Third form1+ machine - LASER FAIL! I am about to jump!

I am on my THIRD machine. One week in and I have spent hours cleaning every mirror and have run through two bottles of resin and I can’t get one decent print without scabs and clusters and blowouts. In fact I just installed a BRAND NEW mirror. Here’s my laser…

After months on the same ticket with the same tech (who actually is a great guy), I can not tell you how FRUSTRATING this is! Can I get your opinion on this laser… Good or Fail?

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It’s tough to say without the hood closed. The camera is adjusting funny to compensate for the intense light.


I agree that is a problem. In my experience I don’t know of another explanation if things are clean. The thing I am asking myself is can the beam get that large without the edges of the galvo mirrors showing up? Didn’t I see somewhere on the forum a laser spot test smaller than this that was square from the small galvo mirrors? Does someone remember that post?

The specular stuff around the main spot is troubling. That’s the coherent beam interfering with itself. That can be caused be a speck on the close galvo or output lens of the laser itself. Something to try is to dry run a couple layers of a part with a wide base. Do it with the paper and without the resin tray or build platform. You can stop the process after a couple layers by holding the start/ stop button for a few seconds. You can see if the spot changes sizes when it moves from the center. This might help rule out the laser and imply a spot on a mirror if the spot does indeed revert to a small dot at other locations. It will move fast, so will be hard to tell precisely, but it may give you an idea of what is going on. Also, I can’t tell from the picture, but the laser should be at the location of the bottom of the resin tray, so on the lower rails, not on the top of the upper rails.

I think this is the image I was remembering. It’s from Kevin Homes post.

@JoshK That image of mine is before the Form1+ - and yes it’s clear that the laser light has been squared off by the galvo mirrors, but since the Form1+ I haven’t seen anyone posting laser issues with squared off spots.

It does look like there’s an x-axis horizontal line in Ralph’s most recent shot - jeffperrin also posted a pic of him having trouble with a Form1+ laser also showing a horizontal line - (Are your prints failing because your laser focus is degraded?) - but he didn’t provide any details of the issues he was having, and he only followed up to say mirror cleaning (including galvos) improved things “but not perfect” - so nothing conclusive there.

@Ralph_Roberts that “spot” in your latest picture definitely looks bad - I’ll be very disappointed if the Form1+ laser also suffers failures - have you checked the galvo mirrors and the middle mirror as well? you’d need to remove the back cover - and a very bright torch shone side-on will help inspecting them.

A speck on the laser lens as per Bruce_Boone’s worst case scenario would be a real problem - and I’d guess it might mean returning the machine - although perhaps you could try using a lens puffer on the laser on the off-chance that was the issue and that it shifted the offending speck.

Hi Ralph,

I know exactly how you feel.

I’ve put off posting my problems on the forum in order to give Formlabs the benefit of the doubt. My Form1+ hasn’t been right from day one.

Although I’ve been FFF / FDM printing for two years now, it took a couple of weeks for me to resize the problems I was experiencing were due to the printer and not operator error.

As well as failed and pour quality prints, I’ve been having to strain the resin after every print to remove part cured resin (sort of jelly consistency).

Timeline is something like this –

  1. Used a camera lens rocket blaster to blow dust off main mirror.

  2. Noticed bits on the main mirror that wouldn’t budge.

  3. Raised support ticket and advised to clean mirror with pec-pads & IPA. Also asked to run laser test.

  4. Cleaning revealed there were chips on the main mirror.

  5. Laser test showed a problem with the laser or galvos / small mirror. (see below TEST 1)

  6. They sent me a new main mirror and asked me to inspect / clean the galvo and small mirror.

  7. I fitted the new mirror and cleaned the galvo’s and small mirror.

  8. A test print showed the fault was still there.

  9. Ran the laser test and got exactly the same results. (see below TEST 2 & 3)

  10. Formlabs had the printer back (UK distributor) for repair.

  11. Got the print back. They replaced the galvo’s mirrors and some circuitry.

  12. Test prints showed no improvement.

  13. Ran the laser test and got the exact same results again (see below Test 4)

  14. Contacted FormLab’s and they asked me to inspect the mirrors & galvo’s again, even though new ones had just been fitted and the laser test results hadn’t changed. They also said that they had been gathering data on this type of laser spot fault so as to eliminate the underlying cause.

  15. I checked as requested and explained that as an engineer myself, I could only conclude that the problem must be with the laser.

  16. I didn’t hear back for a while and had to ask for an update a couple of times.

  17. They got back to me and said that they would need the printer back at their headquarters (US).

  18. They have said that when they receive it, they will ship a fully calibrated & tested replacement unit.

  19. I’ve received the shipping tickets but I’m waiting on instructions on how to arrange collection of the printer from my business premises.

Honestly if feet customer support was doing great up until I had the printer back from the UK repair center. They changed the galvo mirrors and some circuitry, calibrated and tested the printer and sent it back, saying that all was good.

However when the test print failed and I ran the laser test the results were almost identical to my very first laser test. I can only conclude that either they didn’t run the laser test, or ran it and decided it was ok.

I’ve wasted a huge amount of productivity, time and resin chasing my tail on this defective machine.

Obviously I’m disappointed and my confidence in Formlabs is starting to dwindle. Going at this rate, I don’t expect to have a printer until after the holidays.

Perhaps those of you more experienced Form1 users could have a look at the photos below and let me know what you think.




Steve, Ralph — I just want to let you guys know that we’re circulating these materials internally and we’re taking a hard look at what’s going on in our support and repair process to figure out what’s going on.

@Steve_Johnstone —I want to apologize for the lousy experience you’re having. We’ll do everything we can to get to the bottom of the issues your machine is having and get things on the road to recovery.

Yeah, bunny ears. Had those on my last machine. After going back and forth with mirror cleaning and replacement I went as far as removing the laser and shining those bunny ears right on the wall. After that they sent me this one and just as my first two printers they work for about a week then I start to get flaking. Then one or two prints later everything I print fails. I am printing the same few parts and moving them around the platform and they just get worse and worse. I strain the resin and it slowly turns to jelly and now I’m getting long hair-like strands.

Hi Steve

I’m onto my fourth printer - where abouts in the UK are you based?

From JasonSpiller
My current spot is a round dot with practically no halo and no bunny ears, but my 3 previous printers all exhibited bunny ears like yours and all were replaced for being faulty. I’m not sure what is going on formlabs HQ but they need to be having a serious discussion about getting an alternate laser supplied as there are way too many people having issues.

Another Day of cleaning all the mirrors, installing new tray, pouring new resin and running another attempt… Fail!

Hi Jason,

I’m based in Birmingham, West Midlands.

Thanks Sam,

Sam could you do me a favor - I’ve been trying to get my printer returned via your agents, Simple Global. They emailed me the shipping Docket but haven’t said how to arrange collection. The printer been packed and ready since 12/12/2014.

I’ve emailed both support and Simple Global twice now with no response. I would greatly appreciate it if you could look into this.

My Original Support Ticket is #43905.

Thanks, Steve. I can’t offer specific support, but I will doublecheck with our support to make sure that your messages are making it through. I do apologize for the delay on our end.

Glad I’m finding this thread. I just received my replacement form1+ and first two prints off still failed. My company buys the form1+, hires me to build models and run it. What a wonderful feeling knowing that you look like a fool because the form1+ is so inconsistently successful. Here are some images of my latest prints.

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Hi Alex,

Can you tell me what print settings you are using and do you have pictures of the .form or .stl file? I’d be curious to take a look.


Clark - See support ticket (#44448) I’ve been working on “the settings” for weeks.

OP here… Are we in a holding pattern right now waiting to see if tech is working on something regarding this issue?