Picking a Slicer and connecting problems

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I have an Adventurer 3, purchased Christmas 2021. I currently use Flashprint and the old 123D design software. I have not been happy with the quality of my prints. My primary issues are that I get a lot of threads showing on the finished product and I have to set the z-space to .4 to even begin to get it separated from the raft. So, I started shopping for a new slicer and now have lots of questions. Any help would be great.

  1. Am I correct in thinking that my issues are slicer related?

  2. What slicers work well with Adventurer 3. I am considering purchasing Simplify but want to know if that's a good option. I am not able to invest the time in learning to fine tune gcodes so I want a slicer that is designed to work with Adventurer 3 rather than Cura which I could make work, but don't have the necessary knowledge base for that.

  3. When messing with Cura I discovered that I have some connection issues. My computer cannot find the printer. When I ping my printer from the network, it says it's there. But, when I go to connect it says that it cannot be found. When I connected Flashprint I used the IP Address. I tried connecting Cura with both the IP address and over the network to no avail. I even tried setting my printer to hotspot but that did not work. Finally, I set the printer to hotspot and plugged my computer in directly with a ethernet cord. My browser still could not see the printer. With all methods, I could ping the printer, but when I went into a browser to access the printer, the browser could not find the IP address. I tried with multiple browsers. I also tried to connect with BuildBee over both USB and ethernet to no avail, but BuildBee had very few instructions and I might not have been using it correctly. I reset the printer to factory defaults and had the same results. So, once I choose a slicer, will I be able to connect? Anyone know what's happening?

I have a 2016 Creator Pro, so my perspectives will be different from yours, but have you tried FlashPrint 5? I've come to the conclusion that it's really much better than previous versions, and I've begun to prefer it for its ability to allow my prints to excel in quality. Recent updates seem to have provided remedies for the ooze that seemed to be present for prints I made using earlier versions.

I can't say for sure that the slicer is to blame for your problems. It may be that precise calibration for your printer could solve more than anything else, if you have any uncertainties about that. Rafts can be troublesome, and so can brims, but you might try using a brim instead of a raft to see if that helps you. Calibration can be confusing if you're just starting out, I know it was for me. For example, what is normally referred to as "bed leveling" actually has less to do with leveling the surface of the build plate than it does ensuring that the distance from bed to extruder remains the same at every point of the printed layer. For my Creator Pro, it's just a fact of life that the rods that support the weight of the extruder gantry bend more under that weight the further the gantry is from the ends of the rods. In other words, the extruder nozzle is closer to the build plate at the build plate's center than when at its corners, and very little can be done about it. Learning to make compromises toward complying with that condition can be necessary to optimize print quality.

However, you must be using a custom build for the Cura profile for Adventurer (as I did for the Creator Pro), because I think that the only profile provided natively for FlashForge Printers (beginning with Cura version 4.9) supports the single extruder Dreamer model. It's my experience that even with the best efforts on the part of very smart programmers, those custom profiles can be subject to issues. Ultimaker, as it seems, isn't willing to divulge all its secrets even though offering an invitation to potential customers. I haven't performed such a search, but it might be worthwhile to see if anyone has created a profile for your printer for PrusaSlicer.

One thing I will say about FlashPrint is that when I first started using version 5, I discovered that the ooze (stringing) was controlled only by increasing the retraction distance to what I would have previously considered ridiculous values. I got better results when I changed the default 1.3 setting to 1.6, 1.8, or even to 2.0 or 2.2. I don't have to make those kinds of adjustments when using the current release.

People I know who have used and trusted Simplify for a long time have told me they think that it has fallen behind. That doesn't mean that it won't work for you, but I'm just saying that it may not be the ultimate and simple solution that you're hoping to find.

Thanks for all the information. It's greatly appreciated. I am using the latest version of Flashprint. It's actually when I updated Flashprint a few weeks ago that I started having trouble and it seems that each upgrade since has added more issues. I think there's been 3 updates in as many weeks. But, I hesitate to blame the product when it's likely user error.

I decided to spend my day just working on learning slicer settings. I started with using a temp tower to find a good temperature and I'm going from there. I'm printing an item that I've had trouble with in the past right now. We'll see how it comes out. I've tried brims and they just don't have the platform adhesion that the rim does. The rim does the job for adhering but then I gotta use a knife to remove the product.

I've seen some threads about simplify loosing it's edge as well. That's why I thought I'd post before making the jump. They have a two week refund policy, but still, it's nice to get advice from the more experienced before investing money.

Thanks again for the advice.

I have a FlashForge Dreamer. I've made some mods to it, such as a glass plate and MicroSwiss full metal hot ends. I use 3DLac to help sticking to the plate. I initially used FlashPrint, but did not get good results. Although expensive, I bought S3D in 2017 and my prints improved dramatically. I am quite happy with the current results for all the filaments I've used (including Nylon, PETG, Arnitel™, Flexifill™, ApolloX™, etc). I did not upgraded FlashPrint as it required a firmware, an upgrade which I was not keen on as it would have dropped the max temps for both plate and hot end. I've now acquired quite a bit of experience with S3D for advanced printing, both with industrial grade filaments and techniques. Anyways, once I've printed a model, I remove the glass plate and let it cool down naturally, most models pop right off when cooled or I use the putty knife.
I don't know if S3D is still a working business as they don't seem to answer emails and have delayed their long promised v5 for many years now. I am currently experimenting with SuperSlicer which looks quite promising including dual extruder support. As it's a more recent and advanced slicer than S3D, I will fully migrate once I've gained enough experience with this slicer.

Thank you. I am hearing that a lot about Simplify so I may stay away from it. I'll put superslicer in my list to explore.

You're welcome, of course. I only have a couple of things to add, and I don't know whether they will be useful to you. If not, disregard them. I won't defend them to anyone, except by saying that I've tried a lot of methods. I always use a sharp putty knife to remove prints. It's not razor sharp, but pretty close. I start with the very corner tip, and work the blade underneath the print as gently as possible. Sometimes it's necessary to run the corner of the knife rapidly along an edge several times using very little pressure before it can begin to slide underneath. I only very rarely try to remove a print without it. I rely greatly on the putty knife, but I'm very careful with it. It's dangerous. Always push away from any part of your body. Keep all fingers behind it, always. I haven't cut myself with mine, but that's only because I didn't learn 3D printing until I was already old.

If the build surface is not absolutely rigid like glass, there's always the risk of a gouge or a cut. One thing that is frequently reliable is to heat the bed in order to remove prints, even up to 100° C or 110. Or if the build surface is flexible, you can remove the entire thing and chill it or just bend it. I rarely do either of those things, I try the putty knife first. I don't think I ever tried chilling the build surface, even when it was the soft surface provided with FlashForge printers, although those are normally affixed permanently to the heat bed. I generally use a glass plate for my build surface, either that or the PEI sheet that I've affixed to the opposite side for convenience. When the original FlashForge surface became too heavily damaged and covered in adhesive, I removed 100% of it and substituted the glass. I've been meaning to try some garolite, but haven't yet. The PEI sheet sometimes allows prints to stick without adhesive. Light sanding between prints is recommended to keep the surface fresh, but I always wipe with alcohol afterwards. I never rely on bare glass to make prints stick unless I'm printing with TPU or other flexible filament. A tiny amount of baby powder can be used to keep flexible materials from adhering too severely. I don't know anyone who does 3D printing who doesn't keep a can of Aqua Net nearby. Or a stick of Elmer's Craft Bond or similar, or both. I use both. For PLA I normally use Aqua Net quite sparingly. One can has lasted me for years. I don't use it for each print, but I do try to wipe down the build surface with alcohol on a paper towel before each print. Quite often that leaves enough adhesive from the last print to help it stick. If the adhesive accumulates too heavily, I use alcohol as a solvent and I scrape it off with the putty knife, or if it's bad enough, or if the plate is heavily scarred from using the knife, I replace it with a new one.