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FlashForge 3d Printer Creator Pro, Metal Frame Structure, Acrylic Covers, Optimized Build Platform, Dual Extruder W/2 Spools, Works with ABS and PLA
|Price:||$899.00 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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- Full manufacturer's warranty fulfilled by Flashforge, and lifetime support provided by expert FlashForge technicians
- A sturdy metal frame that is substantially more stable than the Creator's original wood frame
- Aviation level aluminum plate with a thickness of 6.3mm guarantee its surface is completely flat and will not warp during heating process.
- Metal platform support plus 10mm guide rod ensure a precise Z axis movement and prevent platform arm from deforming.
- Enclosed chamber insulates and protects ABS prints
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Leaving our competition a step or two behind, these new features are only available on the new FlashForge Creator Pro:- Much more powerful software FlashPrint which is developed by FlashForge engineers now is compatible to FlashForge Creator Pro. No need for expensive aftermarket software purchase.- A new power supply from Delta-the world's leading power supply maker. The printer's voltage control now sets automatically to match region.- The new front door comes pre-installed, and has been re-designed to provide easier access to prints.- The new injected PC top cover comes in one solid piece, making it stronger and more effective at regulating temperature.- The new, larger platform adjusting screws have been re-engineered for easier use.- The new extruder wiring router can protect wiring from wear and tear efficiently Package Contains: -The Creator Pro -Dual Extruder -2x Spool Holders -2 spools filament(N.W.:1 kilogram per spool, material and color randomly selected) -2x spare blue platform sticker-2x filament guide tubes -Screw drive, screws, Allen Wrenches and 2 spare Teflon tubes in accessories bag -Power Supply Cable -USB cable -Injected PC top cover -1 x 4GB SD card (contains software, test sample files and latest operation manual) Software: FlashPrint, ReplicatorG - Compatibility: Windows, Mac OSX and, Linux - Print from SD card or over USB - Input file type: STL, gcode Printing Build envelope: 225 x 145 x 150 mm Build volume: About 5 liters Layer thickness: 0.1-0.3 mm(adjustable) Nozzle diameter: 0.4 mm Materials - Works well with 1.75 mm ABS,PLA.
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Top customer reviews
I have been a long time Makerbot Replicator owner, and I've been very happy with that printer. There's a lot to like about the printer, and the support provided by Makerbot has been first-rate. It has been a workhorse, cranking out thousands of prints over the years. I really like the basic design of the printer, with the build area large enough to create interesting things, but not so deep that the printer takes up too much space. I really like having two extruders, both for flexibility of working with multi-material prints and for convenience such as being able to continue printing with one extruder when the other extruder needs maintenance, or leaving one extruder loaded with ABS and the other with PLA so that I can switch materials effortlessly. And with the heated print bed, I've been able to print with ABS, PLA, Nylon and all sorts of other crazy materials (wood, flex, bronze, etc.). But perhaps most importantly, the user community for Makerbot printers is amazing, so whenever there are was something about the design that needed improving, the community jumped in and came up with improved extruders, metal print platform arms, and even the amazing Sailfish firmware. In many ways the community really made the Replicator the wonderful printer that I've been using all these years.
But my old printer is getting a little long in the tooth, so I wanted to buy a new printer to supplement it. After comparing numerous options, and deciding that I wasn't comfortable with the newest line of printers from Makerbot (they're not as hacker-friendly as I like), I settled on the FlashForge Creator Pro . It is based on the open replicator designs from Makerbot, and incorporates almost all of the community improvements, giving me pretty much everything I was looking for.
So let's get into the details
Of FlashForge Creator Pro is very similar to the Makerbot Replicator:
Metal frame with plastic skin, so the unit is solid and professional looking. Not quite as nice as Makerbot's injection molded skins, perhaps, but certainly good enough to keep in the office. And the metal frame is extremely sturdy, yielding very good-looking prints.
Same basic design, with the print bed moves up and down the Z axis, and extruders on a platform that moves on the X and Y axis.
Heated print bed give you a good range of materials to print with - ABS, PLA, Nylon, etc. I also like the shape of the Replicator print bed, because the width allows printing long objects but not being square let's the printer fit into normal desk without taking over completely.
Two extruders, with spring tension and release levers.
Print X3G files from an SD card. This is the same as all of Makerbot's older printers. This means that you can use Makerware, ReplicatorG, or Simplify3D
Runs Sailfish firmware as the standard firmware. http://www.sailfishfirmware.com for more information. I love being able to control temperature and print speed manually. This means that I can slice once, then tweak settings for a particular filament in the printer. Dito Printing lets you print with both extruders at once, which is great for cranking out lots of small prints.
Enclosed build area to retain heat. This is required for printing ABS. This is a common community upgrade to the original Replicator, And is built into the Replicator 2x.
1 KG of PLA and 1 KG of ABS.
And it has some improvements:
It has metal arms for the print bed, so they don't sag after being heated. This lets prints be much more consistent without releveling the print bed. This is one of the more popular community enhancements to the replicator design, it is great to get it "out of the box".
The print bed has three mount points rather than four of the replicator, making bed leveling much easier. It has wing nuts instead of thumbscrews, which are easier to turn. So leveling the print bed is simpler then on the Replicator.
It has a CPU with more storage, letting it run firmware with more capabilities than the standard CPU has room for. For example, the latest Sailfish firmware takes advantage of the new CPU to provide support for automated print bed leveling that won't fit the standard CPU's limited code space.
The buttons are mechanical rather than rubber, which I think has better feedback. When you press a button you know it's pressed.
The display is inverted, with white text on a dark background, which looks a little nicer given the black case.
The power supply is inside the case, which makes the whole thing easier to transport. In power supply is also larger, allowing the printer to heat the extruder and print bed at the same time.
Tons of spare parts. Not just hex drivers, but spares of every screw and nut, and even a spare end stop cable.
About the only thing I don't like, and it is minor, is that the extruder is not all metal, but has PTFE lining. This is not an issue for printing ABS or PLA, but might limit the ability to use materials that require higher temperatures to extrude. But I still have my original Replicator for that.
Out of the box experience
Out-of-the-box the FlashForge is very similar to the Replicator. Both require you to remove all of the packing material, and to attach the extruders onto the gantry with two screws, which is quite easy.
The one difference is that the FlashForge ships configured for 220 V Power, and must be switched to 110 volt Power to operate in the United States. There is a sticker prominently placed explaining that you need to do this, but it does not explain how to do so. It turns out that the voltage switch is on the side of the power supply, which is covered by the bottom of the printer case. To access the switch, you must remove the bottom cover, which is held on with about a half-dozen screws. Or you can use a flashlight and a screwdriver and reach into the bottom of the case and flip the switch through vent holes next to the power supply, which is what I did. Given how critical it is for the voltage to be set properly, I would recommend that the company make the voltage switch much more obvious, or at least include documentation showing exactly where the switch is on the FlashForce Pro.
Once the power is switched, setting the FlashForward Pro up was easier than the Replicator. In particular bed leveling is very easy with the wing nuts, and three mounting points. And the Sailfish leveling routine is more efficient then the standard Makerbot firmware, because you can position the extruders directly over each of the three control points and set each one once. In contrast Makerbot's firmware moves the extruders to the middle and four edges, so you need to adjust the control points in pairs, and usually go twice around the platform before everything is right. So instead of three wing nuts to adjust, you often end up adjusting 24 thumbscrews. Of course, upgrading the replicator to Sailfish makes it much easier to level as well.
The doors and top cover require assembly. It was very easy, though with no instructions. It was pretty obvious how it went together, from the photo's on the web site.
One last minor thing: the files on the SD card were compressed in a RAR file. So I had to use my desktop computer to unrar the file to get to the documentation, software, and sample print files. Since I already have software and files to print, this was not an issue for me, but it would likely confuse someone buying their first 3-D printer.
Long term operation
In longer-term operation (a few prints so far, but I can see how things are working out), the FlashForge is more consistent, because the build platform arms are metal.
The Replicator's build platform arms are plastic, so over time they sag slightly due to the heat. The result is that when printing on the replicator you need to re-level the build platform fairly often, but not so the FlashForge Pro - one calibration, and numerous prints.
The Replicator has been a great printer. The FlashForge Pro builds on the Replicator's open design, and improves nearly every aspect, incorporating community enhancements were making nice incremental improvements. The end result is a printer that is a pleasure to use, but at an impressively low price.
While price was a consideration, I am always willing to spend more for quality tools. I will admit that I was leery about the low price and the general implication that this is simply a cheap, Chinese-made Makerbot knock-off (it uses a modified version of the Sailfish firmware). A trend I noticed while researching was that Makerbot's customer service and return policy was lacking. Flashforge, on the other hand, seemed to be very responsive and "Tran" is a name you will see referenced in many of the reviews. When I purchased the printer, I quickly received an email from Tran that thanked me for the purchase and offered his personal assistance in any technical issues I might run into. Solid technical support for consumer electronics is hard to come by, but an offer of that support before the package even arrives is extraordinarily rare.
The machine and components were well-packaged, professionally-fabricated, and the fit and finish is great. If there was any cutting of corners in the design or manufacturing, I haven't found it, yet. The box also included the necessary assembly tools, extra nuts and bolts, USB cable, 4 GB SD card, a couple spools of filament, and even an extra sensor cable (should one become worn over time).
Make no mistake, the 3D printers in this price range are for hobbyists and people who are willing to tinker a little bit. However, the Creator Pro worked, near flawlessly, right out of the box and I was kicking off test prints in under an hour from the time I unboxed the components. The one item I noticed in the first day of printing were some horizontal bands that appeared at a set interval on all of the pieces. I suspected it had something to do with slack in the z-axis. That afternoon, I emailed Tran with a picture of the test pieces and a description. The next morning, I had a response with a suggestion to check some of the screws holding the z-axis rods and heated plate. Included was a picture of the machine with the small screws clearly indicated. Sure enough, one of the screws was loose and tightening all of them down removed the bands. It's clear that Tran knows these machines, inside-out, and his help is available and reliable.
I highly recommend checking out a couple links that will make the setup process very simple:
3D Universe's unboxing video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iJqjDzWlos
3D Universe's Slic3r tutorial (I prefer it to ReplicatorG): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkMNx0dD2vE
3D Universe's Slic3r downloadable settings: http://www.3duniverse.org/2014/01/05/using-slic3r-with-a-flashforge-creator/
The guy who made these videos clearly spent a fair amount of time tweaking and testing various settings. His work will save you a lot of time.
Most recent customer reviews
So good we bought a second one and run them both on one PC.