What's your Form1+ (plus) experience?

Can you post photos?

Generally I have found that when the base doesn’t adhere, you need to use the Fine Tuning (I believe it is in the Help menu) to LOWER the build platform (0.1mm increments). It usually doesn’t take much to get it to adhere. If you go TOO far, your supports will fail so don’t get too ambitious. Tweak a tiny bit at a time until everything is stable.

One thing many miss is using the build slider on the side of the PreForm. Take a careful look at sections that start but have no supports below. The auto supports don’t always see all of the overhangs especially on high poly count complex models. A small section that is unsupported is a guaranteed way of killing the rest of the model.

As far as a model failing part way up where it should be fine, I would think that it might be a resin issue where mixing is a problem. I haven’t had that yet so I try to keep the resin mixed up and strained just before printing. So far so good.

I have owned and used the Roland MDX-40a for three years now.

With many hundreds of hours of experience, I can honestly say - it’s the biggest piece of SH** ever made. I keep it only because of all the time and money invested in it. I found that is best to use a CAM G-code generator rather than use their junk software. At least, I can make parts with it now. No metals, ever. Only plastics and wax. Some chemical woods.

Having said that; even though it is belt driven it does an amazing job of accuracy and repeatability. But due to the lame motors and drives, speed is agonizing slow. For example: Cutting ABS plastic with a 1mm end mill, your max out at .5mm cutting and feed of less than 30 linear feet per minute. Without the tool changer is a pain, but you can still program stops and then manually change and index the finishing tools.

Then machine is poorly designed and the engineers never had the operator in mind during the design process which adds to the frustration of using this boat anchor. Lastly, Roland customer service for this line of equipment is the worst I’ve ever experienced.

I’ve owed large computer machine tools (Mazak, Amada, Cincinnati, etc) I’ve owned 3D printers, Stratasys Dimension SST1200es for one. So, I’m not a stranger to how well a machine should be built, operate, and be supported.

I hope if anyone is reading this with just a hint in mind of buying a Roland mill, RUN - do not walk away.

-c-

Good to see such frank advice.

There is a reason that good CNC mills are hundreds of thousands of dollars…

I have been looking at buying the MDX-40A to go along side my form 1+. If I can live with manually changing the tools and the slow cutting time, would it still be worth looking at? What about the new SRM-20?

I almost bought one but backed out because of design flaws and limitations on materials.
There are desktop mills that are much sturdier in that price range and even less that even have auto tool changers. I wouldn’t set one up in my living room or next to my desk because they can be noisy but you can cut many metals on them as well as materials the Roland machines can.

It would be nice to get something like a tormach since it’s similar in pricing and offers a lot more, unfortunately I don’t have the space for it. I can live without machining metals as most of my projects involve molds, electronic enclosures and milling circuit boards and there is a techshop near by, I have space for the mdx40a or a shopbot desktop, but it might be worth purchasing the srm-20 and save money for something better down the road unless there is a better alternative.

Sorry I didn’t pick up on the replies to this thread until now. If you want to talk about desktop mills, I’d be delighted to do that, I specialize in miniature US-made CNC equipment. (Visit my site if you’d like to learn more about them; I’ve also got an extensive set of annotated links for that realm.) But we really should start a new thread for that.

As for my Form1+ experience, it still hasn’t been good. I’ve attached some pictures as requested. On one, the supports printed but the piece itself didn’t. Then it quit on some kind of software error before the file finished uploading. The same file yielded the results in the other picture - it’s supposed to be a symmetrical piece, but a big section is missing. I got somewhat discouraged after that, and did other things for a couple of weeks. Now, getting back to it, I decided to strain my resin, but the vat is stuck - it won’t slide out. Has anybody else had that happen? Should I start a new thread about it?

Andrew Werby

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Thanks for the link, if I do get a Taig I’ll keep you in mind.

More then a few here are less than a month owners. I am about 2 weeks in. So far so good and starting to get better. The first weekend was a complete disaster. I found that it is perfect for my items which are model railroad parts. Besides the rather attentive Form1 emplyees that haunt here, other owners have been amazingly helpful on this forum.

Buy once - cry once. It is all fun after that.

Bill

@Andrew_Werby, please contact support and submit a ticket. They will help you with your print issues, as well as the tank that won’t slide out.

Has anyone used the Form 1 in a library setting? We offer a FDM printing service here at Hunt Library and are contemplating adding the Form 1. Essentially we charge our patrons enough to cover the consumables. If anyone has used it in a similar setting, do you think this is a good printer in that context?

Thanks!

Dan

Hi @Dan_Hawkins,

Our Form1+ is only a month old, but our intention is to use a daily check-out system in our Makerspace-- the Columbus Idea Foundry.

While taking it back-and-forth from the shop to home a few times, we’ve started to compile a list of important things to include in the User Training Class. (Keeping the large mirror clean, not touching the bottom of the resin tray, comb resin between prints, etc,)

With the right amount of training, I think most of our 200 members will be able to use it without too many problems.

-JD Davison
The Lab Partners

I am in the market for a Formlabs and also wonder as in the original post about the user experience. I want to produce small 4x4x4 architectural models with the machine on a reliable basis. So is the machine a reliable workhorse or it is a finicky prima donna…always in need of a new built plate or a new resin tray?

Many thanks JD! We will be using it in a more “print service” setting, so there will be fewer people to train, but it’s good to hear that someone else is having a good experience. We’re really close to a decision…

When it works the quality is superb, but it’s not the easiest machine to work with. It’s also better suited to organic shapes rather than long flat ones, so may not be ideal for certain types of architectural model (that’s why I originally got mine).

Interesting that it’s better with organic shapes. I’d have thought flat surface would be a breeze, but having learned more about the process I can understand flat layers would have difficult with adhering to the tray and not peeling away easily. The real hope is that I could make small beams and posts and so forth. Do you have any experience with that?

That should be fine - it can do larger flat pieces but they tend to warp if too flat or too long. Printing hollow with an internal Web can help, if you print a more complex shape composed of straight pieces. This is just my experience of course, no doubt others have different experiences.

I own it since January and the last three months has been used at an average of 14 hours a day with you to 3 prints per day. I have experienced only one major failure (few days of bad prints) solved with a mirror cleaning.
If i forget the scare i had to dismount the mirrors, so far i am extremely happy … but i find the clear resin to be the best of the bunch so far.
I print from toys to plastics for electronics. But I have never printed at max resolution.

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I’ve had my printer InquisitivePup for just over 2 months now. The three weeks or so were great, printed all sorts of parts in all resolutions, white and black, then had problems with dust on the mirrors; customer support has been great, however, as has the forum with its many active and helpful users, and the printer is up and running again since a couple of weeks.

I can echo @Francesco_Pessolano 's comment about nerves when dismounting the tiny, delicate internal mirrors; equally @JasonSpiller 's comment about it not being the easiest machine is right on the money… but so long as you don’t expect a printer that is as plug ‘n’ play as a laser printer (don’t forget they’ve been around for way over 30 years… just a liiitle bit longer than Formlabs!), AND you are prepared to put in some time to climb the learning curve, I believe you will be very satisfied.

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