Retro Frog Week 1: Success and an update!

Posted by Todd Gill on

Hiya folks!

 

It's been 1 week since I opened up my shop and so far things have been a success. I have received 38 orders in that time and as of writing this post, I have fulfilled 31 of them with the other 7 to be fulfilled and shipped later today/early tomorrow. The average order has been for $17.80 and I have shipped a number of orders to international locations such as China, UK and even Switzerland! I truly appreciate each and every sale. 

 

I launched the shop with just 2 designs, the Gamecube 40mm fan adapter and the Xbox 1.0 40mm fan adapter. Both have sold really well. Late last week I introduced the Xbox 70mm Nexus fan adapter/mount. That too has done well. Yes, I plan to introduce more than just fan adapters in the near future. I already had someone make the "onlyfans" joke. lol

So far to date all prints that have shipped have been printed on my upgraded Ender 3 Pro. This machine has had a number of upgrades installed: EZABL auto bed leveling sensor and textured spring steel sheets from TH3D Studio, upgraded silent cooling fans from Noctua, replaced the junk Creality mainboard with a SKR mini e3 v2 (running TH3D Unified 2 firmware), hard mounts for the heated print bed (no more springs), Capricorn PTFE tubig and a upgraded all metal extruder from Creality. I also printed off some upgraded components like replacement fan cover for the PSU (replaced the noisy stock 60mm with a 92mm Noctua), replacement LCD housing (looks better and tilts the display up at a better angle to see across the room), filament guide going into the extruder (no more rubbing against the Z screw). And finally a replacement hot end and part cooling duct to allow the usage of the 40mmx20mm Noctua fans. 

 

This machine has been a workhorse after these upgrades. Consistent first layers and good print quality. I can kick off a print job and walk away knowing that the prints will be good. However as the shop grows, sales increase and more products are added, I knew going into this that a 2nd printer would be required. 

 So I ordered a Prusa i3 MK3S+.

The Prusa machines are workhorses designed to print essentially 24/7. Many, many print farms use Prusa printers as they are reliable, consistent and easy to work with. Plus the added benefit is that it has a slightly wider bed (about 30mm) on it which will allow for some future projects to happen that might not fit on the Ender 3 Pro. 

 

I received the Prusa mid last week and began assembling it. You can order their printers in either kit format or pay extra money for a prebuilt and tested machine. Unlike regular paper printers, you don't just take these out of the box, pop in some filament and start printing out incredible models. It doesn't work like that. There is still some calibration and tweaking that needs to happen to get the best results. If you buy a kit, you can expect to spend 8 to 12 hours assembling it and then probably, at the very least, spend several hours calibrating and getting your settings just right.  Since I bought my printer with both the textured spring steel sheet and the smooth PEI steel sheet, it took a bit more to get both dialed in where I wanted them. I also received the bonus Satin steel sheet, but I haven't bothered to use that one yet. I'll need to spend some time and get it calibrated too. Luckily Prusa gives you the ability to have multiple spring steel sheet profiles from the menu. With up to 8 steel sheet profiles, you can then save your Z adjust settings for each one and when you swap on a different sheet, you can simply go into the menu and tell it which sheet you are using and your settings get adjusted for that one. Neat. 

 

Also, if I buy more printers in the future, it will probably be more Prusa units and I will just buy the preassembled units to save time. Then I can just spend a few hours dialing in first layer settings and I am off to the races. 

 

Well, that's end of this first blog. With it being just a couple days until Christmas, I hope everyone has a safe and Merry Christmas and Happy holidays!

 

- Todd