The Form 1+’s Repeatability is a Blessing and a Curse

by | Apr 11, 2015 | 3D Printing |

The Form 1+ is a very capable 3D printer for a number of reasons. Among the most important is that the Form 1+ has extremely good repeatability. If you print the same model a dozen times in a row, it will come out of the printer exactly the same very time. This is both impressive and very useful. If you are, for example, prototyping some kind of product prototype or engineering part, you can be sure the Form 1+ will print every copy of your model as identical clones.

I was recently using my Form 1+ for exactly this kind of application. I was prototyping a part that would allow me to connect a bearing to the back side of a servo opposite the servo horn, making it easier to use the servo in robotics projects. After I finished prototyping the part, I printed a total of 15 copies of the finished design. I was very happy with the ability of the Form 1+ to print every one of the 15 copies of this part exactly the same way.

Servo back-side bearings printed with the Form 1+

Servo back-side bearings printed with the Form 1+

This fantastic repeatability is a great asset for any project, but it can also be a problem. When I was in the process of starting up my Hub on 3D Hubs, I was printing some example parts to show the difference between the 0.1mm and 0.025mm layer heights on the Form 1+. Specifically, I was printing the Sunbathing model, which I think does a good job illustrating the capabilities of the Form 1+.  On my first attempt, however, the print failed when the models right hand and the left side of her head got stuck to the resin tank. I was a bit disappointed, especially because the model too 5 hours to print, but I decided to give it another try. So I loaded up the model again and send it off to the Form 1+.

When the print finished, I was disappointed again, but also amazed, to find that the second print failed in exactly the same way as the first. Take a look at the two pictures below. These pictures are not of the same print, they are two different prints.

 

Sunbathing @ 0.025mm layer height attempt #1

Sunbathing @ 0.025mm layer height attempt #1

Sunbathing @ 0.025mm layer height attempt #2

Sunbathing @ 0.025mm layer height attempt #2

 

So the lesson here is that the Form 1+ really does not have random print defects like other 3D printers. If you have a botched print, do not simply try the print again because it will fail exactly the way it did the first time.

Instead, you should learn from the printing error and make changes to your print, like re-configuring support structures or reorienting the model, in order to avoid repeating the same error.

 

Sunbathing @ 0.025mm layer height print failures

Sunbathing @ 0.025mm layer height print failures