FlashForge Finder with Cura

FlashForge Finder

I brought my 3D printer with us to Iceland. My rationale was it’s expensive to ship small things here, and so being able to print my own would save us the effort. There was only one small complication. In our old house I had the printer software installed on my Windows PC, since that’s what the bundled software runs on. I didn’t move the Windows machine with us, though. We’re 100% linux in this apartment, and so I needed to be a little bit creative.

Flashforge’s bundled software was the only software I was able to make work reliably in the past, which is unfortunate with such fantastic slicers available. In particular I really wanted to use Cura, which gets excellent reviews.

Today is a new day, though, so I figure I’ll give it another shot. After all, it seems much easier than trying to get the other software to run under Wine.

FlashForge Finder Settings

There are a few forum postings with people requesting the settings to use FlashForge Finder in Cura as a manual printer, but I couldn’t find any working replies. The closest I came was one person who posted their settings (above). They also included a bunch of G-code that didn’t work, which I’ve trimmed.

The real meat & potatoes of a printer configuration in Cura is the G-code that starts and ends the print. I really didn’t want to have to learn to write this stuff manually (spoiler: I still did, a bit), so I dug around for other sources that might provide me a good starting point.

I found what I was looking for on TinkerCAD! The FlashForge Finder has this nifty integration with Polar Cloud, which saves me the trouble of running a USB cable to my laptop across the room. Polar Cloud was so kind as to inform me that it has integrations to print directly from TinkerCAD for the FlashForge Finder. This set off the alarm bells. If it can print to my printer, it MUST know the G-code to use.

FlashForge Finder Settings

I grabbed the start and end codes from TinkerCAD and it almost worked, honestly. Unfortunately I kept facing a weird issue where it would print fine for a minute and then fail to extrude. After some debugging I realized that the printer was heating up the extruder, but not keeping it hot during the print. The culprit was the heat setting variable that TinkerCAD uses vs Cura. Once I fixed that I was pretty much there.

Start Code

xgcode 1.0
;start gcode
M140 S0
M104 S{material_print_temperature} T0
M104 S0 T1
M132 X Y Z A B
G1 Z50.00 F400
G161 X Y F3300
M6 T0
M907 X100 Y100 Z40 A80 B20
M108 T0
G1 Z.20 F400

End Code

M104 S0 T0
G28 X Y
M132 X Y Z A B

You’ll notice in the screenshot above I set my filament size to 1.75mm instead of the default in Cura. Finally, in my project settings I enabled the visibility of the default temperature setting and changed it to 220°C instead of the default 200°C and set the flow to overflow at 110% to smooth out my prints. These may be specific settings to the individual printer, though, and your mileage may vary.

So, there it is: Cura settings that actually work with FlashForge Finder. Go forth and create!

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