FormLabs Form 1 Replica by CTC

Before purchasing my Form 1+, I purchased the replica SLA 3d printer by CTC.  It was a replica of the Form 1.  I found it cheaper on Ebay so I took a leap of faith and purchased one with an extra bottle of resin.  It came to about $1600USD.  When arrived, the printer looks identical to the Form 1 but quality was not up to par. 

CONS

UV Protector

The UV protector screen was ruby red instead of orange like the Form 1.  The back side of the UV protector is also double the thickness of the other side on the Form 1+.  This unit is the standard thickness all around.  Mine cracked a little in the back from shipment because it lacked acrylic support on the back edges.  The hinge holding the UV cover is wobbly and it has no tension in it to hold the cover semi up.  The only position is fully opened or fully closed.  The CTC unit also does not a magnet in the housing to stop operation when cover is opened.  I guess it reduces the cost a little.  Not much else here but preference.

VAT

The vat or resin tank is similar to Form 1 except for the fluid level indicator.  On the CTC, there’s a faint scratch mark to indicate low level and high level.  It’s hard to tell without really looking at it.  At first I thought it was a manufacture defeat but then realized it’s the level inidicator after looking at a Formlabs tray.  Something to pay attention to.

Housing

The aluminum case felt cheap.  It’s hard to explain but it’s like comparing a Precision Intercooler to an ebay knock off.  It’s looks the same as the original but the material seem/felt cheaper.  The surface looked scratched up with a coat of silver paint on top to make it shine again.  Maybe I’m exaggerating but it was not built with quality.  One can argue that it’s cheapness in price explain its cheap materials but my thought is if it’s going to copy a product, at least make it worth it.

Power Supply

The power unit is a standard step down 120v to 24v unit.  What I didn’t like was that it made a spark when plugging in the 24v output into the unit.  Probably a grounding issue but it still worked so I just made sure it was plugged in before plugging in the chord to the wall.

Resin

Resin for this printer was no where to be found by the creator online.  I had to resort to asking the ebay seller.  They were happy to sell me a 500ml bottle for about $115.  I thought that was expensive for a knock off so I went with makerjuice for my prototyping projects.  Worked great.  One thing to note is that the resin that came with the unit is clear with a strong odor.

Photos by CTC:

ctc-electronics-3d-printer-24 ctc-electronics-3d-printer-17 ctc-electronics-3d-printer-16

 

Photos of my CTC SLA 3D PRINTER:

IMG_0249 IMG_0247 IMG_0250 IMG_0246 IMG_0248

PROS

Affordable

It’s in the $1500 range for this printer.  It’s still pricey for most but considered cheap when compared to other SLA printers.  Print quality is great and way better than FDM printers.   It will work with other third party resins.  Overall it’s not a bad printer to own.  Just understand that prints will definitely not be in specs and parts for this printer may be hard to find unless using Formlabs parts (it it fits that is).

 

Overall this printer is great for the money but I had issues with the correct measurements when printing.  The squares were too big and tilted while the circles came out oval and out of measurements.  I complained to the maker and received little results.  The printer printed fine with the resin it came with but I had some issues with using makerjuice.  Even at 100 micron, the layers on the makerjuice print looked like it printed at 200 micron.  I had to sand it down a bit to get an accepting looking object.  Only buy this printer if you’re printing solo random objects.  If you need the print to be accurate, I’d suggest forking out money to purchase the real deal at double the cost.

Let me know your thoughts below.

 

12 thoughts on “FormLabs Form 1 Replica by CTC

  1. i get one ctc and the seller support is 0 over 0…………

    No reply me to sell resin supply an i need to reclame in paypal to recovery my money.

    How reference of Makerjuice you prove , Type and color?

    How you configure printform to use this Makerjuice ?

  2. I contacted the person I bought it from and they were willing to ship me the resin for like $110. It was too expensive so I opted for MakerJuice grey resin. I printed it at the Formlabs grey resin settings. It works fine. It sounded like they were CTC selling under that Ebay name. Look at the link to the user’s page here: http://www.ebay.com/usr/printchainstore?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2754

    They are called printchainstore in ebay and they answered all my questions. See if you can ask them a question.

    I had an issue when I received my printer and they sent me instructions on calibrating the unit. I will make a post on that later.

  3. See the message from them. It’s actually $120 a bottle.
    ———————————————————————————————-

    Thank you for your purchase. It is transparent. $ 120 a bottle free shipping. it is 500g. there is anything please contact us to solve. Have a nice day.

    – printchainstore

  4. Tks but this seller is a very bad seller….. No more trades with he……

    Makejuice grey???? no exist i see only basic colors , red ,green Black etc…. see this http://www.makerjuice.com/product/gplus/

    i ask you for the type , ¿ G+ , SF, SF Form1 ^???? and how you configure color and layers to use this makejuice.

    I decide no more trades with china , i only use this printes with makerjuice.

  5. I used the SF grey resin from makerjuice. It was the only one that supported formlabs when I emailed them. It’s a little on the soft side though.

  6. Hello,

    I recently purchased a a used/broken CTC SLA and I was wondering if you could please take a picture of your power supply because I want to verify that I was given the correct one. Mine is manufactured by GVE and outputs 24V 2.5A 60VA Max LPS. Everything I find on the internet states the power supply should be 1.5A. If you can please do this for me I would really appreciate it as I dont want to break it more by overpowering the main board.

    Thank you for your time,
    Matt

  7. Matt,

    Sorry I dont have it anymore but it was a 24v power supply. If its 2.5a then thats perfect. It will only draw as much as it needs.

    Paul

  8. I bought a CTC SLA Printer few month ago from Alibaba
    It arrived like reconditionned, not clean.

    I opened it before use it, and some components near PSU power coil was already slightly burned

    It works with Preform but not last version.
    Printer printed some parts… but it was low precision and long prints failed.

    Finally I discovered that after one or 2 hours running, one galvo start reversing and no beam coming under the tank
    It was due to bad voltage supply of Galvo drivers board
    +24/-19V instead of 24/24

    So I added external +24/-24V Psu, and precision becomes fine.
    Btw, galvos drivers chips are LM3886, well know audio amplifier

    With G+ white resin small prints are pretty good, but large ones still fail.
    I need to try other resins like Madesolid ones.

    So about CTC Company, there is 3 problems :
    They can sell used printer without advert
    The don’t use their own software
    They don’t offer any kind of valuable support

  9. Nicolas,

    I agree with you on these points:

    1. It looks used when arrived. Mine was the same way. The aluminum just didn’t look new to me. Also the red ruby case cracked a little during.
    2. They definitely do not use their own software which sucks.
    3. Support was so so. I had some response and other times none.

    Honestly I got rid of my unit to buy a formlabs for the support and warranty. I just didn’t have the time to play/tweak a copy cat unit. I’m happier now with the forms lab.

    Madesolid is my next resin to test out. Hopefully it will turn out good.
    As for G+, I thought it wasn’t supported by makerjuice? Atleast that’s what they told me when I emailed them. I was using the SF one which worked okay but the material is too soft in my opinion.

    Paul

  10. Hello !
    I installed the software on the PC and connected the printer to the PC.
    But I cannot get any connection to the printer.
    So I cannot print.
    Can anybody help me ?
    Thank you.

  11. Fritz,

    I’m not sure what the issue might be on your printer. I’d suggest you contact the seller.

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