FlashForge Finder 3D Printer Review 2019
Today we will introduce an entry-level 3D printer Flashforge Finder. This printer is classic in appearance, compact in structure, good in print quality, and easy to install. It can be connected through Wifi, and the print tasks can be controlled through the mobile app. Overall, if you are just getting started with 3D printing and hoping to get down to 3D printing out of the box, then this printer do worth considering.
The FlashForge Finder printer has a typical cubic structure and round corners. The design is very compact and neat. As for the color of the printer, the middle of the printer adopts black, the top and bottom parts are red, and the LED panel area shows blue light when working. In addition to the red and black collocations, the pre-version of the FlashForge Finder printer is available in yellow + black and light blue + black, with the same size, similar structure, except for the different colors. Personally, I prefer the red + black mix. Besides, the red+black version is an upgraded version, with more advanced functionality, especially the wireless control. With a FlashForge Finder printer on your desk, you’ll feel in the office environment, just like a traditional printer.
The Materials Used for the Printer Shell
The body shell of the FlashForge Finder printer is made of plastic alloy. Plastic alloys are a combination of different types of plastics that are physically or chemically combined to provide superior performance. The use of plastic alloy as the shell of the printer ensures the overall strength and rigidity of the printer, ensures print quality, and avoids excessive weight. It also effectively lowers the manufacturing costs and ensures more budget can be spent on the essential parts. The assembly positions of the printer’s housing components are carefully processed, and the seams are tight after assembly.
Basic Structure of the Printer
The structure of a desktop 3D printer is usually designed as a cubic structure, and the motion control in the horizontal, transverse and vertical directions make the printer work normally; or designed as a delta structure, and the motion of the printer head is controlled by the movement of the three sliders on the parallel vertical columns.
The FlashForge Finder printer uses the classical cubic structure. By controlling the movement in the horizontal, transverse, and vertical directions by the stepper motor, the printer head can be moved to the position where required. The advantage of this structure is that the print space is relatively large, but the external frame will take up a relatively large amount of space. In this way, the printed model and the external environment can have a relatively long distance and can be protected from external interference.
The FlashForge Finder printer can print a model as large as 140mm x 140mm x 140mm. This printing space is not very big, but it is enough to produce small and medium-sized parts, garage kits, small tools, etc. It can fulfill the needs of quite many 3D printing enthusiasts and designers.
High-Quality Print Nozzle
Although the nozzle structure of an FDM (or FFF) type printer is basically similar, however, the material of the nozzle and the processing precision have a significant influence on the printing process, printing quality, and the failure rate. The FlashForge Finder printer uses high-quality nozzles with smooth bore surfaces to ensure high print quality and avoid printing problems.
Patented Design of an Annular Air Supply
When the FDM type printer is working, the nozzle part temperature needs to be kept at about 200° C, so that the printed wire can be melted and extruded onto the print. However, the position slightly away from the nozzle requires a lower temperature. Otherwise, it will cause the premature melting of the wire and lead to problems. For a typical printer, 1~3 fans are installed around the printing head. During printing, the fans continuously supply air to the printer head to reduce the temperature of the parts away from the nozzle. Although this conventional design can control the temperature of the printing head, the airflow is not uniform. This affects the solidification process of the wire part extruded out of the nozzle, and make the surface precision of the printed part low quality.
The FlashForge Finder printer uses a ring-shaped air supply structure that makes the airflow at the printer head more uniform. The manufacturer has registered a patent for the design of this structure. This type of structure not only effectively controls the temperature, but also enables the extruded wire to cool quickly and stably, thereby achieving high printing quality. If you compare the printing quality between a FlashForge Finder printer and a self-assembled printer to print the same item, you will notice a significant difference in printing quality.
Adaptable to the Materials Used in Printing
Household 3D printers generally use PLA or ABS wires for printing, but the properties of these materials are not all the same. By adjusting the composition or mixing with some special materials, it is possible to obtain printing wires with multiple colors. Such as red, orange, yellow, green, etc.. It is also possible to get printing wires with particular functionality, such as the color can change with the temperature. The printing performance of the wires with different compositions may vary. However, the FlashForge Finder printer has strong adaptability to the wire materials. The printer can print models of different colors and can print materials with the color changeable with the temperature. The printer can even print flexible materials with high elasticity. Therefore, when using a FlashForge Finder printer, you don’t have to pay too much attention to the printing materials, as long as it is suitable for printing below 240 °C.
Good Printing Accuracy
When you are ready to buy a 3D printer, you will definitely pay attention to the printing accuracy of the printer. Printing accuracy is very important and has a significant impact on the surface quality of the model you print. The layer thickness of the FlashForge Finder printer is between 0.05-0.4mm, and the slicing software can pre-set this parameter during pre-processing. The print accuracy of the printer is ± 0.2mm, and the positioning accuracy of the Z-axis 0.0025mm, with X- and Y-axis 0.011mm. If you compare 3D printers at the same price level in the market, you will find that these parameters are basically the mainstream configuration.
In fact, you may see some cheaper printers claiming to achieve higher printing accuracy. However, if you can really have a test and compare, you will find that the real printing accuracy is not the same as claimed. As far as our personal experience is concerned, the printing accuracy of the FlashForge Finder printer has reached a higher level comparing considering the prices, and the printing accuracy is relatively good.
Low Power Consumption
The power consumption of the FlashForge Finder printer is well controlled. During regular operation, the power is 65W, which is equivalent to the power consumption of an incandescent bulb. This means that 1 kWh can be used for printers to work continuously for 15 hours. This is perfect for an electromechanical device that can create real value for us.
A Quiet Printer
The FlashForge Finder printer is also a quiet printer that works for about 50 dB. This is roughly equivalent to the sound of a normal conversation. If you put the printer at your bedside, you may be affected by the sound of the printing, but if you put it outside the door or do some isolation, you will not be disturbed by the noise of the printer. In fact, no matter how quiet the printer manufacturer claimed the printer to be in the market, a desktop 3D printer can’t be made with no noise at this period. We consider the FlashForge Finder printer ‘s control of the noise is entirely within the acceptable range, or even better.
“Cloud” Printing with Your Mobile Phone
Being able to control printing via mobile phone is a significant selling point for this FlashForge Finder printer. For using previous designed 3D printers, and even many 3D printers presently sold on the market, you need to write the print program to a USB device through a computer, then insert the USB device into the printer’s USB interface, or directly link the computer to the printer with a data line for print control. These two traditional methods are inconvenient and cumbersome to operate. The FlashForge Finder printer has built-in Wifi control. You can install a particular app on your mobile phone, and then you can use your phone to control the printer. This method simplifies the control of the printing process. No data line is needed, and the inflexibility of using a USB device is also avoided. Very convenient for the printer’s control.
Out of the box, With a Wealth of Accessories
When you purchase a FlashForge Finder printer, you will receive a standard carton package measuring 505mm x 500mm x 525mm. After opening the carton, you will find your printer assembled already. You only need to remove the pad that prevents bumps and check if there is any problem with the appearance. If the appearance is good, you can plug-in power, install the printing wire, and then you can start printing. This is definitely the best option for a novice or a user who just uses 3D printers as an innovative design tool and do not interested in fiddling with the structure of the printer.
The printer you purchased has several accessories in addition to the printer itself. Such as screwdrivers, hex wrenches, USB data disks, USB data cables, Teflon tubes, etc. for simple maintenance, in case of need. Besides, a wheel of PLA wire will be with the printer, so that you can start printing as soon as you get the machine. I suggest you buy more wheels of the printing wire. Once you start using 3D printers to create your designs, it is very difficult to stop, and the wire will be your biggest consumable.
Some Other Details
The nozzles of the FlashForge Finder printer use a 0.4mm standard nozzle. The original nozzle of the printer is, of course, easy to use. But, if there is a blockage or other problems for some reason and you have to change the nozzle, then you only need to buy this standard nozzle.
The printing wire of the FlashForge Finder printer is the 1.75mm diameter wire. It can be PLA material or ABS material, or it can be other printable materials, but the wire diameter must be 1.75mm in diameter. However, the diameter of 1.75mm is the standard diameter of a household 3D printer wire, which is easy to buy on the market, so don’t worry about no place to buy.
240℃ Printing Temperature
The maximum operating temperature of the FlashForge Finder printer nozzle is 240°C. There is no problem with PLA and ABS materials. If you want to print using other materials, you should note that the temperature range suitable for printing can not exceed 240 °C. Otherwise, there will be problems.
Apply Solid Glue to Ensure Stable Printing Process
The printing base of the FlashForge Finder printer can not heat with electrically. To ensure that the printing piece firmly fixed on the base, you may apply a layer of solid glue on the base. It is also recommended to print a 1-2mm layer of support with a bigger profile area before printing the real part. After the printing completed, the support can be cleaned and removed.
FlashForge Finder printers usually do not have problems and provide a 180-day warranty. If there are some problems during this period, you can contact their after-sale personnel anytime.