FlashForge Finder is one of the new models in the Flash Forge 3D printer series. It is targeted for homes, schools and novice users.
Launched in 2015, the FlashForge Finder is positioned as a user-friendly 3D printer with exceptional highlights. This review examines the truth in that and lays bare all facts about the FF Finder.
FlashForge Finder 3D Printer Overview
The body of the Forge Finder is sturdy with smooth corners and edges. While made with alloyed plastic, the printer looks and feels sturdy. The print volume is 140 x 140 x 140 mm and the print bed is in the form of a sliding plate that is easy to attach and detach.
Upon purchase, it ships with a complimentary spool of PLA fiber, an instructional manual, screwdriver, USB stick, a power cord, and a USB cable.
The FF Finder 3D printer allows for modeling with PLA and other types of filament materials. PLA removes the obligation of having a heated print bed. PLA filament material is also eco-friendly and does not produce toxic fumes unlike the case ABS.
Another feature that makes this printer stand out is its Wi-Fi connectivity. There is the slick prospect of printing with FlashForge Finder without having to use the USB link or stick. You also get to work with the easy to use FlashPrint software.
How to Setup the FlashForge Finder?
The FF Finder requires very little set up. The quick start manual is in the USB stick that accompanies the printer. After powering it on, the initial step is to raise the print bed to guarantee that objects are layered on a level surface.
Raising the printing plate is exceptionally easy. When you select the “leveling” symbol on the LCD screen you will be instructed to put your hands on the underside of the print bed and lift it by adjusting screws. You will also have to remove the Styrofoam that was used to protect the bottom of the print bed.
After raising the print bed, the next task is loading the filament. The FlashForge Finder has a tray for feeding filament into the machine. The quality of the complimentary spool that comes with the machine is somewhat on the low side, but that is no surprise since it is only meant to be a sample.
During this set up you will also find the instructional manual to be a bit sketchy – for one it doesn’t direct instruct how to insert the filament loading tube. There are two holes on the top side of the printer where you can attach the loading tubes and load the filament.
Before loading the filament, you must first raise the extruder temperature to the right levels. The quick start guide clearly shows how you can do that. After heating the extruder, push down the spring load tab on the extruder and gently pull the filament out.
FlashPrint 3D Printing Software
FlashForge 3D printer runs on the FlashPrint slice software. This software has gained the reputation of being user-friendly and intuitive both for beginners and experts. There are advanced features that you can access from the expert mode, among them the ability to set your parameters for printing flexibility.
For learners, the simple 3D printing interface converts your blueprint to a 3D printed object with just a few clicks. There is also the cut and split feature that lets you divide your model when it is excessively massive for one print. There are easily accessible presets for adjusting and selecting build quality. After that, you will be ready to hit the print button.
For experts, the intuitive software allows you to control how your 3D printout gets to appear. Here you can adjust different parameters such as extruder temperature, flow rate and the thickness of the first layer.
During the printing, you will be able to monitor the layering process. That can help you spot overhangs and misconstructions and correct them. From the FlashPrint 3D Printing Software, you will also be able to tell the printing duration and the filament estimate.
When printing, FlashPrint autonomously generates supports informed in real time by the model’s overhangs. You can also choose to add more supports or remove some for better printouts.
The treelike supports will enable you to print designs with complex dimensions, and after that remove the supports without damaging the printed model.
How to Print with FlashForge Finder?
To get started, load the filament into the machine as earlier described. Once you have prepared your design in the Flashprint software, you can hit “print”.
A window will show up with advanced options for adjusting the print resolution and, rafts and, speed and temperature. You can leave these features as they are or set them as you wish.
Click OK and save the design as an STL file. You can then print it via WI-FI, a USB stick or link.
If you choose to use a USB stick, the printer FlashForge Finder will first need to load the design file into its internal memory. That shouldn’t be a problem since the printer has an internal storage capacity of 4GB. After that, the printer will take about 30 minutes to print and that includes the time it takes to heat the extruder and the print bed.
During the printing process, the printer is very silent which can be a good thing. The print quality is good, but sometimes you might face problems with the first layer adhesion.
You can help that by first applying hairspray on the print bed. Your model will come with automatic treelike supports which are easy to remove. The printout will require very little or no post-processing.
FlashForge Finder Pros and Cons
The FlashForge Finder is a cost-effective 3D printer for schools and home use. The printer has a user-friendly interface that even new beginners can navigate without difficulties. The printer can produce prints with accurate dimensions.
Although the FlasForge Finder comes with lots of remarkable features, there are few downsides as well:
- Uses environmental friendly materials
- Decent print volume 140 L X 140 W X 140 H mm
- Precise layer resolution 100~500 microns (0.0039~0.019 in)
- Compact and portable printer size 420 x 420 x 420 mm
- Wi-Fi Connectivity
- Supports various operating systems such as Windows 7/ 8 / Vista and Mac OS X
- FlashPrint slicer software is easy to use
- It’s a bummer that one is limited to PLA and a few other filaments. That ultimately limits a designer’s creative space. But given that the printer is made for kids and new beginners that shouldn’t be a major issue
- Quick Start manual is sketchy at best
- Wi-Fi connectivity is difficult to use
- The first layer doesn’t readily adhere
FlashForge Finder 3D Printer Video Review
What is the power usage for FF Finder?
This fused filament fabrication printer requires an Ac connection of 115-230 V, 50-60 Hz, 150 W. The printer is somewhat an energy saver because it works with PLA which has a lower melting point of about 180 °C to 220 °C.
The printer consumes 0.15 kW of electricity which is very little compared to other 3D printers. Much of the current goes to the heated bed when heating.
Which are the best filaments for FF Finder?
PLA is the printing material recommended for the FlashForge Finder, but it has also been tested to work with ECO PLA wood, ECO Super Premium PLA, ECO PETG, and ECO TPU. The filament diameter has to be 1.75 mm.
The best PLA filament must have the following properties:
- Consistent diameter
- Should not emit to toxic fumes particles
- Gives parts with a slightly glossy finish
- Not prone to warping
- The PLA filament should have high tolerance and strength
- Does not tangle
- Emits a sweet smelling scent
Can you use wood filament with the FF Finder?
Wood filament is known to jam the extruders, and so if you choose to use wood, you should have a way of removing and cleaning the nozzle when necessary. The only type of wood filament that is readily usable with the FF printer is the wood infused PLA.
PLA wood consists of PLA and wood dust in the ratio of 7 to 3. The presence of the wood in the PLA helps to achieve 3D printed parts with a natural wood texture. PLA wood filament is not abrasive. However, PLA wood is susceptible to stringing and might need larger nozzles.
What is the spool size of FF Finder?
Filament Diameter 1.75 mm
Nozzle Diameter 0.4 mm
Why is Wi-Fi not working on FF Finder?
You need to change the Wi-Fi settings in your browser to include the printer’s IP addresses.
Why did FF Finder stopped Working?
The driver gear is either worn out or has lost the ability to load filament, in this case, you need to get a new one
The printer can also fail when the extruder jams due to using non-compatible filament material.
Other factors that can cause the printer to fail include damaged heat cartridge, damaged thermocouple, and low output voltage.
The FlashForge Finder is a superb 3D printer that gives flawless printouts that match the design quality. The printer is suitable for beginners since it comes fully assembled and requires minimal calibration to start printing.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly 3D printer that produces models with fine details, FlashForge Finder is the right printer for you.