Since 2011, Flashforge products have been constantly on the rise. Today, they manufacture a wide range of products, from 3D scanners and printers to filaments and 3D design software in 14 different categories and 7 product lines. This 9 year old company also makes sure that their prices are affordable, without compromising on quality and the Creator Pro being the perfect example for it. This dual-extruder, steel construction FFF printer is capable of making items up to 227 mm long,150 mm high and 148 mm wide. The almost 15 kg heavy Cartesian style 3D printer can work with both OBJ and STL files.
The Tech Behind It
The printing process with the Flashforge Creator pro as with many FFF printers, involves a heated nozzle which lays down, layer by layer and molten plastic (filament) in a certain pattern onto a print bed. Every layer is fused together which creates a solid object.
Fused Filament Fabrication or what is also known as (FDM) Fused Deposition Modelling was invented in the 80s, but it wasn’t put into use until the 90s. FDM became its name since 1991, but because Stratasys, the manufacturer of the first FDM-based printers, already registered the FDM trade mark, members of the RepRap project introduced the term FFF as an alternative.
How to Set it Up
Once you have the Creator Pro out of the box, take out the accessory foam container. This holds the USB cable, power cable, a bag of tools, the SD card, two spool holders, the turbofan baffle and the extruder accessories. Once you finish unpacking, get the two M3 8mm bolts for the extruder and a 2.5mm Allen wrench. Lower the build plate to the lowest point and then take out the extruder of the accessory sleeve and set it on the extruder seat so that the fan is facing forwards. Align the screws with the holes and fasten it in this position.
After that, remove the two turbofan bolts and get the 2.5mm Allen wrench, the two M3 6mm bolts for the turbofan baffle and the baffle itself. Place the baffle by inserting the small bump into the small hole near the turbofan bolts. Next, install the spool holders by inserting the end into the opening located at the back of the Flashforge 3D printer. Position the holder so that the bottom of it is in contact with the printer.
You can either download the ReplicatorG software from Flashofrge’s website, or you can use the SD card that comes with the printer. Either way, you should first install the “Python-2.7.8.amd64” and then the “Python-2.7.8.” File. To access these files on the SD card navigate to the “operational software” folder. After completing this installation, double click the ReplicatorG icon, if you’ve downloaded the installation package or the “Replicator-0040r24-Sailfish-windows” file, if you are installing from the SD card. Then just double click the shortcut on your desktop and you can start setting up parameters.
When you open the ReplicatorG software for the very first time click on “Machine” and then go to “Machine Type (Driver)” and select “The replicator Dual” option. After you’ve done that, click on GCode, go over to GCode generator and select the “Skeinforge(50)” option. In case you get a “Missing or incorrect Python interpreted detected” click “no” and go over File then Preferences and click on “Select Python Interpreter” which is under the “Advanced” tab. This will bring up a new window in which you will have to navigate to the Python installation directory, select “python.exe” and click on “Open”.
Start by removing the guide tube from the extruder and insert one end through the three R-type clips at the back. When placing the filament spool, remember that on the right side you should place the ABS filament and on the left you should put PLA. Once you do all this, it is time to feed the filament into the extruder head which can be done either via the ReplicatorG software or via the onscreen Flashforge Creator Pro printer instructions.
To do this with the onscreen printer instructions, you need to select “Preheat” using the OK key (centre) and then with the arrow keys navigate down to “Left Extruder” and press OK – do the same for “Right Extruder”, leave “Platform” on “OFF”. Then go up to “Start Preheating” and press OK and then the extruders will start to heat up. Once the temperature is at 220 °C push in the filament through the tube from the back.
Make sure the filament is fed from the bottom of the spool. When viewed from the back, the right spool should always unspool clockwise and the left counter clockwise. With a little bit of filament showing from the guide tube, put it in the top of the extruder and when the extruder starts “grabbing” the filament, push in the tube. When the filament goes through the extruder, wait until it comes out with the proper colour and then click the centre button. Afterwards, just get rid of the filament hanging from the nozzle.