Recently, we have received Flashforge Finder 3D printers , very similar to the model of the same brand – Inventor II . Both printers are marketed as models for home use, suitable for children, for use in schools, educational circles, etc. The difference in price between these models is insignificant, both of them are quite affordable.
We decided to compare printers with each other and figure out what are the similarities, and what are the differences.
And traditionally, a few words about Flashforge:
FLASHFORGE is a Chinese manufacturer Zhejiang Flashforge 3D Technology Co., Ltd., established in 2011 and today is one of the largest 3D printer manufacturers in the world. Flashforge printers are consistently ranked in the Top 10 Favorite Printers for 3D Printing Enthusiasts from 3DHUBS. The brand’s printers are loved very much for their indestructibility and ease of use, as well as for their excellent price / quality ratio.
Outwardly, Finder turned out to be an almost complete copy of Inventor II. It differs only in color and the absence of a closed case (top, front and sides are open). The rest of the printers are almost identical in appearance.
There is a small reel container at the back.
True, the spool fits quite small – 300 grams. Then another difference catches your eye – the Finder does not have a filament end sensor, like the Inventor II.
Even the equipment of the printers is the same.
The package includes:
- Plastic spool (PLA)
- Power adapter, power cable and USB cable
- USB stick
- Pin tool for removing blockages
- Glue stick
- Wrenches and wrenches
- Filament guide tube
- The package bundle is modest, but quite sufficient for comfortable work with the printer.
The printers are identical in characteristics, except that Inventor II has 1 cm more printable area along the Y axis. This is displayed in the native FlashPrint software. Cube size 140x140x140 mm:
Inventor II has optical limit switches along the axes, while Finder has conventional mechanical ones. We assumed that it is due to this that an additional 10 mm appears along the Y-axis. Sometimes manufacturers manage to increase the printable area without increasing the size of the printer, thanks to the installation of optical limit switches.
Both printers are operated using a small but informative 3.5 ”LCD display.
The sensor is very responsive, we did not notice any “freezes”.
Both models have an MK8 extruder with a seriously modified airflow. Since both Inventor II and Finder are designed to print primarily with PLA, the designers have paid particular attention to airflow over previous printers.
The space under the nozzle is blown from four sides at once. This allows for superior PLA print quality even on the smallest models.
Both printers have a removable unheated stage, but with the signature Flashforge “rough” surface for better adhesion.
As mentioned earlier, Inventor II has added a filament end sensor in the spool compartment. This is very convenient – you don’t have to worry that the plastic will run out at the most inopportune moment. The Finder has a footprint for the sensor, but there is no sensor itself (one of the reasons why the Finder is cheaper).
In the new firmware, Inventor II added the ability to disable the sensor in the menu. This is very useful when working with large coils that do not fit into the compartment. Previously, we had to short-circuit the sensor using large coils.
Calibration and Print Preparation
Both printers are equipped with calibration sensors.
Calibration is very simple, even a person who sees a 3D printer for the first time can handle it. You just need to follow the instructions on the display. The printer itself will check the distance from the table to the sensor and even tell you which way to turn the screw under the platform.
But if the printer starts to print too high – you need to go to “Menu – Settings” and select “Calibrate extruder”. After that, you need to programmatically set the gap between the table and the nozzle. Nothing complicated.
Inventor II and Finder have several ways to launch print files:
- from a flash drive;
- from a computer (via Wi – Fi or USB cable);
- through proprietary cloud storage FlashCloud.
Both printers use FlashPrint as software.
An excellent and intuitive slicer designed specifically for Flashforge printers. The slicer is able to cut models, allows editing supports and much more.
The biggest plus for beginners is the availability of ready-made profiles for printing; you will not need to spend a lot of time trying to figure out which parameters need to be set.
We talked about FlashPrint in more detail in our last review.
The Finder is the little brother of Inventor II. They are very similar to each other, almost identical, with the exception of a couple of things that were removed from Flashforge Finder. This is a filament sensor, mechanical feet instead of optical ones, a smaller model building area and, of course, the absence of panels on 3 sides and a cap on top. Manufacturers wanted to create the most inexpensive printer possible without losing print quality, and they did it.
This printer will be of interest to people who need a simple and high-quality printer without bells and whistles and unnecessary functions, capable of printing only PLA, which does not need to be dealt with, configured, modified. Finder fits perfectly into your home or classroom.