What's causing these print fails?

I’ve tried to print this file several times with no luck. This is a recent problem that started a couple of days ago.

The image shows two copies of a ring - one with the default supports and the other with more supports and larger base and higher density. Each attempt seems to get worse - now all I’m getting are the bases with maybe half of a single support. Has anyone seen this before?

I’ve tried a few things:

  • Switched from grey to clear resin
  • Tried models with supports built in B9 software (with same issues)
  • Moved items around the platform
  • Combed and cleaned resin trays
  • Replaced resin entirely
  • Updated software from 1.3 to 1.6 and running latest firmware as well.

All this fun is happening with an original Form1 - any suggestions are welcome. I’ll continue to comb the forum and see if I can dig up a solution.

If nothing seems logical check the mirror and the underside of your tank for any dust! You already tried a thicker base and the next step in my opinion would be to lower the platform height a bit. Are there cured leftovers from the printing process still in the tank? Might be they block the laser?

It’s either the resin or the machine, there is nothing you could do to cause that. When I saw the picture I figured it was unmixed resin, but you mixed it. The base adheres and looks decent, so no problems there. The supports just don’t start. Marcus may be right, it could be a hazy mirror causing poor curing. Can you tell us a little about the previous successful print? Was it flawless or were there some signs that something was not perfect? Also, how long since that print?

Same problem here…

  1. I moved the platform down 0.3mm until I got an acceptable build.
  2. Still had inconsistent build issues…

FL Support and I went back and forth for a few days.
My laser is fine. Focus test showed it was acceptable.

  1. I inspected my mirror and found it to be pretty clean.
    FL Support recommended I clean the mirror. I ordered PEC Pads (recommended cleaning procedure) and have been waiting for them…
  2. I got frustrated waiting for the PEC Pads.
  3. I had ordered new orange resin trays a few weeks back and they came in last week.
  4. I installed one and BLACK resin.
  6. Built additional items at 0.050mm and 0.100mm successfully.
  7. Changed over to another resin tank & resin and built more good parts.  HURRAH!
  8. Fingers crossed as I build more parts … trying to keep the machine at 4-8 hrs per day…

Thanks for the responses.

The mirror is fine - just a couple of specs of dust no resin or obvious issues. The timing between prints was minimal - I printed 3-4 rings successfully and tried a new design based on what I learned from the earlier prints. This ring had sort of “air intake” at the front that wasn’t printing properly. I assumed it was because of the design and I just needed to play with the orientation etc until I found something that worked. Images are below.

When nothing seemed to be working I thought I would try a simpler file to see if maybe it was a technical issue (those are the rings in the first photo). That’s when I realized it was something more.

I think I’ll try adjusting my build platform and see if that does anything. If not. I’ll roll back to 1.3 and see if that helps - the successful prints were all done on 1.3. I kept using 1.3 because I found 1.4+ to be too noisy for my office and there were no obvious benefits to using it.

Here’s the pics and some more notes.

Successful prints

This one was missing a bit of one side

This was the most “successful” version of this model - later, everything kept failing (little to no supports) and went in the trash

So I rolled back to 1.3 and this was the result. This was using the default settings and orientation. I tried lowering the build platform using the latest software but had more of the same.

It’s terrible but it did print. There’s a rough texture on the item and several supports are malformed, missing or not touching the ring at all. But, it worked better than before.

I’ll do some more tweaking and see if I can dial it in. Not sure how I’ll move forward with software upgrades. I’m contemplating upgrading to the Form1+ but a little leery given some of the concerns and issues others have had here on the forums.

Now that looks familiar. I think your laser is degraded. I know you did a spot test and it seemed good enough, but I have another idea if you are up for it. Print something tall. What I predict will happen is that their will be membranes hanging off the side, getting worse and worse as the resin on the bottom of the tank gets exposed again and again then bonds to the model. Something like a 3inch tall chess rook should do the trick.

I haven’t done a spot test with the laser.

Where can I find information on how I can go about doing that to see if that’s the issue?

Stephen, you should definitely open up a ticket with support@formlabs.com. They’ll be able to help put all the pieces together, and determine exactly what’s going on. Please continue to ask for help and advice here, of course, but tests like the laser spot test, though simple, should be carried out at support’s direction, so they can also process an RMA or take the appropriate next steps if something is wrong with your machine.

Thanks Sam. We’re heading out of town for a few days so I’ll take care of that when I get back.

If Sam says you should head over to the Support system now, go ahead. You were destined to be there after the results of the laser spot test anyway.
Since you asked, here is the thread on the laser spot test. At the bottom I show an easy way into diagnostic mode.

Just wanted to make a quick note about platform adjustments:

Bases and no supports = Over-compression. Platform needs to be raised and base thickness increased.

No adherence at all = Under-compression. Platform needs to be moved closer to the silicone.

It’s only that simple if the the platform and the PDMS are parallel to each other with micron accuracy. I have never had a printer or tank that was that perfect, so to make prints stick everywhere you need to adjust based on the corner that has the greatest gap. Which is where z-loss comes from on that discovery file I posted.

Hey there!

I have also trouble with my Form1+. It’s one of my first prints and unfortunately i didn’t work. Just look at this:


there you will also find my file of print. I choose 0,1mm with the white resin. Don’nt know what happened. Do you have any idea?


I think your failure is down to couple of issues. I’m not seeing any supports, have you cleaned them off? It also looks like you have tried to print this as one piece. I would try to print the head, body and base as separate models. This is how I produce most of my prints - in multiple sections. You can see here at www.formwurx.co.uk.

Hi Jason!

Thanks for your quick answer. I used supporters with default settings. i tried to print the object in one piece. To be honest this should be possible with a 3D-Printer which costs so much (“much” if we talk about private use). Is it generell problem of the Form1+, that it cannot print big objects in one piece? i was thinking, that the resin has some boubles inside or something like that, which could lead to this fail…

I agree with Jason’s assessment. I would break the model up into multiple parts. You will have more control over the support placement and have overall greater success rates. It doesn’t look like you model is shelled. If you were to try printing the model again whole, I would shell the head and base. This might help with the overall success of the print.

The Form 1+ can print large models in one piece but it really depends on what the model looks like, the cross section area that is being pealed at each layer, how well it is supported, etc will play huge roles in the success.

Bubbles in the resin can cause problems. I am not sure your print failure is caused by bubbles. They should have dissipated by the time the print got to the area of your model failure.

It may help us further assist if you add a pic of how the model was oriented during your print. This will show us the orientation, support position and density.

I would back up David’s comment (look at us, getting all matey!) Some large objects can be printed on one piece, but it very much depends on the object, and the reason David gave - of breaking models up for more control over support placement- is one of the primary reasons I break my models up, often relatively small models, given the print volume.