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Flashforge Finder 3D Printer – PCMag India

by • April 5, 2016 • No Comments

The Flashforge Finder is a moderately priced ($499) home 3D printing device that offers great print high end and a variety of connection choices. It has a modest create area and is limited to printing with polylactic acid filament (PLA), but neither of those are deal breakers at this price point. It proved amazingly tricky to get up and running, as the initially several test prints didn’t adhere to the create platform. After a few troubleshooting, yet, the Finder proved to be a reasonably reliable 3D printing device that can create great-high end print.
Design and Features
The Finder is an open-frame 3D printing device with a single extruder. It’s shaped like a cube, but has rounded corners and beveled top edges. The red and black version we tested meacertains 16.5 by 16.5 by 16.5 inches (HWD) and weighs 27 pounds. The create volume is a modest 5.5 by 5.5 by 5.5 inches, smaller in size than the LulzBot Mini (5.9 by 5.9 by 5.9 inches) and the XYZPrinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 (6 by 6 by 6.2 inches), but larger than the MakerBot Replicator Mini (4.9 by 3.9 by 3.9 inches).

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Setting up the Finder seemed relatively effortless and straightforward at initially, but turned out to be a bit additional complex. Unlike Flashforge’s Creator Pro (remain tuned for the full review), the Finder comes fully assembled. It comes with a spool of blue PLA filament, that you insert into a removable chamber that fits in the rear of the printing device. You and so thread the filament’s loose end through a hole in the top of the box, and insert it into the top of the extruder assembly. You load the filament according to the instructions on the touch screen. When the machine starts extruding filament, loading is fish.
The Finder is limited to printing with PLA filament. Most 3D printing devices can in addition use acrylonitrile butadiene acrylate (ABS), and others, such as the LulzBot Mini—our Editors’ Choice for midrange 3D printing devices—can use a variety of exotic filaments as well. For beginners, PLA is the most choice; the corners at the base of ABS prints frequently curl upward, and that is definitely particularly true of a printing device with an unheated print bed, like the Finder. Flashforge retails 1.5-pound PLA spools in of a dozen colors for $34, a typical price for the filament type.
Once the filament is installed, you remove the create plate of the printing device and cover it with a sheet of blue 3M tape, much like to the blue tape we’ve seen with most other 3D printing devices, but with the Flashforge name and logo painted on it. (The Finder comes with several such sheets.) So you plug the printing device in, turn it on, and follow the instructions for leveling the create plate of the quick-start assist.
Flashforge Finder 3D Printer
To level the create plate, you initially tighten three thumb screws under the plate as far as you can, and press Next on the printing device’s touch screen. The extruder can move and come to rest just above the create plate, above the rear thumb screw. You and so loosen that screw, that pushes the plate upward against a sensor, until you hear a tone. So you tighten the screw until the tone stops, press Next, and and so repeat these steps for the other two thumb screws. After that, at quite least in theory, your create plate is level. You and so download Flashforge’s Flashprint software of the company’s site, or install it of the USB thumb drive that comes with the printing device. Once the software is installed, you can load a 3D object file, that you can move, rotate, or rescale. When you are done, you press Print, and a dialog box appears; it lets you alter the print resolution (the default resolution is 200 microns, and you can set anywhere of 100 to 500), and add a raft and/or assists. Additional options are on the market of an high end menu. When you are done, you can save the file to a USB thumb drive, that you plug into the printing device, or send the job to the printing device over a USB 2.0 or Wi-Fi connection of your PC.
Those Build-Plate Leveling Blues
The Finder’s quick-start assist, as well as the user assist, are written in slightly broken English, that is fairly much intelligible throughout, but makes for a few informative turns of phrase, such as “Encertain that the Finder is earthed lest electrostatic interference.” More of a practical issue is that the instructions aren’t always as exact as they may be. For instance, in explaining how to use the thumb screws to level the create plate, they read, “The Finder can sound a warning. So rotate the screw in the opposite way till the sound disappears. After the sound disappears, rotate another half circle and and so tap [Next].” I assumed that “rotate another half circle” was yet in the “opposite way” described in the previous sentence, but I mayn’t be certain.
This became an issue when the initially four or five prints I tried rapidly pulled off the create plate and were ruined. I figured that I most likely hadn’t aligned the create plate correctly, so I tried realigning it, and the same thing happened, again and again. Finally, I contacted Flashforge, and a technician suggested that I try applying a thin coat of glue of a glue stick to the create plate. Fortunately I had a glue stick on hand (the printing device does not include one, nor may I find any mention of one in the user assist). Using the glue worked, and since and so I have had just one print pull away of the create plate.
Flashforge Finder 3D Printer

I printed out five test objects with the Finder. Four of them printed smoothly. The fifth—a relatively tall and thin object that tests a printing device’s capacity to print raised text and a variety of geometric shapes that protrude of a just about vertical surface—pulled away of the create platform when it was just about fish. This ruined the text part of the test, but the rest of it printed well—not as great as the MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer, but advantageous than the XYZPrinting da Vinci Jr. and the LulzBot TAZ 5 3D Printer. It did well in the other test prints it fishd, all printed via Flashforge’s blue filament, that is flecked with iridescent-green highlights.
You should have no complaints of the Flashforge Finder’s print high end, that is quite great for a moderately priced 3D printing device. You can print with it over a USB or Wi-Fi connection, or of a USB thumb drive. But, getting the Finder to print at all proved amazingly tricky, as my initially four or five test prints did not remain adhered to the create platform, and the quick-start and user assist were unclear adequate that I wasn’t certain if I had done a fewthing wrong or if there was a problem with the printing device. I resolved the issue with the assist of Flashforge’s assist, but the glue stick I had been advised to use is neither included with the printing device nor described in the user assists. We do not have an Editors’ Choice budget-priced 3D printing device, and this isn’t the breakout consumer version we’ve been hoping for, but the Finder did show flashes of promise.
The Finder costs additional than the cut-price XYZPrinting da Vinci Jr. and has advantageous print high end, but the latter was additional reliable in testing. The LulzBot Mini, our Editors’ Choice midrange 3D printing device, is effortless to set up and was problem-free in testing. That said, if you are shopping on a budget, the Flashforge Finder is worth bringing a accident on, but may need a few troubleshooting.

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