Every now and then there are plethora of companies launching their own set of products. Just as smartphones are offered by many competitive companies, one makes a decision by looking at the reviews online. The same is applied for 3D printers. The faster the 3D printer market grew, the more number of companies launched its variants. The best at the moment, in the market, out of a bunch of other 3D printers are FlashForge and Makerbot. Even they have many revised and updated models. To make your purchase decision more smooth and easy we have compiled features and aspects of both and created a list of 3D printer reviews that you should not miss if you are planning to buy one and stuck between Flashforge vs Makerbot.
To start of with, the Flashforge is a Makerbot clone but for all the right reasons better than it. Getting into the details of FlashForge is very similar to the Makerbot but yet:
- Flashforge has metal frame with plastic skin, so the unit is solid and professional looking. Not quite as nice as Makerbot’s injection molded skins, perhaps, but certainly good enough to keep in the office. And the metal frame is extremely sturdy, yielding very good-looking prints.
- Flashforge finder 3D printer has a heated print bed that give you a good range of materials to print with – ABS, PLA, Nylon, etc. I also like the shape of the Replicator print bed, because the width allows printing long objects but not being square let’s the printer fit into normal desk without taking over completely.
- The Flashforge 3D printer software is basically a x3g file format that is used for printing. This is a binary file which contains all of the instructions the printer needs for it to print your part. The software can be set up to output this file format directly thanks to its integrated Makerbot printer support. The resulting x3g file can then be printed in two ways. You can copy it to the machine’s SD card and use the built-in LCD menu or you can stream the file directly to your machine via a connected USB cable. [Source]
- It runs Sailfish firmware as the standard firmware. I love being able to control temperature and print speed manually. This means that I can slice once, then tweak settings for a particular filament in the printer. Dito Printing lets you print with both extruders at once, which is great for cranking out lots of small prints.
- It has an enclosed build area to retain heat. This is required for printing ABS. This is a common community upgrade to the original Replicator, And is built into the Replicator 2x.
And it has some improvements:
- It has metal arms for the print bed, so they don’t sag after being heated. This allows the prints to be much more consistent without re-leveling the print bed. This is one of the more popular community enhancements to the replicator design, it is great to get it “out of the box”.
- The print bed has three mount points rather than four of the replicator, making bed leveling much easier. It has wing nuts instead of thumbscrews, which are easier to turn. So leveling the print bed is simpler then on the Replicator.
- It has a CPU with more storage, letting it run firmware with more capabilities than the standard CPU has room for. For example, the latest Sailfish firmware takes advantage of the new CPU to provide support for automated print bed leveling that won’t fit the standard CPU’s limited code space.
- The buttons are mechanical rather than rubber, which I think has better feedback. When you press a button you know it’s pressed.
- The display is inverted, with white text on a dark background, which looks a little nicer given the black case.
- The power supply is inside the case, which makes the whole thing easier to transport. Power supply is also larger, allowing the printer to heat the extruder and the print bed at the same time.
- Tons of spare parts. Not just hex drivers, but spares of every screw and nut, and even a spare end stop cable.
- The FlashForge is more consistent, because the build platform arms are metal.The Replicator’s build platform arms are plastic, so over time they sag slightly due to the heat. [Source]
To sum it all up about this 3D Printer Reviews of Flashforge vs Makerbot and highlight the reasons why everyone including me, personally like Flashforge is that, it is way more economical, portable and sturdy, cloud enabled thereby making it pretty easy to print and the filament, easy to replace and reuse. With these upgraded aspects that Flashforge has instilled into its models, it gives a tough competition to Makerbot or any other 3D printer brand available in the market.