Tray stuck in printer

My tray is completely stuck in the printer. Seems like one ball bearing won’t release at all. Back right bearing it seems like, unable to pry it loose and afraid to put too much strain on it. Any suggestions?

It’s likely that some resin that was spilled on the tabs of the tank got into the ball spring plunger and clogged it up. I would recommend trying to pry up the ball spring plunger tab with a flathead screwdriver. You can then remove the ball spring plunger.

Hi Owen,

Have you seen this discussion? It’s a similar issue to the one you’re having. The best way to avoid this situation is to keep the tank carrier and outside of the resin tank as resin-free as possible, but sometimes spills and drips happen. I agree with Craig about the cause and have a few additional suggestions.

You might have success carefully dripping IPA under the ball in the plunger and give the tank a few good tugs from the back of the tank. If more force is needed, a few gentle taps with a wooden block and rubber mallet low on the nearest back corner of the tank might help. Pulling the front of the tank or hitting the tank with too much force may cause the tank to break and leak resin. Please be careful.

It’s probably worth it to remove as much resin as possible before trying anything that might crack the tank. Also be aware that IPA may cause crazing in the acrylic tank but this shouldn’t affect any of your prints as long as the optical window on the underside remains clear of crazing.

Let me know if this works.

1 Like

Hi Adam and Craig,

Thank you for the suggestions. I was able to free the tray with some brute force. The ball bearing is indeed stuck, and IPA seems unable to free it. I don’t believe resin got in it as I’ve only had the machine a few weeks (it was a replacement) and I keep the area very clean. What step should I take next? Of all the machine failures this one certainly took me by surprise!

Thanks so much

Owen, if the ball spring plunger remains stuck, preventing you from inserting tanks, you can remove the ball spring plunger from the machine. The remaining three will serve the function of holding the resin tank in place during a print.

1 Like

How do you remove the ball springs?

Use needle nose pliers to break the glue and remove the ball spring plunger

Hi everyone,

I have been trying to get my resin tray out for weeks, it just cannot be done.

I used the hammer method, well, it ended up destroying the corner of the resin tank, which makes it even more difficult to pull it out. I was trying to be gentle for days, weeks, so I decided to use a bit force. But hey, it broke!

Chatted with the FormLab support last year, asked me to come take a look.

Does any Form 1 owner know how I can disassemble that part and finally use the machine to print?

The machine has been sitting idle for months, can anyone please help me?


Freddie Kwok

Have you opened a customer support ticket since last year? They can help you out.

Unplug the machine from power and usb, and take off the orange cover by unscrewing the hinge. Take off the build platform.

Carry the printer over to a big trash can with a plastic bag in it, and very quickly turn the printer completely upside down and hold it in such a way that the old resin drains out completely into the trash can. Ideally, you’d find a way to hold it up so it could drip for as long as it took to get all that resin out of the way. Maybe set it on a couple of boards that are across the top of the trash can, with the tank between the boards. Spray the ball springs with IPA and let them soak a bit. You might try to use a long thin flat head screwdriver to try a push the balls back into their cylinders a bit, but don’t over do it.

With the printer still upside down, use the mallet and impact stick to impart sharp, quick blows to the lower edge of the tank and drive it out of it’s holder and right into the trash can. Hit one side, and then the other, in a back and forth manner to break the entire tank free, not just one side at a time. Do not hit the tank directly with the mallet. You want to direct the force along the tank bottom edges that are being held by the ball springs. Clean the printer as well as you can while it’s still upside down, so you don’t drip a bunch of crap into the printer chassis. Let it dry completely before turning it rightside up again.

IMHO: If you can’t appreciate and take care of things, you don’t deserve to have them. There are millions of more deserving makers out there that simply cannot afford this device. Maybe you should consider giving it to one of them, since you obviously can afford it but don’t need, appreciate or respect it.

Hey Christopher and Craig:

Appreciate all the inputs here, especially the one from Christopher.

Form Lab did suggest me to use the method you guys shared.
I did use the method you prescribed before I posted my problem on the forum.
But unfortunately, it did not work for me.

  • pushed the ball springs back with screwdriver
  • used a mallet with a wooden stick to push the tray out
  • spray the ball springs with IPA

The whole resin tank just get stuck so hard.
I could not believe how difficult it is to get a stuck resin tray out.

Now, I am using a new resin tank with grey resin, trying to test if everything is a ok.
Hope it can start printing like b4 again!

Freddie Kwok

No offence, but your printer looks as if the tank exploded resin all over it! :open_mouth: It wouldn’t surprise me if the ball bearings got saturated in resin and got stuck as a result. You should try to keep your printer resin free and clean. Also in this case definitely remove the resin from the tray before attempting to remove it in case it cracks and leaks. This can be done via syringe.

Hi Edward,

Thanks for the input. Yes, those ball bearings really got stuck real bad.
It was a complete nightmare. When I finished prints a couple times ago,
I did accidentally drop some resins around the tray.

I guess I will have to use something to cover it up next time.
I cleaned up real good and I am trying to test print now.

Freddie KWok

Thanks for your input, I

So, my update is , I put the new resin tank and poured some Grey resin (version 1.0) inside it.

I did 3 test print, but all test prints materialised as jelly kind of a thing.

  • Maybe the position of the tank has been changed due to the dislocation of ball bearings
  • Maybe some resin has blocked the mirror, but it is not the case, it is all clean.
  • Galvanometer problem?

I check the mirror , it is clean. any advice for me to do some diagnostics ?

Thanks a lot.

Freddie Kwok

Hi @Freddie_Kwok,

Glad you were able to get your resin tray out!

Some questions:

  • How old is the resin that you are using? Was it mixed well?
  • Did you select the Grey setting in PreForm before sending the print to your printer?
  • When was the last time your printer worked correctly?


Hey Aaron,

Yes, with a bit force unfortunately. It was a nightmare !
Not sure how it will affect the machine,especially the calibration part,

  • The resin is about 10 months old, I just opened it to test print yesterday.
  • Yes, the bottle does not have any serial number under the “Grey” ,
    so it is version 1.0.
  • The last time the printer worked correctly was about 3 months ago.

I suspect I shall check the mirror, the laser source, the calibration stage of the printing to sort
out what is preventing it to function properly.

Any advice?

Freddie Kwok

Hi guys,

Just tried to do another print, but the result was the same.

This is my fourth attempt to try to test print.
It seems like the first few layers could not bond with the build platform correctly,
as a result the end product becomes a layer of jelly.

Also, the grey resin looks bit transparent to me, is it normal?

I am not sure if it is the resin problem or the machine itself.
Is there a diagnostic test I can conduct to see which part is causing this

Thanks again !

Freddie Kwok

By the way, it is the resin I am testing the machine with.

Freddie Kwok

If your resin is 10 months old you are nearing the end of its shelf life. You would really really need to mix it well in order to get the pigments to evenly distribute in the bottle if the resin seemed pale you probably need to shake it more you will see bubbles in the resin that will need to work themselves out before you begin a print. Shelf life is about a year if I remember correctly from what I have read here but you need to make sure you mix the resin well if it has been sitting long. Low pigments in the resin will cause the print to fail and not cure 100%. You will also want to dump or filter the resin to ensure you have all the flakes out of the tank before you print again.

Hi Thomas,

Oh man, I hope they are still functional.
Otherwise, there is no way for me to know if this machine is still working unless I purchase another bottle of resin…

Great to hear your advice, I guess I will have to see shake it a bit more before I use them.
Oh man, it come out with different shade of greys whenever I refill the resin tank.

Freddie Kwok