Flashforge Creator Pro 2 Review

Read our FlashForge Creator Pro 2 review for the features, specs, quality of print and price of the unit.

The Flashforge Creator Pro 2 is an updated version of the original Creator Pro. This 3D printer features an IDEX (independent double extrusion) design and is built for the consumer market. While the unit doesn’t have the largest build area, it makes up for this by being fully enclosed. This means that it can print materials that require higher temperatures.

FlashForge Creator Pro 2 Review

FlashForge Creator Pro 2

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

What’s in the Box?

The Flashforge Creator Pro 2 comes in a cardboard box with protective covers on the top and bottom of the printer. Opening the box reveals a pre-assembled printer. To start printing, you only need to install the extruders and spool holders.

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The movable parts of the printer are secured with cable ties to avoid any damage during shipping. I was worried about the large X-axis skew. However, after calibrating, the printer was ready to go.

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The Creator Pro 2 package also contains:

  • 2 x 1kg PLA spools
  • Assembly manual
  • Spool holders
  • Metal spatula
  • Glue stick
  • 16GB Sandisk SD Card
  • Power cable
  • Screws
  • USB cable
  • Grease
  • Spare table surface
  • Two PTFE tubes for extruder

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<h3 “>FlashForge Creator Pro 2 Design

The Flashforge Creator Pro 2 looks like a beautiful industrial machine. Its outer panels are made of plastic and the frame is made of metal.

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On the front side, there is a plastic door with magnets that fix it in the closed position. On the sides, there are handles to help you move the printer. There are also a few stickers with basic information about the printer.

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The printer has two spool holders and a power connector at the back.

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Flashforge Creator Pro 2 Specifications

  • Number of extruders: 2
  • Nozzle diameter: 0.4 mm
  • Maximum extruder temperature : 240 ° C
  • Build area: 200 x 148 x 150 mm
  • Build area in double printing mode: 95 x 148 x 150 mm
  • Print speed: from 10 to 100 mm/s
  • Maximum table temperature: 120°C
  • Available filaments: PLA, PVA, ABS, HIPS
  • External dimensions of the printer: 526 x 360 x 550 mm
  • Screen: Touch
  • Net weight: 15 kg
  • Gross weight: 21 kg
  • Power Supply: 100-240 VAC
  • Interfaces: USB cable, SD card
  • Slicer: Flashprint

<h3 “>Direct Extruder

Direct extruders are generally heavy. However, given the size of the printer and the use of dual X-axis rails, this is not a big problem on FlashForge Creator Pro 2.

While the print speed is not fast at 60 mm/s, the machine produces good quality models.

The carriage looks like a solid metal. However, there is no way to remove the heater and check (or I couldn’t find the screws to loosen it).Flashforge Creator Pro 2 Review 11

Also, the maximum heating temperature is limited to 240°C, which is not so great. Of course, the printer will work with PLA, PETG, TPU and ABS. However, if you need to print with filament requiring a little higher temperature, then this printer won’t be up to the task.

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To avoid leakage from the non-working nozzle, the Flashforge has a pair of aluminum sheets on the extruder rails. These sheets touch the nozzle and block the filament from exiting during idle time. In addition, they “cut off” the filament that oozes out after printing the layer and returning to its original position.

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These aluminum parts also help to reduce the amount of “draft” filament required when printing with two extruders, which is very important. I really hope other 3D printer makers will include something like this because it’s a cheap upgrade that makes things a lot easier, especially with 3D printers of a similar design.

LED Backlight

While it isn’t very bright, the LED illumination helps a lot to illuminate the dark areas of the build area. Unfortunately, it cannot be controlled, i.e., you cannot turn it off. It will always be on.

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Proprietary 32-bit Board with Noisy Drivers

The Flashforge Creator Pro 2 comes with a proprietary 32-bit board. This is one of the largest boards I’ve ever seen in a 3D printer.

The board comes with removable stepper drivers that are quite noisy. The extruder stepper drivers are TMC2100 while the rest of the extruder stepper drivers are DRV8825.

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Power Supply

We also get a Delta DPS-320AB-1 A power supply in the 3D printer. The fan makes a little noise, but it’s not as much as the noise produced by the stepper drivers.

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Heated Printbed with 3-Point Leveling System

The build area of Flashforge Creator Pro 2 is small compared to that of it’s competitors. For example, if you want to print in mirror mode, the largest model you can print would be about 100 x 148 x 150mm.

To level the platform, you need to adjust the three handles underneath. This is a simple process described in the touch screen alignment menu and is easy to follow.

What I don’t like is the rigidity of this table. If you print at higher speeds, it starts to wiggle a little, especially when you change the extruder. When you need to remove the model, the shaking issue becomes more apparent. However, the table is still positioned in relation to the nozzles. So, this may not be a big problem.

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The print surface has excellent adhesion. Most of the time, the models stick too much to the table. Therefore, it’s advisable to use a backing for all models. You also get a spare printbed out of the box. The bed will come in handy if the installed one gets damaged.

The entire platform and printing surface design is backward considering the current trends. Today, most printers have some kind of removable printing surface (for example, a glass table, a sheet of metal or a flexible magnetic surface).

Of course, you can improve the table with one of the solutions mentioned. However, given the price of the printer, it would be better if it was installed right away.

Color Touchscreen

The Flashforge Creator Pro 2 touchscreen is pleasant, responsive, and has good viewing angles. The menu is consistent and I love the simple calibration process you get when leveling the hot end.

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All steps are described on the screen and will walk you through the entire calibration process.

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When slicing with the included Flashforge slicer, you create .gx files. These are basically .g-code files with a thumbnail of the model that is displayed on the screen.

I usually preheat the printer before starting a new print. However, the preheat section is not the best. You need to manually enter the temperature using the arrows and turn the hot end/table heating on and off before starting the printing process. This is a bit cumbersome, but still convenient.

Another interesting feature of the Flashforge Creator Pro 2 touchscreen is the ability to access folder contents. This will allow you to organize your files and start printing easily.

Full Enclosed with Removable Walls

There are many enclosed 3D printers out on the market. However, most do not have a top cover. Luckily, the Flashforge Creator Pro 2 has a removable acrylic top cover that traps heat inside. The cover also keeps most of the fumes inside the printer, which is important when printing filaments like ABS.

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Flashforge recommends using the top cover only when printing materials that require a closed case. Examples of these materials are ABS, ASA and even PETG. For PLA, you should always remove the top cover and open the front door for best results.

Heating Time

I checked the heating time for both the hot end and the table. Here are the results:

Hotend:

  • 200°С for 1 minute and 40 seconds
  • 240°С in 2 minutes and 10 seconds

Table:

  • 60°C in 2 minutes and 30 seconds
  • 100°C in 6 minutes

Power Consumption

Power consumption in “idle” mode is about 12 watts. When the hotend and table get warm, Flashforge Creator Pro 2 draws about 200 watts. After it starts printing, the power consumption stabilizes at about 85W. It is also worth noting that it is impossible to simultaneously heat the hotend and the table.

Layer Temperature Uniformity

The platform was set at 60°C. I waited 2 minutes after reaching this temperature for it to stabilize.

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As you can see, the temperature of the table is the same throughout, with very small spots under the handle screws. Unfortunately the thermal image was not perfectly aligned, but the result is good.

Noise Level

Flashforge Creator Pro 2 is not the quietest printer in the world. The use of outdated stepper drivers makes the printer noisy. If you will be buying this printer, it will be more suitable for use in a separate room.

Printing Experience

To be honest, I didn’t have high expectations from the Creator Pro 2. However, it performed well during testing. I haven’t had a single unsuccessful model. Moos models look good. The most annoying part is the noise produced by the printer.

All models were sliced using FlashPrint slicer from Flashforge. The slicer does not have many settings, which makes it easy for beginners to use. But I would have liked to have more granular control over the print settings.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to cut files using Ideamaker or other popular slicers, which is a big disadvantage for me.

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Since the adhesion to the table is too strong sometimes, I recommend using a substrate when printing to make it easier to remove the model.

Quality of Print

3DBenchy

There were a couple of pre-cut 3D Benches on the SD card. I decided to start with those. The first test print was of 3DBenchy

The print quality out of the box is okay, but this could also be influenced by the redesigned 3DBenchy. It has a less steep bump in the front and a Flashforge logo on the back.

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  • Material: Devil Design gray and yellow PLA
  • Layer height: 0.2mm
  • Nozzle temperature: 210C
  • Table temperature: 40C
  • Print speed: 60mm / s

Phil-A-Ment

To test the two-color printing capabilities of Flashforge Creator Pro 2, I also printed Phil-A-Ment.

I really like how this model turned out, although there are a few small areas where the layers are not printed correctly. The areas were mostly around the Matterhackers logo and around the thin lines on the helmet.

As you can see, the model was printed with a protective shield around the model to avoid small drips of filament on the surface of the model.

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Two-Color “Image”

This is another pre-cut model from Flashforge.

This time, the printed model emerged with smudges and the layer lines are not as straight as we would like. In addition, there are small spots in some areas of the model, which are caused by the lack of a protective layer from plastic smudges from the nozzle.

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  • Material: Gembird Blue and Yellow PLA
  • Layer height: 0.2mm
  • Nozzle temperature: 215C
  • Table temperature: 40C
  • Print speed: 60mm/s

Two-Color Puzzle Toaster

To see whether the price of Flashforge Pro 2 is justified, I also printed a two-color puzzle toaster. This model is great when it comes to stress testing a 3D printer.

The model looks great at first glance. However, not all features were successfully printed. The protrusions look good and the handles work as expected. However, the handle broke when I tried to lift the model. In addition, all accuracy tests failed and I was unable to raise any of the metrics.

This issue could be caused by imperfect X and Y calibration for extruders.

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  • Material: Gembird Blue and Yellow PLA
  • Layer height: 0.2mm
  • Nozzle temperature: 215C
  • Table temperature: 40C
  • Print speed: 60mm/s

Billy the Butcher

Flashforge Creator Pro 2 is a closed printer. Therefore, it is only fair that we test ABS printing.

I printed a bust of Billy the Butcher and the final print results are excellent. What I don’t like is the bridging view. As you can see, the hole in the middle was not successfully bridged. In addition, the backing was stuck to the model. It took about 15 minutes to completely remove it, although a part cooling fan was turned on for the backing.

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  • Material: Gembird Black ABS
  • Layer height: 0.15mm
  • Nozzle temperature: 235C
  • Table temperature: 105C
  • Print speed: 60mm / s

Conclusions: Should You Buy Flashforge Creator Pro 2?

The Flashforge Creator Pro 2 is a good printer because it can print whatever you want. The print quality is also decent, and the IDEX functionality adds value.

This printer is also easy to use and works great with the Flashprint slicer and the standard print profiles in it. Therefore, it’s a good choice for people who just want to get a printer and start printing ASAP.

However, the inability to use another slicer and its limited capabilities make it quite basic for advanced users. I would just recommend it for small companies or schools looking to start their 3D printing journey; and that are not worried with sticking to using the Flashprint slicer. However, a better printer than the Creator Pro 2 would be the Creator 3.

Cheaper, high-volume IDEX 3D printers have begun to appear on the market. However, most of them are not proprietary and require additional setup to print quality.

If it were 2019, then Flashforge Creator Pro 2 would have been a great IDEX 3D printer. But two years have passed, and this printer is beginning to show its obsolescence. Its low print volume and lack of silent stepper drivers make it difficult to recommend unless you require a closed case.

However, if you mainly print higher temperature materials that require an enclosure and don’t want to mess around with calibration and tuning, then Flashforge Creator Pro 2 might be a good alternative. Still, make sure you consider other printers like the Ender 6 or Creality Sermoon D1 before making your purchasing decision.

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