Recently I bought a Monoprice Voxel (a rebranded FlashForge Adventurer 3) 3D printer, and I’ve spent the last couple of weeks getting to grips with it. I’m very impressed – it works well and I’ve had a lot of fun building parts of my projects.
One interesting this about the printer is that it comes with its own slicing software called FlashPrint. This seems to work quite well, slicing all the models I threw at it and sending them to the printer. However, I was curious if it was possible to use the printer with the Ultimaker Cura slicer, which has some more advanced features and is supported more widely by the community.
I did a load of research and found some interesting topics on reddit and Ultimaker forum, I also examined the .gx files produced by FlashPrint and thoes sent to the printer by PolarCloud. I’ve gathered all this together into a this guide for using Cura, but it stands on the shoulders of a whole bunch of other people in the community, so thanks to those people you really helped me figure all this out.
Update (January 2011): A YouTube user confirmed that these steps also work for the FlashForge Adventurer 3 Lite.
Every model I have printed in this way has worked well and I am very pleased. However, follow this guide at your own risk – If something bad happens to your printer, on your own head be it.
FlashPrint and the printer appear to use a custom file format for printing – .gx. This is identical to the .g file used by other printers but with some additional metadata at the top. I suspect this is the image of the model that’s shown while printing, as well as the print time estimation.
The printer is perfectly happy to print .gcode files, provided the file extension is changed to .g first. While printing a .g file the time estimation on the printer screen does not count down the remaining time, it counts up the elapsed time. Also instead of a small image of the model being shown, a generic icon is displayed.
Update (November 2021): I’m hearing from some people that after updating the printer to the latest firmware, that they get a “file format error” on the printer when using Cura sliced files. It seems like FlashForge have changed something (deliberate or otherwise) that is blocking Cura. I don’t have a solution to this right now, if you have more information, do get in contact. If this works for you do not update the printer.
Firstly, you need to install the latest version of Cura from the Ulimaker website.