Weird Print Failures. This thing isn't working!

Hi all.

So, I received my printer in April and used it in the first week to do 2 prints, 1 was a smaller object and the other a bit larger. Both of these worked fine. I since then have not used the printer at all.

I since purchased Black, White and Clear resin. I now tried to print a fairly large model with black and this is what I got:

The surface was rough and the the resin did not seem to harden completely, It felt more like a hard rubber than hard resin.

With this print the tray was brand new and the resin was new as well.

So, I decided to try the white. I used a brand new tray and made sure to shake the fresh bottle of resin very well.

Similar failure:

If you notice the surface looks like oatmeal. It should be perfectly smooth, and again this print felt somewhat like the resin didn’t fully harden.

I also noticed a weird accumulation of hardened resin in the corner of the tray.

So, I haven’t tried cleaning the mirrors yet as I don’t really want to disassemble the printer after only 2 successful prints. As for the large mirror, it looks absolutely perfect (spotless) under light. Although, I would expect this since the printer sits in a clean area and hasn’t been used very much.

So, I decided to try to print a scaled down version of the model using the original grey resin and original tray that came with the printer. Unsurprisingly it failed as well. This time the model did not stick to the platform and I was left with a thin grey splat at the bottom of the tray that was soft and irregular. This piece is also somewhat rubbery and can easily be bent and flexed without breaking. Not as rigid as I would expect hardened resin to be.

So, I am not really sure what to do at this point. I will do a mirror cleaning as a last resort, but I just don’t think it will help.

I contacted FormLabs support at the beginning of the problem, but I have to say I am a bit underwhelmed with the help I have received. I have to be honest here, after spending this kind of money I think we should be getting more than email support where all I have gotten are links to “how to” articles. I think most of us exhaust the obvious before even contacting support.

All I know is If we can’t get this printer working I expect a refund or replacement!

Thoughts, opinions, insight welcome

Thanks all

Are you shining the light on the big mirror from above or are you putting the light source so it shoots light on it in the direction of the lasers? Any dust or grime will cause the light to scatter and is probably responsible for that kind of finish. Try a laser focus test using the steps in an old post on here and look for a spotty glowing ring around the focused beam. This will be from dust and you just need to clean the mirrors to fix it.

Support contacted me again, and they suggested we try the cleaning of all the mirrors. The are sending me instructions as it is a bit of an involved process, I will let you all know if it resolves the issue.

Thanks all

hi Ion Hatzithomas

can you send me the instructions for cleaning the mirrors?

formlabs don’t reply my emails about my problems, and I decide to cose the ticket support.

please, help me with the instructions to

Hey Miguel – I’m sorry that you haven’t heard back from us. You can contact our support team, at, or by opening a ticket. They’ll be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Hi Sam.

I’m sorry, but I’m so tired of don’t have a serious support, I do not feel motivated to rewrite your support team. I try to helping me with the post of other users and contacting them directly.

I hope you understand

Sure, I hear you. Our team takes answering every question very seriously, and I’m sorry that you didn’t get the support you need. Shoot me a private message and I’ll see if I can help sort things out.


I appreciate your kind offer personalized support , but I’ve already fixed my problems myself. I opened the machine (I lost the waranty, but is ok) and leveling the resin tank with the build platform . I go to the screws store and buy the missing screws ( incredible them to send me the printer without 2 screws ).

and rectify any other problems viewing youtube´s kevin holmes chanel

Now I only want to the instructions for clean the mirrors ( request Ion_hatzithomas)

but if I have another problem , I will contact you.


Say it’s hard to tell from here, but is your model hollow on the inside? If it is, you’ll need to place holes to prevent pressure from building up during the peel-push cycles.

Ok, so here’s the latest on this…

I did the mirror cleaning per the instructions I was given. I used extreme caution and care while doing this so as to not damage anything. After the cleaning the print seemd to be somewhat improved, but it is still not acceptable. There deep lines across the model as well as some of the weird gummy areas as before. Here is a pic.

The printer sits on a table where it does not get disturbed during printing or otherwise, so I am at a loss…

Waiting to see what support has to say.


The middle is very interesting, did you stop and refill at that point? Is this thing solid? By best guess on why you see that pitting is because that area of the tank was cloudy. If this object is solid, you probably have a huge cloudy area now.

Yes the object is solid, but on the opposite side it is similar in shape to the side showing, so it is only about .75" thick, but it is not a hollow object.

The tank I used was fresh and clean, so why would there be clouding? Does that mean the resin had an issue?

Bottom line, I have not been able to get a good print of this for weeks and I have wasted over 2 containers of resin. I could have had someone sculpt this for me in a fraction of the time and for far less $$$$$


Also, why do you suppose the print came out with all those lines? At the resolution this printer is capable of there really shouldn’t much of that kind of stuff.

What resolution are you printing at? Trying to make something that large with a really fine resolution may actually leave you a worse surface finish because of all the peel steps. I think also what you see there is the part rocking back and forth on the supports between each layer causing the bad surface finish. I also think that model should be hollow to decrease the surface area contact on the PDMS layer. this will lead to less peel force and better surface finish as the part shouldn’t move as much. There is a learning curve using this printer but once you figure it out it is great.

No I don’t think there is an issue with your resin. And it’s good to hear it was a new tank. But the laser power required to print in black does cloud the PDMS very quick, and since your object is so big I was wondering if it clouded the tank already. It’s something I think many of us are interested in, can you please check? Just slide the tank out of the printer and use the scraper to squeegee the resin to the side. Adam has made some good points.

You were correct! The tray is clouded. Does that mean the tray is trash now?

I mean, the object is kind of large (4" x 4"), but is it normal for the tray to get damaged in 1 use?

Printing large objects like that in a near vertical position is going to cloud the tank. But it has to do with the number of layers so the lower the resolution and the fewer the layers, the less chance for clouding there is. Also, long supports tend to cloud it worse because the laser traces the same profile over every layer. It has a lot to do with part orientation but my rule of thumb is that anything with a support over 2 inches is going to leave a mark so I plan accordingly. Either build a tank into the cost of the job or be very careful to place the long supports in an area that will not have an effect on future prints.

Thank you Ion, that’s good info for all of us. Your print didn’t even fail to build. Though your texture failed. I wouldn’t throw the tank away, but I would try to use it for prints that fit in the areas around the clouding. I would recommend any other color for this print. Or if possible hollow it. As for the texture, it is probably because of all the surface area that makes the peel violent. Could you just sand the model smooth?

Thanks for all the great info guys,

Yes, I sanded the item and primed it and it looks fantastic!

Now if only I could print the rest of my basement!