I’ve been using the Form 2 since January 2019. Unfortunately, my optics system crapped out now. I went through a lengthy diagnosing/troubleshooting process with support, and it looks like it’s beyond what I can clean or fix myself. They give me the option of replacing it with a refurbished Form 2 or upgrade to a Form 3. At this point, I think I still want to stick with Formlabs (at least for now) so I’m gathering opinions.
Besides the print quality (I produce miniatures, mostly in 1/6 scale), which I assume should be as good as the Form 2 at least (is it?), I’m concerned about the higher cost of the tanks. The standard Form 2 tanks last me at least a good 2 L of resin (sometimes more). I don’t use the printer every day and sometimes tanks sit in storage for a longer period of time with no problem (I do mix the resin in unused stored tanks from time to time). However, I understand that the lifespan of Form 3 tanks is measured in how long they are exposed to resin? Does a tank filled with resin, that sits in storage without printing, still needs to be replaced after the recommended lifespan (60 or how many days that is)? If that’s the case, the Form 3 will almost certainly not be an option for me. Since the Form 2 standard tanks are $60, I would need to be able to print at least 4 L of resin with a $150 Form 3 tank to not lose money on consumables compared with the Form 2. It takes me a good few months to get through 4 L of resin. How long can Form 3 tanks filled with resin sit in storage? If they are used in within the recommended lifespan, how much resin can you print with them? I’m mainly interested in Standard Grey Resin and Clear.
I’d appreciate any input on this, thanks very much!