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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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?