FORMLABS FORM 2 UNBOXING AND SETUP

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The Form 2 arrived in a large cardbord box.

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Inside was some smaller boxes containing the machine itself, the cleaning station and the resin cartridge.

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The top part of the box contained the resin tray, build-platform and a small box containing USB cable and a couple of leveling tools.

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The Form 2 was not packaged like the Form 1 was (floating between plastic), but wedged between 2 large foam pieces.

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Here are the ingenious leveling-tools that you use to make the machine level if the surface you put the machine on is not level. They worked great and where easy to use.

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The resin tray with the usual warnings

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The buildplatform is quite bigger than the platform on the Form 1, and they have coated the surface with something. The Form 1 platform was bare metal.

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The “smart” resin cartridge.

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The Quick start guide.

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Time to setup the 3D printer. I plugged the power in and pressed the button on the front to start the machine.

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Initializing the machine. This took about 40 seconds.

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T
hen i connected it to Wi-Fi

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The machine is supposed to let you know if its not level. In my case i got no message, but i noticed that the machine “rocked” back and forth a little when touching it, so i used the leveling tool to adjust one of the legs. This was surprisingly easy to do, just slide the tool onto one of the legs and turn it clockwise for up and counter-clockwise for down.

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I then installed the resin tank and the build platform. The wiper was a little hard to mount as you can see in the next image:

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When installing the wiper it hit the metal chassis of the machine. Maybe it just takes practise to find the best way to attach it to the sliding mechanism.

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Then it was time to insert the resin cartridge. First i removed the  orange flappy thingy that keeps the cartridge from leaking.

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Then i inserted the cartridge into the back of the machine and removed the little tape piece that blocked the vent from opening and opened the vent by pushing it down.

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Then the problems started :( As you can see on the screen, it says that the cartridge is “Missing”.

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I tried to do a print anyway, but ofcourse the software wouldn’t let me. When looking at error messages for the Form 2 on formlabs.com, they advice me to remove the cartridge and insert it again

“Fully remove and re-insert the resin tank and/or cartridge. The resin tank’s orange acrylic should be perfectly flush with the front of the black tank carrier.”

After doing this about 20 times, i contacted formlabs and here is the response i got:


Thank you for reporting this issue and there are a few quick things to check before we send out a replacement cartridge.

Can you try lifting the cartridge up slightly to see if the chip reader was slightly off?
Another thing to check is your resin tank.
If you pull it out slightly and push it back in, does the cartridge reading change?
If so can you take a picture of the chip on the bottom of the tank and the pins on the tray carrier?

If the above results do not work we can send out a new cartridge to this address along with a return label for your current cartridge.

After checking everything and everything seemed ok, i got impatient and figured it was only a bad contact between the cartridge and the machine.

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I took a look at the contacts on the cartridge, and that mark on the right contact wasn’t there before, so it obviously made som contact there, but there was no mark on the left one.

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I then used a soldering iron to add some solder to the contacts to make them a little more pronounced.

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Success :)

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I then went into Formlabs own software “Preform” and started uploading new firmware to the printer.

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When the firmware has been uploaded to the printer i could start the installation from the printers touch-screen.

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After installation of the firmware the machine will restart itself. Finally i could try the printer`s “printing” functions.

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I sent a model over to the printer via USB (Somehow i could not do this over Wi-Fi?? Probably just a minor software problem that will be fixed soon via new firmware).

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Now that the printer registers the resin-cartridge, i was able to start the print :)

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It was cool to see how the printer`s automatic filling of the resin tank worked. This took a couple of minutes.

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I don`t know how the resin tank senses how much resin is in the tank, but the resin tank got filled up EXACTLY to the maximum line.

The model printed out beautifully. And i hope and believe that the Form 2 is alot more reliable then the Form 1+ that i have had several issues with.
I will do a review of the Form 2, when i have used the machine some more.

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions :)

 

 

Author: Christian Arnø

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the soldering tip, that was exactly what I needed to get mine to work as well!

    Post a Reply
    • No problem :)
      Seems like a weird thing to get wrong when designing the machine, but then again they can just redesign the cartridges to fix this problem.

      Post a Reply

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