FlashForge Creator Pro is a mid-range budget 3D printer that is available for just around $1000. Congratulations if you have brought one home recently or if you are thinking of buying one.
However, you might also be thinking what 3D printing software should I use with Flashforge Creator Pro as a beginner? Well, we will try to answer these questions for you.
Well, 3D printing works differently from the traditional subtractive or formative (molding based) printing. To print using a 3D printer you need a 3D printer, required materials like Plastic to melt and create objects, a 3D Modeling software to create 2D/3D images, and a 3D printing slicer /software to convert the image into machine language.
Once the 2D model is ready, the 3D printer uses the slicer to turn the instructions into machine language and begin executing the model and create the 3D model of the image layer by layer. This is how you can turn imagination into reality.
The 3D printers remove the limitations of traditional printers and lets you create anything that you can imagine and turn it into reality.
Flashforge has its own 3D printing software to do this task; however, there are a good number of third-party alternative as well.
Today, in this article we will be looking at the best 3D printing software for Flashforge Creator Pro that is simple enough to be used by the novices yet powerful enough for professionals.
- Price – $140
From engineers to entrepreneurs to schools, Simplify 3D is one of the most popular 3D slicer available in the market today. It is an expensive piece of software if you see it as a Slicer, but it offers more than just 3D print properties.
Apart from Flashforge Creator Pro, Simplify 3D supports 90% of all the desktop 3D printers in the market which makes it future proof in case you decide to you buy a new 3D printer from other brands.
Simplify 3D lets you preview the printing process on the screen along with the ability to view a single layer or layer by layer preview.
The pre-print realistic simulation allows you to see all the actions that the 3D printer will perform once the execution starts. It can also be helpful in identifying any flaws or issues and fixing them in advance as it provides information related to speed, sequences, and settings.
Simplify 3D also offers excellent support structures for your 3D models which easily break-away once the task is finished. You can further customize the support structure per your requirements.
Other features offered by Simplify 3D includes industry-leading resources, variable printing settings, support for multi-extruder and FFF/FDM printers, multi-party customization, script engines, mesh analysis and more.
Simplify 3D offers more features than any other slicer in the market, but costs equally expensive and does not offer a free trial.
- Price – Free
Flasprint is an in-house project from Flashforge that is compatible with its 3D printers including Creator Pro. The software is free to download and use.
Flashprint claims to offer ease of use and can be used by beginners while offering enough advanced features that professionals would seek from a slicer. It may not be as sophisticated as Simplify 3D, but the fact that it is free and easy to use makes it a good beginners slicer for a 3D printer.
Flashprint comes with tons of features including the ability to control temperature, speed and thickness, and height for the first layer. Once done, you can view the layer-by-layer visualization, time and material estimation.
For structure support, the software generates supports automatically based on the model’s overhang angles. However, the user can manually add any additional support as required.
If you want to print large models that may not fit into the printer as a single object, you can use the cut and split function provided by the tool to divide the model into several parts and later assemble the product.
For better accuracy and less error, you can test the error value first and then set the value in the software to avoid any dimension error in the printing stage.
Another interesting feature offered by Flashprint is the ability to turn 2D images into 3D models allowing you to save you a lot of hassle when you don’t have a 3D image readily available.
- Price – Free
Slice3r is an open-source, free 3D printing software that allows you to turn your 3D models into G-code (machine code) and print the 3D model.
There is a command line tool for those who prefer the old school execution, and it can generate G-code batch form, export SVG slices, cut, transform, repair 3D models and perform 3D format conversion.
Slic3r is compatible with almost all the 3D printers including Flashforge Creator Pro. The intuitive user interface makes it easy to see what is where and not confuse the first-timers.
It also comes with multiple 3D printer support along with 100x faster G-code generation making the slicing process that much quicker in comparison to other 3D printing slicers.
There is a Sequential Printing feature that allows you to print a single object completely in a single printing job. The objects can be placed onto the plating interface by drag-and-drop and can be further arranged by using the rotate and scale function.
Other features supported by Slic3r include multiple input/output formats support, cooling features, multiple printer management and micro layering that lets you print a thicker infill to benefit from low layer heights without having to spend extra time.
- Editor’s Note: If you’re interested in other 3 printing products, check out our wide collection of guides.
- Price – Free
Ultimaker is a 3D printer making company and offers Cura slicer for free that can be used with most of the 3D printers offered by other companies including Flashforge Creator Pro.
The software itself is easy to use and will take not more than few minutes to set up and run. It comes with industry standard software integration to streamline your workflow for maximum productivity.
It’s an open source cross-platform software and it comes with two modes – custom mode that lets you customize the properties of printing and recommended mode that automatically selects best settings for you 3D printing task.
It also comes with support for file formats like STL, OBJ, X3D, and 3MF. You can extend the functionalities using plugins for CAD software integration and third-party materials.
To print any 3D model, Cura slices the given 3D model into thin layers. You can preview the simulation, scale it and adjust settings and set the print job when ready.
Cura is touted as the second best slicing software after Simplify 3D. However, the functionalities it offers for no cost makes it a no-brainier for users who can’t afford Simplify 3D yet.
- Price – Free
CraftWare shares its similarities with Cura. CraftWare is a free 3D printing slicer that lets you host 3D printer and create 3D models. However, it is developed by CraftUnique, a company that also makes CraftBot Plus 3D printer.
That being said, CraftWare works on any third-party 3D printer including Flashforge Creator Pro.
The user interface is straightforward and offers a clean workspace and appears to be beginner friendly. All the transformation features are on the top including select, move, scale, auto drop, drop plane and undo option.
CraftWare’s impressive G-code visualizer helps you to see each print layer-by-layer from any angle. You can detect any point that needs modification and make the changes before proceeding with the printing process.
Interactive support management (structure) offers greater stability to 3D models. You can import 3D model design in multiple formats including .stl, obj and more. Other features offered by CraftWare include machine control, G-code toolpath reversal and the ability to load and save g-code generated from other programs.
CraftWare despite being a free tool offers all the essential features that you need to print a stunning 3D model using your printer.
Surprisingly enough, the number of free 3D printing slicers is plenty, and none of them makes any compromise in quality or features. Yes, Simplify 3D does offer the best toolset of the lot, but if you are not yet ready to invest and a learner, you can begin with one of the free 3D printing software for Foregeflash Creator Pro and upgrade as you make progress.
Note that 3D printing slicers are not 3D modeling tools. These software act as a host and help in converting 3D models into G-code (language) that 3D printers understand.
Do let us know your favorite 3D printing slicer in the comments below. Also, make sure you share your first 3D printed model with us to see.
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