Quick Hacks And Upgrades Give Old Printers A New Speed

3D Printing & Imaging
Quick Hacks And Upgrades Give Old Printers A New Speed

With the fairly recent trend of ultra-fast pre-built printers hitting the market, like the Bambu printers, the Creality K1, the AnkerMake, and others, the playing field has really changed. Admittedly, after using one of these turbo machines it can be really hard to imagine going back to your other, slower, machines no matter how reliable and high quality they are.

Seriously, when you’re prototyping and you can expect your test models to be done in two hours instead of six, it changes how you design things and what your process is entirely. You get used to that quick turnaround and quick visualization of your prototype. In my case, it meant that my powerhouse machines made by Prusa started collecting dust. I have a Prusa MK3, A Prusa Mini, and a Prusa MK4 that I use for my gaming charity. They used to be pumping out parts nearly non-stop. After I got my Bambu Carbon X1, it was hard to make myself push jobs to those slower printers even though I knew the print quality was slightly better from them. This was almost entirely due to the speed of the Bambu Carbon.

Luckily, Prusa put out a firmware update for the Prusa MK4 which makes it as fast as my Bambu, or close enough. Now those two machines work non-stop, producing more than I did before, and admittedly my mini is relegated to times when I absolutely need more output. It is crazy how quickly a tiny firmware upgrade changed my entire perception of the MK4, and it is again easily my favorite machine due the reliability and maintainability.

Now, Prusa has announced that same firmware bump is coming to the Prusa Mini and I’m extremely excited.

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For the sake of this article, I’m only calling it a speed bump. There’s a reason for that. Technically, there’s a lot more going on in terms of what was tuned but in the end, all I see or care about is that I’m getting Prusa quality prints at higher speed. I’m super excited to get my mini blazing again as well.

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Installation was quick and easy and now it feels like I have a brand new machine. I love this.

But what about machines that aren’t Prusas? What about Enders?

Luckily, if you have an ender, or several other common machines, there’s an easy way for you to do the same thing. There’s a device called a SonicPad that is put out by Creality that plugs into your printer and uses Klipper to get your machine going much faster than it did when you pulled it out of the box. It’s a super quick and easy upgrade. The difference having these speed boosts makes is hard to state, it fundamentally changes how you view your machine and I just wanted people to know that there are options where they can try it without getting a whole new machine.

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The SonicPad is $150, but it can control up to 4 machines at once, so if you have multiple machines it really is a price effective upgrade.

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I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. email me at hello (at) calebkraft.com

View more articles by Caleb Kraft

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