Created in China, in Jinhua, in 2011, Flashforge is a historical player in the desktop FDM/FFF 3D printer market, with many recognized models to its name including the Creator, the Finder and the Dreamer. More recently, the brand has also entered the resin 3D printer market with the Hunter and Foto models. Now with the recent release of the Guider 3 Plus , Flashforge’s latest FDM/FFF 3D printer model, we had the opportunity to receive it in our lab.
It is available for purchase at approximately $6,799 with the VAT as well as shipping (EUR5,500 without shipping and VAT) The new machine comes with a huge, enclosed enclosure for printing and is challenging the top competitors in the FDM/FFF professional 3D printer market. It also confirms the Flashforge's efforts to improve the range of products it offers. Below, you will see our test results and learn about the features and capabilities that come with Guider 3 Plus. Guider 3 Plus 3D printer within 3Dnatives Lab. 3Dnatives Lab.
Unwrapping the Flashforge Guider 3 Plus
The moment it arrived after it arrived, we removed the Flashforge Guider 3 Plus from its packaging and noticed the care given to the Chinese manufacturer to protect it during shipping. The packaging is made of a strong, rigid cardboard box. The printer is protected by a foam block and plastic film.
After the box is removed, we lift the machine from the pallet by making use of the wheels built into the machine. With dimensions of 635.5 inches x 590.5 1060 mm, and weighing 70kg it's easy not having to move the machine. Though two people are suggested to set up the printer and set it up, the built-in wheels allow for easy movement of the printer.
Once we have set up the lab we unlock the door that is large enough to take out the last layer of protective foam as well as other safety devices needed for the transport of the enclosure. Below the printer plate we see a box made of cardboard that is an instrument drawer made of foam that holds an array of tools.
They include 2 pliers (fine nose, and cutting) and eight allen/six-sided wrenches and a syringe filled with thermal paste and tweezers and a flat screwdriver and a glue stick paintbrush, a small sheet of steel (used to alter the printing size of the initial layer) as well as grease (for maintenance of moving components) as well as a tool that can remove the nozzle from obstruction in the event of blockage to the filament and, lastly, two fuse.
As with the majority of FDM/FFF models that are professional The Guider 3 Plus features a robust aluminum frame with a plastic and steel panels for completing. Due to the large windows that are on the front as well as the sides and top of the printer this Guider 3 Plus offers great view of the printing space of the machine and is quite large in its dimensions of 350 300 x 350 x 600 millimeters. Additionally, to allow the user to be able to watch the printing process, even from an extended far distance Flashforge is equipped with this Guider 3 Plus with a camera as well as a strip with LEDs.
On the front of the device, the Guider 3 Plus is equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen as well as an USB port, and a power button. On the back, there are two slots dedicated to materials and the RJ45 port (Ethernet) and the power port and the power button. Additionally, it has a number of air-flow cutouts on the back of the steel panel (for cooling the board as well as for filtering air inside the enclosure).
To ensure the best printing regardless of the materials used The machine has two storage compartments to store filament spools. They are designed to work with most materials spools (up to 1 kg in filament). Additionally, they are airtight and contain space for three bags of silicon gel (included inside the accessories) along with an hygrometer that can regulate the humidity.
Mechanically it is mechanically, but this Guider 3 Plus has only one hotend. To ensure its smooth movement it Guider 3 Plus relies on the CoreXY system driven by two nema 17 motors as well as a system of belts and pulleys that can be adjusted using Knurled screws. The X and Y axes are mounted on linear rails, ensuring accuracy and long-lasting performance. The Z axis is controlled by two worm screws and is supported by four ball bearings that move on four rods of steel, which are located near the end of the table.
Installation of the 3D printer
After the machine is installed, it must not be forgotten that there is no assembly required. The printer arrives with the ability to print (once the material is in place, obviously). To begin using the Guider 3 Plus, you only need to plug in the printer and connect it to Ethernet (it is possible to connect to a WiFi network a second time) then turn on the switch on the back, then switch on the printer by pressing the button at the front.
The 7-inch screen greets users with a simple interface divided into 5 comprehensive menus that include printing, material temperatures, basic settings, and advanced settings, which include maintenance and machine settings. It is important to note that this interface is available in seven different languages.
Prior to any other procedure prior to any other procedure, it is essential to navigate to the material menu to select the filament. When you press the load button, the printer asks to select the material, and then heats the printing head to an desired temperature. You can then access the filament storage area on the rear of the machine (note that the one left side is connected to the extruder using the tube made of PTFE) then put a spool into it and then place the filament into the tube of PTFE before pushing it through the extruder. The extruder then completes the process.
Even though the printer is fully operational, it's preferred to level the printing plate. This involves overlaying the steel plate (supplied by the "drawer") between the printer's nozzle and the plate and then altering the height of the former. The printer then determines the level of the sheet using the mesh of points detected from an induction detector. After this it is time to connect on a computer and download the slicing program used to create models to be printed using The Flashforge Guider 3 Plus 3D printer.
FlashPrint software & FlashCloud/PolarCloud interfaces
Flashforge has created its own slicing program for its printers. This is simply referred to as "FlashPrint". While Flashforge advises using its own software, Flashforge offers the possibility of using any other recognised slicers ( Cura, Slic3r), ...), provided that you configure the printing profiles, or contact the after-sales support to request the already-configured profiles.
In the course of testing we used the maker's software, which comes with profiles that are adapted to Guider 3 Plus as well as a wide selection of material. The program, which is available on PC, Mac and Linux, comes in 11 languages and is compatible with a wide range of formats for files, with the most popular being 3MF and STL. OBJ is also supported.
In addition to the usual cutting features, Flashforge also included options to repair damaged files, duplicating them, mesh cutting, and automatic part layouts in the FlashPrint. After slicing, the program also permits printing files to be transferred to a 3D printer using the local Wi-Fi network. Also, it is possible to monitor the printing process using the monitor camera, capture images, manage the printing process and activate the LEDs all while in the local network. To allow all of the printer management functions to be carried out outside of the same network Flashforge provides the option of connecting your device to its cloud, FlashCloud or to the Polar3D cloud.
Despite its comprehensive and easy-to-use interface, we found one small flaw in the slicer that is part of the software, since the entire interface (especially the icons and buttons) are displayed in smaller size when it is used on a screen with 4K resolution. The issue was complained to Flashforge as a bug, due to how the display resolution is being used however it is likely to be rectified in the next version. With its many built-in features, a user-friendly interface, and speedy slicing FlashPrint is a great choice that leaves no room for error when it comes to competing applications.
Initial Prints for the Guider 3 Plus from Flashforge
After deciding on the design and the model was approved, we began our first print over Wi-Fi using the slicer. We initially used our PLA provided by the printer. The first part of the print, an "print in place" model depicting the operation of an engine is precisely reproduced. All the moving parts moved when the crank was turned. With a variety of cantilevered components and tight tolerances to confirm the model, this print is impressive. The profile that was pre-configured is well-set up and offers a nearly plug-and-play experience.
In the other prints we have However, we observe that the default setting of the raft in the pre-configured profiles does not work because of the rough PEI tray that provides enough adhesion. Therefore, we recommend deactivating this feature in the near future in order to save time and materials. Additionally, the security of the machine is bolstered through the use of an induction sensor, which allows users to measure the point mesh of the print plate in order to correct a flatness issue (problem that could cause lack of adhesion problems to the portion of the printing plate).
This Flashforge 3D printer is equipped with a hotend capable of attaining temperatures for extrusion of 320 degrees Celsius. Together with the flexible PEI coated magnetic steel plate that can be capable of heating 100degC. The stainless steel nozzle included as standard, and the direct drive extruder this Flashforge Guider 3 Plus is compatible with a variety of materials, from PLA to simple to more complex filaments like PA-CF. This wide compatibility is supported by a quick and easy change of filament, as well as another storage compartment for filament that lets the filament be treated in a low-humidity environment. In the course of our tests we were able to experiment with various filaments like PLA using which we printed the majority of our models, as well as more sophisticated and robust filaments like ABS, PETG and PA-CF (carbon fiber-filled nylon) and, finally, PC.
When we printed our pre-configured profile, we were able to get the desired result without having to adjust the parameters of printing. The vase mode as well as the speedy printing (up 250 millimeters/s) reduce the time needed to print without affecting the final visual outcome. The motion system as well as the strong frame allow it to achieve high printing speeds while maintaining precision and durability. It is therefore possible to print at speeds of 250 mm/s without seeing ghosting or ringing artifacts (signs of an absence of rigidity or accuracy during printing).
- 3D Printer Features and Accessories 10/10
- Software 9/10
- Printing Quality 9.5/10
- Ease of Use 9.5/10
- Printing volume
- One extruder
The Guider 3 Plus was designed to increase the Flashforge professional range to include more professional products, it is designed to expand the range of professional products offered by Flashforge. Guider 3 Plus offers a large print capacity and excellent material compatibility, while ensuring durability and reliability due to the robust components. The 7-inch touchscreen at the front of the unit provides an entire interface for controlling the machine and maintenance, with integrated guides.
With a strong printhead and plates that can be flexed This Flashforge Guider 3 Plus' large enclosure allows it to take on a range of materials. In addition to the machines, Flashforge has also developed its own slicing program that is second to none on the marketplace. Flashprint has a broad range of functions and speeds up cutting.
With a price of $7,799 (including tax and shipping)/5500EUR (excluding taxes) The Guider 3 Plus is really affordable, even if the one aspect we think is unsatisfactory is the fact that it comes with just one extruder. A second extruder would've been a welcome addition to provide bi-material printing, or even the duplication feature via an IDEX system which is slowly becoming the norm available. It will be interesting to observe the future developments of Flashforge in this area.
In the end it is clear that The Guider 3 Plus is a machine that can easily be incorporated in a professional space to print large parts using various materials. If you'd like to find out more details about Flashforge and its range of 3D printers, and also to request a free sample for your own, visit their website here.