For a while, one of the major gaps for 3D printing reaching the masses (or at least the education space), was the printer controller software. FlashPrint is the printer control and slicing software that you’ll use with the Flashforge Finder. The software is easy to use and can hide some of the advanced settings, but when you are ready, you just hit a button and the advanced settings are shown to you.
- Operating Systems Supported: Windows and macOS
- Link: http://www.flashforge.com/finder-3d-printer/flashprint/
- Easy to use
- Basic and advanced settings
- Stable for both Windows and macOS
- Multiple printing options including WiFi
- Some settings in the user interface can be unclear until you find your way around
- Some of the keyboard shortcuts aren’t intuitive
FlashPrint takes .stl files and outputs a .gx file that can be read by the Finder. If you try to load the .stl file into the Finder, it won’t be able to print the file. You’ll always need to import the .stl into FlashPrint and export the .gx file. The .gx file is then loaded into the Finder via the USB cable, USB drive, or WiFi.
The most reliable method for installing FlashPrint is via the USB that is included with the Flashforge Finder. This tends to be the most recent version of the software at the time the printers were packaged and shipped. The file is relatively small, so it should be a quick installation.
- Insert the USB into your computer. It’ll likely show up as “NO NAME” on your Desktop.
- Locate the installation package that matches your operating system.
- Click on the installer and follow along with the prompts.
After you install and run FlashPrint it will search for any software updates. If there is one available, you’ll be prompted to download the new version:
If this happens, click Yes to download the newest version and then unzip and re-run the installer. You’ll now have the most up to date version! FlashPrint will always check for the newest software.
If you misplace your USB drive you can always download FlashPrint from this website. There isn’t a specific version for the Flashforge Finder, so you should download FlashPrint for the Dreamer Series. Here’s a screenshot:
If possible you should try to use the installer from the USB that’s included with your printer. I’d recommend not deleting this file from the USB.
Setting Up FlashPrint
Once FlashPrint is installed it’s time to set it up to work with the Finder. Since the Finder is able to print untethered (without USB) you don’t need to connect the Finder to your computer for printing. However, you still need to prepare FlashPrint to work with your Finder.
- When you first launch FlashPrint, you should be prompted to select a printer:
- Select the FlashForge Finder from the dropdown menu and click OK. The bottom left of FlashPrint will then show “FlashForge Finder” instead of the Dreamer:
You always want the Finder to be your machine since that’s the printer you’re working with. FlashPrint may switch back to the Dreamer when you install an update, so you’ll need to make sure that you reset it to the Finder. You can always switch through the FlashPrint menu by selecting Print -> Machine Type -> FlashForge Finder.