Review of Flashforge Creator 3
Updated: Mar 10, 2020
We've been using the Flashforge Creator 3 for about 2 months now and we've been really happy with it. It's a really interesting 3D Printer designed for the higher end of the desktop 3D printing market. The main target market of the Flashforge Creator 3 are engineers and educators looking for a high-quality 3D printer which is easy to use and maintain.
The Flashforge Creator 3 is an independent dual extruder 3D Printer with a build capacity of 300x250x200mm, a high-temperature extruder which goes up to 300˚C and a build plate which reaches up to 120˚C. Combined these specifications allow us to 3D Print bigger products with a host of different materials -right out of the box.
The Creator 3 is a dual extrusion system, with printheads that can be controlled in tandem or independently to maximize the use of a 15L build volume. The machine can reach a max nozzle temperature of 300°C, supported by a heated build plate of up to 120 °C, opening extrusion up to more types of filament than the average desktop machine.
On the usability side, the Creator 3 has a 4.5-inch full color touchscreen; is compatible with USB, Wi-Fi, Ethernet and 3D Cloud for object loading; and can resume printing in case of power failure. This package is completed by an in-built filter system, limiting odor and particulates, and an interior camera for in-situ monitoring. As with all Flashforge 3D printers, the Creator 3 is also supported by the company’s proprietary slicer Flashprint.
3D Printing Industry ran the Flashforge Creator 3 through a gauntlet of tests, click the link above if you want a more comprehensive, somewhat scientific review.
What we love about the Flashforge Creator 3:
300˚C nozzle - This one is an amazing upgrade from previous versions of Flashforge 3D Printers. We can now easily print with Nylon and other materials without worrying about cutoffs and clogs.
Easy to remove build plate - God-sent, especially for really large prints. We would like to think this was inspired by our EasyPeel Build Plate Upgrade for the Flashforge Creator Pro and Dreamer and Guider 2.
Intelligent Automated Levelling - There are still some problems with this, but having it has made life a lot easier and 3D Printing a lot less frustrating. There are times when you would have to adjust the knobs (there are only two knobs at the bottom of the build plate to adjust, the third "knob" is the threaded road of the z axis).
Independent Dual Extruders - For various reasons but the main one being Duplicate (or mirror) Printing Mode. We are not able to print much larger objects two (or more) at at a time. Great for when we get into production of parts for clients.
The spool bays on the right and left of the Flashforge Creator 3 are not restrictive, you are able to use most sizes of spools from different suppliers.
What we think can be improved:
The filament guide tubes actually scratch the top cover of the Flashforge Creator 3, which causes some unsightly lines. Not sure how this will be improved or perhaps, we should have just been more careful with placement of the tubes.
The size of the machine - This is not really a problem for us, but we have seen two cases where the size and weight of the machine was a dealbreaker for clients. They either did not have enough space for it or were just intimidated by pure size.
Circular/Spherical prints had the same issues that most cartesian printers have, they look like a series of tiny straight lines. This wasn't really a problem for us, but it did cause some intense questioning from a client.
What we've done so far:
The first print we did on the Flashforge Creator 3 was a 90 hour 3D Print for a client. To challenge the printer, we used loose spools of Black PLA. This means that the Creator 3 needed to detect that filaments were finished and pause the printer for us to load new materials. And the Flashforge Creator 3 did not disappoint. Whenever the filaments were finished and ran out of the filament detector, the print would pause and alert us to load more materials.
Duplicate mode 3D Prints and Mirror Mode 3D Prints. We can't show the exact prints we did so here is a screenshot with an example.
PLA 3D Prints with PVA Support materials. The first print turned out with a lot of stringing, the default temperatures set by Flashprint were a tad too high for the materials we had. There was quite a bit of cleaning to do (both on the print and on the 3D Printer), but overall it turned out well.
Top: Freshly baked PLA 3D Print with PVA Supports.
Top: Very stringy, not the best print to be showing off for a review. But overall, let's just appreciate the level of detail and the neatness of this print.
Overall, the Flashforge Creator 3 is one of the best and most affordable high-end 3D Printers available in the market. You get the option of using a variety of materials in a variety of ways. You also get a workhorse plugged into the Flashforge Platform that is a pleasure to use.