244 of 247 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely comparable to a Makerbot April 4, 2013
I’ve got 6 Makerbot Replicators (5 Dual, and 1 Single extruder). I needed another (I run a small business) and wanted to look into the Flash Forge as a possible alternative. My primary goal was to make sure I got a 3D printer that would still be compatible with the files I’ve already got exported for the other bots to use. I didn’t want to have to re-export all of my models, just for one bot to use.

I’ll start out by saying that the Creator IS compatible with Makerbot’s 7.2 firmware, Makerware, and .X3G files. Totally and completely. Plugged it in through USB with Makerware up, and it registered it as a Makerbot. No hiccups or problems flashing the firmware. It all just worked.

The machines are not identical, but they’re very close. The Creator is obviously based on The Replicator, and a lot of parts are the same, or very very similar. The Creator’s screen in the front is bigger, and brighter (it’s blue with white text) and if you’re lower than it, it’s very easy to read, even from half a room away. However if you’re above eye-level from the screen the viewing angle is crap and you have to bend down to read it. The refresh rate is also a lot lower, so you have to scroll slower to actually be able to read it.

The buttons on the Creator are really nice. I love that they’re separate instead of one continued squishy square. I also love how the Creator’s buttons are very ‘clicky’. The Replicator’s buttons are very soft and mushy, and sometimes I can’t tell if I’ve pushed them or not, or accidentally let my finger slip to the side and then end up going back in the menu.

The build platform seems nice and consistently flat so far. At first I was worried that it wouldn’t be very leveled, but I haven’t had any problems with it. I’ve actually had more problems with one of my makerbot’s that has a slightly warped platform in one corner. The Creator does NOT come with a roll of Kapton tape, however. So you’ll definitely need to make sure you buy yourself a roll from somewhere. The build platform comes with tape already applied to it, but you’ll need to change that out after a while, so get yourself some tape.

— editing this bit — My Creator came with MK7 nozzles instead of MK8 nozzles and I actually ended up replacing it with an MK8 that I ordered from Makerbot. However my friend got two Creator’s about two months ago, and his came with MK8 nozzles, and they work beautifully, so I’m assuming they’ve upgrades since I originally bought my bot.
–/edit

Overall, I’m happy. It’s definitely a decent alternative, but I’d say it’s slightly more finicky than the Replicators in some areas. Might need a bit more love and attention, so it might not be quite as user-friendly.

Also, there are enough differences around the Extruder area that the mods out there (like the baring and spring replacement for the craptacular Delrin Plunger feed mechanism) won’t work as they are, and you’ll have to make modifications to get them to fit and attach properly. –edit– It actually appears that they redesigned the plunger area so it actually mimics the barrings mod that I prefer to use on my replicators, so… good on them! This is a definite improvement –/edit–

Oh – one other difference is that the Creator doesn’t have all the fancy LED lights all over the place, like the Replicator does, but this is honestly a feature more than anything else. The LED arrays in the Makerbots are notorious for causing electrical shorts, which cause the fuse capacitor on the Mightboard to blow, requiring a replacement of the whole darn board. Creator got rid of the LEDs all together, and I think this is good because it reduces the risk fo shorts and static zaps.

Anyway, I’ve only had it a few days, but so far I’m satisfied.

The spool holder is interestingly different – gives greater room for different spool sizes, but it doesn’t hold them on very well, so you’ve got to keep your eye on it for the first few prints since it’ll want to unravel and get tangled around the holder.

–edit–
OKay, so now that I’ve had the thing about 5 months, I figured I’d update this.
I still like the Creator as a viable alternative. Although mine is actually down at the moment because of a blown x-stop cable.

I wanted to add in this because I know more and more people with no experience with 3D printers are looking into them. They are not end-user-friendly devices. This isn’t like your average consumer-level machine where the thing just works without much tinkering. They break down regularly and you will have to replace parts. Over the last year, on all of my bots, I’ve gone through xstop cables, thermocouples, nozzles, replaced plungers with barring mods, replaced ALL of their heated build platform cables, replaced fans, and even had to replace one of the stepper motors. This is normal. It’s true for Replicators and it’s true for the Creator. (In fact, one reason to stick with an actual Replicator, over a Creator, is that they cover their machines under warranty, so when something breaks, they’ll send you replacement parts for free.)

If you’re the sort that’s afraid to mess with a machine when something goes wrong, a 3D printer probably isn’t for you. There’s a reason that it was the DIY community that started this home 3d printer movement. The founders of this movement, and the people who drive it, are all tinkerers. Building the 3D Printers is just as much part of the fun as actually using them. If you think that sentence is totally mental, then 3D printers aren’t ready for you yet. Wait a few more years until they get more end-user friendly.

However, if you’re willing to try and learn, it’s not really that hard. I was never much of a tinkerer, and definitely never could have imagined myself replacing a heated nozzle, or trouble-shooting the latest inexplicable problem, a year ago, and now I do it all the time. The learning curve isn’t *that* high.

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Product Description

Manufactured and sold in China, the FlashForge Creator is a high quality, dual extruder, 3D printer that provides an affordable way to join the desktop 3D printing craze.

Package Contains:
-The Creator
-Dual Extruder
-2x Spool Holders
-2 spools of ABS filament(N.W.:1 kilogram per spool, color randomly chosen)
-2x filament guide tubes
-Feet,Bolts and Hex Wrench Kit
-Power Supply Cable
-USB cable

Technical specifications:

Demensions
· Overall dimensions: 320 x 467 x 381 mm
· Packing dimension: 580 x 450 x 550 mm

Electronics
· FLashforge MightyBoard single-piece motherboard
· 5 axis, 1/16 micro-stepping motor control
· 4×20 LCD character display and multi-direction control pad
· Universal Power Supply: 100-240V, 50/60Hz

Software: ReplicatorG
· Compatibility: Linux, OSX, and Windows.
· Print from SD card or over USB
· Input file type: STL, gcode,x3g

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
Speed: 40-150 mm/s(adjustable)
Flow Rate: Approximately 24 cc/hr
Positioning precision: 2.5 micron on Z axis
………………………: 11.micron on XY axis

Materials
· Works well with 1.75 mm ABS,PLA(Note:orders date starting from June 18th can work well with PLA)

Shipping Information:
1.FREE INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING to the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia.
2.Your 3D printer is packed with care and great effort is made to deliver it to you promptly-as we know that speedy shipping is of great importance to our customers. We primarily use FedEx to ship our printers, and we’ve found that the package typically arrives at its destination in 10-12 working days from the date of purchase. And sometimes sooner, as our customers have reported.

 


Important Information

Seller Warranty Description
In order to ensure that your printer performs as it should, FlashForge offers a performance guarantee and after-sale support, effective for 3 months after purchase. What this means is that within 3 months of receiving your Creator, FlashForge will replace any defective parts, at no cost to you, and will provide you with expert technical support. We want all of our customers printing and having fun, with as little hassle as possible
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FlashForge 3D printer, dual extruder w/2 ABS spools
By FlashForge
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
List Price:     $1,199.00
Price:     $1,148.00
You Save:     $51.00 (4%)
    
Note: Free shipping when purchased from FlashForge 3D Printer.  Not eligible for Amazon Prime.
In stock.
Usually ships within 2 to 3 days.
Ships from and sold by FlashForge 3D Printer.
2 new from $1,148.00
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1.75mm ABS Filament 4 Spool Bundle for Reprap, MakerBot, Afinia and UP! 3D Printer, 1kg 2.2lbs each – White, Black, Red & Green
By Octave
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price:     $124.00
    
Note: Free shipping when purchased from Octave Systems, Inc..  Not eligible for Amazon Prime.
Only 16 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by Octave Systems, Inc..
4 Spool bundle1.75mm ABS filament for 3d printers. Free Ground Shipping!
White, Black, Red and Green ABS filament for Afinia, Reprap, Up!, MakerBot, PrintrBot and UltiMaker.
Making for smoother 3D printing, and fewer extruder nozzle problems.
Manufactured to very tight tolerances and a wide extruder temperature range.
Produces excellent 3D printing results.
High quality 1.75mm White, Black, Red and Green ABS filaments from Octave, used with Afinia, Reprap, Up!, MakerBot, PrintrBot and UltiMaker 3d printers. Produces excellent 3D printing results.
High quality ABS plastic filament, manufactured to very tight tolerances and a wide extruder temperature range, making for smoother 3D printing, and fewer extruder nozzle problems.
Available in White, Black, Red and Green and other 14 vivid colors.
Print temperature: 210 – 250°C;
Filament diameter: 1.75 mm +/- 0.10mm.
If you can deal with the smell of ABS I recommend this brand! No problems with it yet! I will buy this brand again!
Octave Kapton Tape for 3D Printer Platform 6″ x 100′
By Octave
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price:     $45.00
    
Note: $7.50 shipping when purchased from Octave Systems, Inc.. 
High quality Kapton Tape for 3D Printer Platform 6″ x 100′ (15.2cm x 30.5m).
It works with many print surfaces – especially our Borosilicate Glass Platform.
This high temperature polyimide film with silicone adhesive provides a superior build platform solution for most of your parts.
Kapton is the practical choice because of its great adhesion at full temperature & self releasing characteristics as the part cools.
Use with our Borosilicate Glass Platform for a professional print surface.
High quality Kapton Tape for 3D Printer Platform 6″ x 100′ (15.2cm x 30.5m). It works with many print surfaces – especially our Borosilicate Glass Platform. This high temperature polyimide film with silicone adhesive provides a superior build platform solution for most of your parts. Kapton is the practical choice because of its great adhesion at full temperature & self releasing characteristics as the part cools.
Good stuff but there has got to be an easier way to get this stuff on. It takes practice to lay this stuff straight with no bubbles and I will eventually get good enough to do it in one shot. Excellent product.
Bought this to use on my Replicator 2X, hoping it would be wide enough to cover the build plate. Unfortunately, it just misses being wide enough.
It’s still a great value, and I’ll continue to use it on the 2X. I’m just going to have to be careful with prints on the edges.
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We received our unit in the mail from China yesterday. We received prompt and quick service and any questions were quickly answered. The unit appears well designed and the pressed wood panels are better in my opinion then if they were produced in plastic. The paneling is more for looks than structural strength anyway. It took us awhile to figure out how to properly configure and calibrate the base plate and extruder. The Replicator is based on an open source hardware design and uses a community based and maintained software suite. This can be somewhat frustrating during the learning curve as the community is constantly updating the software and its associated companion programs and they don’t always play nice together. Sometimes this doesn’t go smoothly. However, before too long we were on our way printing our first article, a small whistle with moving ball inside. It actually printed the ball inside the whistle one layer at a time, then closed up the case of the whistle. Its quite interesting to watch it work. A great investment for children to learn the basics of mechanical 3D structures and rapid prototyping. And yes, the customer service was much better than many of my American experiences.
Update: We have had this for awhile and still printing things out. We have had an issue with the display. One of us shocked the unit (The unit sits on a table in a carpeted room)and caused some digits to quit working. The company was nice enough to send us a replacement, but I managed to damage that one too. I would add some ESD protection to the display interface. At any rate one thing I may suggest is that I think the unit does need to be tested for FCC compliance part 15 and have a certificate placed on the unit.
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