Why is Formlabs support so bad?


i m really really angry, i only want to print and make thinks, but as you can read in my other postings, i have a problem that my supports damage my sufface of my part. the material cracks away…

so all said make a ticket and formlabs will help you

i did, and all i get back is, try shorter ipa bathing… and for help please call … thats a other company in germany…

hello? i bought a pemium printer, and no i have to go to a mysteric other compay, which even no answer telefon calls?

and the own manufacturer formlabs dont help me?

shame… really for a 4000€ thing, which does not work and bought end of january :frowning:

Support for me (in the US) has been great.

Did you try all of the suggestions from your original post? I can’t tell what you ended up with. The recommendations that I saw were more dense supports and way shorter IPA bath. I would also suggest trimming the supports after post cure with flush cutters.

yes i heard that but i m europe…

i did all, form no washing and direct cleaning the support to 10 min, to 20, to a hour.

and in everytime the print is damaged by the support.

Can you post some photos? It is really hard to understand the issue without seeing some photo evidence. As for the support, they are great for what it is - free support. The cost of the printer is not that high if you compare it with similar SLA printers and NOT entry level FDM printers. If you want higher quality service with a phone support you would need to purchase their pro support plan unfortunately. While it is frustrating that it is extra $500 per year, I am happy this amount was not included in the printer price so I don’t have to pay it automatically.

It doesn’t look like you’ve had any technical issue, it seems more like you’re just not experienced working with an SLA printer. The issues you are having are due to orientation, support placement, or how you’re removing the supports.

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I’m not sure what you mean by “direct cleaning the support to 10 min, to 20, to a hour”.

The standard procedure is to take a print off of the build platform, put it in a bucket of IPA and let it sit there for 10 minutes. Then take the part out and put it into another cleaner bucket of IPA and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then remove the part, let it air dry or blow it off with compressed air, then cure it in UV light for 60 minutes. Then use flush cutters to remove the supports. I just want to be clear whether or not you have followed that exact procedure before moving on to other causes.

You clearly do not know what you are talking about.
You bought an SLA printer apparently ignorant of HOW it works.

Neither Formlabs nor any other support person can help you eliminate something that is NOT a problem, but rather an unavoidable result of how the printer functions.

You might as well complain about the fact that 3D printers leave discernible layer lines on your print.

The solution to your problem is fourfold.
1- Educate yourself. Read up on what SLA printing is- what it can and can not do. It would be a good idea to self educate extensively BEFORE you go around investing in expensive technology that you do not comprehend.

2- Try Different Resins. The website and white papers Formlabs puts out all very specifically mention that some resins are more brittle than others. You can try printing in the less brittle resins which are less likely to crater at the support point.

3- Improve Your Technique. You need to learn HOW to remove supports without trying to just snap them off at the surface. Clean the part in alcohol BEFORE removing supports- the ipa will soak into the thin supports and soften the resin, making it more likely to CUT than to fracture. Do not try to cut the support off flush, but rather cut it PROUD of the final surface… so that once you have all the supports out of the way, you can more deftly approach removing the last little stubs with more control.

4- Stop Blaming the Manufacturer for your lack of knowledge of the process before getting into it, and your lack of skill and practice at using it.
Most of us who buy these machines come from a background of having Made things by other means; … hand crafting, sculpting, molding and casting, etc… And so we are familiar with the kinds of finishing issues inherent in EVERY material… and that different materials have different issues.

And finally- Invest 8 euros in some Squadron Putty or A and B epoxy putty and watch a few YouTube videos on how to use it.
You weren’t promised perfect prints… just notably more detailed and refined prints than most other printers can produce.

Take a look at the recent post about the printed samurai warrior… and check out the small parts he produced- the ropes and sashes and armor… That poster is running the SAME resin thru the SAME machine as you.

If HE can get those results, So can you, if you stop blaming others and hone your own skills.


sure as you can see it here

i also tried different cutters all…

yes correct all, and because this dont work, i test it with different washing times, and also cleaning before cure and after that.

but the result is same, the support point damage the surface after cleaning and material spring away.

All non-powder-based 3D printing process requires some sort of support structure that damages the part to some degree where it touches. PreForm tries to pick good points that support the part. It tries to err on the side of adding more supports than necessary, since a failed prints are no good. That said, improving supports is something we are interested in.

It’s hard to tell from that photo what’s going on. If you provide a screenshot from PreForm, people may be more able to help you get the result you are looking for.

Have you experimented with adjusting touch-tip size and part orientation?

You can to make the support points smaller. When the part has dried, don’t try to brake the supports off, cut it off the printed part leaving a bit of excess material. Then sand it off clean. This way you will get a perfect surface finish though it will take longer.
Also try relocating the supports or the part.
Consider making this part 2-piece which will allow you to locate the supports on the surfaces that will be hidden when the part is assembled.

If it is not confidential, it would be beneficial to share the fully supported Preform file ( .form) and I will take a look and see if I think supports are the issue. I will give you a new file if I think changes should be made. If the supports are correct, and you following the post-processing instructions that I gave (and FL recommends) then I don’t know what to do.

What cutters are you using to remove the supports? I recommend these https://www.mcmaster.com/#3621a11/=1c5mkdo or https://www.imscompany.com/product/131481 if you are feeling spendy. With that said, I have been incredibly aggressive with my support removal before and still have not seen what you have seen.

i do, belive me, see

but whats correct, if you read all, some say clean directly after isopropanol bath other say after cure…

i used the orignal one and also one of a friend

Definitely make the support point size smaller - 0.3 - 0.4 mm and move just a tiny bit away from the edge.


I remember telling this person on another post he was being too aggressive in support removal and provided guidance. I believe I also took a slightly defensive stance (for Formlabs) due to his poor attitude and eagerness to blame them for his faults.

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To respond to the thread title, I do not agree at all - support has always been hyper responsive, pro-active and engaged in getting me the best out of my experience with the printers I have (in Europe). This is far better than my experience with other 3DP manufacturers.
There is definitively a learning curve in SLA printing as there is with other AM techniques and all have known limitations and advantage.


Your support thickness seems to be very big and support placement is far from optimal…


shame on you, it’s really easy to break your mouth and have no idea of anything and make other people stupid …
I was brought in if you have not to say just shut up …

hopefully you’ll buy something expensive, a car or something that just makes you angry and hopefully you have to deal with such stupid people as you do, who only leave dumb, aggressive and hurtful comments.

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ok then take this as reference and show me please how you would print that