Use with USB extender

So, I’m still waiting on my Form1+ replacement, but theoretically it’ll be here tomorrow - WhooHooo! When I first setup the original printer, it was on the other side of my lab, connected like my HP 2800 Multi Function Color laser printer - hanging off a TrippLite 4-port USB 2 extender hub. The 5 year old HP works like a charm - I can scan, copy, and print without issue. Preform could not see it there for some odd reason, and I had to move it closer so I could use a direct USB cable. This, of course, is NOT what I expected or planned for. The galvos failed anyway, and I sent it back for replacement, but wondering: has anyone used this printer with an USB-over-IP extender with any success?

And if not, what’s the deal with that Formlabs folks? Is there a good reason this functionality is not working? It should be transparent to the software if the software is doing things in a standard way.


It’s certainly possible to print over network with some tinkering. Check out our blog post about it:

Thanks for getting back Craig,

While an interesting use case, this is not my question. I would
prefer to not use wireless, or buy yet another gadget.

It’s not clear why this is not working with your printer:
“Tripp Lite High Speed USB 2.0 Over Cat5 Extender Hub - 4-Port”

Just trying to figure out what the reason is. It works fine with a
multifunction printer requiring 2-way communication, so it seems a bit
odd it doesn’t work here. My guess is that the Form1 is using a
non-compliant USB driver or interface, but I do not know.

Can you guys get one, test it, and figure out why your product does not
work with it? It’s a pretty common device, and it seems inevitable
someone else will also be disappointed.

I have been using mine with a USB extender and it doesn’t seem to be a problem. I did have a problem plugging in to the USB on the back of my computer. It would not work there for some reason but would work plugged into the USB at the front. Other things would work in the rear USB but not the Form 1.

@ChristopherBarr, From what Scott said and experience, your problem is probably not enough power getting to the Form1. I know it plugs into the wall, but the PCB probably gets clean power from the USB.

We don’t use any special USB interface, there is no reason it shouldn’t work with a USB extender. USB extenders are known to come in all shapes and brands with their quirks, we sadly can’t help you with that.

@ScottBarbour The reason the Form1 may not work with the back port on your computer is that maybe it is a USB3 port with a “broken” renesas driver. The WinUSB driver we use for the Form1 doesn’t play nice with it, and updating the renesas driver will help. I hope that helps,


@ScottBarbour, Can you state the brand and model of your USB extender?

@JoshK, The TrippLite 4-port is a powered hub at the printer side, so it’s definitely getting power.

I’ve been in contact with TrippLite, and am trying to get some troubleshooting tips from them - I would appreciate any assistance anyone can give about making this work with Windows 7 Pro. What is the device class of the form1 related to WinUSB? Does it use multiple? I can actually see the Form1 show up in the unspecified devices section of the Devices and Printers panel in Win7, but Preform only shows the unplugged icon.


It looks pretty generic. It’s grey and the only thing written on it is “Hi Speed USB”.

and it’s CAT5? Can you have a look at what driver is being used? e.g. did you load a vendor supplied driver for it?
Assuming it’s on Win7, if not, what?

I’ve done nothing special other than having to put it in the front USB port. I’m running Windows 7 on a Dell Precision T7600.

Any chance you can give me a bit more data on it, as in a link to it on the web, or a picture so I can try to find one? Thanks for you help.

Also @ScottBarbour, how does the Form1 device appear in your Devices and Printers panel on Win7? Can you screenshot and post that?

My printer has been sent back so I don’t have it here see what it shows up as. I’m not sure it showed up as anything but the Preform software recognized it.
Do a google search for a USB Extender. Mine is nothing special and looks similar to this, but doesn’t have the Amazon logo.
USB Extender

@ScottBarbour, thanks.

That’s just a long cable - not a USB extender.

I’m talking about a USB extender. It takes USB2, converts to Gigabit ethernet, sends it off over standard CAT5 cable to a recieving hub, reconverts to USB2, and connects to devices.

I got myself the IO Gear USB Sharing station, followed the install instructions but software won’t detect the form1+ in Preform

IO gear sharing station software sees the printer and connects because it appears in my device manager after connecting

I see the Form1(not the form1+) in my device manager, is this the issue?

Support apparently made it work with it, so unless there’s been a regression, it still should. Open a ticket, as they are recommending that USB device.


There has been some confusion as to if use of a wifi USB hub is a supported feature. It is not.

This project was interesting technological hack done by people trying to push the limits of what is posable with the Form 1 and Form 1+. The original post was an intern project, and was reproduced by other users here at Formlabs. However, It has become clear this hack only works on Mac’s, and was only tested by users who are comfortable casually modifying systems settings.

We have remove the ‘Wireless Wifi Printing’ post from the Formlabs blog, and I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.


Confusion? I can see why, as it was on your blog as a working solution. I bought a USB->CAT5->USB extender that also did not work. Why is that? What is not working correctly with the handling of your device vis-a-vis USB when other USB devices work with two-way communication? I can send you the extender device to figure it out if you’d like. I would very much appreciate it if you could get to the bottom of it, and I know many other users would as well.


If you plug in just the extender, what does the computer say? I had one once and it identified as a hub and worked with everything. (years before the Form1)

Bingo, but it also has a software component in the tray. I’m in Linux now, so I’m not sure whatever else that does (I think it’s if I want to assign the IP network to use)… I only use Windows to run Preform. If Preform was truly multi-platfom, I would never even own a Windoze box. It’s off unless Im printing.

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