3D Printing – Initial Thoughts

Here are my initial thoughts on the Adventurer 3 from FlashForge.

I ordered directly from flashforge.com. Their site could be a little bit more user friendly but over all an easy ordering experience. The only thing is I didn’t get a confirmation email other than my paypal receipt. I waited a couple days and finally emailed their customer service and someone got back with me within a few hours (even on the weekend) and provided me with a tracking number and an email for after sales support if there was any issues. There was a USA version of the site which I believe is a re-seller here in the US. Their prices was $50+ more. Little dubious since the site is made to look official but I am not sure it is. FlashForge has a warehouse here as my printer shipped from California and took about 4 days to arrive via UPS.

Everything arrived safely and the printer was packaged very secure, Tape/Plastic around easy to scratch parts, Cardboard top and bottom and inside so the bed and extruder couldn’t move around and all wrapped in bubble wrap.

Setup was a breeze and the touch screen easy to understand, When I first powered on the machine and connected to WiFi it popped up and said there was a firmware update available but the update kept spitting out errors. I tried a couple times and wired via Ethernet with the same results. A cursory google search revealed most had the same issue. But they do allow firmware updates via USB. I was able to get a Google link where they house the updates and updated to the latest version (Jan 2019) Everything was setup and software installed and ready to go. One really big selling point on this machine is I think it’s the perfect for beginners. It allows some flexibility with being able to print multiple filament types it also has a good amount of features built in right in. The software is very easy to use offering an easy mode and a more advanced mode if you want to get into all the settings.

Printed the built in demo cube after the firmware update and all printed well. Out of the box the printer is pretty much ready to go. There is also two cloud based options as long as the unit is connected to the internet. This allows remote management and even viewing the print. FlashCloud seems to be the personal/single user affair allowing you to manage your printers, view the camera if equipped and start/stop jobs etc. PolarCloud seems to be one more meant for educators who may have many machines, users wanting to remote manage. I set up the Flash Cloud and again like their main site it is pretty basic but gets the job done. Because it is based in China though it is pretty slow. The camera frame rate for me seems to be a new image every 20 seconds or so. The Time Remaining doesn’t seem to update but the status, temps and percentage complete does.

Overall though I am really impressed with the quality of the prints so far. Only having spent less than 24 hours with the machine at the time of this writing I feel that for the price ($399 USD) with free shipping as of April 2019 I don’t think you can go wrong for a well built 3D Printer. One of the biggest drawbacks that I can see is the spool holder. It is built to handle spools of .5 KG where the standard I usually around 1 KG, which will not fit. The community fixes that though by creating adapters that fit on to the factory location to allow more room for larger spools. I am currently in process of printing one as I type this. By using the community sourced one though the external lid will have to remain off which does increase the sound of the printing. With the lid closed the printer is very quiet. I have it sitting next to me and can easily take calls, work without any disturbance.

So Far I am pleased with this choice and we will see how things hold up as I learn more into 3D Printing

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