If you are a hobbyist and enthusiast like me or planning to buy a 3d printer for your home or classroom you’d find this review is very interesting. The FlashForge Finder is a good 3d printer that has important features that make it perfect for families, novice users, and schools. FlashForge Finder is a user-friendly and compact 3Dprinter with a clean design and cables that are concealed from sight within a plastic alloy body. All its heated elements are protected from touch with a non-toxic PLA for safety purposes.
Judging from the reputation of the company’s other machines; the Finder could just prove as successful being its latest 3D printer with amazing user-friendly features and a hard to beat the price. Starting the machine appears as though it can plug and play right out of the box. The company uses its own slicer software that includes support structures and the machine meets the FC, CE, and UL safety standards. It has an ISO9001 Quality system, OHSASIS18000 Occupational Health & Safety Standards authentication, and ISO14001.
The build volume is quite modest. The largest object you can print is at 5.5″ x 5.5″ x 5.5″. It is smaller than the XYZPrinting da Vinci Jr. and the LulzBot Mini. However, it is bigger than the MakerBot Replicator Mini.
The bed of the Finder has glass platform and it is not fitted with heated bed. The heated bed is not required for prints using PLA filaments; the ABS does not need a heated bed to warp. Since the bed has the ability to slide in and out, it makes removal and cleaning the bed a breeze. Automatic bed leveling is a big plus of this product.
The Finder is limited to PLA filament but it has impressive colors. It contains a 1.75mm spool which fits into a cartridge slot easily in the back of the unit. The cartridge makes it easier to sense when the filament runs out and alerts the user so that the device does not run through to the end of the filament and get stuck in the process. Note that while most printers with filament cartridge use a proprietary filament, the Flashforge’s cartridge is only housing for the filament spool designed to give it a sleeker and self-contained appearance. The printer does not use the proprietary filament, although the spool must fit the cartridge for it to function well.
Flashforge Finder does not use the proprietary filament, although the spool must fit the cartridge for it to function well. You can buy additional filament from the company at only about $13 which is much cheaper than other brands. The Good thing about Finder is that you will get full 600 gm spool of filament free when you buy this product which means that you need not order it separately and wait to receive before you start your first print.
Finder is fitted with single Extruder which is typical to other similar consumer categories. 3d printers with dual extruders are bit expensive and if you are particular about dual extruder feature this product is not for you.
The Finder uses a .4mm nozzle which can print from anything between 100 – 500 microns (.1mm and .4mm). It has a positioning resolution of about 11 microns in the X and Y directions and 2.5microns in the Z direction.
Flashforge Finder operates on Windows 7/ 8 / Vista, Windows 10. It also Works on Mac OS X and Linux.
This product loads with default slicing software FlashPrint. The FalshPrint software coupled with the Finder has an easy-to-use interface. You can also work with other popular software like 3Dmax, Maya, tinkercar, sketchup for generating .stl files and then export to Flashprint. This product supports .stl and obj formats of files.
Finder makes its user life easy with not limiting to SD card, unlike other contenders. You can use USB cable and also USB stick.
The greatest part about this Flashforge Finder is that it comes with its Wi-Fi which means you won’t have to connect it directly to your computer if you don’t see the need. It is provided with a color touchscreen and you’d find making all the adjustments through it are almost fool proof.
It has a 4GB of onboard memory which allows 3D printing to be stored on onboard Finder after loading with USB cable; you can un-tether the unit from the computer after that. You can send the 3D files through Wi-Fi which allows for more convenience in the locations of the computer and the Finder.
The hot end can go up to 240C and can move at 40 to 200 mm/s; slower print speeds yield better results.
Power Supply Inputs
Power requirements for this device are 115V ~ 230 V, 50 Hz ~ 60 Hz, 100 and there is no issue with the power input of 110v. Depending on your physical location, FlashForge will give you a proper power cord for your country of residence. If you in U.S. country, it comes with a U.S. plug and Voltage control will be set automatically to match your region.
It is a quite machine that reaches 70dB during printing.
As mentioned earlier Flashforge Finder comes with 1 roll of 600 g PLA filament. You will receive USB cable, Power cable, 1 sheet of platform sticker which is installed on the glass before it’s packaged, a Stick that contains FlashPrint Software and electronic user guide.
Making The First Print
The first print takes about thirty minutes. The object you print comes out with some support like structures that are easy to break off. Overall, the results are quite impressive. You can expect the details to be fine and you might not notice any ruggedness like you do with other prints. Well, apart from the very complex designs, where you experience some roughness and need to sand down the prints, everything else is clean with the prints and you should not have any major complaints.
If you print from an external source like USB stick, you will need to download the file to the internal memory of the device. This should not be an issue because it has a 4GB internal memory. Once the file is loaded accurately, the printing begins on high quality for thirty minutes. It takes about ten minutes to heat the extruder and print bed which is much faster compared to other contenders that take about twenty minutes.
- Finder comes already packed with the next generation 3D printing technology. The user-interface is enabled via similar rich, instinctive LCD panel. Print brings up the USB interface options or onboard memory storage which included a test print frog figure. Tools bring a submenu for options that include loading and unloading the filament and auto leveling the print bed.
- The glass bed slides in to help in making it easier to load and offload 3D prints. The blue tape cover on the glass surface helps the print to adhere to the filament.
- It contains a proprietary filament storeroom to indicate whether or not the filament has extruded; hence, giving the user the ability either start or stop the print.
- The auto-leveling features make it easy to calibrate the bed support screw until a beeper sounds at the correct leveled position. The ability to attune makes it easier to deal with any PLA shortfalls, warping issues, and obscurity in the elimination of parts.
- The FalshPrint software coupled with the Finder has an easy-to-use interface, The noise level is much lower than the Flashforge Dreamer.
- Limited to printing with only PLA filament
- Modest build size
- No Heated Printed Bed
- The sensors can cause some issues during printing. If the sensor in the cartridge stops functioning and sends a message to the printer that a filament is missing, that will stop the print. Also, the homing switches cannot read that they are pressed which causes the extruder to crash into the printer’s wall and need a hard power off to stop. Some users have reported this issue and unless precautions are taken, they can affect the use of the device.
- Getting the Finder to print can be troublesome initially; the first few test prints may not stick to the build platform, and the user guides were not clear. It becomes hard to tell whether you have done something wrong or if there is a problem with the device. Nevertheless, you can resolve the problem with the help of Flashforge’s support although the glue stick you are advised to buy is not included with the package or mentioned in the user guide.
Flashforge Finder Consumer Ratings and Reviews
More than 80% of reviews from the consumers who bought this device happy with its performance, ease of use and the price. They rated 5 stars on the popular online stores at the time of this review. Other reviewers who rated less than 5 stars find the Flashforge Finder to be more valuable with the inclusion of some extra features and modifications like those that make it more accurate and quieter.
Price of Flashforge Finder
The FlashForge Finder is affordable and it is perfectly priced considering its quality comparable with other high-end 3dprinters. It is definitely much better than other low-priced printers available on the market today which lacks important features that a machine should have.
3d Printers Under $500 Category
|Model||Assembled or Kit||Build Size||Layer Resolution||Extruder(s)||Filaments
|Alunar Prusa i3||Kit||8"x 8"x 8"||100-300 microns||Single||ABS, PLA & Others|
|Flashforge Finder||Assembled||5.5" x 5.5" x 5.5"||100-500 microns||Single||PLA only|
|XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0||Assembled||5.9" x 5.9" x 5.9"||100-400 microns||Single||PLA|
|XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0||Assembled||7.8" x 7.8" x 7.8"||100-400 microns||Single||ABS, PLA|
|HICTOP Prusa i3||Kit||10.6" x 8.3" x 7.7"||100-400 microns||Single||ABS, PLA|