Surface Finish on .05 Layer Setting

Hi All,

I’ve been printing with my Form 1 for just over a week now.  Most of the prints have been on the .05 setting.  To be honest I’ve been a little disappointed with the surface finish - I expected it to be smoother.  I’ve attached a few images below.  Would a few of you mind commenting on whether this level of surface finish is pretty typical for the .05 setting, or whether it looks rougher than you’d expect?  I’ve also seen surface irregularities on most of the builds (a rib is a little crooked, a face has a small chunk of material missing, etc).  Normal?  Or are most of your prints coming out pretty true to the stl file’s geometry?

I think I get a smoother finish than that, I can’t get a decent pic with my camera to show it unfortunately but they’re smooth! As far as everything else, I loose sharp edges and edges of flat areas because of lack of supports sometimes. I have issues with really tiny features but also sometimes get lucky with unbelievably small stuff. Parts that are supposed to fit together don’t usually mesh up just right but some sanding makes em fit.

Flat surfaces parallel to the build platform come out smoother than those that are perpendicular to it. The pic I’m attaching would be an example of the roughest I would get, you can see and feel the layers, but usually I get much better results, this was the worst I could find out of all my prints.

Thanks for the response, Vince.  I’ve had the same experience with parts that are supposed to fit together but don’t, especially when they are larger size parts.  Seems like the Form1’s accuracy suffers the larger the parts get.

At any rate, good to know you get parts that are smoother than what I’ve showed.  Gives me some hope :)  I’ll try a new tray and see if that improves anything.


Getting a smooth surface depends greatly on the orientation of your print. Also, how well supported the print is. If it moves around during the peel process, you will get lines like that. If the model is not aligned properly and you are printing large cross-sections, there are more forces needed for the peel and you may get those lines.

I have printed parts at the 100 settings that looked smoother than that, and sometimes printed at the 25 setting that looked worse. You just have to find the optimal printing position for every print.

Thank you, Monger Designs.  I rarely print the same part twice (mostly new parts for new designs).  That being the case, what suggestions can you make for achieving optimal printing positions for my parts?

I use the AutoOrient feature in PreForm, but then I go through each layer quickly and make sure that each layer is supported properly and at an angle. I’m not talking about the support structures, but how one layer is supporting each consequent layer. If you have huge transitions between layer sizes, then the model is not aligned properly. Change the orientation slightly and check again. It’s better to spend about 15-20 min on this, instead of wasting long hours on a disappointing print. Obviously, every model is different, but this usually works for me on 90% of the prints.

Great advice - thanks!  Do you find you get better surface finish when the majority of your surfaces are parallel to the build platform, or when they are perpendicular to the build platform?

I get the best surface quality when the surfaces are at an angle to the build platform. Especially if it’s a large flat surface.