND device. But event if the device came new, whatever I need as object seems to be “too difficult” for the printer.

The support is responding only slow. I saw great videos and animations. But when I just want to do a really simple object, the printer has every day new problems in printout.

Todays issue; some parts are curved even if they should not be. At the end the system was out of Resin. That is my fault. I should fill absolute to max next time. Anyway in the middle of print, it fails totally. No 300 microns precision.

I think it is because it glues on the Resin Tank while printing.



Anyone here with helping ideas?

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You’re correct. It does stick to the PDMS layer when printing. And you’ll keep getting these warped parts if you don’t support the ‘floating’ parts with actual supports. Add supports and print it again. Then let it cure under the sunlight, or in a uv curing chamber and you’ll notice the part will stay straight. Don’t over-wash it in IPA though, that could cause it to warp too.

I don’t know how much experience you have with SLA printers, but it seems you’re using it as an upside down FDM printer. Nearly every model in an SLA printer needs supports to print correctly (see the 3rd button in Preform).

One other thing I noticed in your video: If you keep printing cylinders this way, they will most probably always (and I do mean always) fail! The bottom of your cyilinders are closed off. This means that every time the printer is printing a layer and connecting to the PDMS layer, you’re creating a ‘vacuum’ inside the model. This will create a blow-out sooner or later uring the print, and it seems it did at the end of your print as seen in the video. You’ll have a blob on your PDMS layer as well!
So either, create a drain whole, or flip the cyilinder so the opening is facing the build platform and use suoports!

/Here’s a simple quick guide I wrote a while ago to help you get going:

Good luck!

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It already has default (untouched) supports.

Read my quick guide about positiioning and i’m sure this will help tremendously. You need to position the model at an angle to reduce stress on the print.

Furthermore, I edited my post why your cyilinders are failing. check that too

When I use those many supporters, the item becomes to be unusable in case of non-flat bottom surface

@T78, check the support page for getting rid of those support marks :

If some parts of your model are important for being ‘untouched’ try to re-angle the model so that you leave that part unsupported. SLA Printers are great for capturing detail. But in order to use these printers to its full potential you’ll need to think ahead before actually printing the part, ensuring that you’ve done all the necessary steps for the part to print properly. Not to mention to keep the amount of ‘finishing’ as little as possible.

Luckily your parrt is flat, so finishing should be easy enough.

To keep density of the supports low, you can either lower then density and point size in Preform and generate them automatically. But once you get the hang of it, it’s better to manually add supports where needed. It saves resin and ensures that you wont have to do too much on the finishing.

Read the support pages to get the hang of everything you need to know. It seems to me you’re starting out pretty fresh and haven’t taken the time to fully understand how to handle the Form1(+) to it’s best potential!

To conclude. Auto-generate is a handy tool to use, but by far not the best. Using your intuition and experience will outperform the auto-generate in pretty much every single case!

See it as using sat-nav to go from A to B with a lot of roadworks. It’s handy to give you a general direction, but you’ll have to rely on your own brains to actually get there due to the changed conditions :wink:

And yes, the amount of supports you (or auto-generate) have used on that model you’ve printed is wayyyy to much… try angling the part much more upright. It’ll keep you from using unnecessary supports and let your model support ‘itself’ mostly! Sure the print will take a llittle longer. But it’ll be worth the resin you’ve saved!


Thank you Alex for your try to help.

When we bought the Form1+ it says; 250mm x 250mm 3D printer with precision of 300 microns. Then we received the Sample. And we decided to buy the printer.
But now it looks like getting a device which is not really able to print what it should. And to “repair” the bad parts of printout and doing the PostProcess it takes a lot of time and experience of several hundred Dollars of Resin which never was explained before.
Now I am already a doctor in creating 3D object for Form1+ and doing hours of Postprocess.

In my eyes, it is absolut impossible to get the “Sample tower” to printout. It has no scratches and no supporter and looks different than all my best printouts.

It is not impossible to get quality parts off this machine, like Alex has stated it is not the same as traditional 3d printers. Parts that are unsupported or not oriented correctly will always look like this. The parts you have shown here would print no problem on a traditional FDM style printer even polyjet would have no issues unsupported, but with SLA orientation and Supports are CRITICAL. I had a lot of issues getting use to SLA when I first purchased my Form 1+ but reading here and taking the advise I know get parts with amazing results, thin profiles, and dimensional accuracy. This to me sounds like the same learning curve I had it just takes time and practice to get use to the way you orient and the way you support the parts.


Your video is set to private. So I am not able to view it. And I don’t know where you read that the volume of the printer is 2525##. You must have misread the 125mm as 25cm?

But, yes, I agree… SLA printers seem quite plug&play but, indeed, it does take quite some effort/time/money to get the hang of it. Though you could have know this before purchasing the printer by reading this forum. Still. it’s worth the time and money once you get the hang of it, depending on what industry you’re working in/with.

@Thomas_Judy : How will a laser print that round / circled artefacts like in the sample? No supporters visible anywhere.

@Alex_Vermeer : You are right, I was wrong. It is 125mm x 125mm.
First sentense on website is: Easy Set-UpA printer that just works. No calibration needed. Get set up and printing in as little as 15 minutes.

Sorry but that does not sound like: Buy explicit Resit + Pre-Clean big mirror once a week (+open the device to do that) + Pre-Clean small mirrors every 3 month (+open the device to do that from back) + keep explicit design rules for 3D printout on objects + calculate 200% of budget in case of needed supports + re-buy a Resin tank after 6 month + buy several utilities for post process (not needed to buy from formlabs but recommended) + work 20 minutes to wash the result + wait up to 1 day until result has become hard + do post processing on supporters + do post process to remove scratches from supporters + do postprocess on removing artefacts with mineal oil + do post process on holes the printer has dust on the mirror + buy enought PIA to clean all.

Perhaps for you guys, it was really clear when you bought it. From my point of view, it surprises me every week what I need additional to do to get expected results.

Now I read others have similar problems Brand new form 1 + for sale!

My boss want to send all back. I don’t know how to handle that.

I am not sure of the build process that formlabs uses to build the “rook” sample part but I would run it flat with no supports this can be done this way because it has a smaller surface area the parts you appear to print have a larger surface area there for more stress is put on the part laterally causing it to distort. Your rook almost looks like it has some sanding marks on the bottom which would indicate that they used supports but again I am not sure.

SLA parts require lots of post processing its the nature of the beast, but I have had machines that cost $50,000 all the way up to $225,000 all of the require some post processing and some have required way more than anything I have had to do with this machine. One machine is better at this and one machine is better at that. It varies but with the lower cost of the Form 1+ compared to the cost of industrial printers taking an hour or two post process time is a much smaller price to pay for good parts.

Here are some examples of parts printed off my Form 1+ printer with a screen shot of the orientation I used

Parts are raw off the printer no sanding was needed for engineering group to preform their tests

This part required about 25 minutes of sanding and 10 min buffing and one clear coat of UV protective paint

This printer does have a steep learning curve it takes time, research, and more time. I had to learn that printing something on a higher steep angle took more time but would get the part I needed correctly the first time.

Good luck hopefully you can give it one more shot.


I have to agree to everything @Alex_Vermeer and @Thomas_Judy have said… take this rook as an example: I printed a similar part at 25µ a) straight, and b) slightly tilted, in both cases with default supports. These were printed at the same time, the 3rd print job I ever did, with no previous 3D printing experience whatsoever:

In the meantime, I am 99% sure none of those supports for the straight standing part were necessary - the part was designed to produce near-perfect results for sales reasons… whether its the external surface, the print on the top level, the winding stairs, the helix, the robustness of the model. All impress.

Also, as Alex says, the auto/default supports are not bad, but they don’t come close to hand-set points. Particularly like your long straight part: that ABSOLUTELY (in my experience) needs many small supports along the edges, plus a tilt of about 10-25 degrees… less tilt means less layers, means less variance from one end to the other, but a certain tilt is needed as has been said many times.

With the small supports along the edges (which take SOME time to set!) part removal is easy, as is post cleaning - it’s much easier to clean an edge than a surface, in my humble opinion. Here’s an example .FORM - it’s only a small part, but it’s one of the few personal parts I made myself, where I don’t have confidentiality problems:

2015_07_17-battery_clip.form (1.2 MB)

This part is super easy to detach: you need a scalpel to go round the edge, go inside on the second round to separate the supports further inside, then a gentle, careful bending of the base plate and the part is in your hands. The outside is perfect, the inside doesn’t need to be perfect, and the clip bends beautifully.

Dimensional accuracy is tricky… I’ve tried calibration, and this helps, but I still get differences between lower and upper levels of a few tenths of a mm for parts of a few cm (probably something like 0,1mm per 1 cm height) in the x and y directions - you can see this effect in the table of measurements of the calibration part in this calibration thread; I’m also still finding that parts will have some degree of non-planarity, which may be banana- or wave-style… this seems to depend on a whole bunch of things, like the model itself (how thick the walls are, and what shape it is), how it’s oriented, how it’s supported, how it’s separated from the supports, how long it’s washed for, how it’s cured, plus probably some other factors I’m not thinking of.

Still, all said: I LOVE the Form1+… as already said here, for the price, so long as you weren’t expecting perfection with no effort, I think it’s REALLY great value and a brilliant tool.

Nice looking parts, particularly those (pipe or cable?) clips - that’s the ‘tough’ resin, right?

What kind of dimensional accuracy do you get?

Do you notice the part getting smaller the higher up from the supports it gets?

@T78, not much to add here. @Thomas_Judy and @Seagull are spot on!

Though I can understand your boss wanting to send it back. it would merely result in a loss. Show him the long term value by using the photo’s Thomas and Seagull have shown you. With some help from the forum, you’ll be come an expert at printing with the Form1+ and generate results which are unmatched by other desktop printers. Not to mention you’ll become more valuable to the company as you’re the only one who’s able to operate such a delicate machine ;)!.


Most were within +/- 0.1 mm tolerance or better, there was one that got out side of that but it was me trying different curing processes with it to see if I could get away from a 4 hr cure time ( My curing station is under the recommended wattage 36w that Formlabs suggests) so I was cutting corners and removed the parts early from their supports and it really walked on me. But so far I have 6 functioning parts out being tested by the plastics engineers at my office, so far all positive reviews from them.

T78: I’ve had a closer look at some parts I printed that have long edges like yours. One thing I notice time and again, is that a ‘supporting edge’ (that is the edge of your part that is closest to the build platform) will be slightly curved, the more weight it has to support the more curved it will be. I’m not really sure if it really is because of the weight, but that is the way I imagine it - it’s probably more due to peel loading over many cycles. At any rate, here are some pics to show what I mean:

The model width of this plate is 62.0mm, so we’re only talking about 0.2-0.3mm - for most purposes, this won’t even notice, but I’m still aiming for under +/-0.1mm tolerances on such pieces… in many cases I might not need it, but sometimes I do, and I want to be able to make an informed choice for each model I print.

This means if I print say a 100 x 50 x 3 plate close to vertical (50mm edge 10 degrees to build platform, total angle 0-5 degrees from vertical), then the 50mm edge will be curved, with the ends being slightly narrower than the middle. If I take the same plate and put it much flatter into the build volume, so that there is much less ‘weight’ for one edge to support, this effect vanishes - by default, such a plate will have many more supports if it is closer to horizontal than vertical, which probably helps reduce the problem, whether it is weight or peel stress or something else, by spreading the force across more supports.

So, if one of the short ends is not so important, then I would try getting the part say more like 45 degrees instead of the (almost?) zero degrees to the build platform you show. The part will, of course, take much longer to print… taller parts are also more critical/more likely to fail (I believe). Alternatively, rotate the part along it’s long axis to put the important edge (if one edge is more important than the others) at the top…

If the part is vertical or close to it, it is still important to support the long almost vertical edges at (relatively) close intervals; depending upon whether the edge or the surface is more important while guide where you should put the supports for minimum post processing.

You may also find that it helps to add some extra features to the part just for the 3D printed part - not always easy, takes extra time, but, for example, I added the ‘frame’ on the inside of this little lid for exactly that reason:

I didn’t think to add generous fillets on the inside, however (it was still the first week of having the printer), so that you could see the abrupt change in panel thickness on the outside:

If you like, you could upload the .STL and I’ll show you what I mean; I might even try printing it myself to see how good I can get it… I’m still learning how to get the best results with minium post processing for such engineering parts, and such parts are definitely amongst the most challenging for several reasons - amongst other things, when:

  1. it’s important the part is straight, even thought it has relatively thin walls, and especially when, like with your part,
  2. the length is close to the max. x and y dimensions you can print on a Form1(+)
    So, it’s not a purely philanthropic gesture of mine :). A sketch showing the edges and/or surfaces which are most important to you would be very helpful if I do this.

Wo - nice going!

Yep! The sample rook was designed to print without supports. The designer of the part, @CraigBroady, explains the how and why in this blog post

Thank you guys for the very sobering answers. It seems to become huge work to get stuff arranged with form1+ or in my case most is simply not possible. Today, I need to print the attached file. in case @Seagull told me to upload my sample here, I will do that. I am now 2 hours in splitting my part and arranging the form1 printout without good result in my hands.LCD_GLAS_BONDED_7_INCH Links.STL (297.3 KB)

Arrangement, supports and angle was set by software as “best as possible”. Absolute unusable result if you print that out. Even if the item will match to the canvas size. The supports will demage all and items are curved and not as precise as needed.

Wow… this is going to be a difficult print! Still, this file might give you an idea how to get it to print just within the boundries of the volume.

The only way you can achieve this is by manually adding points and start adding them from the inside out on the overhang. Do not add supports to the bottom part yet! Keep adding them to the overhang and side and apply the supports. You’ll notice that the model will end up floating just above the build platform. Now go back to ‘edit supports’ and add supports to the bottom of the model where needed. You’ll notice that these supports will stay tiny and won’t push the model upwards (out of the build volume). I put all the advanced support settings to the lowest possible (base thickness, height above base, slope multiplier)

Here’s the file:

NOTE: my file is an example and I have not yet checked if it is actually prrintable with the supports generated like this. I just wanted to give you an idea how to try and print it. You’ll have to manually add your supports by yourself for it to print probably, as I haven’t gone through all the layers.

I have no idea if this will work, but as far as I can tell, it’s your only shot! Or maybe, this will spark your imagination and you’ll find another solution ;). And yes, this goes against all the rules of SLA printing :blush:

Good luck and keep us posted!