Tank level inaccuracy causing long wait times before print

Am I the only one that is absolutely irked by the fact that the the Form 3+ is unable to accurately estimate the remaining resin volume whatsoever, under almost all circumstances? And because of this, a huge amount of time is wasted before every print while the printer catches up and realizes that there’s actually no resin left aside from what’s in the build tray? Surely other people are running into this too?

Basically, the resin level sensor(s) don’t seem to be able to accurately tell how much resin a tank has left to within about a full liter, or half the total capacity of a new tank. My printers always say the resin tank is still half full when it is completely empty and only resin in the build tray remains. It’s done this since I had it new. The unit we have at work does the same thing. I asked Formlabs why they couldn’t do better at level estimation and got a super lame excuse so I’m hoping for something better. For ~$3k I expect better, and for me, this is near the top of all my complaints for the Form 3 in general.

The reason why this bugs me so much, aside from just being ridiculously inaccurate and unacceptable, is because when you start a print the first thing it will do is try to fill the build tray with more resin. It will keep trying to dispense resin despite the fact that the resin tank is completely empty. So then it just spins its wheels, waiting to dispense more resin that never comes. The last time I started a print it did this pointless fill cycle for ONE HOUR AND FORTY FIVE MINUTES before it finally prompted me with the warning about resin level where it asks if you want to process. So my 45 minute print job became a 2 hr 15 min job simply because the printer is too stupid to tell how much resin is actually left.

What is even the point of resin level monitoring if it’s so inaccurate that it’s unusable as a feature? At the very least, Formlabs could reduce the timeout interval or create some sort of bypass feature so you don’t have to wait while the printer tries to fill resin that’s just not there. In most cases there is enough resin left in the build tray to complete several more rounds of printing. The printer is inaccurate by 50% which means that it’s operating in this false state for nearly HALF your total prints! That’s a huge amount of time wasted at the beginning of every print.

Is anybody else peeved about this too? Are there workarounds other than just waiting for the printer to realize there’s no more resin and tacking on an hour or two of time to half your total prints?

Hi @misterproject,

Thank you for getting in touch. For more context on this issue, please see my reply in this thread. I understand that this issue can be quite inconvenient and cause downtime due to extended filling. The best workaround I can suggest in the meantime would be to physically pick up or weigh the cartridges to judge their fill level prior to starting a print.

You’ve been “working on” this for 1, maybe 2 years now. So when do we get a fix!? I’m entire p$@%&@ off at Formlabs about this issue. When the resin tank is empty (yet still reports half full), it’s the TIME DELAY that I care about. Did you even read my entire post? The printer will try to fill a build tray using an empty tank, and it will do this for up to 1.75 hours in my case before the print will actually start. This is a huge time suck before every print and is unacceptable. You didn’t address most of the point in my post. Typical Formlabs response. It’s clear you people don’t care at all about resolution. Otherwise a fix would have been employed months ago. Hell, the post YOU linked is nearly 10 months old and still no fix like it promised!