The Flashforge Finder is a 3D printer mainly marketed to people new to the 3D printing world. With a really aggressive low price and focus on ease of use and practicality, the Flashforge Finder can be considered the perfect starter 3D printer. Don’t be discouraged though as this printer has a lot to offer to the advanced user too.
“It has some really great features and technologies, all packed into a clean and compact frame, thus making the whole experience as pleasant as possible for the end user.”
Finder shares some features with its big brother Dreamer while still achieving a relatively low price. This also means that the company had to make some sacrifices to hit that low price point while still delivering a good product to the market. User reviews on various online shops show that it is indeed a good budget 3D printer but it is, of course, not perfect.
In the following sections we will list the core features of the Flashforge Finder as well as the Pros and Cons. At the very end you will find the final summary of this 3D printer with an overall rating.
Core Features of the Flashforge Finder 3D Printer
- Slide-in Build Area: The Flashforge Finder offers a 5.5” x 5.5” x 5.5” (140 x 140 x 140 mm) print area. This might not feel like a whole lot of space, but its relatively big if you consider that the size of the 3D printer is a perfect cube with dimensions of 16.5” x 16.5” x 16.5” (420 x 420 x 420 mm). It’s also easily removable by sliding it in and out of the printer, eliminating the need for re-calibrations.
- Non-toxic Filament: This 3D printer is specifically designed to print models using non-toxic, biodegradable plastic filaments knows as Polylactic acid (PLA). A big benefit of using PLA over ABS or any other exotic material is that the fumes from the extruded plastic are not harmful and thus the printer can be used in a living environment.
- Intelligent Assisted Leveling System: This is a feature mostly found on expensive printers that allow the user to precisely calibrate the distance between the nozzle and the build plate. It uses a sensor on the print head as well as very informative messages on the touchscreen to allow the user to quickly and easily calibrate the printer.
- Wired and Wireless Connections: The 3D printer features a 2nd generation Wi-Fi connection as well as support for USB flash drives and direct connection with a computer. The printer itself has 4GB of on-board storage, further ensuring that the file will not get corrupted during a print, which is a common problem on 3D printers that relay on an active external connection
- Filament Management System: One key feature that allows this printer to be a perfect cube in size is its excellent filament management system. The filament is contained inside a cartridge that slides into the back of the printer. If you are using the Flashforge PLA filament, it can also detect when the filament is running out and alert the user. This feature only works with Flashforges filaments at the moment and you will have to disable some settings in order to use any other PLA filament.
- 3.5” HD IPS Touchscreen: Finder sports a touchscreen at the top of the printer, allowing for easy operation of the printer. It is also able to show previews of the model files before you start a print, as well as a real-time view of printing status.
- Plug and Play: One of the main selling points of the Flashforge Finder is that it is a plug and play printer where anyone can start 3D printing immediately. And that is exactly what this printer delivers.
The following are the key specifications of the Flashforge Finder 3D printer.
|Printing Tech||FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)|
|Build Volume||5.5” x 5.5” x 5.5” (140 x 140 x 140 m|
|Layer Resolution||100~500 microns|
|Positioning Precision||XY: 11 microns, Z: 2.5 microns|
|Printing Speed||40 ~ 200 millimeters per second|
|Nozzle Diameter||0.4 mm|
|Product Dimension||16.5” x 16.5” x 16.5” (420 x 420 x 420 mm)|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, USB Cable, USB Stick|
|Price||About $499 (Check here for Latest)|
Pros of the Flashforge Finder
- It’s Portable: Finder has a fairly portable design and can fit almost anywhere thanks to its clean cube shape with no extra parts sticking from its sides.
- Comes with everything you need: Alongside with the printer you also get all the tools you need to get the printer started as well as maintain it/fix it.
- Quiet: The printer is relatively quiet while operating at noise levels as low as 50dB
- Touchscreen: Very easy to use controls on the touchscreen while still allowing for re-calibration and tweaks.
- Print plate: The print plate can be easily removed after a print for removing the printed item and it can be replaced if needed.
- Easy software: FlashPrint is a very easy to use slicing software that also offers many advanced features for the 3D model like duplicating and cutting and also for the 3D printer itself such as adjusting speeds, temperatures, motor power and almost anything you can think of.
- Easy to fix: Filament jams can be easily fixed with minimum tools.
- Small touches: The build platform is very well lit using LED light panels. A simple song is played when a print is finished and the main body is available in many different colors!
- The Price: This printer is very affordable (check this listing), relative to peers.
Cons of the Flashforge Finder
- Wi-Fi Problems: It seems to be a common problem for many users of the Finder printer. The Wi-Fi connects with the devices but it does not always work with the first try. Many people have reported that they were unable to even connect to the printers Wi-Fi.
- X and Y axis Slam: Yes you read that right. There seems to be a tiny gap between the stopping switches on the X and Y axes, causing the print head to physically slam into the body of the printer. While this does not impact the prints, various DIY tweaks have been made by the community to fix that small problem.
- Proprietary Filament: Because this printer is using a custom cartridge to store its Flashforge PLA filament, it is not very easy to use any other aftermarket PLA based filament. Not only that, but there have been various reports of the filament getting tangled inside the storage cartridge.
- No ABS Filament: While this is not really a Con, as it is clearly stated by the product manufacturer, it is worth mentioning that this printer will not be able to print anything other than PLA.
Some Alternatives to Consider
While the Flashforge Finder is a very good and cheap 3D printer, there are some other 3D printers you might want to have a look at.
1) New Matter MOD-t 3D Printer
This is one of the few 3D printers on the market that offer similar ease of use and pleasant appearance to the Flashforge Finder at a low price. Obviously there will be more compromises.
2) XYZprinting da Vinci 2.0 Duo 3D Printer
While this printer might not be as cheap or as pretty as the Flashforge Finder, it does have Dual Extruders and a bigger build platform at a very competitive price.
Conclusion: Final Take
The Flashforge Finder is a really good starter 3D printer with potential for the more advanced users. It packs some really nice features and offers a lot out of the box. Because of its focus on ease of use and simple interface and software, it is the perfect printer to get you started with 3D printing.
Bottom Line: If you want a clean looking, quiet and easy to use 3D printer that just works, then the Flashforge Finder is definitely a 3D printer you should consider, especially at that price range.
While you might have a few minor problems, the community is active and growing, and most of the problems have been resolved with the contribution of the community and the printer is only getting better.