Why do prints come out better on the left side compared to the right?

I cannot figure out why prints tend to come out better on the left side of the build platform compared to the right. Do any of you have any hypothesises?

I can see that the peel process brings the right side of the tank lower than the left, but how that fact translates to the print is beyond me.

The right side would be peeling “faster” than the left, but it seems like this issue could be resolved by simply slowing the peel routine. Since the potential fix for this would be so simple I’m guessing it’s not the actual problem.

I imagine the tank deflects a little bit while it’s being pulled down. It seems like the deflection would only be slight though.

Anyway, this issue has confused me since I first heard about it so I’m hoping maybe someone out there can explain why this seems to be the case.

I get the same results. A few prints were unusable and those were all on the right side of the tank. But I also noticed that if you have just 1 item on the right, sometimes it’s OK, however if you have 2 items one on the left and one on the right, the left one looks much better, while the one on the right has lines and missing layers, etc.

This has to be a software issue, because the tank peeling is smooth and there is no jerking movement going on to mess up the prints. Hope to hear from Form Labs about this soon.

Very interesting observation. I have noticed that when you try to pull an adhesive label off a bottle if you do it slow it peals off clean, however if you do it fast it often leaves blobs of adhesive or tears. This is due to the flow and release characteristics of the adhesive. When you pull fast it  acts like a solid when you pull slow it has time to flow and deform and releases with out fracturing the adhesive/ paper. Perhaps if they modulated the speed of the peal so the relative strain is the same across the tank. Slow at first then faster as the line of separation moves from the right to the left. I wonder if Form one would open up the software so we could try experiments with this?

Front right corner seems to be the worst on mine.

I’ve thrown together a quick SCAD test for the corners/edges.  It’s a 120mm square, with its own square supports (2mm x 2mm, 6mm spacing between.)  Top and bottom should be 2mm thick, overall height 10mm.  It’s also got markers to keep track of front/back/left/right.  It’s about 20mL.

Should be printed alone, flat, without supports.

(I haven’t finished printing this yet, so I can’t guarantee that there aren’t any issues.)

Feel free to modify.



Well, my print of that was an unqualified failure.  Only a couple supports printed past 1mm.  Even the base layer delaminated.

Hello Jonathan,

It sounds like there may be an issue other than the stresses caused by the peel mechanism (which we’re working on improving) – if you haven’t opened up a ticket with our support team (support@formlabs.com), you should do so! We’ll do our best to take care of you.

To go back to Hirudins original question - I can think of three reasons.

  1. The leverage of the build platform will be greater closer to the hinge, so the platform is less likely to pause in the peel and then suddenly release it.

  2. Separation will be slower closer to the hinge - since the tank floor moves less distance for the same angle travelled than it does further from the hinge - therefore  there will be less stress placed on the print during separation.

  3. Closer to the hinge the peel angle as it traverses the print is greater than prints further to the right - meaning that as the print is separated from the tank liner it is subjected to less stress. This could be a minor factor though.

This failure on the right issue is very frustrating and hard to understand. I created a model for a hex driver bit organizer and discovered something very curious. The failure only seems to affect surfaces that are perpendicular  or nearly so to the peel direction. I have been building my part directly on the base because there are no overhangs requiring supports. The failure occurs right at a specific level as if the laser power is being cut at that level and so the cure is not quite strong enough to hold during the peel. Once the part builds a bit further the failure stops and all surfaces become whole again. The ribs that are in line with the peel direction come out perfect for the whole build  over the whole build surface. In general I find I can only build reliably over about half of the build surface. Beginning to feel a bit cheated because the printers performance is not what they led us to believe and they give us no control settings in the software to improve the outcome and very little feedback about what they are doing to fix these issues. I started a support ticket and so far the suggestions have not been helpful.

I agree with Ron. The Form1 to us has become far less of a “plug-n-print” option, but more of a “i hope this one prints ok and is somewhat usable” option.

For jewelry its almost unusable, not mentioning that there is no castable resin yet. If we print a ring, one side is smoother than the other. If we reposition it, the print fails. It takes a few prints to get a somewhat decent looking print, but still not perfect. The surface smoothness and detail are just not there from what we hoped it would be like.

Also, let me add something. It is not just that models print better on the right vs the left side. It is also that the part of the model away from the supports prints better than the side close to the base.

Also to people who say…if we print on one side it fails, and on the other side it’s PERFECT. Can you please post a nice picture of your “PERFECT” print? Then please ask someone who has a b9creator to print the same print for you. You will see that your prints are far from perfect. Sorry but we have yet to get a perfect print on our form1.

I didn’t’ want to post this, but here it is. One of our prints printed on the Form1 on the highest resolution and on the b9 creator. You can see how smooth and clean the surface is on the b9 print.

We truly hope they will start being more active in the forum now that they hired new staff, or at least answer our emails faster (still waiting for a response from almost a week ago. They had me run bunch of tests to see if there is anything wrong on my end). They should be involved in every thread in the forum. They should be informing us to what the problems are and what they are doing about fixing those problems and what they are doing to make the form1 better, or to at least deliver on the original promise of “plug-n-print”.

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I’m having similar problems as well but I have noticed it isn’t just on the right side.  Currently on my printer the right side is the worst.  It always seems to fail after the base has printed and before it finishes printing the initial supports.  After that I get a bunch of floating support layers that look like tiny contact lenses.  I’m need to buy a metal strainer so I can recover some of the resin.  I have tried repeatedly with fresh resin and a clean tank with no luck.  The problem seems to occur on the outer edges of the left side as well.   For now I try and place small objects in the center and left a little.  Then I cross my fingers and pray it actually prints and is usable.  I  have given up on the bigger items I want to print.  The problems started from day 1 with my very first print.  At first I thought I was just doing something wrong but with trial and error have determined that it is something else.  This is frustrating and and expensive waste of resin and time.

@Ron_Woodward  I’m beginning to feel the same way!   One of the things I liked about the Form1 was build volume but with unusable parts of the build area the specs were misleading.

@Monger_Designs  Thanks for the photo illustrating the difference in output quality between the B9 and Form1.  At this time the B9 output is clearly the winner.  Hopefully Formlabs will catch up soon!

Why did you let the b9 go MD?

“Why did you let the b9 go MD?”  I am curious on that too…

Needed the money for the form1. The print area was too small. 90% failure rate at that time. Software wasn’t ready. Too noisy for my office. The projector heat generated was releasing a very strong odor from the resin (you need a well ventilated area). Just some of the reasons.

Hi Everyone,

Just to be clear, when you are referring to Right and Left do you mean while you are facing the machine?  Thanks.