By Mark Kuhlmann
When I was presented with the opportunity to review the Flashforge Adventurer 3 I jumped at it. I’ve seen Flashforge printers around but I’ve yet had the chance to try one. Mech Solutions, a Canadian online 3D printer retailer from the Toronto area in Canada offered me the opportunity to print with the Flashforge Adventurer 3 in exchange for this honest review. Let’s see what this small enclosed printer can do!
Build Volume: 150 x 150 x 150 mm
Layer Resolution: 0.1-0.4mm
Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm (0.015in)
Max. Build Plate Temperature: 100°C (212°F)
Filament Compatibility: PLA/ABS
Max. Print Speed: 100mm/s
Extruder Quantity: Single
Frame and Body: ABS/PC
Product Dimensions: 388 x 380 x 405mm (15.3 x 15 x 16 in)
Product Weight: 19.85 lbs (9 kg)
Unboxing & Assembly
The Adventurer 3 was very well packaged and came in a fairly large box as it is fully assembled from the factory and it is the furthest thing from a kit 3D printer. The hard styrofoam protected the Adventurer 3 in shipping and it arrived 100% undamaged and ready to print.
First ImpressionsAfter removing the packing materials and accessories the printer had a high quality and professional feel to it. I plugged it in and powered it up. The machine came to life and sang a little song with some beeps. I downloaded Flashprint which is the slicing program provided by Flashforge and it was very easy to slice my first model. I had to find the IP address my router assigned the Adventurer 3. Navigating the touchscreen was fairly simple to locate the IP Address and input it into Flashprint for the slicer to connect to the Adventurer 3. I followed the procedure to set the Z offset and make sure that the printer would have a perfect first layer. After uploading a Benchy I used all the default settings in Flashprint, clicked print, and watched it upload to the Flashforge. The Benchy came out beautiful! I experienced zero adhesion issues and the print itself was a fantastic specimen if I’ve ever seen one.
After successfully printing a Benchy I went ahead and tried an Aria Dragon and a detailed Pirate bust. Both prints came out very nice and I was happy to see the quality this printer was consistently printing with out of the box. I decided to try an Iron Man lithophane and it also came out fairly good. The print did experience some adhesion issues and the outside edges did lift a little causing some unwanted layer lines. I should have printed with a brim here. I enjoyed the fact that the heated bed is removable and flexible. It made removing completed prints a breeze.
A minor annoyance I did find was that when you powered down the printer and powered it back up it would receive a different IP address. Therefor, you need to update Flashprint every time your power down and turn on your printer unless you look into your network settings on your router. I did login to Flashcloud, Flashforge’s cloud printer manager and slicer, and I was able to easily connect my Adventurer 3 to the cloud service. I was also able to view the print remotely with the on-board camera.
I don’t usually print with ABS but the Adventurer 3 claims it can print ABS so I proceeded to print this Octopus Pen Holder out of Black Mamorubot ABS. The print came out absolutely beautiful. I was very happy with the print quality and the ability to print ABS without concern with the Adventurer 3. The enclosed 3D printer design really lends itself to be able to print ABS without warping or other issues that may plague an open frame style printer.
I was almost out of the 300g sample PLA filament that came with the Adventurer 3 so I tried a couple other random spools of PLA I had lying around. The results were mixed unfortunately. Some PLA’s just would not extrude without skipping the extruder stepper motor. Upon investigation I discovered others had this problem as well. I did successfully print this gold Darth Vader bust with Mamorubot Gold PLA however an inexpensive Black PLA I had in my inventory would not work.I tried a Grey PLA + I had from Amz3d and unfortunately this type of filament also had issues with the Adventurer 3. Therefor, I must caution any buyers to be warned that your mileage may vary with third party PLAs on the Flashforge Adventurer 3. The manufacturer did ask that I reseat the quick release nozzle assembly to see if that helps with the filament issues but it did not. I will say that removing the nozzle assembly is definitely easy and if you have a spare to swap in this makes for a very fast and simple maintenance experience compared to a traditional hot end assembly.
While not huge communities, there are a couple online community groups on Facebook that you can turn to for help and support should you desire it: Flashforge 3D Printer User Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1421990831460724/ Flashforge Adventurer 3 Support and Help: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1183417165156337/
I can say that I do enjoy printing with the Flashforge Adventurer 3. Setting aside the third-party PLA issues for a moment, and the smaller printing size, it truly delivers high quality prints consistently. Using a known working PLA or ABS, I was able to send a print to the printer from Flashprint without worrying if the first layer was going to print well or if the prints would fail. I would simply find a successfully printed object sitting on the bed ready to go a few hours later. However as noted above, the inability to use any old PLA is definitely one thing you need to consider and I hope Flashforge researches and remedies the situation to make this an even better 3D printer. The Wi-Fi connectivity, on-board camera, quick release nozzle system, and removable flexible heated bed are all nice features that make the Adventurer 3 a pleasure to use.