Unknown Repeated Tray damage?!?!?!?!?

I am having now repeated damage on a different tray with different files and models. I never print on same same repeated location to avoid burning a hole in my Tray and i rarely ever print in the top right location like this damage suggests i do. This is the second tray that now has repeated damage like this with under 1L of resin used…This is starting to bother me. I rarely have any fails anymore and can almost always quickly answer any question regarding 3d printing that I have. However this repeated damaging is very unclear and worrying. I dont believe this to be user errors and will be calling to relay my problem with Formlabs on Monday. I hope this gets resolved . I am currenrly printing with me newer Long term try and will post the reflecting damage in that tray once the print is finished. my current print is printing around the damage now and its very annoying having to do this when i dont believe i cased it.

Are you using mini-rafts?

I picked up my Formlabs 2 about a year ago now and have only printer 3L of resin threw my printer. The first tray the printer came with had no problems yet i failed alot on it and never cased a scratch, ill post a photo of that later. I quickly rtealized that a LT tray would be much better for me after knocking out all my trial and errors on the normal tray since they can only pump about 2L threw an orange base tray before it clouds. I only printed about 1L on my orange tray befor switching to the LT because i felt like i was already seeing a quality loss but since i was new i think it was just stepping i didn’t figure out how to avoid yet or even know what stepping was at the time. with my seconds order of resin I also picked up a LT tray. I know that the LTa trays are more touchy and can damage or scratch easier but since i almost never fail prints now i decided to start trying out the LT right away. I didnt notice much difference if any at all since its just a tray and i shouldnt be able to tell by just print performance. Well since i know how fails work i checked the tray with my spatchale threw the resin and i found thease small cracks only really in the top right…since this showed up reativly quickly I contacted Formlabs explained how my first tray has no scratches like that after many learning fails and now on the LT i cant at all recall things failing if at all.

This is my first LT Tray and i believe this damage appeared after the first print or maybe second. I believe i had a full build plate when it happened but i cant recall anything failing let alone case that level of damage

Now fast forward to my second LT tray and almost Identical damage is starting in the same location as the last one. Now im very good about making sure i dont burn a hole or overuse a grid location on the Tray, i also never print the same file, If i do i make sure to flip all the Models before printing them so i dont get identical overlapping hence burn a hole

while playing around with the tray the other day i also checked out my printer screen. since resin costs cheapest 150$ a single liter (crazy) I try to use my resin efficiently and patently so i can avoid things LIKE THIS! I am a digital modeler and sculptor, im very comfortable in 3d applications so it didn’t take me more than a single cartridge to almost have 100% accuracy in my prints. For my first time around printing tec i only had one major fail and it was on the original orange tray with no damage where a model fell off the supports becasue i didnt realzie the program wasnt perfect with calculation support strength to model weight. Every model i print i hand place every support and never use Auto support since it doesnt know how to make dirrernt sized supports off the generation feture and for me thats almost uselss, i guess u could auto alot of small support then go in and clean it up but i find hand placing every support is much safer and actually faster if u do it right. or auto orientate because that tools actually useless!

this is my screen, which i noticed has a cloud legion and streaks that i believe have been there since i got the printer. I have only prnted a max 3L so theres no way i cased this…also the clouding is taking place on the under side of the screen as well and i can note remove it from the top side…idk if this is effecting any of my prints since the damage to the trays do not overlap on the clouding section of the screen. Im guessing this clouding is not good tho any advice?


@billb Soorry i didnt answer ur question. Yes i use mini-rafts almost exclusively… I thought this could lead to what caused almost identical damage on both my LT trays but i would expect to have more damage elsewhere since i do print occasionally with a full bed…I realize when u look into Mini-rafts they are meant to be used with a model party on the build plate but i found that the majority if not all models if supported effectively can use Mini-rafts nicely. In the end i believe a full raft is manly for helping bed adhesion to original layers. I dont find that to be a problem with the Form2, with Mini-Rafts ur actually helping prevent some heavyer peel force i believe

If you use mini-raft you have to make sure you scrape off the whole of the build plate after each print, otherwise the supports can break off the rafts and leave the raft stuck to the plate. It will then produce just the sort of damage to the tray that you show.

You can still use the tray, if you position prints away from the damaged areas.

What is the resin being used in the LT tank with ripples? Someone else asked you and I could not see any answer.

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In my opinion there are floating cured particles in the resin which are probably the cause of the damaged film! See below an area from your image slightly improved in contrast with highlighted well visible particles

I would remove the resin from the tank and filter it before using it again.

If your printer stays very close to window (strong UV) it’s possible that because of the parasitic light bleeding around the cover edges the resin in the tank becomes semi cured or creates blobs (as shown on the picture)

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Certain resins cause the film to swell and that causes ripples (we have seen that here) - the worst offenders include some of the really cheap third party ones. that often include isobornyl acrylate (IOBA) - its cheap and very low viscosity but it does not like either the LT or standard vats. Some other chemicals also behave in a similar way.

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I’ve had a similar issue after printing less than a liter of resin, Form Labs did help me out. I wonder if small reflective particulates from the build plate suspended in the resin can cause the laser beam to be reflected back at the membrane increasing the chance of burn.

@sbader2 Marks one of my best friends who recently asked me to answer for him since they blocked him from Formlabs Forums and even Phone support. I feel horrible for Mark hes supper depressed now. He paid for the pro-servos plan and even extended warranty. Because they blocked him he has no way to communicate with Formlabs to help resolve this issue he claims came with the printer when he got it, i dont know if i believe him but his argument is that he only used 3L total in a year time working with printer and it was all Standard Gray purchased from Formlabs. He claims he almost never has fails past his first Standard tank the printer came with. He was very upset at Formlabs for not warning him this was an out of ordinary issue and he started noticing this months ago without a warning that the printer might have a Defect. Formlabs quickly sent him another Tray because he stood hard to the concept that the Original Trays damage was not his fault since he had no damage on his first Original tray after 1L. He printed under a L on Both LT tanks and Both times they caused this damage. He said after taking of the Form2 printer Window to clean the smudge he also noticed the buffer tape around the window was defective possible leading to some of this damage and that aparintyl made him very mad becasue he could not stop talking about how he feels like he lost countless time not printing files he already had printed because he felt he wasnt supporting models well…Formlabs sent him out a new window which i find interesting since u cant order replacement parts. but he feels very disrespected by Formlabs for not what he says being honest with him

with the repeated nature of his Tray damage on his only two different LT Trays it is very concerning and the damages patterns are very coherent, and maybe misleading but the damage in the top right is very misleading and confusing. My friend Mark likes to print Warhammer models even some he handsculpts himself since hes a crazy good Digital Artist and i love his work and priceless models he fills my Warhammer armys with on Christmas and my birthday. Is there any good news i can pass off to him since hes very depressed now. I saw some of the posts he made and i agree they were not very productive and slightly harassive to Formlabs but with how much he still likes your company im very sad and even confused why he still feels that way.

Is there any way he can access his 1 year left of warranty? I love to give him any good news in a time like this.

this is some of marks work he wanted me to post examples of his prints so people didnt feel like he thought he wasnt printing well…If ur wonder why theirs so much none used build space on the plate used, thats becasue hes still working with the damaged LT tank…he said if he prints in the none damaged locations no more damage starts and his prints come out amazing

this was is last print he did man hes so sad and upset

this was a print he did way back when he worked for like 1-2 weeks on this model, i love trhis model he did


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Mark also would like me to add that @Dxxxx knows her didnt use third party resin only 2.5 L of Formlabs standard Gray

@billb I was also asked to inform you that Mark scrapes off the build plate very nicely after each print because he uses Mini-rafts and understand any left over cured resin on the bed could lead to possible damage like this. And if he thinks he needs to strain his resin for any reason he is comfortable doing that. He wanted me to post this image he sent to Formlabes support before they blocked him. They then sent him out a new printer window, they told him this could not cause this type of damage but i have to agree with his logic, this could cause his damage if he prints on the top half of the printer if some parts never print right because of this, he could get small imperfections or floaters he has no idea are there and shouldnt check to see if there are becasue nothing overall failed on the build plate. He still is not sure why theres a huge amount of this damage on both of the top right sections when he has enver re-printed a file and rarly printer duplicated models ATM since he wanted to make sure he was doing everything right…Understandably he got very frustrated he was not warned by his Formlabs supervisor of the possible potential out of his control fails to come after this strange damage appeared on the second LT tank he got very upset.

And i now see why… I would very much like to tell him he can still access his warranty for this year since hes not sure the new Window will fix this issue but there might be a deeper issue with laser strenght or internal mirrors possible dirty which he would have also sclearyl not caused in 1 year only printing 2-3L of Formlabs standard resin… But without his ability to contact anyone at Formlabs now, how will he access his 500$ extended warranty that hes now very happy and also very upset he paid for?

Looking at this now i 100% agree with him this could case all his problems. As you can see this compression like tape is stuck hard to the inside of the window where the laser will not be able to pass through at all


Thanks for answering about the resin type being used, I must admit I am not surprised Mark got banned, his style of writing was perhaps aggressive and to me appeared a “rant” rather than a genuine attempt to get help through the Forum.

You say in your post that I knew Mark did not use third party resin - well sorry to burst your bubble on that one, but in the absence of a crystal ball and not knowing Mark, I had no idea what he was using…

You will note the absence of any comments about the technical issues apparently faced, personally I do want to express any opinion as I too fear becoming a victim of your / Mark’s style of seeking advice and help.

Finally, I must admit after reading your posts this morning I agree on one point that you raise - Mark is obviously your best friend, and you appear to know him very well. So well that I suspect that you and Mark shared the same desk at school - your style of English (which is probably not your first language in all fairness to you) is remarkably similar to Mark’s in fact you use similar words and make similar spelling mistakes, which is quite remarkable…

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@Dxxxx i’m very sorry, I miss typed about you knowing which type of resin Mark was using.

Mark also would like me to add that @Dxxxx, know he didn’t use third party resin only 2.5 L of Formlabs standard Gray.

hahaah that is very funny you noticed that I am best friends with mark and we did in fact share a desk, we met in third grade in RSP “resource learning program” or what we nicknamed as “Really stupid people” haha…Mark and i grew up with intense dyslexia mainly effecting our language. We both struggled immensely in out younger days of or education with mainly reading and spelling. We together have never read any novel book cover to cover since we burn out after just a couple pages, but we have listened to countless auto tape/book. I do not appreciate that level of analyzation, i am sorry but not many would.

“his style of writing was perhaps aggressive and to me appeared a “rant” rather than a genuine attempt to get help through the Forum.” “You will note the absence of any comments about the technical issues apparently faced”

wowowow don’t get ahead of yourself @Dxxxx i’m being very professional with this and point out concerns, printer facts, advice even help and some questions about how people might react to seeing my friend losing a year of warranty he paid for with Formlabs. This just didn’t feel right to me that hes dealing with that now and wanted to ask if he did in fact lose his warranty over this which I would find very interesting. I am asking this as a question that i would like to answer for him since hes unsure where his warranty stands currently. I found this all very odd as well, i to agree that his actions and wording felt more aggressive than it needed to be but after talking too him all day about this I feared this could turn me away from my upcoming start in the 3D printing with the Form3 pick up. I am not trying to rant about Marks character I just wanted to say hes an amazing friendly person to me and everyone he knows in his life, so I found this situation he is facing shockingly uncharacteristic. I wanted to post some photos of his work to help represent his understanding of 3d printing and how unfortunate this is for everyone. I just think he was very upset at feeling like he received a +3000$ printer with defects…He likes to explain to me the main reason he went with Formlabs and the Form2 was to learn on a printer that would have no defects or inconsistent tendency as Formlabs states and advertises

@Dxxxx I really don’t like how you are attacking me right now and trying to spin some type of narrative about me. This is very aggressive, maybe was cased by our miscommunication on my part with my initial reply to you . My apology if that’s what caused this aggression form you.

@Dxxxx 1 more thing i would like to highlight about your aggressive response toward everything i posted above. This comment “his style of writing was perhaps aggressive and to me appeared a “rant” rather than a genuine attempt to get help through the Forum.” is very strange, rude and simply not true.

You did not talk about Mark noticing A Faulty Screen or how that could effect his print quality after being very specif early in this discussion about the issues he was facing even helpful… Mark told me Formlabs luckily sent him out a new replacement Window before blocking his future ability to communicate with Formlabs and told him theirs was no correlation between the damage he is receiving on his two trays. I wanted to clarify that because i think its pretty obvious if something is blocking the window or laser it could lead to large fails and even damage. Maybe i am wrong but i do not think this is wrong.

I would also like Formlabs to know how much Mark talked positively about his printer and Formlabs as a whole before he noticed this issue that even the majority of Formlabs representative told him this damage was very uncharacteristic and mostliky a defect in the printer not user errors. Mark thinking’s replacing the faulty Window will fix the printer, but hes not positive, and i fear he will have nowhere to turn after after that…just imagine in the future if any other part breaks in his printer, he will then have no ability to get it fixed since repair parts are not purchasable.

Last thing i would like to leave off on about Mark in this post. He explained several times to me that he felt Formlabs was giving him misleading, wrong, or uniformed advice to what could be casing this level of repeated damage he is receiving. Hes amazingly gifted with digital art and 3D applications, I hope this was all just a huge misunderstanding and that my best friend can find some resolutions and happiness.

I also realized this is not a temporary ban, hes perma panned on this Forum page. Is that also applied to his tech support?

This document is a great resource for LT Tank Care! Probably the best guide to work from currently.


I don’t know who is Mark but on images he posted are well visible particles in the resin (see above the improved images I posted). Whatever he’s doing, the resin is filled with cured particles and damaging the film is unavoidable.

Form3 printer is not perfect - if you need better grade SLA printer please move to industrial SLA printers which are one order more expensive. Just embrace what Form3 allows you to do, be aware of the weaknesses and learn how to avoid them.

If somebody reads Mark’s posting he’ll finish with the impression that Form3 is completely useless, which is not the case - there are hundreds of happy users (just like me) which are fully supporting FormLabs.

Thank you.

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@luben111 Im sorry i forgot to reply to you. He only saw these particles in his first Tray after noticing the damage which he couldn’t pinpoint the cause since he had no large fails. Mark made sure to strained his resin from the first LT tank before using it in the second tray. He still believes the faulty window caused these issues, and I am surprised no one is highlighting or talking about the fact that these issue are repeated on two different Trays caused by different files/models since Mark has yet to print the same model or file more than once or twice and he made sure to not use any past files only new files on the second LT Tray… I hope this information is considered in the upcoming advice for Mark. Hes very confused

@DKirch I would love to give Mark some positive information about his warranty and what his next steps are If then none faulty widow does not fix his Form2. I’m surprised a new Tray was not offered to Mark for a second time, in account of that fact that when he noticed these problems on the first tray Formlabs offered him a free tray agreeing that the damages was most defiantly not user error because of the strange nature of the fails in the amount of resin he used with no fails. i find it very obvious that if mark was awarded a Second tray and this same damage was caused repetitively for a third time then I think its safe to assume my best ball Mark was in fact correct and blocked over something he was very upset and possible right about would be very sad and im sure a misunderstanding.

Marks fears about the Form3 are actually my main concerns as well and i see it being a common fear among many Form3 users. I am looking for a couple key quality or features in my first 3d printer they are Reliability, consumables, and a opens system. If a printers in a closed system I fear like many do for how that effects the price in the printers consumables. A fully closed system is very confusing for me since there are countless printers and resins. I LOVED what the From1 offered with OpenFL and im sure that’s why there “Kickstarter campaign that raised a record breaking $2.95 million in funding” I do find this ironic to say the very least.

If your Form3 supported OpenFL i would buy a Form3 tomorrow like many really want to see, but im confused with the current statues of Open Mode for the Form2 and it worry’s me that Openmode may never be supported on the Form3. Still tho i am not a fan as many are of OpenMode. I loved OpenFL and again i would buy a Form3 in a heartbeat if OpenFL was supported on the Form3.