Printing with the FlashForge Creator Pro on a Mac

I’ve been through so much with trying to get the FF to print on my Mac. I am on a MacBook Pro running OS X Yosemite. Reminder, I am printing for the purpose of using with students in a classroom setting. I had limited time to fuss with coding.

  • Trial 1: Replicator G
    • Did as instructed from FF and followed instructions from FF here to install ReplicatorG.
    • I tried to download dual extrusion files (from Thingiverse) and merge on ReplicatorG, only to wait for hours and find that prints don’t work.
    • Stuck to single extrusion prints, but some things took 4-5 hours before it was ready to print. I even consulted ReplicatorG’s instructions here.
    • Verdict: ReplicatorG took too long to generate G-code
  • Trial 2: Slic3r
    • From what I read online, Slic3r was a great alternative to ReplicatorG because it was so much faster.
    • 3D Universe helped with this post but it was for Windows. The video here is for Macs.
    • The extruders were not heating to the correct levels, which caused me to look into the G-code to correct for the type of materials I had.
    • Verdict: Although there was more control, I was skeptical of each print and felt the need to comb through the G-code each time.
  •  Trial 3: MakerBot Desktop
    • I downloaded this because of the MakerBots that came in at work. I accidentally opened a file I wanted to print at home with this and it seemed to recognize my FlashForge. At the bottom right corner where normally “Replicator” or “Replicator Mini” show up when my laptop is connected at work, “FFCreator Pro” showed up when it was connected to my FF.
    • I’ve been printing on my FF with MakerBot desktop since.
    • I have yet to try dual extrusion and I’ll keep you posted when I do. (ETA post end of July or August)

This was my 3 month journey trying to print, and things seem to change each month. Try enough and you’ll find the right fit for you eventually :)

3D Printing Ecosystem For Teacher Education

We prepare secondary mathematics and science teachers. I also teach the middle grades methods course and work with K-12 in-service mathematics teachers. See this post for why we chose these printers instead of others.

1. I plan to infuse this technology in my Project Based Instruction course with secondary mathematics and science preservice teachers.

2. I would like for my preservice teachers to take these into the classroom and use with the K-12 students.

3. Preservice teachers will also have the option to make manipulatives for their class, whether it be a DNA helix or the London Bridge (for scale factor).

And so the case for:

  • 4 MakerBot Replicator Minis
  • 2 MakerBot Replicator (5th generation)

In addition…

  1. The scanner helps digitize something that may not be available online or easily created.
  2. Depending on the design and function needed, instead of printing on the MakerBots, if we needed something stronger or more detailed, it would be printed on the Form 1+.

Thus we have:

  • 4 MakerBot Replicator Minis
  • 2 MakerBot Replicator (5th generation)
  • 1 Digitizer (3D Scanner)
  • 1 FormLabs Form 1+ Resin Printer

** Added bonus for having all these machines was that in a class setting, students 24 students were in groups of 4, each group at a table with a printer, and that was theirs to maintain for the session.