Folgertech FT-5 R2 – Review

Whats in the Box?

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Folgertech FT-5 R2 – Review
4.7 (93.33%) 12 votes

I had previously bought the Kossel 2020 from Folgertech. I enjoyed the machine. It was solidly built and Easy to set up. I had some nitpicks, but it got the job done. That job was printing tall prints like vases and other things. What I really wanted was a Large format printer though. Que the FT5.

When they First released it, I knew it was going to be a great large format printer. I wasn’t able to buy the first model when they launched it because I had just bought the Kossel, so I watched and waited. During that time the community found issues in the design.

Which is bound to happen from a crowdsourced project. Folgertech made some revisions and now we have the FT-5 R2. I reached out to Folgertech to review the new machine and they sent me one. Now let’s see what we get.

FT-5 R2 – Worth the money?

You get a lot of machine for your money. A huge build volume at 300x300x400mm, 2020 frame with new ACM panels, upgraded Z system, idlers and more. The kit comes in a well packaged box with recycled materials as filler.

Assembly

The assembly was pretty straightforward. It’s made with 2020 extrusion everything locks together easily enough. I want to take a moment and highlight the manual. Right now, Folgertech is working on updating the manual with better graphics and instructions to make assembly easier. Working with the current manual can be a little tricky due to the revisions made.

If you have any issues with your builds, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m not an expert but I built a Chinese clone Prusa with nothing but pics from the internet once. Folgertech isn’t nearly that bad but if you need help with something send me an email with a video of the issue and I’ll do my best to get back to you.

I will be updating this more but during the assembly, my SD card became corrupted so I lost a lot of footage. I’m going to look into a way to get more build footage. At some point I’ll buy another FT5 hopefully by then they won’t need me to do a full build video. You never know. I do still have some footage, I will make a couple videos with that. You guys let me know What you would like to see and I’ll see what I can do.

Quality Control

Folgertech may have sent me a machine for review but they didn’t cherry pick a good one. (Stop I see you scrolling down to post a response let me finish my thought) What I mean is I didn’t get special treatment so it would seem like the product is good when everyone else buying one received worse versions. I know this because the package I received had the unsoldered heated bed.

The point is they aren’t trying to hide anything. After talking to them about the machine I was sent they explained that mine was one of the earlier packaged models, now they send the beds pre-soldered for easier installation. Not to worry though I know how to solder, my camera work sucks though (you will see in a later video).

You can breathe easy not only was everything where it should have been but it all went together without a single hitch.

Pro and Cons

I have said it before and it’ll say it again. It doesn’t matter if I buy my own item for review or receive one from a company you will get an honest review from me. Here are my pro and cons.

PROS

  • Construction – This machine is built like its meant to still be 3d printing after the end of the world. (Loctite is your friend)
  • 24v upgrade – It heats up very fast and stays consistent
  • Remaining R2 upgrades – The current model fixes a clear majority of issues from the older generation.
  • Customer support – (I bought a Kossel when I was a nobody to them) They are quick to respond if there is an issue.
  • It just works- soon as the last wire was connected I had a sd card in it ready to print. The benchy came out perfect the first time.

CONS

  • Lack of auto bed level feature – With so many options and the fact that the Kossel came with auto bed leveling I feel that this should be included. It’s not necessary, to be fair it’s easy to level this machine but it should just have it included.
  • The manual – Needs that update. They are working on it but it is easy to get tripped up in a couple spots.
  • Bag of hardware – This is my nitpick I hate knolling. Spending an hour to make all the hardware organized is not something I find fun. I’ll pay 20$ more to avoid this.
  • Needs enclosure – Not a con really but I print abs more than anything. Can I have an enclosure from the factory, please? Laser cut foamboard that fits in the extrusion slots. Nothing fancy just would be nice.

Final Thoughts About The FT5 R2..

Take this with a grain of salt. I support American business where I can. If you want a large format printer and to don’t want to spend a ton this machine is for you. It has its issues but it’s rock solid and prints very well. I have run wood filament, PLA, ABS, PETG, and Nylon through it so far. I never fail to get a good print, after a quick benchy tune.

That said it still has some quirks, find me a kit that doesn’t in this price range I dare you. I’m going to keep printing on this machine and continue posting videos using it. If it turns into a lemon you will know. I highly doubt that will happen, but anything is possible.

If you like this Review and want to see more you can support that by using the affiliate link below should you decide you purchase an FT-5. With that, I leave you with a Baby Groot Time-lapse and a question. What would you like to see next?

 

Sources

37 Comments
  1. Tom Baxter says

    I continue to enjoy your posts Nathan. Thank you for the honest review. Nowadays it seems tough to find legitimate, honest, reviews. It looks like Folgertech builds a solid printer with good customer support.

  2. Richard Bynum says

    HA! Don’t forget ABK (ALWAYS BE KNOLLING)! That looked like a huge bag of nuts and bolts to go through! But like you said, “it saves us money”, so I would be ok “knolling” through them. I liked they offered digital calipers and other goodies with it. I would love to have this printer! I’m not one able to spend large amounts of money so this looks like one I would be able to consider. Thanks for your review!

    1. Nathan Cox says

      The calipers are analog in the pack. The digital ones are mine but I actually ended up using the analog ones more just cause it was faster lol

  3. Michael says

    Hope to win the current giveaway so I can start my printing odyssey

  4. Juraj Cicka says

    I really need my own 3D printer. Too much personal projects cant be done becouse of 3D printer.

  5. Scott Gaehl says

    Looks like my next wishlist printer just moved from the FT-5 to the FT-5 R2 thanks for the review.

  6. Joshua says

    I don’t mind the lack of an enclosure, but auto-leveling is a bad thing to leave out. I love the build volume, though!

  7. jcnrolla says

    I will really enjoy this printer

  8. Shea says

    Could you post some pictures of your test prints?

    1. Daniel Faegnell says

      I second that Nathan! Show us the prints!

    2. Daniel Faegnell says

      Maybe we open a forum post about it?

    3. Nathan Cox says

      That video of Groot is one of the Prints being made on the FT-5 but I am posting more timelapse videos on of the Ft-5 on our youtube page later this week. I plan to make it a regular thing. So go subscribe to our youtube channel for more adventures of the FT5. I will also start a Forum post With Regular pics and videos as well.

  9. Edward Dekkers says

    Love the big build size. Shame about the auto levelling omission as that always takes me the longest on my Balco

    1. Nathan Cox says

      To be fair I have only had to level the bed 3 times since I started printing on it and that’s after hours of prints. It also doesn’t take more than a couple minutes.

    2. malvasio says

      yes shame on folger tech for no auto leveling
      but i find 300x300x400mm is not large, i name it normal+ at this date

  10. Diego Paredes says

    Great review, hope I can get one someday

  11. Michael says

    need a decent paying job so I can finally get a decent printer

  12. Shona Crawford says

    Cheers Nathan for the info. Looking to add to the 2 Lutzbot taz printers I have and like the large build area. Think I’ll check out the spec’s. My taz 4 has manual bed levelling so used to that, the Taz 6 is auto levelling (bliss). Is this printer an all metal hot end? What nozzel size and filament diameter used?
    Have you done any tests using metal filaments yet? Plan on using them more and would like feedback if possible.

    1. Nathan Cox says

      The nozzle is standard .4 I have not done any metal filaments just yet. Mg chemicals Wood is amazing on this thing though. (not paid to say that) I bought a spool just to print baby Groot and it came out amazingly. I plan to use more exotic filaments in the future but I will buy a Ruby or Hardened nozzle before I print anything more abrasive than wood.

      1. Shona says

        Cheers, Good to know. Happy printing!

  13. Denis Bomfim says

    Thanks, Max, for the insightful article. The FT-5 R2 is really an interesting product and I have included it in my possible future acquisitions.
    I would like to see a video of you mounting yours, if it is not one of those footages you lost in your damaged SD card.

    1. Nathan Cox says

      Mounting what?

  14. Nathan Cox says

    Mounting what?

    1. malvasio says

      assembly process video ?

  15. Gary Willett says

    Nice ! did u make a build video? Thank you for info!

  16. Andreas Gasser says

    That wood filament looks nice on that model. The stringing is a nice touch, almost natural.

    Nice looking machine though, and nice but short review.

  17. Sandi McGinnis says

    I would just love to see a 3D printer actually printing.Or building or what ever the magic that one does is called.To me,it’s unbelievable until seen,even tho,I know it’s done.I can’t wrap my mind around it.

  18. Neel says

    Nice review

  19. Khushal says

    An honest review..

  20. Adam says

    cool!

  21. Gabriel says

    It looks great, I have my first printer which is a Chinese Prusa clone and I’m in love with 3d printing

  22. Michael says

    sure would love a printer in my house

  23. Stuart Hawton says

    Thanks for the review Nathan, I hope I will win the give away for the printer

  24. Sandra says

    I am still in awe over these types of printers. They are amazing.

  25. Todd Whetstone says

    Looks like a decent machine.

  26. Todd Whetstone says

    Looks like a decent machine. Might be worth checking out

  27. Melissa says

    love the article very informative and who doesn’t like baby groop

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