Formlabs Website Store Support

What Formlabs offers when form 2 is dead


I bought a Prusa SL1 because formlabs left me alone. If it fails, al least it didnt cost 3500 dollars. results are stuning and i got a better quality. I dont see layer lines.


Any reason why you decided on the SL1?

I know it’s considered to be one of the better built MSLA printers, but the consensus is that it’s not worth 5 times the price of a Elegoo or Anycubic.

  • For 1990 USD you have the machine and the washing curing station. The washing curing station saves me a lot of time and its incredible plug and play.

  • I tried Elegoo or Anycubic and with some pieces i have a tolerance of 0,3. The tolerance of SL1 is 0,05, the same that formlabs

  • Something that is better than formlabs is that for some reason the tiny holes are built OK, THey do not close like formlabs printer

  • i know you need to refill tank manually but the tanks are so cheap. you can buy one for each resin

  • The resin sensor works amazing

  • Machine does not threat like a criminla if you use third party resin and the community is amazing.

  • Its PRUSA, its the world most famous 3d printer maker, It has a big community and that assures me that i wont be stuck with the machine if something fails. Formlabs dont send to argentina and they dont talk to resellers to help me. Its really a shame, buy PRUSA do not wash his hands


Just to make it clear for everyone that wants to buy a formlabs printe:

Machine is out of warranty but i only consumed 7 liters of resin. They offer me the same discount that they offer fto form 2 loyalty ownerds, 500 USD DISCOUNT for the form 3. I bought the machine from a reseller in 2018 that is not a reseller anymore, and they DO NOT SHIP TO ARGENTINA, ALTOUGH THEY DO HAVE SOME OTHER ACTIVE RESELLERS NOW. Resuming, im stuck with a dead machine


I understand most of the reasons you mention in relation to FormLabs, however, I just wanted to mention a couple of things:

  • Prusa does not make the SL1 printer, it’s made by Futur3D, another Czech company, but nearly all the parts are supplied from Asia.
  • The SL1 uses the same type of LCD like the Elegoo Mars or the Anycubic Photon/Photo S, a 5.5" 2K LCD, which means theta the "resolution/tolerance, feature size, or whatever you choose to call it are the same. I’m not sure where the 0.3 vs. 0.05 comes from. All these printers have a 47micron pixel size, or feature/X-Y resolution.
  • The resin sensor is a nice feature, but it still requires you to be there to fill the tank when the low resin warning comes up. I don’t think it actually pauses the print (someone more familiar please chime in).
  • They use a tilt mechanism similar to the Form 1/Form1+, which should theoretically help with the peel process, however, the general consensus is that it’s completely un-necessary, since the standard FEP pull up mechanism used by everyone else appears to be more than adequate. If this were a PDMS type vat, I could understand, but it’s not.
  • Last but not least, the Prusa is not compatible with ChituBox, which is quickly becoming the de-facto standard for SLA printers. Yes, it includes the Prusa Slicer which is pretty good, but not as full featured as ChituBox. It’s basically Slic3r which was originally developed for FDM printers, with tweaks for Prusa FDM and MSLA printers.

Last but not least Prusa is famous for starting the whole DIY RepRap community, but do they have the best printers, that’s debatable.

  • Thanks for that info, i really didnt know

  • I work for big companies that prototype pieces before injecting. While my FL2 was broken i tried the services from those machines and the customer said the tolerances where bad. I know what you say, but when pieces come out of machine, tolerance is 0,05 for pieces that fit togheter.

*I dont bother to refill the tank when resin is out. It pauses ! Also, the resin tank has some marks and before printing a piece, it considers how many resin it uses and it tells you to fill the tank to a certain mark for each piece you want to print. it does not let you go further if you do not fill the tank until that mark.

I have 20 fdm machines and 5 mk3s. Prusa mk3s are the only machines that are running 24/7 and they never fail.

Ah, something i want to add about SL1. I dont know why, but they dont need post process. When you remove supports, it does not leave marks on pieces.


“Ah, something i want to add about SL1. I dont know why, but they don’t need post process. When you remove supports, it does not leave marks on pieces.”

Can you post post a few close up photos of that (with supports and with the supports removed)? Because if that was the case, everyone here would buy one, me included.

Also 0.05mm is 50 microns, which is just about the same as the 47 micron pixel size of the LCD. assuming you account for the curing expansion in the resin, and you set the exposure time relatively low, you might end up with very close tolerances and easy to break supports, but you also risk loosing very fine details.

Speaking of supports, you could theoretically set the point connection point to something like .20mm, and the exposure time to 5-6seconds, but then you’ll end up with a model that could fail, either entirely, or distorted parts in the areas that should have required supports, but those supports were not strong enough to hold.

I looked up more information about the level sensor and it does indeed pause, however, most people seem to turn the feature off, because it leaves a visible layer mark on the model after it resumes. Also according to the Prusa knowledge base, depending on how long the printer was paused, the next layer may not adhere at all, and could leave you with a failed print.

People have added resin in mid print without stopping the printing to avoid the line, and the SL1 still stopped asking for resin to be added even though the resin tank had been refiled and was full. This leaves some to believe the sensor only works before you start the print and then makes the assumption you started with the tank filled to the Max line, then calculates how much resin was used based on the slicer calculations, not actual resin remaining in the tank.

Not very reliable, and a feature that some folks turn off.


Anyway, if you’re happy with your purchase then that’s all that matters. I for one think the SL1 is way overpriced for what it does and the print quality, according to most head to head reviews, is no different than the print quality of the other, cheaper alternatives that use the same MSLA technology.

If I was just beginning to look at MSLA technology now, I would not consider a standard color LCD type any longer, I would look at the newer monochrome LCD models. You get a much longer lasting LCD panel (1200+ hours MTBF vs. 300-400 hours for the color panels), and substantially faster printing, at least twice as fast, maybe even 3 times as fast compared to color LCD.

FWIW, I ended up selling my Form 1+, and retiring my original Photon and bought the AnyCubic Photon Mono and the Mono X. The Elegoo Mars Mono and Saturn are the same respectively.


I figured it out! Just needed to wipe off my laser lens. The same stuff that gets on the mirrors also gets on the laser lens, so just put a little IPA on a foam swab, swab it around in there, and then stick a dry swab in and clean it out. Don’t apply much force so you dont damage the lens. It’s impossible to see up in that hole, so just swab it a few times with a clean, IPA dampened swab and make a pass with a dry one immediately after. This thing is printing better than it ever has before.


If you could show with photos where the laser is…


On the same block as the galvanometers.


Yeah, swab inside the hole pointed out with the arrow. The galvos are circled in the image and the hole should be towards the back of the machine from the galvos.


The oil and greases inside the machine, as well as materials in your home or office like paints and plastics, and even the resin for the machine, all give off “Volatile organic Compounds” that condense on surfaces over time. You don’t notice the effect for the most part. But things that require optical clarity do get noticed. Which is why you have to clean the insides of your car windows even though the inside environment isn’t “dirty” like outside. The VoCs in the air “haze” the surfaces they stick to.

So yeah, if your mirrors are hazy enough to need cleaning, the odds are the laser’s lens is, too since they’ll all exposed to the same ambient environment and so, the same ambient contaminants. You might get enough improvement from cleaning the mirrors that cleaning the laser lens isn’t required. But if you’ve got the machine apart to clean the galvos, the laser lens is right there and you ought to hit it with some IPA and a PEC pad, as well…


this is how swab came out after cleaning laser


WOW. I would definitely recommend taking another few cleaning passes with clean swabs each time. Mine came out looking clean and pristine every pass, including the first. I can only imagine that yours is absolutely covered with material and is going to need to be further cleaned.


I did 4 passes until it came clean and then dry swab. Lets try it !


Godspeed. Please let us know how it turns out.


Could be the tank the problem?


some fogged up areas. so errors would occur there, move models to clean areas and try again