Yes you read that title correct. I’m am so utterly fed up with the form 3 it’s unreal.
Bit of background. I run a 3D printing business. Been in business for over 5 years now. Started out with a form 1+ back in the day. It was a fine little machine. Sure some large models might have a bit of warping now and again but you got time predictions and when you would hit go, you could be confident that you would get a print out at the end.
The form 3 is just such a mess. No time prediction in the software. Copious usage of materials. Never knowing if I’m actually going to get a print at the end or an error somewhere through. The predictions the machines give are usually out by 50% (and it’s never in the good direction).
This is categorically not a production machine. My form 2 was a proper fire and forget machine. I could start a print on that and walk away knowing it was all going to work and set my clock to come back to a finished print. If you are in the realm of small parts with few time pressures on you then sure, it makes pretty prints. If you want to use the full volume and have a schedule to run to? Look elsewhere.
I’m sure I’ll get a bunch of folk running along and telling me how I’m all wrong but this machine was released when it wasn’t ready and now I’m stuck wishing I’d never sold my form 2. My cheap chinese FDM machines are more reliable.
Yeah, my Form 2 had a 90% success rate. My Form 3 is currently around 76%. On top of that, I’m getting softer details, distortion on the support side of the part, and overall the quality of the parts is at the very best not any better than the Form 2, and often worse than the Form 2.
I’m in the same boat of wishing I had just kept my Form 2, and not “upgraded” to the Form 3. It’s a huge disappointment, because I was so incredibly impressed with my Form 2, that I just assumed the 3 would be better. Turns out, I really should have held off on that purchase.
Yeah, I jumped all-in to the new ecosystem and sold my Form 2 as well shortly before my Form 3 arrived. I wound up buying back a used Form 2.
I don’t consider the 3 terrible (and I’m excited by how transparent Clear resin prints) but I think it was definitely released before it was ready.
What kind of mid-print errors have you been getting?
I would say the Form 3 is definitely not living up to the expectations that I had, but in general it has a lot of potential if they can fix a bunch of issues. I agree with @rkagerer that they could have waited 6 months or maybe even more to start pushing these out…but they have a ton to gain from feedback of real world users (although we are essentially beta testers right now which sucks).
I haven’t had a single failure on the Form 3 yet and I push the touchpoint size all the way down to 0.3, and use a whole bunch of different resins. Clear parts turn out clearer, cupping is almost no longer an issue, parts feel nicer and more cured in their green state. I’ve generally been happy with it, although there are some cases where I still prefer printing on my Form 2 (eg. Tough resin has pooling issues on the support side so large flat objects in Tough go in the Form 2).
I also made the jump from selling all my Form 2 stuff for the Form 3 ecosystem & really wish I hadn’t. Parts take longer to print, but more importantly for us, are less accurate / more out of tolerance.
I also started with Form 1 then 1+, but I have cancelled my Form 3L order based on all these feedback comments on the forums, and am keeping my 2x Form2 workhorses. Very disappointing.
On a positive note, for bigger parts I bought a Peopoly Phenom. 2 months in, and it hasn’t given a single failure, and it cost $1800 and $50/litre.
Detail parts go on the Form2, big parts on the Phenom.
I had been considering a form 3L but there’s no way I’ll be getting one now. The promo image kicking around facebook of the woman holding the platform with the large square box (maybe for a speaker) must have taken 3 or 4 days to print. There’s no way I could have a machine running for that long and make it financially worthwhile for either me or my clients.
I’ve had to order up a second form 3 purely to increase my throughput to the same level as my form 2 was. So yeah, formlabs got more cash out of me but I can tell you I won’t be excited to open this box when it arrives.