FlashForge Finder 3D printer Review: Perfect For Beginner
If you’re looking for a user-friendly 3D printer that even your kids can use, then the FlashForge Finder would make an excellent choice for you. It’s designed for use in the home or the classroom and is perfect for beginners, educators and students.
It has many easy to use features and is excellent value for money. You’ll love the clean design of this printer and how all the cables are concealed from sight within the plastic alloy casing. Plus this printer is super quiet with noise levels as low as 50 dB or less.
- Key Features
- What’s In The Box?
- Does This 3D Printer Require Any Assembly?
- Can You Make 3D Models From 2D Images?
- What Should I Do If The Finished Prints Are Too Hard To Remove From The Build Plate?
- What Are The Benefits Of Using PLA Filament?
- Is There A Lot Of Support Available For This Printer?
- Where Can You Get Designs To Print With This Printer?
- What Customers Are Saying:
- Final Verdict
|Print material||Auto Calibration||Maximum print size(inches)||Heating bed||layer thickness||Customer support||Assembly time||Warranty|
|PLA Only||No||5.5"x5.5"x5.5"||No||100-500 microns||Excellent||20 minutes||90 day warranty|
1. Removable Build Plate.
The glass build plate on the Flashforge Finder is removable. This makes it really easy to remove printed objects from the plate. It just slides in and out of the printer. This also avoids any damage to the surface of the build plate and minimizes the need for constant leveling. The build area is 5.5 inches x 5.5 inches x 5.5 inches.
The plate is also non-heated which is why this printer is ideal even for children to use (supervised, of course). Because the build plate is not heated, this printer is only suitable for PLA filament. PLA is one of the safest filaments to use because it’s both non-toxic and biodegradable.
2. Full Color Touchscreen.
The full color touchscreen is 3.5 inches in size and right at the top of the printer so it’s easy to access. All the controls are easy to understand. You can control the entire print process just using this touchscreen as long as you have print files installed on the USB stick. The touchscreen also displays your print’s progress so you will always know where it’s at.
3. Plastic Alloy Construction.
This printer is enclosed on three sides with a tough plastic alloy casing. This means that the printer is safe to use as all the heated components are fully encased. The casing also ensures a stable printing environment so that your finished prints will turn out perfectly.
4. Full Connectivity.
The FlashForge Finder features 2nd generation Wi-Fi connectivity. This lets you send print files to your printer from your computer without the need for cables. The printer has a 4GB internal memory so it can store many print files.
Using the Wi-Fi function also means that you can easily control your printer remotely so you can instruct it to start or stop a print job even when you’re not in the same room.
5. Assisted Bed Leveling.
With this 3D printer, bed leveling has never been easier. Using the touchscreen you are guided on which leveling screws to tighten or loosen. You turn the screws slowly until you hear a small beep. This is done one leveling screw at a time until all three are at the correct level. This makes calibration super simple and saves a lot of time.
6. Easy Filament Management.
The FlashForge Finder uses an internal cartridge to hold the filament which means it’s safely contained and not exposed to the elements. This filament housing can detect when your filament is running low and will alert you that you need to load a new roll.
7. Utilizes Easy To Use FlashPrint Slicing Software.
The FlashPrint slicing software which comes with this 3D printer is ideal for beginners to use as it’s simple and uncomplicated. You can easily import any STL file and let FlashPrint convert it into the necessary GCode file with just a few simple clicks. The presets in this software are perfectly adequate and you can choose the desired quality of the finished print.
For more experienced 3D printer users, you can use the software in ‘expert mode‘ which will allow you to manually change a multitude of parameters to achieve your desired end result. You can alter the temperature, the printing speed and the first layer thickness and height. Once the software has sliced your print file, you’ll be able to view the file layer-by-layer. You’ll also see time and material estimates.
If you need to print a model that is larger than the available build volume, you can easily cut and split the print file so that you can print your model in pieces. This is particularly useful if you want to print architectural models.
What’s In The Box?
- The FlashForge Finder 3D printer.
- The Finder Quick Start guide.
- 1 roll of 600 grams PLA sample filament.
- 1 sheet of platform stickers – the glass bed already has a sticker attached when you receive it.
- A power cable.
- A USB cable.
- The filament guide tube.
- A USB stick which contains the user guide and the Flashprint slicing software.
Does This 3D Printer Require Any Assembly?
The FlashForge Finder is probably one of the easiest printers to set up and use straight out of the box. Here’s all that’s required to start your first print job:
- Take the printer out of the box and remove the packaging.
- Move the build plate up gently to remove the white foam packaging surrounding it.
- Load the sample spool of filament into the cassette.
- Insert the filament feeder tube and then insert the filament into it.
- Turn on the printer and follow the instructions on the touchscreen to level the build plate.
- Heat up the extruder and load the filament into it. Just follow the instructions on the touchscreen for this part.
Once you’ve completed these steps, you can start your first print job.
Can You Make 3D Models From 2D Images?
With the FlashPrint software you can easily turn 2D images into 3D print files. All you need to do is select the 2D into 3D function, import the image and then select the parameters that you want for the finished print job. This way you can easily print any 3D objects just from a photo.
What Should I Do If The Finished Prints Are Too Hard To Remove From The Build Plate?
If your prints are too hard to remove from the build plate without breaking them, then you could possibly have the plate too high. Here’s a quick way to fix that:
- Go to “Tools-Setting-Extruder Calibration” on your touchscreen.
- Wait until the plate and the extruder stop moving and then put an A4 piece of paper between the nozzle and the plate.
- Press ‘Z’ on the touchscreen and your plate should start moving upwards. Continue to press ‘Z’ until there’s just a little resistance when you move the paper between the nozzle and the build plate.
- Press ‘OK’ and ‘Finish’ to end the calibration and then go through leveling the platform again.
What Are The Benefits Of Using PLA Filament?
PLA or PolyLactic Acid is one of the safest filaments that you can use for 3D printing. It’s completely non-toxic, biodegradable and recyclable. PLA is made from organic materials, primarily cornstarch and sugarcane. It is also more commonly used as a safe food packaging material.
This filament does not need a printed heat bed so is perfect to use with the FlashForge Finder. It has an optimum melting temperature of 160-190 degrees Celsius and a 3D printing temperature of 190-220 degrees Celsius.
PLA is relatively sturdy but will break when exposed to a lot of tension. You can however, easily cut, file, sand and paint objects made from this filament. You can also glue PLA parts together.
Printed objects made from PLA will not shrink and generally are quite easy to remove from the build plate especially if it has a cover of blue painters tape. While printing, PLA will only give off a slight smell which is sweet and similar to heating candy.
PLA filament is ideal for 3D printing beginners as it’s relatively easy to use and doesn’t require too many setting changes in the slicing software. It is particularly suitable for household items, toys, models and other gadgets.
Is There A Lot Of Support Available For This Printer?
Apart from the lifetime technical support provided by the FlashForge technicians, there are quite a number of groups and communities available online. 3D hubs has an entire forum dedicated to the Flashforge printers. Here you can ask a question or scroll through the many topics to find a ton of useful information.
You’ll also find a great many useful videos on YouTube, both on set up and print examples as well as useful tips for taking your 3D printing to the next level.
On Thingiverse you’ll find a multitude of print object you can make with the FlashForge Finder as well as a lot of other Finder users. There’s also a Google group dedicated to FlashForge printers with plenty of useful advice.
Where Can You Get Designs To Print With This Printer?
The most common place that 3D printing beginners find files to print is on Thingiverse. There are plenty of really great projects you can print with the FlashForge Finder including parts for the printer itself.
Another great site where you can find downloadable print files is Yeggi. You can search for any object that you’re interested in printing or just browse through their most popular 3D models list.
You can also create your own designs using design software such as TinkerCad.
What Customers Are Saying:
The FlashForge Finder 3D printer gets excellent reviews from many very satisfied customers. A lot of people were very pleased with how easy this printer is to use. In fact, quite a number of people commented that this was the easiest printer to set up and use.
Many customers also commented on the excellent customer service they have received when they needed a little extra help. Others absolutely loved the assisted bed leveling feature and the intuitive touchscreen. Most people agreed that the FlashForge Finder is a great entry printer and excellent value for money.
The FlashForge Finder 3D printer is one of the easiest printers to set up and use for beginners and students. It’s a great printer for home use or in the classroom to introduce students to 3D printing.
The removable build plate makes it super easy to remove finished printed objects without messing up the leveling. The touchscreen is very intuitive and easy to use. The assisted bed leveling makes it very quick and easy to level the bed and helps to take out the guesswork of printer calibration.
There’s also a lot of support available online for this printer as well as communities that you can join to help further your 3D printing experience. All in all, this is an excellent 3D printer in this price range.