FLASH FORGE CREATOR PRO REVIEW 2
By Kiran Sagar
After having had the printer for 3 months we are still using it almost every day and learning the optimum print settings and conditions to be able to get a perfect print. Now that we have used the printer for a few months, it is about time we had a second review of how the Flash Forge Creator Pro works as an in-house 3D printer. These are the main issues and changes we have experienced since getting the printer, from using the glass bed to changes in filament properties, there are a lot of things to consider when using this FDM 3D printer.
Once the material had finished the new reel of filament we ordered did not fit on the stand, this led to no material being fed into the extruder as the filament was getting caught on the stand. We solved this problem by 3D printing a new stand that is universal for all the reels we use. As you can see from the images below, this worked well and didn't take more than a morning to print.
PRINTER BED STICKERS
The prints don't always stick to the printer bed and therefore the bed stickers need to be replaced roughly every 6 weeks. We can tell that after about 5 weeks the bed loses its adhesion and prints begin to fail. Now that we keep track of this, it is not a problem, and we have learned the best way of changing the sticker. Unfortunately, it can be time-consuming and there is no explanation of how to get excess glue off the bed, which is a real struggle.
GLASS PRINTER BED
We also tested the glass bed provided, however, this is also unreliable for prints sticking to the bed. It consists of a smooth glass plate that needs a higher bed temperature and slower extruder speed in order for the prints to stick. The majority of prints did not stick to the glass completely and would begin to peel. We then decided to source a frosted glass plate that has the same properties as the glass plate but the same texture as the printer bed stickers. We still haven't managed to find the correct print settings to get a successful print, but we are working on a combination of settings to find what works best.
Leaving a print unsupervised or overnight can lead to a failed print and wasted material 2/5 times. This is a common problem with 3D printers because the printer cannot detect if there is a problem with the print, for example, it is peeling off the bed, or the material is not extruding properly, it cannot automatic stop a failed print and it will continue wasting material. This has created some interesting parts. We also find that the use of the fan and temperature settings can lead to failed prints. The video below shows a time-lapse of a failed print due to the fan being off.
MATERIAL PROPERTIES AND PRINT SETTINGS
The last reel of material that we ordered online was a white ABS. We assumed the properties are the same as the black ABS we have been using for months, however, we have had to tweak print settings and learn how to used the new material for prints. It did take some time and material to find what works, but we now know to do a test print when first using a new filament.
Overall, the printer is invaluable in the design process as the time and money saved in the prototyping stage are more than we expected. The experiments we are currently doing with the frosted glass bed have been unsuccessful so far, so we are now changing print settings for the temperature, speed and amount of material to get the prints to work. We have also started using the 3DLAC Double Adhesion Spray to help prints stick to the glass bed securely. We will have a new blog post about testing the glass bed coming soon.