This story begins with our 2nd community filament-making workshop where we met Luke Goodman. Like our other attendees, he arrived with enthusiasm and a custom color in mind. We worked together with Luke to design and prototype Proton Purple, a frosty compliment to Galactic Empire Purple. Luke also brought his camera to capture the experience and later share it on his YouTube channel.
Not long after, Luke commissioned us to make a batch of his new color to feed his 3D printers. You see, Luke designs and fabs mods for Nerf blasters. He literally wrote the book on it! It’s no surprise Luke stumbled upon 3D printing to support this hobby-turned-business. He now operates a fleet of Prusa MK3 3D printers, all reliably consuming Protopasta to make beautiful, functional parts.
Proton Purple was an experiment in creating a single, specialty color, but we later learned Luke needed many colors to meet his customers’ varying color preferences. He also had reliability, consistency, availability, environmental, and support needs that weren’t being met. Working alongside Luke, while addressing all the shortcomings and opportunities that come with 3D printing, has been truly rewarding.
Being local, having full control of our manufacturing processes, and extruding onto recyclable 100% cardboard spools all gives Luke a better basis to produce his product. With Luke’s business just up the road, he’s actually able to return his lightly used cardboard spools for re-use for additional environmental benefit. Luke’s print farm has been a great testbed for quality and reliability improvements that further reduce waste. Luke's latest video on the topic below.
After considering the many shades of Nerf orange, we formulated Out of Darts Orange to meet Luke’s preference. We considered the two silvers he used previously in designing Second to None Silver. Our color formulation skills were put to the test when replicating Prusa’s Galaxy Black. Our clone, Intergalactic Black, ends up being about a 50/50 mix of Empire Strikes Black and Obsidian. Most recently, Luke challenged us to specially formulate a blue similar to Winter Blue. Blazin’ Blue has more fine pearl for a smooth, less translucent result.
With an approved color design, 100 kg batches of Protopasta on 1 kg cardboard spools with only a few weeks turnaround is a powerful tool to feed a print farm and fuel a business. We’re doing the same for other businesses and can do the same for you. Feel free to contact us.
Not printing for business? No worries! Have fun printing Proton Purple, Second to None Silver, and Out of Darts Orange!!!
Take care and enjoy,
Alex and the Protopasta Team
P.S. Having trouble printing with Prusa or another 3D printer? We’re here for you! A good result is possible, and we can help you get there.
Machine(s): Prusa MK2/3, Prusa Mini, Creality Ender 3
Nozzle: 0.4 mm standard brass w/ sock (if possible)
Nozzle Temp: 205 - 235 C Bed Temp: 60 C Bed Type: PEI
Bed Prep: Clean w/ water or alcohol; Magigoo for additional adhesion + easy release when cool
Overlaps: 0 Min layer time: 0 Min Speed: 0 Fill gaps: no Expansion: 0
|Layer height||Ext width||Speed||Fan|
|1st Layer||0.32 mm||0.44 mm||up to 20 mm/s||0%|
|Rest of print||0.16 mm||0.44 mm||
20 mm/s outline
40 mm/s infill
Interestingly enough, I found a similar result with the above parameters on all 3 machines at 205 C - 235 C. The Prusa Mini is upgraded to a Bondtech heatbreak to move the PTFE junction farther away from the hotend to reduce hang-ups. The Prusa MK3 has the stock Prusa heatbreak with lip, but swapping to a standard e3dv6 heatbreak or e3d lite6 hotend can bring more trouble-free results. The Creality Ender 3 requires no modifications.
We know printing isn't always trouble-free so if you're looking for instructions on how to wrangle those loose coils or need other printing help, please consider our getting started guide!
Don't forget to show off your creations with our newest colors. When you tag Protopasta on Instagram, your photo could be chosen as one of our Top 9 for the month!