This lesson introduces the Flashforge Finder. We will go through what the Flashforge Finder is and how to operate the machine. This will include unboxing the printer, leveling it and printing your first model.
The Flashforge Finder is a low-cost 3D printer that is known for being a user-friendly machine. It is a printer that has been regularly used in our 3D Print Shop for fabricating youth projects. The printer provides a solid value for its price as it can produce quality prints with the right settings. There are perks for having an affordable printer but, an inexpensive printer will sometimes need more troubleshooting than a quality printer to get going. If you encounter any issues, please seek staff assistance first and do not attempt to troubleshoot without staff guidance.
Let’s get to unboxing your printer but, before we do that let’s go over what comes included with the printer.
Now we’re going to begin unboxing the printer, You’d want to make sure you have a workspace cleared off for the printer beforehand. Feel free to look at this unboxing video as a walkthrough.
Open the box and lift the printer out by grabbing the interior handles of the printer. This might require an additional set of hands to pull the box as you grab on the printer if it doesn’t come out smoothly.
Remove all the packaging from the printer.
Remove the tape from the ribbon cable on the extruder carriage.
Now carefully remove all the zip-ties with your snips on the carriage. Make sure you cut away from any exposed wires. Once free, slide the carriage back-and-forth to make sure nothing is damaged or obstructed from moving.
Carefully lift the build plate up and remove the remaining packaging underneath. You should see two yellow clips on the z axis rods; remove those.
You’re now finished with the unboxing, make sure to keep all included supplies together.
Now we’re getting to the exciting part!
Plug up your printer and press the power button next to the screen. Once it’s turned on we will begin with loading filament.
Watch the video below to guide you through inserting the filament or look at section 4 in your quick start guide.
Tip: Filament should extrude out in a circular motion that coils on the bed resembling a slinky toy.
Bed leveling is an essential part of ensuring a successful print. It’s one of the first things you do when you set up a 3D printer and one of the first things you should look at if you are having trouble with your prints.
A 3D printer would need to be re-leveled several times throughout the course of its lifetime, so don’t get frustrated if you keep doing it over and over again. Keep in mind that the most experienced users spend a lot of time leveling the bed to perfect it’s printing quality. A perfectly leveled printer would have the printer’s nozzle close enough to the bed but not touching the bed. The distance of the nozzle and bed should be equivalent to that of a folded piece of paper or a business card.
You will get messy or failed prints if the bed is leveled incorrectly; prolonged printing on an unlevel surface can cause clogs or damage to the bed if the nozzle is too low.
Always refer back to the user guide when needing to re-level your printer.
The Flashforge is a comprehensive three point leveling process that outputs feedback on the screen to give feedback. You will maneuver the knobs underneath the build platform which will adjust the distance between the nozzle and build plate. Do not apply a lot of pressure when tightening the knobs because they can strip easily making it unable to level the bed.
Proceed to section 5 in the user guide to begin the build plate leveling
Once you’ve completed the leveling process, we’re going to print our first calibration cube. Apply a thin layer of glue on the bed using the glue stick. Insert the usb flash drive provided into the printer; there are two pre-sliced files ready to be printed. Print the first file titled: 1-CalibrationCube.gx.
Click build on the touch screen > Select the USB button > Select 1-CalibrationCube.gx > then click build.
This is a quick print to ensure the build plate is leveled in the center. Watch the first layers if anything appears off, cancel the print and go back to leveling.
The First Layer is the most important layer of the print, without a good first layer adhesion you’re bound to have printing errors. The illustration below shows you what a good first layer should look like.
Once you have a perfect calibration cube print the second test file on the flashdrive: 2-CalibrationCubes.gx.