Amazon Review by Joshua E. Stone
73 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely amazing first 3d printer!
I'm a tech lover like most people looking at this, with lots of arduino, soldering, and other tinkering experience- I was curious about getting a prusa i3 kit but a little worried about not having done anything in 3d printing before. When I saw this printer on sale and saw a few youtube reviews saying nothing but positive things, I figured I'd go for it. The machine can only print PLA, but for me that takes a lot of the guesswork out with heated built plates, leveling, etc. etc. I'll go over my thoughts point by point.
Packaging and quality: This thing is packed very well and very smartly with everything you need in the box and the printer itself protected by shaped styrafoam inserts. The X and Y axes are held in by zip ties to keep the carriage from moving. Unboxing was simple and easy, and the machine set up in no time. Build quality is very good. The printer is plastic but feels very solid and rigid. Not too heavy, but not exactly light. Everything is pretty much contained so it’s very easy to transport though. Impressive to say the least.
Semi-automated bed leveling. This is a HUGE feature. I love that the printer guides you through the process and makes sure you have a level and easy work surface. Extruder leveling is a bit different as you still use a piece of paper to judge the gap, but no biggie. And for what it’s worth, my printer was so well calibrated already that my first print only failed because I didn’t make a raft. I did a second and third successful print before even calibrating the extruder height.
Print quality: This thing is SHOCKINGLY good. Layer height looks great, and the pieces look so good when they’re done. Although it’s my first printer, I’ve been around others at shows and tech demonstrations and these look as good as any.
Software: The flash print software works on mac, pc, and linux, and makes getting started pretty easy. I haven’t gone into any advanced features yet other than making rafts, but so far so good! The software is pretty simple and makes working with the printer the same.
Support: After a failure to print a cube without a raft, I sent the crew at FlashForge an email, probably 8 or 9am my time. I got a response back within 5 or 10 minutes with a host of printing tips and tricks. I noticed the download for the 3.9.0 software update was taking a while, and Flashforge said they’d upload to dropbox so it was quicker. I’ve never gotten such a fast response from anyone. Fantastic.
Conclusion: As long as you understand the limitations of this printer, and that it doesn’t do ABS and has no heated bed, I think you’ll have a GREAT experience. Bed adhesion can be challenging, but that’s the case in all 3d printers. Bottom line, if you want to get started REALLY quick and get down to playing with 3D printing, I don’t think you can go wrong here. The support is 100% awesome, the product is great and built very well. Just such a good experience all around. I know this seems like a “too-positive-to-be-true” review, but this product really takes the fear and worry out of 3D printing. You may have typical bed adhesion issues and little teething pains, but this thing just flat out WORKS and gets you up to speed REALLY quick.
I’d for sure buy another Flashforge product when I’m ready to upgrade to print more materials.