IDeATe has a FlashForge Creator Pro which is available for student use; however, the staff does not provide either hardware or software support. If you can figure out how to make it work and how to use it, you are free to do so.
Preparing a part for the Flashforge Creator Pro
1. Create a 3D File in a CAD program. All CAD models must manifold objects (no dangling edges or disconnected faces) and be watertight. If you are having trouble with this, check out http://cloud.netfabb.com.
2. Export your geometry using the STL file format.
3. Start Makerbot Desktop. You can get a free download from http://www.makerbot.com/desktop
4. Go to Devices->Select Type Of Device->Replicator(Dual).
8. Orient your object to have a flat side on the bed using the provided tools unless you want to print on support. If you are doing dual extrusion, you can drag-click to select multiple objects and transform them at the same time.
- Low is good for high speed prototyping with medium surface quality
- Standard is acceptable for most general purpose use
- High is reserved for objects that need the best surface finish (Molds, Sculptures, etc…)
- High will take 3x the time to print as low, so choose carefully
- If you are using materials other than PLA or ABS, you must adjust the extruder temperatures in the settings menu
- If you are printing PLA on blue painter’s tape, you should lower the bed temperature to between 40C and 60C
- In this menu, you can also enable supports and rafts if they are needed
- Always check your settings before printing!
- Makerbot Dissolvable Filament is Commonly known as HIPS
- Make sure the bed material is correct, blue painter’s tape for PLA, Kapton for ABS
- Level the bed (See Below)
11. Select Print
Leveling the Print Bed
1. Make sure the printer is powered on.
2. From the printer’s menu, use the buttons to navigate to Utilities->Level Build Plate.
5. Adjust the screw so a business card fits between the bed and the extruder nozzle with a small amount of friction (the front screw requires you to adjust a nut with a pair of pliers, the other two are thumbscrews).
6. Move the extruder head around the bed clockwise to each of the Leveling screws and repeat the business card process. Make sure the friction between the bed and the extruder at all three points is equal. Repeat this process at least twice.
Changing the Filament
1. Go to the main menu of the Flashforge and navigate to Utilities->Load/Unload Filament.
2. Choose to unload the filament of the extruder you want to change.
3. Wait until the Extruder is heated, when it beeps and the motor starts retracting the filament, gently pull the filament out.
4. Click the center button to stop the retraction.
5. Remove the old spool and replace with the new spool and route the filament through the guide tube to the extruder. Do not fit the tube into the extruder yet.
6. Click Load for the extruder you are loading.
7. Wait until the extruder is heated. When it beeps and the motor starts extruding, gently push the new filament into the extruder hole. The motor should catch the filament and begin pulling it through. You should not have to push anymore.
8. After the filament starts to come out of the tip of the extruder, allow the printer to purge the old filament for at least to seconds before clicking the center button to end the extrusion.
Why is my print not working????
- Is the Printer on?
- Did you select Replicator (Dual) in the devices menu in Makerbot Desktop?
- Do you need to restart background service in Makerbot Desktop?
- Is the bed leveled?
- Are you heated bed temperature’s appropriate?
- Are your extruder temperature’s appropriate?
- Are your feed’s too fast?
- Did you select the correct extruder to print with in Makerbot Desktop?
- If the print is having trouble sticking, enabling Rafts may help (Beware, Rafts in PLA are almost impossible to remove)
- If you have overhangs, did you enable Support Material?
- Is the extruder clogged?
- Is your file manifold and watertight?
- Does your file have walls that are too thin for the printer?
- Does your file have features that are too small for the printer?
Good luck! Remember you are on your own if you are using this printer.