- Ease of Use
Flashforge has been a big name in the world of 3D printing ever since they stated copying the makerbot and surpassed it in quality and affordability. They became so well-known and renowned that Dremel even adapted one of Flashforge's best models into one of their own.
Now Flashforge has released a new model, the Flashforge Finder, as their own easy to use beginner's 3D printer. Check out our FlashForge Finder review to see for yourself.
What’s in the Box of the FlashForge Finder 3D
When you get a Finder, you will receive the printer, which is a 420 x 420 x 420 mm cube weighing in a 16kg. It is made of plastics and metal allows and is an open frame design that lets you see your prints but doesn’t retain heat as well as an enclosed box would.
The printer also comes with a USB cable to hook it up to your PC, one 600g spool of a random color of PLA , and a tool kit (Exactly what these tools are also remains unspecified), and a flash drive for untethered printing. The printer contains 4GB of onboard memory as well and is wifi capable, allowing you to print from a separate PC or even from a mobile app.
What it Can Do
The Flashforge Finder is designed to be easy to use and user friendly. To accomplish this it sports a 3.5in (88.9mm) full color touchscreen right at the top of the printer with big, easy to understand controls. The printer can be controlled from USB or have the model loaded into it via flash drive or SD card.
The Finder’s bed is not heated, meaning the printer can only print PLA filaments (ABS warps without a heated bed). The bed also slides in and out, making part removal and cleaning the bed a breeze. The print area is a moderate 140 x 140 x 140mm that is perfect for most prints and just about anything that a beginner would be printing.
Excellent Filament Management
The filament management on the Finder is rather impressive. The 1.75mm PLA spool fits into a cartridge that slots into the back of the printer. The cartridge is able to detect when the filament has run out and will alert you instead of the printer running through the end of the filament and getting stuck. It is important to note that while most printers with filament cartridges use proprietary filament, Flashforge’s cartridge is merely a housing for the filament spool that is meant to give the Finder a sleek, self-contained look. The Flashforge Finder does not use proprietary filament, but the spool has to fit the cartridge for the printer to work properly.
As for the print quality of the Finder, the printer uses a .4mm nozzle that can print from anywhere between .1mm to .4mm (100 to 400 microns). It has positioning resolution of 11 microns in the X and Y directions and 2.5microns in the Z direction. The hot end can reach 240C and is able to move at 40 to 200 mm/s (as always slower print speeds will yield better results). The machine is also quiet, only reaching about 70 dB while printing.
The Flashforge Finder is a capable printer; however a few issues should be noted.
First, there are not many reviews of the printer, even on Amazon or Flashforge’s own website. The machine has been available for a couple of months and the lack of any reviews at the venders’ websites is a bit concerning.
Second, the sensors can cause a few issues while printing. If the sensor in the cartridge malfunctions and tells the printer that there is no filament, then it will end the print. The homing switches can also not read that they are pressed, causing the extruder to crash into the wall of the printer and require a hard power off to stop. Some users have reported this issue and if precautions are taken they should not affect use of the printer, but they are worth noting here.
The Flashforge Finder is an affordable beginner’s machine. It is meant to be used in classrooms or at home, and is easy to learn and use right out of the box. The Finder is self-contained and only half the size of Flashforge's Creator Pro, but still has enough room to create sizeable prints. If you are a beginner, this is a printer for you; even an intermediate user who only wants to print in PLA should consider this printer for its compact and size and ease of use.