The Future of the Form 1+


#1

After three years on the market, the Form 1+ is sold out and no new units will be produced. The Form 1+ enabled a generation of creators to make things like new medical devices and stop motion films. It will remain an integral part of Formlabs’ history and we look forward to continuing to develop new products and further push the boundaries and accessibility of 3D printing.

I know a fair bit of our forum audience uses the Form 1+. It’s a machine that we at Formlabs have equally adored since its release in June 2014. We’ll go over what the change in inventory means for active Form 1+ users.

Support
Our team will continue to provide the same level of support and repairs. For those of you who already own a Form 1+, we’ll support this printer and continue to offer consumables such as build platforms and resin tanks for as long as we reasonably can. We’ll honor all existing warranties, provide replacement parts, and repair units for as long as we’re able. Resin bottles will be available in the Form 1+ store until we run out of existing stock. You’ll be able to purchase the same materials in cartridges after that.

As always, our support team is standing by to sort out any issues and we will still be offering paid repairs on an as-needed basis for as long as our replacement part supplies last. Given current repair volumes, we’re not expecting to run out of replacement parts until past the last warranty dates.

Software
Continuing three years of software evolution, PreForm connects all users to their Formlabs printers, including the Form 1+. There are no anticipated changes to be required for Form 1+ firmware. Of course, if a firmware modification is required, our software team will release an update for the Form 1+.

Future Product Developments
The Form 1+ will be compatible with new versions of most materials that already exist within the Form 1+ ecosystem. New materials will not be developed for the Form 1+.

Upgrade To a Discounted Form 2
For those that currently own a Form 1+ and are looking to upgrade hardware, we’re offering a discount on the Form 2. Get in touch with our team for more information.

There have been countless prints and projects of exceptional intrigue and value over the years. We’d love to use this thread to hear questions or stories about what the Form 1+ has meant for your creations.


I am very sad with the company Form labs
#4

Let me get this straight, you are discontinuing support for consumables on my printer that is only 2.5 years old and you’re asking me to upgrade to your latest and greatest so I can experience the same disappointment again a few years from now?


#5

We are continuing support for any currently existing consumables. We are offering bottles with a plan to eventually phase them out. New formulations of materials currently in the Form 1+ ecosystem will be compatible.

New materials that did not previously exist may not be supported. This has been the case with things like Durable and DentalSG.


#6

What are the plans with Form X? Does FL still plan on releasing that porcelain resin?
Will FL open up more about resin settings so we can better utilize OpenFL and the API or is that being phased out as well?


#7

The Form 1 guys will be able to sell empty cartridges to people that run third party resins in the Form 2. It’s all good.

Thinking I’ll be trading in my old machine for a second Form 2.


#8

Form X is a platform for releasing both more challenging materials and experimental processes. Because many of the materials released under Form X are a bit more challenging to work with by definition, it’s likely that they won’t be available for Form 1/1+. Many of the processes and techniques released under Form X will very likely be compatible with both machines. OpenFL will continue to be supported for Form 1/1+.


#9

I thought by definition, Form X was Form 1 / 1+ only. It seems that I am incorrect.

Can you give us a timeline for some of these materials and processes. It seemed that FL announced it and let it hang. Have I missed an announcement, have any new materials and/or processes been released?


#10

“we’ll support this printer and continue to offer consumables such as build platforms and resin tanks for as long as we reasonably can”

Could FormLabs give a specific time period during which resin tanks will continue to be available?
e.g. 1 year, 2 years? Ideally a specific date till which you will guarantee availability. An end date for support is more helpful that just saying “for as long as we reasonably can”.

Without new resin tanks, the printer is useless and as an owner of a 4 month old Form 1+ printer, it is important to know for how long I can continue to use it.


#11

Form X is intended as a platform for products that might not be as ‘plug and play’ as the rest of the Formlabs ecosystem. It’s not specific to the Form 1/1+. We are releasing Ceramic Resin under Form X and it’s currently in development. I can’t give a timeline for any materials or processes that we’re currently working on.


#12

Are you kidding? So soon we will not be able to use the printers we bought anymore? Right? :slight_smile:


#13

I don’t think soon is the correct word. In the future, yes. It is the when will they decide to stop manufacturing vats is only the first issue. We have Z-Vats. so until both FL and Z-vats stop producing the vats we aren’t in trouble. I don’t see build platforms not being available a huge issue either.

Maybe now 3rd party resin manufacturers will step up and work on OpenFL resin profiles for us but I doubt it.

The real problem is if the printer breaks and it needs to be sent for repair. If it needs to be sent out while they still have parts, the only issue is paying for the repair. If the printer breaks after they stop repairing them, we will have a problem.

All products have a life expectancy and a timeframe they are supported after they are not manufactured anymore. I believe most companies give hardened timelines. In this case, it seems like we will have to wait and see.


#14

True. :slight_smile:


#15

Let me put this in a slightly different perspective. How would you feel if you bough a $3000 high end refrigerator, only to find that after 3 years it became unusable because the refrigerant inside it was proprietary and the manufacturer had no plans to make more to support it.


#16

If I had a Form printer actually last me 3 years I would be very happy. Since I am sitting around 8 months max in-between failures I am more upset for different reasons.

I don’t believe Sub Zero stays in business by doing things like that. Time will tell how FL makes out.

The fact is we currently have a very blurry timeline. That is the part that worries me. If they said, December 31, 2019 we will no longer support or repair the Form 1 series printer I would be ok with it. There is a length of time. I have time to decide what I am going to do, etc.

If I was the guy who just purchased the last Form 1+, I would not be happy. I have been around for a long time. I hope this works out for FL.


#17

What they did is sell off existing inventory until, surprise, there ain’t much left. Better stop. NOW!

Pity those with recently purchased machines have no idea when practical EOL arrives. An indeterminate timeline may be realistic from FL’s POV, but, gosh o’ golly, it’s way too squishy for a professional piece of equipment. Give a date, make a commitment.

I’d love some data on what the service life expectancy is; the logs track all kinds of usage data, so they must know. Or data from stress testing for MTBF. Gotta know that if you’re in manufacturing.

California has a law:

California Civil Code, Sec. 1793.03.

(b) Every manufacturer making an express warranty with respect to an electronic or appliance product described in subdivision (h), (i), (j), or (k) of Section 9801 of the Business and Professions Code, with a wholesale price to the retailer of one hundred dollars ($100) or more, shall make available to service and repair facilities sufficient service literature and functional parts to effect the repair of a product for at least seven years after the date a product model or type was manufactured, regardless of whether the seven-year period exceeds the warranty period for the product.
Quote Quoting Business and Professions Code, Sec. 9801(h)-(k)
(h) “Electronic set” includes, but is not limited to, any television, radio, audio or video recorder or playback equipment, video camera, video game, video monitor, computer system, photocopier, or facsimile machine normally used or sold for personal, family, household, or home office use.

(i) “Appliance” or “major home appliance” includes, but is not limited to, any refrigerator, freezer, range, microwave oven, washer, dryer, dishwasher, trash compactor, or room air-conditioner normally used or sold for personal, family, household, or home office use, or for use in private motor vehicles.

It probably doesn’t cover professional equipment such as the Form 1+. There’s a pretty common belief that there’s federal law mandating part availability. There isn’t.

What will probably happen as parts are no longer available is that machines will get cannibalized for parts as they fail and there will be a secondary market.

I don’t consider this equipment to have a long service life; apparently FL doesn’t either.

Anybody want to start a pool on the intro of Form 3?


#18

When we bought Form 1+, 2 years ago, it was working amazingly perfect.

Until one of the tanks broke while printing and the resin went inside the printer and the fun started. And we did not break the tank on purpose or by mistake. I might be car3less, but not that careless. More than one tank needed to be replaced.

My latest ticket with the support was open since October last year or earlier. It was closed a few days ago.

Because Formlabs just repaired our Form 1+. It’s like new. :)) I don’t want it to be back useless so soon :smiley:

We will see :slight_smile:
What I have highly appreciated about Formlabs in the last years is the support they offer. It is very very good. They are always open to finding solutions and helping.


#19

If this is how FL turns over product in hopesof converting customers it is really bad business. With no commitment to EOL and leaving customers with a looming doom then your competition will be please with their new sales. Forcing people to upgrade when their machines are perfectly fine is only going to chase customers away. The Solid Scape users have legacy machines going back nearly 10 years with support. Even 3d Systems is better with legacy hardware.

What would the incentive of selling a new Formlabs machine be? In 2 years you have to buy a new one and you spent 3k on a paper weight? Who does your marketing? Looks like suicide on a corporate level.


#20

So, it seems to me this announcement should have came years after ceasing to sell the Form 1+. I mean, couldn’t someone have bought one of these yesterday - direct from FL?


#21

I just bought my Form 1+ two weeks ago.

Just after you sold the last ones in stock, you announce that you are dropping support and not going to stock consumables?

Disgusting.
I feel like a sucker now.


#22

Although I don’t have a Form 1/1+ I think Formlabs should be more considerate in supporting their 3D printers. It would fee utterly bad if they were to release Form 3 and drop their support for my Form 2 in just a few years.

I’m planning to use this machine for a loooong time you know? :disappointed: