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FlashForge Adventurer 3 Review

If you are searching for an enclosed and easy to use option that won't break the bank, then this is a great option
FlashForge Adventurer 3
Top Pick Award
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Price:   $450 List | $384.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Fully enclosed, integrated camera, easy to use
Cons:  Limited filament compatibility, so-so customer support
Manufacturer:   Flashforge
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jun 24, 2021
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65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 14
  • Print Quality - 40% 6
  • Ease of Use - 30% 9
  • Print Capabilities - 20% 5
  • Support - 10% 4

Our Verdict

If you want a 3D printer that is convenient and easy to operate above all else, then we highly recommend checking out the FlashForge Adventurer 3. This fully enclosed printer makes it a great option for classrooms or anywhere else where you need to protect curious hands from the printer's hot end and other moving parts. It has decent print qualities and a solid set of capabilities, though the customer support can be a bit lacking. Even better, it is also a relatively budget-friendly option!

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award  
Price $450 List
$384.00 at Amazon
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$300 List
$299.99 at Amazon
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Pros Fully enclosed, integrated camera, easy to useCompact form factor, excellent prints for FFF, easy to useGreat budget buy, solid printing capabilities, decent print qualityExceptionally detailed prints, solid capabilitiesDetailed prints, inexpensive
Cons Limited filament compatibility, so-so customer supportSupport could be better, a bit more assembly than other printersFinicky with ABS, can require a bit of tinkeringPrints require cleanup, much messierDifficult to use, limited customer support
Bottom Line If you are searching for an enclosed and easy to use option that won't break the bank, then this is a great optionIf you're seeking a great value option, it's hard to beat this user-friendly machineIf you are looking for an inexpensive bare-bones printer and don't mind making some adjustments to it, then this model is an exceptional choiceIf you value detail above all else and are looking for a printer for high-quality miniature models, then this is our all-around favoriteIf you are shopping for a resin printer on a slimmer budget, this can be a great option
Rating Categories FlashForge Adventur... Creality 3D CR-10S... Creality 3D Ender 3... Elegoo Mars 2 Pro Anycubic Photon Mono
Print Quality (40%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
10.0
10.0
Ease Of Use (30%)
9.0
7.0
6.0
2.0
2.0
Print Capabilities (20%)
5.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
5.0
Support (10%)
4.0
5.0
6.0
5.0
4.0
Specs FlashForge Adventur... Creality 3D CR-10S... Creality 3D Ender 3... Elegoo Mars 2 Pro Anycubic Photon Mono
Build Volume (XxYxZ) 150x150x150mm 300x300x400mm 200x200x250mm 130x80x160mm 130x80x165mm
Maximum Extruder Temperature 240°C 260°C 255°C N/A N/A
Layer Cooling Fan? 1 1 2 N/A N/A
Heated Bed Yes Yes Yes N/A N/A
Build Plate Material Removeable and flexible plastic with sticker Aluminium build plate with an adhesive printing sheet Aluminium build plate with a magnetic course plastic sticker Aluminum Aluminum
Maximum Bed Temperature 100°C 110°C 110°C N/A N/A
Compatible with Third-Party Materials? No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Included Nozzle sizes 0.4mm 0.4mm 0.4mm Not applicable Not applicable
Print layer resolution 0.1 - 0.4mm 0.1 - 0.4mm 0.1 - 0.4mm 0.025 - 0.1mm 0.025 - 0.1mm
Filament Size 1.75mm 1.75mm 1.75mm 405 nm resin 405 nm resin
PLA? Yes Yes Yes N/A N/A
ABS? Yes Yes Yes N/A N/A
Network Printing Yes No No No No
Standalone (SD card or USB drive) Printing Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

One unique feature that sets this printer apart is the integrated webcam for checking in on your prints while they are in progress, using the FlashCloud or PolarCloud app.

Performance Comparison



If you're looking for a classroom 3D printer, the FlashForge...
If you're looking for a classroom 3D printer, the FlashForge Adventurer 3 is a great option.
Credit: Jason Peters

Print Quality


Our first round of assessments for these printers focused on the quality of the models produced. As the FlashForge Adventurer 3 is a filament-based printer, so we used both PLA and ABS for our tests. We used a series of different test models all designed to evaluate different types of geometries that filament printers can struggle with. The FlashForge Adventurer 3 delivered solid prints, earning it an above-average score.


We began by looking at a very common 3D printer torture test, the 3D Benchy. The PLA boat produced by the Adventurer 3 looks pretty good, but some of the overhangs drooped a bit and the text was harder to read. However, the ABS version did much better, with a smoother surface finish and better overhangs. However, the bottom is slightly warped.

Our fleet of tiny tugboats made by this machine.
Our fleet of tiny tugboats made by this machine.
Credit: Jason Peters

Our next model focused on the bridging ability of each printer, or how they print in midair. The Adventurer 3 again did very well, even with the usually much harder to print ABS. The longer bridges did have just a small amount of sagging and a few strings but otherwise look great. The raft on the ABS version did have a small air gap, making it hard to remove.

There was some stringing but the bridging test came out great.
There was some stringing but the bridging test came out great.
Credit: Jason Peters

Performance did drop a bit with the Eiffel Tower, with the ABS version failing completely. The top of the PLA version was so flimsy that it broke without very much force at all. The bottom supports look a little scraggly but did improve further up the tower. All in all, we were fairly impressed with this FDM printer's performance with this very difficult model — at least for PLA.

The next test print was an articulated, print-in-place elephant. In contrast to the Eiffel Tower, the PLA version did much worse than the ABS version in this test, exhibiting some messy layers and articulations that were almost completely fused. The ABS version moved very freely and looked much cleaner overall.

The elephant's legs moved freely.
The elephant's legs moved freely.
Credit: Jason Peters

Our next two tests rated and ranked the Adventurer 3 when it came to dimensional accuracy and overhanging geometry. For dimensional accuracy, we printed out a model that a nickel should fit in perfectly. The PLA version is close, though the nickel will fall out if you shake the print. The ABS version has plenty of visible gaps but will just barely hold the coin in place when you pick it up. The overhanging test uses steeper and steeper overhangs, with the scores primarily being determined by the surface finish of the underside of each overhang. The Adventurer 3 impressed with the PLA version, with all but the steepest two overhangs coming out essentially perfect. However, the ABS version did have some warping and drooped on the steeper angles. There was also a considerably worse finish on the underside with this version.

The underside of the steepest overhangs didn't look great.
The underside of the steepest overhangs didn't look great.
Credit: Jason Peters

Unfortunately, the performance of the FlashForge Adventurer 3 plummeted with the articulated platform jack. It once again completely failed with the ABS version of this model and never really successfully produced a PLA version. The print would complete but we never managed to break the moving parts free without the knurled knob breaking off.

This printer did do much better with the wireframe cube, with the bridges looking almost perfect in PLA and above average in ABS, though there was a bit of layer separation from warping.

The wireframe cube showed some imperfections.
The wireframe cube showed some imperfections.
Credit: Jason Peters

The Adventurer 3 continued to do very well with the pair of low-poly figures, with the PLA models coming out practically perfect. The raft on the larger model in ABS stuck and there was a bit of layer separation but the overall look was quite good. The smaller figure in ABS also had a bit of the raft stick but looked even better.

The low-poly figures made by this printer.
The low-poly figures made by this printer.
Credit: Jason Peters

We looked at vase mode next, with the Adventurer 3 producing a pair of excellent single-layer vases in both types of plastic. It also exhibited minimal Z-axis wobble in the tall tower test.

The tall towers showed almost no wobble.
The tall towers showed almost no wobble.
Credit: Jason Peters

It did struggle a bit in the support test, with both ABS and PLA models necessitating the use of pliers to remove the sacrificial structure. Fortunately, it did finish out our test with a strong showing with the threaded jar and lid.

The threaded jars produced by the Adventurer 3 came out quite nice.
The threaded jars produced by the Adventurer 3 came out quite nice.
Credit: Jason Peters

The threads worked smoothly but there is a bit of a seam visible from where each layer started and stopped.

This printer is one of our favorites when it comes to ease of use.
This printer is one of our favorites when it comes to ease of use.
Credit: Jason Peters

Ease of Use


Our next round of tests looked at how convenient and user-friendly each of these printers are to operate, ranking and scoring things like the ease of loading or unloading material, leveling the bed, or sending files to the machines. This metric is where the Adventurer 3 truly shines, earning it one of the best overall scores of the entire group.


This printer got off to a great start by making it exceptionally easy to change filaments with the almost fully-automatic process. You just need to select the appropriate menu option, then give the hotend time to heat up. Once it is heated, you just push the filament in until the extruder grabs it, then stop the process once you see filament coming out the nozzle. The filament spool then fits in the integrated holder in the back with a cover that snaps into place.

The spool holder is designed for smaller than average rolls.
The spool holder is designed for smaller than average rolls.
Credit: Jason Peters

This printer handles the bed leveling process on its own, though it does have a calibration button for the Z=0 height. We like that it arrives fully assembled and is essentially ready to print once you have removed the packing materials. Files can be sent via USB or SD card, and the screen on the printer shows the current status and time remaining.

The interface on this machine is simple and easy to navigate.
The interface on this machine is simple and easy to navigate.
Credit: Jason Peters

This printer also has an integrated camera, allowing you to keep an eye on your print while in progress — an exceptionally handy feature in our minds.

This printer is decently capable.
This printer is decently capable.
Credit: Jason Peters

Print Capabilities


Our next set of tests compared and scored the different capabilities each printer has, like the size of the build volume or the different materials that the hotend is compatible with. The Adventurer 3 did decently well, earning a solid score.


We used the default FlashPrint slicer for our tests, though some users have been able to configure Cura for use with the Adventurer 3 with a little bit of work. It has a moderately sized build platform of 250mm x 210mm x 210mm. We like the included build plate, which provides nice bed adhesion while also being flexible for easy print removal.

The hotend can reach up to 240°C, allowing compatibility with a wide variety of materials, especially when coupled with the heated bed that can reach up to 100°C. However, our biggest complaint with this printer is with the spool holder. While you can use third-party filament with this machine, it typically comes on a spool that is too large for the included holder, so you will have to use either their proprietary filament or come up with your own spool holding solution.

This printer didn't fare the best in our customer support metric.
This printer didn't fare the best in our customer support metric.
Credit: Jason Peters

Support


Our last testing metric focused on the customer support available with each printer, with scores based on the responses to any technical inquiries we had and how helpful we found the included documentation to be. This is the only metric where the Adventurer 3 disappointed slightly, earning a score just below average.


This printer got off to a poor start, with the website including essentially no videos walking you through any troubleshooting processes. We also struggled to find any other way to contact the manufacturer than an email, which didn't yield the most prompt replies in our experience.

Value


If you are shopping for an easy to use printer on a limited budget, we would highly recommend the Adventurer 3.

Conclusion


If you are looking for a budget 3D printer that is easy to use above all else, then we think this is one of the best options around. It doesn't have the best customer support but there are plenty of third-party resources out there if you get stuck. It delivers above-average prints for the most part and the enclosure makes it much safer for a classroom setting.

David Wise and Austin Palmer