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FlashForge Creator Pro Review

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FlashForge-CreatorPro

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The future of 3D printing is sweeping toward advanced solutions that deliver speed, stability, and lower operational costs. These second generation devices run quieter, dissipate heat faster, and output objects with more detail than ever before. Additionally, the technology is no longer reserved for the engineer and the first-time adopter of hard to learn filament fabrication. In short, there’s a 3D printer for every skill level, and anyone can build a high-quality result with a little practice. The Flashforge Creator Pro is one of the devices taking point in this home fabrication movement. The device is built solid and contains enough features to hold the attention of any 3D print hobbyist.

Design and Build Superiority

The enclosed metal frame that surrounds the print chamber of the Flashforge Creator Pro is an obvious indicator of the manufacturer’s intent to upgrade the previous model. Gone is the wooden chassis and the ensuing leakage of heat and noise. The new metal chassis eliminates noise pollution and seals in heat while minimizing vibrations that would otherwise compromise the precision of the print heads. The look is smoothly finished, but it’s also highly functional, lending additional stability to the compact form-factor. Next, a super-clear acrylic panel fills the front of the device. The clear display allows a keen observer to watch an object being deposited from raw ABS or PLA plastic, with the process falling under a soft blue LED light. The light spills from the clear panel, making the process look that bit more professional and magical.

The Control Interface and Software Requirements

Yanking eyes away from the engineering sorcery of 3D printing for a moment, a user can see the state of the current operation on a bright LCD panel. It’s positioned just below the acrylic panel, and a collection of soft-studded buttons lay to the right of this LCD readout. From here a user can assign tasks to the dual extruder assembly and gauge the progress of each function. The software at the heart of the machine speaks to the axis-guides and print head through a highly versatile iteration of open source ReplicatorG or MakerWare, but there’s an SD memory card slot and a USB interface for hooking up the device to a PC. Compatible systems include Windows, Mac, and Linux, which covers the majority of the home computer user base.

Cubify CubeX Duo vs FlashForge Creator Pro

Inside the Print Chamber

At 320 x 467 x 381 mm in overall size, the Flashforge Creator Pro has enough capacity to build prototypes, hobbyist items, fun copies of 3D computer models, and replacement components, though the actual working space covers a slightly smaller area of 320 x 467 x 381 mm. As mentioned earlier, the fabrication delivery mechanism is optimized to draw upon ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) or PLA (Polylactic acid), two popular thermoplastics that exhibit slightly different fabrication characteristics. They’re loaded on spools, and feed through the dual-extruder at a respectable 30 – 160 mm per second. The flat aluminum plate and the high-quality assembly of guides and rods makes z-axis movement very precise, leading to incremental deposits of 100 – 300 Micron thick layers. The result of this precise layering process is enhanced resolution when creating those detailed 3D models from a computer program.

Featuring dual-spool feeds, a steel chassis and an aluminum plate for quickly dissipating excess heat, the Flashforge is capable of producing high-quality objects quickly and efficiently. The design minimizes jitter, building thermoplastic designs from a dual extruder head that features a 0.4 MM diameter nozzle. Quality builds come to life in the print chamber under a cool blue LED light, with the extruder assembly adding options for creativity and artistic flare. Use two colored plastics or assign separate tasks to the extruder for the ultimate in versatility. The Flashforge Creator Pro weighs 50.2 lbs, is competitively priced, and comes with a 4GB SD memory card loaded with software. You can get a great deal on FlashForge Creator Pro here.

 
 
Overall Rating4.714.714.714.714.71

8 Comments

  1. I’ve used Replicator 2 for about a year but I had to buy a new printer when the extruders clogged up. I decided on the Creator Pro mainly because the company is known for great customer service and they seem to improve their machines based on customer input. The price was also a factor, Flashforge prices are about half what Makerbot charges for comparable models. I’ve used the Creator Pro for couple weeks pretty much nonstop and I’m very pleased with performance. The prints are very consistent. I’ve had a couple minor problems: the default offsets were incorrect and the extruders where touching the Flashforge nameplate, also the prints are showing base curling which didn’t happen with the Replicator. Overall this printer is a very good value for the money.

  2. This is a very solid printer, it’s basically a Makerbot Replicator 2X knock-off for about $1000 less but in many respects it’s a better machine than the Replicator. The instructions that come with it are very vague and unclear so it takes some time to assemble the unit and start printing but once you have it running, the prints are very reliable. Make sure you level the bed before every print.

  3. This machine is a workhorse for me. It’s very reliable, heavy and sturdy. You have to spend time to get familiar with it but that’s true for any 3d printer. If you have problems with base warping lower the bed temperature to 95-100 degrees, that should resolve the problem. Also, if you’re printing one color, you might want to consider removing the left extruder, the prints are much nicer when using one extruder.

  4. Very nice prints when tuned right. Can be used with Makerbots software on mac. When you have tuned the settings right the prints are just stunning. I put some oil on the rods so it slides super easy and less strain on the motors.

  5. I have nothing but good things to say about Flashforge. I have worked with CNC machines for 40 years but this is my first 3d printer. I got it setup and running and have printed over 80 parts in the first few weeks. Not one single misprint or malfunction. The parts come out exactly to spec and the machine heats up fast so it is ready to go when you are. The only thing extra I have ordered is some extra 3d software for added control but the included program should do the trick for most applications. After the initial setup I have not even had to readjust the leveling of the bed. This thing is near perfect out of the box. Great product form a great company.

  6. I purchased a FlashForge Creator, and the first one was terrible. Broken pieces, looks like it was used. They sent me a second one. That one was fine for a while then bearings started going out and popping sound. The Y Axis has a poor setup which was addressed in the PRo. So Finally upgraded to PRO. That one came with WARPED acrylic panels because the hardware bag was thrown in the same box as acrylic pieces. They were going to send me replacements till I discovered a much more serious problem. ALL of the pulleys were warped and out of round. So I called them on that, they claim that it causes no issues and they are aware of the problem. Incorrect, it will cause issues. If you read forums about printed pulleys they tell you to not use printed pulleys if possible as they can sometimes be out of round. Out of round can cause the travel to be either longer or shorter than intended. And this did happen. Prints were coming out with the sides really off. layers were farther out than they should have been others were in. so it looked like a really bad brick job on a wall. They refused to do anything about it and told me if I didn’t like it to buy a different printer. What kind of crap is that? I called the place where I bought it, Walmart, they said no that’s crap, they said send it back to us we will send you a new one. And they did. This printer came in perfect shape, it infact was a newer model as it had fan guards on all fans, and was much nicer packaged. 2 days of printing and BOTH fans died on the extruder. 2 weeks later they still have not sent me replacements. They claim they got lost in the mail, but they refuse to supply any tracking information. Even of the “new” shipment they sent me.

    This printer is a great printer. I have replaced the plastic pulleys with Aluminum pulleys and it works much much better. It did work great out of the box, but I don’t like using plastic pulleys if possible. It was fairly easy, I unbolted the entire top piece and took out the whole top with the Y and X axis and replaced them and then put it back. Worked great. The only issue I have now is the extruder throats aren’t even, and the left sits higher than the right. Its enough that if you do a dual extrusion it may not adhere to the previous level when using the other extruder. I tried to adjust it but they seem to be seized inside of the extruder block. (where the 2 extruders bolt to). I am afraid to take it farther apart and ruin it. So I am leaving as is. They should have made the throats out of stainless, as well as the bar. It appears they used aluminum bar and maybe steel for the throats, and well, heat and shrinkage and expansion caused them to seize. They needed to use anti-seize. Another project for later.

    All in all, this is a very nicely built printer, their support is not so good. They have 1 guy doing sales, email, tech support etc. Again multiple issues there. He always has to email or call china to find information out or to contact their engineer. This is a great printer but their support sucks, and waiting for replacement parts is ridiculous. The only problems I have had with this NEW printer is the Fans died. The other thing I noticed too, is under the bottom cover the PCB shows a RED light, if you look closer it says “OVERHEAT” and it glows red. He claims that they know of the issue but doesn’t cause any problems. To me it seems it might me a schematic error when they etched the boards. Maybe it was supposed to have an RGB led and glows GREEN when fine and RED when OVerheat?? I dunno. My 2 cents lol.

  7. Cool article! We did a full test and review of the Flashforge Creator Pro and we were actually surprised by the overall results we got.

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