3D Printing Primer
3D Printing technology is a revolutionary concept that has already begun changing the way goods of various sizes are being manufactured. This innovative technology when fully used will permeate every walk of life and industry, like health, communications, production, etc.
Many countries and companies around the world are already investing in this groundbreaking technology, as they seek to develop this new frontier and take advantage of the growing customer base. One of the leading companies in this technology is the Chinese company, Flashforge.
With companies like Flashforge pushing the pace of this emerging technology, 3D printers will soon become commonplace around us, and these 3D printers would be used for printing household items, professional facilities, and student equipment.
If you’re interested in learning more about the 3D printing process then we recommend checking some of our articles here.
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Desktop 3D Printers
Desktop sized 3D printers are compact-sized 3D printers that measure about the size of regular A4 printers and are capable of printing models within the dimensions of 300mm x 300mm x 300mm. The goal of their structure is the ability to be placed on the desk.
Depending on size and capacity, desktop 3D printers are one of the two types of printers, the other being the Professional printers.
The professional 3D printers are extremely pricey as the price of each could go as high as $500,000, with the average price being in the hundreds of thousands. Desktop 3D printers have a price range between $400 to a few thousand dollars.
Flashforge Company Overview
Flashforge printers are made by Zhejiang Flashforge3D Technology Co., LTD, and was one of the first professional 3D printing equipment and materials enterprises that specialized in research, development, and manufacturing to be established in China.
The company has since grown to dominate the local scene of 3D printing in China and currently ranks as the third global producer of consumer-grade 3D printers according to 3D Hubs. Flashforge has also been awarded the prestigious title of “Famous Brand in Zhejiang Province” in 2017 for their exploit in the field of 3D printing.
Flashforge currently makes 10 different product categories for the 3D printing industry, ranging from 3D printers, 3D design software, 3D printing filaments, are other 3D related products and services, even in the industrial chain.
Their products are divided into three grade levels namely: industry level, commercial level, and civil level, which are meant to meet the needs of all their various consumers.
Today, Flashforge products are exported to about 100 countries with over 600 brand dealers, and commonly used by families, jewelry stores, education, medical, advertising, and in various other industry.
Flashforge 3D Printer as a Closed Frame Printer
Another way 3D printers can be classified is; Closed Frame and Open Frame printers. Open-frame 3D models provide easy visibility of the print jobs in progress, easy access to the print bed, and extruder to allow for any adjustments.
While the Closed-frame 3D printers, on the other hand, have an enclosed structure with a door, walls, and a lid or hood. A closed-frame model is much safer, as it helps keep the kids, pets, and in some cases, adults from accidentally touching the hot extruder. The closed-frame also provides quieter operations, as fan noise reduces, as well as possible odor, especially when printing with ABS, which normally oozes a burnt-plastic smell.
Flashforge is one of the 3D printing brands that have continued to maintain the production of Closed Frame printers. A feat that displays their chief priority for the safety of the user and equipment.
Flashforge 3D Printer
Since Flashforge began operations over a decade ago it has remained relevant in the industry, as they have consistently ensured that their products are usable, of top quality, user-friendly, and safe.
Their Printers have affordable price tags, with some of them costing only a few hundreds of dollars, like the Flashforge Finder which costs below $400, and is much cheaper than a Creality Ender 3.
Flashforge Printers also allow WiFi connectivity, color touchscreen, which is very suitable for first-time users, support common filaments like ABS and PLA, and well packaged for shipping.
Features of Flashforge Printers
Slide-In Build Plate
One signature elements of Flashforge Printers are their easy to remove slide-in build plate. The plate provides a platform for the 3D printers nuzzles to create the object being printed. The plate is made of heat-resisting plastic material, that makes it safe to remove and adjust printing.
Intelligent Assisted Leveling System
Flashforge printers are made with intuitive calibration detection systems that assist in printing level and accurate prints. The leveling system supports the nozzle and transports it around the build plates. And the user’s well informed with clear messages on the touchscreen display of the 3D printer.
Flashforge printers are built with a closed frame structure with high-grade technology that allows for super quiet printing as the noise of the nozzle, leveling systems, and the fan is well masked in the frame structure. Average Flashforge printers make an operation noise of just 50 decibels, an immense achievement in the industry.
Wireless and other Connections
The Flashforge printer is very versatile when it relates to its connectivity and data transfer options. Their printers have been recently upgraded to second-generation Wi-Fi connection that provides a more stable wireless file transmission.
The printers are also delivered with an 8GB flash memory, USB cable and stick, 3D online cloud connection, that allows you to store, edit, share, and print via the online structure. With these features, your device can print STL and obj. file types.
The delivery package is the extra tools and features that come with the 3D printers on delivery. These tools include the following:
- Quick Start Guide
- After-sale service card
- Power cable
- +USB cable
- Solid glue
- Roll of PLA filament or Resin
- Filament guide tube
- Tools bag containing Wrench, Screwdriver, Unclogging pin tools, PTFE tube, Grease, Allen Wrench, etc.
- The Flashforge 3D Printer
Flashforge 3D Printer Types
Flashforge 3D printers are made for home, education, and professional purpose. Their structure and design make them suitable for around kids and non-professional. But, their printers are produced in two different categories. Which are the Consumers and Professional Grades?
Some examples of their Consumer Grade 3D Printers are:
- The Finder Printers: Economic 3D printers and the best option for 3D beginners and amazon’s choice.
- The Adventurer 3: Suitable for printing ABS and PLA 3D printing all from the convenience of your desktop.
- Creator Pro: Special for being one of their only open-source 3D printers.
- Dreamer: Made with a dual extruder 3D printer that combines intelligent temperature controlling systems.
- Dreamer NX: Reliable, smart, and affordable 3D Printing.
- Guider II: Large and stable build printing volume.
- Guider IIs: Unique for its video monitoring printing process, that’s supported by a built-in HD camera. It’s also built with Durable and industrial-grade extruder for top-notch printing of massive build of volume: 250 x 280 x 200mm at a temperature of up to 300oC.
- Inventor II: Popular for their High-Precision 3D Printing
- Inventor: Known for their dual extruder 3D printer with resume print.
Examples of these Flashforge 3D printers made for Professional Grade printing includes:
- AD1: The AD1 requires less manpower and is suitable for mass production of channel letters.
- Hunter: Popular as one of the most formidable Industrial Desktop 3D printers.
- Creator 3: It’s a special printer capable of printing water-soluble support, with its an independent dual extruder.
- Flashforge AD1 3D Printer: The AD1 Printer is a large 3D printer that can print a lightweight and sturdy channel letters signs that don’t have to be time-consuming.
Flashforge Creator X
The Old Flashforge Creator model has always been very popular with 3D printer enthusiasts, as it was offered with a very attractive price tag that didn’t still compromise on the quality.
The Old model of the Creator X was built with an old wooden box style frame that has since been replaced with a new and improved metal frame. This new frame is much more resilient to wear and tear while favoring better overall structural integrity.
Other features that make this new Creator X great are the durable high-temperature resistant plate that’s made of aluminum and helps prevent warping and other heating defects, Powerful LED lights that surround the printing area offering convenience.
The Flashforge Creator X remains compatible with the spool of ABS filament, PLA, and also uses double extruders and spools.
Getting Started with the Flashforge Creator X
After ordering a new Creator X 3D printer, Flashforge got you covered as the Creator X is a well packed for shipping and transportation to ensure that the printer arrives in one piece. Because there is nothing worse than waiting several days for your new printer, only to get the package in damaged condition.
The Finder 3D Printer is a beginner-friendly printer first launched about five years ago and remains the top pick for its usability, approach, and quality. The printer got a lot of great new features that make them stand out.
They’re built with WiFi connectivity and a colored touchscreen that’s very convenient for first-time users. They’re decently priced as they only cost $400 and have more capacity when compared to similarly priced models.
According to the Autodesk Kickstarter test, a test that concentrates on the 3D printer’s precision. The Flashforge Finder scores a 19 out of a possible 30 points. With a breakdown below.
Dimensional Accuracy: 4 of 5 points
Fine Negative Features: 4 of 5 points
Z-Axis Alignment: 2.5 of 2.5 points
XY Resonance: 0 of 2.5 points
Overhangs: 2 of 5 points
Bridging: 4 of 5 points
Flashforge AD1 3D Printers
The AD1 Printer is a large 3D printer that can print a sturdy, lightweight channel letter sign in very few hours. The AD1 printer allows for lights to be added to the letters they create.
The printing process of the AD1 was minimized to just six procedures, which in turn takes just 2/3 times for the printing process.
Features of the Flashforge AD1 3D Printers
Fast and Easy Production
AD1 supports the import of multiple files, such as CDR/DXF, etc. With the AD1 printer, there’s an integration of letter shell and frame. Support multiple frame effects like Rainbow letters, Slanted letters, Mini letters, and Arc letters.
Filament Detection Functions
The AD1 is built with an automatic stop printing when the filament is exhausted and also resumes printing after the new filament is loaded.
Resume Printing from Power Outage
Extruder lifts instantly on sudden power failure, to help avoid damage of the printed model by its high-temperature nozzle, and resume printing when the power is recovered. Saves production time.
FlashAD Support Software
The Flashforge 3D printer uses the in-house 3D printing cloud management system, FlashCloud to help optimize a lot of its services. With cloud management systems, users could manage multiple printers using the FlashAD at the same time. The FlashAD allows for the transfer of 3D files, printer instructions, and direct print capability through one-click transfer.
Flashforge 3D Printers Raw Materials
Flashforge Printers use filaments that are produced in their Zhejiang factory. The rolls follow a very high-quality control standard. And are therefore a suitable raw material for all 3D prints and devices.
Filaments are made from bio-degradable materials, such as PLA, PCL, PHA, PBS, and more. With such environmentally friendly, non-toxic, and biodegradable materials, Flashforge filaments are suitable for families, children, and first-time users.
Flashforge printers also support Resin-based 3D printing technology. Here, liquid resin used in 3D printing is typically composed of epoxy or acrylic and methacrylic monomers. When these monomers are exposed to UV radiation, they quickly turn into solid polymers.
Flashforge produces several types of these Resins for their printers, that are suitable for medical, jewel smith, and other purposes. Some of the common versions are listed on the company’s product page.
Today’s 3D printers come with software on a disk or as a download. It’s Windows-compatible, and in many cases can work with MacOS and Linux as well. Not long ago, 3D printing software consisted of several parts, including a printing program that controlled the motion of the extruder, a “healing” program to optimize the file to be printed, a slicer to prepare the layers to be printed at the proper resolution, and the Python programming language.
How Do You Want to Connect to the Printer?
Most 3D printers use their USB and SD card ports to receive CAD and 3D files. But with Flashforge 3D, you get not only the USB, SD features but a Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and the best part an internal memory capable of recalling previous prints and reproducing them.
Just a few 3D brands offer wireless connectivity, either via 802.11 Wi-Fi or a direct peer-to-peer link. Flashforge printers are leaders in this category, with only possible downside of wireless being that, since most 3D files can be more than 10MB in size, it could take much longer to transfer them.
Final Thoughts on Flashforge Printers
Flashforge Printers are one of the safest available in the market and most suitable for beginners looking for an easy introduction to the world of 3D printing. Flashforge printers are easy to use, produce solid designs, and boast of a sleek design.
Flashforge Printers are also more affordable than most printers in its category and still offer great extra features that give them an edge over their competitions. They’re by no means a perfect printer but they offer a good foundation for users to grow in the industry.