Hi folks -

Since buying my FlashForge Creator Pro almost a year ago, I have come to realize that the stock, dual extruder setup that comes with the machine, is extremely troublesome to use, adjust, and service when clogged. I also realize this is an exact copy of the Makerbot setup.

(Also - the new Dreamer setup looks like a bigger nightmare, with an increased amount of parts and wires to disconnect. https://youtu.be/9BiU9qBgzEU__)

My findings are these:

Nozzle height adjustment - extremely difficult to access, as the setscrews are buried in the middle of the assembly, facing to the rear, rendering it impossible to do any quick adjustments. This becomes a real issue when the second nozzle catches on the print layer and peels it up during the first adhesion layer.

Weight - Great print quality is what we all seek with a purchased machine like this. The extra weight of the second stepper motor and extruder adds to the “ringing” effect in the print layers.

By comparison, the Bowden style of the remote extruder feed in an Ultimaker machine is extremely clean and precise. (we have one at work).

Cooling Fans - Yes, there is a stock blower fan on the left side that works nicely, however, there needs to be a second fan for the right side as well. For even cooling. Printing small parts with PLA can be challenging because of heat buildup, even with the door open and lid off.

The current tray design is not very fan mount friendly without some very sever modifications or replacement with some custom setup. Note: I have tried the cooling fan duct attachment and found it beautifully designed, but not as effective as i would have hoped.(http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:295317)

So, I was wondering if anyone has come up with a better solution or setup for the extruder?

I have already removed the second extruder and stepper, making it a single, i barely used the dual function anyway. This lightened it up but still could be a lot better.

Thanks for any input! - JD

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Hi @jdmech some interesting observations. As far as servicing the nozzles/extruders go, that’s a problem that’s dependent upon how often you need to service them. I’ve not yet had to adjust the height of my nozzles and, if set and secured correctly, it’s not something you should have to do with any regularity. As far as jams go, again, you only have to do it if you get jams. I did have a number of problems when I first got my FF Pro, but I solved them (better quality filament, adjusting extrusion rate, etc.).

Yes, a Bowden feed does reduce weight at the head substantially, but to be honest that’s the sort of thing that tends to be a basic of the design (like front or rear wheel drive in a car) and something that affects the initial decision to buy, rather than something that’s likely to change on suggestion. There are disadvantages to the Bowden approach, depending upon materials, print speed, etc. so it’s not always and 100% certain to be the better choice for everyone.

Fans. I use the right extruder only for materials that require higher temperatures and/or where cooling is less important (or even a bad thing).

Don’t get me wrong, your comments/suggestions are all valid, I’d perhaps just argue that if you don’t like direct drive and only print with one material, perhaps a direct drive dual headed printer was the wrong one to buy…


I agree with your observations. I also only use the right extruder for ABS or quick PLA that can handle no fan.

If I am going to mess with the extruders I take them completely apart so I can clean and have good access and check everything.

He has some good points nevertheless.

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Well if you have 3d design experience then a new extruder setup is just a 3d print away. If not you can check thingiverse. There are people on there that have light weight extruder options. You can buy an upgrade on amazon that upgrades the stock extruders to be all metal, eliminating the PTFE tubes and getting rid of your clogging troubles. As for the print speed. FFF printers are slow. Thats just how it is. I would be less concerned about the speed of the print as to the quality and as most of us know, the quality off of a FFCP is top notch if you keep the machine well maintained. To this day I have my very first print from a creator pro. I keep it because the print is so damn good I can’t even believe it.

Other sugestions. Re-engineering can be helpful. Though again, you’ll need 3d design experience. my creator pro runs 2 e3d v6 hot ends with a completely re designed x carriage, and the extruder is driven with a total of 6 belts, 2 for the x axis and 4 for the Y. This keeps my prints fast and accurate.

Nozzle height adjustment = Using some kapton tape to shim the height works great, and it’s easy.

Weight = The ultimaker also just has one extruder, you can ditch half of the weight of your FF extruder if you only need one.

Cooling fans = Lots of solutions easily found on thingiverse

Thanks Cobnut for your thoughts here

Quality: You are absolutely right about the quality. After a year or 2 of constantly fixing and tweaking my first

homebuilt Prusa i3 REPRAP machine, I was tired of the struggle and just wanted a solid machine, within my budget, that had

both quality & reliability. I am still very happy with the quality and speed of the prints.

Service: Unfortunately, i had a clog issue. All machines do at some point, part of the process.

I was very confident in my machine and needed it at work. It clogged at work, and I was using quality Matter hackers filament.

After tearing it down to fix the clog, it now dragged the second nozzle, which was previously perfectly dialed in at the factory.

Trying to locate a simple setscrew or clamp screw to adjust one of the nozzle heights, I discovered the poor design choice of the screw

buried in the middle,back. At the time, didn’t know about the shim trick either.

Bowden vs direct drive: Again you are, right. Changed the design on my older Prusa machine multiple times and have settled

on the Bowden style but really do miss the direct drive response, just not the weight.

Cheers JD

I have to work on my extruder quite a bit but I keep my printer going more than it sits. I’ve been printing props to sell. Recently,I have been printing with PETG and the feed tube has had to be replaced more often. Actually I need a supplier for the stepper motor screws, I’ve worn out the threads. I think maintenance is to be expected for high usage. I have a creator x so I’ve never had the fan on mine. I have a mini two speed fan that I’ve taped to the top for PLA. PETG printing may be a good solution with the extra strength and no fan needed. Small parts with thin walls are still strong. PLA breaks if its not think enough. PETG does not require a fan at all but prints at 250. I would like to find supplier of high temp ptfe tubing. I think up to 280C or even 300C would be good because it would not soften over time. Oh, almost forgot. Just back out the screws on the extrude to change the duel extruder height. Or you can remove the other nozzle when its not needed. Do a preheat to remove nozzles. I always remove and install hot since I snapped one off once on an UP printer.

For like $35 bucks you can get a all metal part for your creator pro on amazon that will eliminate the need for any PTFE tubes, nor will you ever need to take them apart again, besides with the extremely occasional nozzle jam.