Product Review: Flashforge Creator Pro

  • Product Review: Flashforge Creator Pro
  • Product Review: Flashforge Creator Pro
  • Product Review: Flashforge Creator Pro
  • Product Review: Flashforge Creator Pro
  • Product Review: Flashforge Creator Pro
The Short Version

More than just a 3D printer, the FlashForge Creator Pro is a true 3D printing platform. The ability to customize and extend the device makes it an excellent choice for the 3D printing enthusiast who likes to tinker.

User applicability*

  • Best for Enthusiasts, Semi-Professionals and Educators
  • Not appropriate for Casual Hobbyists and Pragmatists

*See related article, What kind of 3D printer user are you?

The first thing you’ll read about the FlashForge Creator Pro is that it is essentially a clone of the MakerBot Replicator but at a much lower cost. While it is true that the two machines have much in common, the Replicator is an attempt to appeal to the pragmatic buyer while the Creator Pro is very much geared toward the 3D enthusiast who wants to tinker and customize their printer for their own needs.

Chinese manufacturer FlashForge launched the Creator Pro in early 2014 as the next evolution of their wood-framed Creator model. At a somewhat higher price point, it includes several upgrades designed to provide a more solid and sturdy foundation. Other improvements are more cosmetic in nature, such as LED lighting and an acrylic top cover to help insulate the build chamber.


PROS:
  • Extendable, customizable machine
  • Lower cost than comparable models
  • Sturdy, industrial quality build
  • Comes with lots of filament

CONS:
  • Filament feed prone to tangling
  • Extruder nozzles mounted at slightly different height, causing some issues


Click here to see what others are saying.

On unboxing the Creator Pro, you’ll find there is a lot in the box – maybe too much in fact. While the two included large spools of filament are a great bonus, the number of spare parts is a bit overwhelming. The extra screws and nuts are certainly appreciated, but can cause confusion during assembly. It would be nice if they were packaged separately and marked as spare parts.

That is a minor complaint though. Overall the Creator Pro can be assembled quickly and easily. It is a solid, sturdy device weighing in at thirty pounds. The frame is constructed of metal and the build platform is made of warp-resistant aluminum (although some users have opted to replace this with an even more consistently flat glass bed).

FlashForge markets the Creator Pro as an open source 3D printer with good reason. The hardware is made to be modified and maintained. It’s easy to swap out and replace parts, or to add customizations such as this filament tube holder to help avoid tangles that the device is prone to.

The Creator Pro is also very flexible from a software perspective, supporting several different printing and slicing applications, both free and commercial, as well as various firmware alternatives. This is not a device for someone who wants plug and play, it really is meant for someone who likes to dive into the nuts and bolts and make it their own.

Print bed leveling is a painful process for most 3D printers at this point. FlashForge touts their three-point bed adjustment as an improvement over four-point systems. This makes sense and it does simplify things, especially with the use of easier to turn wing nuts instead of thumbscrews. However, it still requires a learning curve. We look forward to the day when the leveling process is even easier for all 3D printers across the board.

The maximum print volume is not especially big at 4.9 liters, but we like the relative dimensions, providing a width of almost nine inches to work with. Print quality is very good, with layer thickness and axis positioning accuracy on par with other models at this price point.

The Creator Pro has two extruders that will work well with a variety of materials, including not only the standard ABS and PLA materials but also nylon, dissolvable filament, wood and more. The dual extruders allow you to build models with two colors, or to print supports with a separate material, making it easier to remove later. Be careful to ensure the two extruders are exactly even when leveling your print bed though. Some users have noted a slight mounting difference, which can cause major problems when leveling or trying to print.

See Product Specs

At this writing, the Creator Pro has been in the market for nearly two years and has sold well. That means there are a lot of fellow users out there who can answer questions and provide ideas on how to extend your 3D printer. Users consistently rave about FlashForge support. However, because most people reference a single support engineer named Tang we worry about how that will scale as the company sells more printers.

Conclusion

The Creator Pro is an outstanding device for its target audience, the 3D printing enthusiast. It provides a solid foundation that users can build on to make the device their own, and has everything you need to produce high quality results for designs both simple and complex.

Product Review: Flashforge Creator Pro
More than just a 3D printer, the FlashForge Creator Pro is a true 3D printing platform. The ability to customize and extend the device makes it an excellent choice for the 3D printing enthusiast who likes to tinker.
8.9 Total Score
Flashforge Creator Pro

More than just a 3D printer, the FlashForge Creator Pro is a true 3D printing platform. The ability to customize and extend the device makes it an excellent choice for the 3D printing enthusiast who likes to tinker.

Design & Functionality
9.5
Performance & Reliability
8
Ease of Setup/Ease of Use
8.5
Value
9.5
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FlashForge 3d Printer Creator Pro, Metal Frame Structure, Acrylic Covers, Optimized Build Platform, Dual Extruder W/2 Spools, Works with ABS and PLA

$899.00
1 new from $ 899.00
2 used from $ 505.67
Free shipping
Buy This Item
amazon.com
as of September 16, 2017 8:14 pm

Features

  • Full manufacturer's warranty fulfilled by Flashforge, and lifetime support provided by expert FlashForge technicians
  • A sturdy metal frame that is substantially more stable than the Creator's original wood frame
  • Aviation level aluminum plate with a thickness of 6.3mm guarantee its surface is completely flat and will not warp during heating process.
  • Metal platform support plus 10mm guide rod ensure a precise Z axis movement and prevent platform arm from deforming.
  • Enclosed chamber insulates and protects ABS prints

FlashForge HP-00057 Platform Sticker for Creator Pro and Dreamer, 6 Pcs Kit (Pack of 6)

$35.00
1 new from $ 35.00
Free shipping
Buy This Item
amazon.com
as of September 16, 2017 8:14 pm

Features

  • Helps ABS plastic sticks on the platform
  • Reduce model corners curling up degree
  • Compatible with both FlashForge Creator Pro and Dreamer 3d printers

FlashForge FFH001 2 Nozzles and 4 Teflon Tubes kit for FlashForge Creator Pro and Dreamer (Pack of 6)

$35.00
1 new from $ 35.00
Free shipping
Buy This Item
amazon.com
as of September 16, 2017 8:14 pm

Features

  • Compatible with both FlashForge Creator Pro and Dreamer 3d printers
  • Teflon tube OD:4mm, ID:2mm
  • Usually these parts are used to fix jams inside the nozzle

 

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