Phenom L vs Form 3L

Hi everyone,

Formlabs user here. I’ve got a Form 3L on order, but recently got to see some small prints (test cubes) off a Phenom L. It got me thinking about canceling and ordering that printer instead.

Any converts here who care to share their experiences switching from Formlabs to Peopoly? (e.g. Form 2 to Phenom?)

I do a lot of engineering-type prints (jigs / fixtures / brackets, snap fit, electronics enclosures, etc) and also moving parts (e.g. toy car). Most of the samples I’ve seen are sculpted (masks, figurines, etc) and I’m curious what kind of dimensional accuracy you’re getting with the Phenom L.

  • Can folks here who regularly take their calipers to print features share their results?
  • What’s accuracy like in the plane of the platform, and along the height of prints?
  • What kind of imperfections most commonly show up in prints? (Defects, cosmetic, scuffing, shift lines, warping, etc).
  • How is the detail on the Phenom L compared to the Phenom (which has a slighly smaller pixel pitch)?
  • Is it a pain cleaning resin off the back of the platform?
  • How wide a variety of material types is available (and work) compared to Formlabs? e.g. My favorite resins are black, clear, rigid (glass-infused), durable (great for low-friction), flex/elastic, tough.
  • Comments on maintenance? (I know LCD’s are consumables and have been reading about replacing them as well as modifications suggested to avoid damage in unsupported areas)
  • How’s customer support when something goes wrong?
  • Any other practical differences I might be forgetting about? (e.g. having to refill vat periodically)

I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on all aspects of Phenom L printing - strengths, weaknesses, pain points / frustrations, etc.

There are some pretty big considerations when comparing a formlabs printer to a peopoly printer, let alone SLA to MSLA.

Formlabs has developed an ecosystem that keeps it’s users paying, but also generally results in repeatable fantastic results with a fairly curated set of well performing resins.

I’m not saying peopoly doesn’t make good products, but this is a lot closer to the wild west in terms of 3D printing eco systems. You’ll likely use 3rd party resins, need to make any repairs yourself, and calibration is somewhat more of a chore (though that’s more of a comparison between peopoly SLA machines vs formlabs. MSLA machines are a bit lower maintenance in regard to the fairly simple process).

In short the peopoly experience is a bit more hands on and requires some experimenting and learning, which can be good and bad at times depending on whether you want to understand 3D printers or just get stuff done. Considering all that, you’re also looking at an incredibly large price difference between the two.

Hopefully some more specifics of your questions can be answered by peopoly and phenom owners.

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Thanks to Jeby’s reply, phenom L print volume is 35% larger than formlabs 3L, and the speed is 3-4 times faster. And the price is only 30% of it. peopoly is open to third-party resins. In theory, UV light-curing 3D printing resins with a wavelength of 405nm can be used. It seems that Formlabs can only use its resin, and it is expensive.

Thanks both. It would be great if I could also get answers to some of the specific questions I posed.