FlashForge Hunter is an SLA 3D printer that can handle a wide variety of materials. However, what should you expect in terms of performance, specs, quality of print and value for money? Read our FlashForge Hunter review to find out.
FlashForge Hunter Resin 3D Printer Review
The FlashForge Hunter is a resin desktop 3D printer that is part of the FlashForge series. We got the printer to our lab and tested it with a wide variety of materials. Read on to find out our experience.
FlashForge Hunter Specs
|Light source||405 nm LED, 1920х1080 (Full HD)|
|Projector’s life expectancy||50,000 hours|
|Layer thickness||25 and 50 microns|
|Build volume||120х67.5х150 mm|
|Supported file formats||STL|
|Unboxed weight||17.8 kg|
|Power source||100-240 V, 50-60 Hz, 1А|
|Price||AVAILABLE ON FLASHFORGE|
The FlashForge Hunter 3D printer looks futuristic. The printer’s bed and laser come calibrated out of the box. Therefore, the setup process is quite fast and there are no complicated steps involved.
The printer has an orange polymer lid that protects the resin from overexposure to light.
There are no screws on the platform to regulate. However, you do not need to do any manual calibration since the printer has an automatic leveling system.
Coming to the resin tank, you’ll realize that it’s quite complicated. Do not attempt to disassemble it if you are inexperienced with tinkering SLA 3D printers.
The good news is that there is no calibration required to install the resin tank.
The printer is fitted with proprietary Z-rails that are durable, stiff and accurate.
The platform surface is textured to improve adhesion of the models during printing.
In case of any leakages, perhaps due to the film being torn, the LED projector will stay shielded. Unfortunately, there is nothing that prevents the resin from leaking into the inner parts of the SLA 3D printer.
The 3D printer has a power button and a touchscreen with all the controls. On the touchscreen, you’ll see the menu, which is quite simple. The Menu consists of two submenus: Print and Settings.
Through the Print submenu, you can prepare and control your print job. On the other hand, the Settings submenu allows you to customize various aspects of your print job. For instance, on the Settings menu, you can connect the printer to Wi-Fi to allow remote printing.
After setting up the Wi-Fi network, you’ll have an option of putting the password.
Another option that you can configure in the Menu is the autofocusing system. You can lift or lower this system to match your print job requirements.
Other things that you can do include upgrading the printer’s firmware, changing the language, and more.
You can also see information about the printer.
The FlashForge Hunter 3D printer allows you to print models through a USB dongle, using a USB cable, or through your network’s Wi-Fi connection.
FlashForge Hunter 3D Printer Software
The FlashForge Hunter uses FlashPrint, a proprietary slicer software with a minimalistic interface.
On the left-hand side of the software, there are options for viewing, scaling, rotating and slicing your models. On the upper side of the screen, you will find the icons for Loading, Supports and Final Slicing.
FlashPrint allow you to drag you model across the X and Y axes or move it in 3 directions.
You can rotate your 3D model manually or set the degree of rotation that you want. Undoing your steps follows the conventional CTRL + Z option.
You can also scale your model either manually or by setting a value.
The software allows you to slice your object into several parts. This can be done by adding the direction using a mouse or by working in the three axes.
When in the Supports mode, you can see the slicing scale on the right side of the screen. This mode is useful and can help to find all the vertices and add the needed supports manually.
Looking closely at the model, you’ll realize that it is hollow. You can see how thick the walls are and locate the vertices.
Each vertices requires suppose.
You can configure various properties of the Supports.
Play with the options available to come up with the Supports you want, from the type and thickness of the raft to the thickness of the supports.
If you are not sure what a function does, simply hover the mouse cursor above it to get the description.
On the Slicing menu, you can select pre-installed profiles or add your own profiles. The Fun to Do profile is meant for use when printing popular resins.
Other properties that you can configure include the shape, size and thickness of the raft, time of exposure, and more.
Here are the settings for rescaling an object:
And the settings for making the model hollow of infilling it. Making a model hollow is good practice as it will save you some resin.
If you have used a resin 3D printer before, then you’ll have no problem printing with the FlashForge.
However, unlike Form printers and the Creator B9, the FlashForge Hunter has no additional valves. The models detach due to film deformation.
The light exposure is uniform across the whole area. The LED projector can change the intensity of the light exposure without compromising its life expectancy.
The SLA 3D printer does not have a mixer. Therefore, you should not leave the resin in the tank for a week unattended. Still, if you happen to leave it, make sure you mix it with a soft brush.
Maintaining the FlashForge Hunter 3D printer mainly consists of adding resin and changing the film. The printer has film instead of a glass, which helps to improve the print quality but make maintenance more difficult.
The only thing that is likely to cause difficulties is the film. Changing the film require some level of preciseness and expertise.
If you place the film incorrectly, it will wrinkle and this will prevent the printer from working properly.
On the same note, if the film is not placed properly, it can cause leaks inside the machine. Cleaning the leaks is not a pleasant experience.
The FlashForge Hunter’s resin tank comprises of glass, three mounting plates, and the film. The tank is made of sturdy metal. Therefore, there is very little chance that the screw-thread will be damaged.
However, changing the film can be quite inconvenient.
If you don’t assemble everything properly and the film ends up being too tight, it can bread during the first print.
How to Replace the Film
- Unscrew the main screws
- Separate the plates
- Remove the old film
- Remove the bottom glass plate. The plate is not mounted but may be difficult to remove when its stuck due to solidified resin.
- Next, wash all the parts and then assemble the first part
- Flip the part over and screw the main screws
- Install the glass on the second part
- Connect the two parts. The glass should hold the film in place.
- If the upper parts are not correctly installed, the film may behind to stick on the glass. The sticking can make its tension uneven, which is likely to lead to breaking.
- To prevent uneven tensioning (if the upper parts were not installed correctly), flip the parts over and tighten the screws that tension the film.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how we replace the film on the FlashForge Hunter 3D printer.
The FlashForge Hunter is capable of handling a wide range of materials. Here are some of the materials we used for our test prints.
We used this resin for rapid printing of 3D models that need to be red in color.
UVRes M001 Red and M111 Orange
This resin is perfect for printing different models for various purposes.
Harz Labs Model
This resin comes in blue, white, transparent, orange, and black colors.
Fun to Do Standard Blend Black
This standard resin printer is used for modeling and prototyping
This is a dental resin that is used for printing temporary dental crowns and bridges.
FlashForge FH1100 Snatdart
This resin is shipped with the printer. We used it for prototyping various models.
The print quality of the FlashForge Hunter is high. All the resins produced models that were visually indistinguishable from each other.
We especially loved working with the Fun to Do resin since the printer has a proprietary slicer pre-installed for the resin.
Pros and Cons
The FlashForge Hunter looks unique, and this can be an advantage depending on the user. Here are other things we love about the printer:
- Convenient lid mount
- The slicer is easy to configure
- Automatic focusing
- High quality prints
However, there is one main con you be aware of: the inconvenient film replacement. If you are not an experienced user, replacing the film can be quite challenging. The last thing you want is the film breaking and the resin leaking into the machines. Cleaning up the mess is not fun.
The FlashForge 3D printer is one of the best resin 3D printers on the market. This unit produces high-quality prints.
Apart from the possibility of the film breaking and the inconvenient replacement process, this printer is the best SLA in its class.
We had some difficulties with the tank but were overall satisfied with the printer. The ease of use, high print quality and ability to use most resins on the market are top reasons why we recommend the printer.
Whether you are an engineers, professional jewelry or hobbyists, the FlashForge Hunter is a worthy arsenal to have in your workshop.