Should I pre-order FLUX?


#1

After seeing the FLUX on YouTube I became extremely interested in it. I am fascinated by its tool-less swappable head that can go between a 3D Printer, Laser Engraver, and Pen tool. I tried to find reviews on this but have not seen any except “first looks.”

After looking through the Thingiverse group and this forum I see a few good posts but most of it are problems with the printer’s hardware/software which worries me. I want to ask how often does things like that happen to the FLUX (backed-up filament in the print head, connection issues via WiFi, failed or shifted prints, etc)?

I download the FLUX Studio software for myself and played around with it. I love the amount of settings it has and its expert mode. Currently I am unable to load an STL file onto its preview and I can’t seem to find any SVG files that seem to work with it. I am also to preview the laser engraver image and I do like what I see.

I am more interested in everything other than its 3D printing head. I would love a laser engraver, but then again I could buy a good laser engraver off Amazon or Ebay with more reviews for far cheaper. How good is its laser engraver? From what I can see it can engrave anything short of metal and isn’t reflective or clear. Is that actually true? Can someone provide me images so I can see for myself?

I am also interested in future tool heads for the FLUX. In the KickStarter campaign I saw a CNC head but I don’t expect it to cut anything stronger than plywood. Do those of you who own one see a future in the FLUX right now or is it a one and done thing?

I know that the FLUX is still in “BETA” especially the software but how well does it actually work?


I currently own the Ultimaker 2 Go and I am very happy with its printing quality. It is open source for both software and hardware so finding help on it is very easy. I even installed a silicon heated bed mod for it with no issues. It has the best resolution I’ve seen on a 3D printer at 12.5 microns (all of my calibration cubes ended up being within less than 10 microns). The 3D printed Legos actually fit with real Legos with no sanding.

I previously owned the M3D which was another KickStarter project and I wasn’t very happy with it. It had very simplified software that did not allow me to even use standard G-Code commands. I can’t even choose the in-fil percentage with the software (the work around was to export a G-Code file with Cura and manually add G-Code files to the print queue). The specifications say that it had a 15 micron resolution but most of my calibration cubes ended up being around 20 to 100 microns off. I’ve had a lot of trouble with the M3D and had to RMA it once because it burned a hole in its print bed and couldn’t remember where the end of Z axis was.


#2

@LegendaryC the flux is my 5th printer. Like you I was drawn by some of the features. Here at my thoughts:

3D Printing: C-
PLA only
No heated bed
Does not natively hold normal 1KG spools

Scanning: F
Never gotten to work. They admit it is not done yet.
Camera for monitoring print does not yet work.

Engraving: C
Only tried one thing.
Laser being so week means you can not do a lot of things.

Electronics: D
Wireless is basically broken
Bad micro-USB
Proprietary protocol

Software: F
Basically broken

Hardware: C
Ball joints need frequent lubrication

Will this get better? Yes.
But I don’t think it is worth pre-ordering.
For the price I think you are better off getting
a good 3D printer and a separate laser engraver/cutter.


#3

Wow that must be the most one sided review I’ve ever read.
I would recommend getting this printer.

3d printing is insanely accurate and detailed: A
You can use 1 kg spools with the attachment.

Scanning can’t be judged yet as the software is not finished being developed.

Engraving : A
Very accurate and great for any normal person, not wanting a metal engraver. There are future plans for a stronger laser, the only reason it is not a super powerful laser is because of all the different regulations in different countries it shipped to so this is not a reason for concern.

Electronics: A
The wireless is definitely not broken, most people on here can’t follow instructions properly and when they do, it does work. This actually has nothing to do with the electronics, it’s part of the software that needs further development, which is happening at a very fast pace. So the comments about wireless electronics is just not valid as it is a software issue.
The use for the micro usb is being vased out anyway so it makes no difference.

Software: C
The software is the only thing holding the printer back at the moment, but all the issues are being fixed one at a time and new features will follow to utilize the full potential of the printer in the future.

Hardware: B
The ball joints need lubrication. In exchange for lubricating ball joints, you get a printer/engraver/drawing/ eventual ceramic extruding/ chocolate extruding and maybe even milling machine all in one, seems like a huge gain for such a small trade off.

This is a good printer already and it will just improve in the future with software development to utilize the full potential of this machine. Eventually you will even have more functions. I would recommend the Flux delta as this is a platform for expansion. Not a printer that can only do that forever or a engraver or whatever thing that can only do that one thing forever.


#4

Heres my opinion:

As is see the FLUX after having it for 5 Days it feels like it is in some kind of BETA state.
It have some child sickness that the team is working hard to fix.

Most of the problems already have solutions in the FAQ or on the forums.

I own 2 other 3D printers, and i think the FLUX does a really good job in print quality.
The greatest downside to the printing in my opinion is the warping - which have many solutions.

Theres a couple of things to consider before choosing the FLUX.
If you just want a 3D printer, there’s other solutions that I find better in the same price-range (or cheaper)

  • These solutions does not look as good tho (and they only print) :slight_smile:

If you want a multipourpose machine I think the FLUX might be the best answer yet.

  • If the SDK for the “heads” gets open source or just public released i think the possibilities with this machine will get unlimited.

But even tho i like the machine i might chose to wait if i was in you position.
By waiting you could follow the process the next couple months, see if new heads is released (or announced) and if the problems get solved. In the mean while you could chose to do as i did while waiting for the FLUX and buy a 3D printer KIT or maybe just a cheap printer like the “Fabrikator Mini” form HobbyKing.

Either way the FLUX is a Great machine and with the activity form the team, and the paste updates gets thrown out I believe in the future development of this machine !


#5

Just my two cents though it appears my mileage has varied from some of the other users here. I’ve been EXTREMELY HAPPY with my Flux. For me 3D printing is extremely good, all printers have some growing pains at the start and I believe that is what you are seeing with the more negative posts. Luckily the flux team (from my point of view) have been fantastic. I’ve seen many 3d printer manufacturers push something out and then basically forget about it, the Flux team has not been like this. The software updates are frequent, they are fairly responsive in discussions, and appear to be good at fixing hardware or shipping related issues (though I have not had to utilize this myself).

I have worked with a printr bot Jr, Kossel Pro, and 5head Rova 3D and can honestly say that this has been the most trouble free and best customer service supported of all of them.

I have had to make some tweaks (pei bed, change slicer settings, add oiled filter, put teflon plate in top tray) to get to where I am now and will likely continue to do so but in my mind that’s part of the fun.

I have not had a lot of success with the Flux from the engraving or scanning front but I honestly feel that is something that will come in time. But from the 3D printing end I honestly have very little to want (heated bed, higher temp nozzle, and for Flux to release the store to let me buy spare parts is all I can think of wanting right now) and that’s pretty incredible for a companies first product and a kick-started printer in general.

Again, your mileage may vary but I am extremely pleased!

Check out the prints I put up on the trophy room thread to see what I’m talking about, and those are two of the multiple prints I have made and been extremely happy with, I just didn’t want to spam that thread.

On a personal note, I bought a Flux to make thing for me and my daughter(4) to play with and so far I have gotten hugs, and kisses, and genuine interest in “what are you making” from the “toy maker” and that’s made the purchase worth it. :slight_smile:


#6

Here’s my input:

FLUX is my 5th printer. I’m very pleased with FLUX, especially the 3D Printing feature. There’s growing pains currently with the product, but every week there’s an update to the software and the FLUX team does listen to the suggestions proposed in the forums. So, things are going to get better.

I don’t really care about the scanner as I’m not trying to duplicate existing objects, but make new ones of my own design. So I can wait for the scanning features to evolve.

The laser engraver is just that, an engraver. There are some impressive examples of folks using the engraver in the forums.

FLUX is a new product developed from the ground up. Everything is new, everything is evolving.

I am already considering ordering more FLUX’s once the issues for connectivity are resolved. I am very happy with FLUX.


#7

So @Gerhard noted that my review was one sided.
It simply reflected the current state of the FLUX printer ecosystem in response to the question “Should I pre-order a FLUX”.

If FLUX can stay around things will improve. However 3D printer companies are going out of business or discontinuing support right, left, and sideways (https://3dprint.com/126686/solidoodle-suspending-ops/,
http://www.3ders.org/articles/20151228-3d-systems-exits-consumer-marketplace-discontinues-cube-3d-printer.html ).

Thus betting on future heads, better software, etc. with a pre-order does not make the most sense.

Couple of thoughts on some of the other comments, If FLUX offers a milling head don’t expect to do anything more the foam or PCBs - the magnetic ball joints will not handle the lateral forces.

If they are able to release a more powerful laser that would be great but I would not expect one due to safety issues.

The FLUX is marketed as a multi-function machine. If we look at each function:

  1. Printing - It is a middle of the pack PLA only 3D printer, with some 3D printing issues limited by the software
  2. Engraving - Right now the big limitation is the software. When it works it appears to be good but slow.
  3. Scanning - Broken, not yet supported.

Software is the big problem:

  1. Currently closed ecosystem except for the slicer. No way to debug, hack or help improve.
  2. I wonder about the claim that the comms issues are software based. RaspPi has had a reliable TCP stack
    for some time. Right now the printer can not even respond to a ping consistently. It the solution is an external
    USB WiFI adapter then FLUX should ship one to each owner.

Someone above mentioned the Kossel Pro. I also went through that painful release. Honestly, I am concerned FLUX may follow the same pattern. The difference, was that the Kossel is much more open architecture and open source based than the FLUX. So the community was able to much better come up with solutions.

I can not tell if FLUX is going to be an open or a closed ecosystem. The lack of information to date is concerning. I call on the FLUX team to release the software baseline and complete specs for the entire
ecosystem. Let us help you. Heck, just give us a way to log into the Raspi to help debug.

As an example, someone mentioned warping. One print I attempted clearly showed that the FLUX suffered from the common problem with DELTA’s of consistent calibration across the expanse of the print area. I had two high corners that warped. Yet I have found nothing in the FLUX documentation about adjusting nozzle height or how the calibration is done. Since DELTA printers like FLUX are extremely dependent on the geometry of the rods and towers being consistent and constant I do not believe that it is feasible to get that consistency with a removable end effector and the magnetic ball joints. I know on other DELTAs I must recalibrate the overall machine geometry every time I change out or disconnect/reconnect the end effector so I can not believe that the ball joints on the flux can be that mechanically consistent over time. And the need for lubrication to keep consistent means there is always going to be some variability.

To answer the question: Should one pre-order?
I would hold off until software works and is stable and all three functions work as originally advertised and we know that FLUX will be around and maintenance/spare parts will be available.


#8

As a newbie in the 3D printer world and there are many 3D printers on the market, what I personally love about Flux:

  1. Aesthetic design.
  2. Affordable 3D printer with exchangeable tool head and 3D scanner.
  3. I have been using the printer over a month now and the printer works rock solid beside many minors issues on hardware/software that can be improved in time.
  4. I admire and support the young Taiwanese students/creator of the Flux 3D and they’re already complete production milestones and beyond.
  5. Keep up good work, Flux team.

#9

I’d also add:

  1. The auto-calibration before each 3D print job, seems quite excellent and avoids running into issues later in the print job that other printers would run into.
  2. They have so far been very responsive to trouble tickets and do seem keen to get the issues encountered resolved…which is hugely important at this phase in development.

#10

I also recommend to wait until the flux is more stable before pre-ordering one, I haven’t received mine, but like many other have replied the printer need some fixing on software and hardware issues. And also you said that you have an ultimaker 2 so I don’t see why you need to rush to buy another printer if is not completed at this point.

Also the scanning function I think that will be a useless feature on the future because there are some great cameras (like kinect and structure.io) that are better on that part than flux. I will use the camera on the printer mostly for monitoring my jobs on the printer.


#11

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