I was thinking about the forum on my rather long drive to Ottawa and was wondering a couple of things hope you would not mind answering for me.
Where does our community base come from? Are most of you local or located elsewhere in Canada or the globe?
Another question was how did you find us? Google search? suggestion from the staff here and 3DPC? or another way?
Last one I promise; is there anything additional you all would like to see here? specific topics? Cheat sheets? would you like to see more of an information repository? I am thinking per printer and per filament. I am going to start to put out Slicer profiles or at least specs on printing some of the material we have in store.
Any and all information and suggestions are welcome. I want to keep growing the forum larger and I want to make sure I am driving it down the right path.
I live in Toronto, in the (very) West End and found this forum through a Google search of an answer to a problem I was having.
I should point out that because of traffic on the QEW and the store’s limited hours (especially on Saturday), I’ve only physically been to it once so buying from you is largely a virtual experience for me and that means when I’m looking around for things, I’m looking around. I’d appreciate it if you stayed open on Saturday until at least 6:00PM along with Sunday hours and maybe staying open late (9:00PM to 10:PM) a couple of nights per week. With these extended hours, you may want to close Tuesday/Wednesday.
Slicer profiles for different materials/printers would be okay but if I were looking, I can find them easily enough on other sites, so it wouldn’t be something that drew me here/to 3DPC. What I would recommend is going through the questions here and looking at the ones that are most commonly asked or the ones that ended up having the most common cause.
Can I suggest that you use this forum to more actively decide what to sell and what not to sell? The big one I think you need to consider dropping from your lineup is the Creality Sonic Pad. It’s quite frankly a shitty product with little to no support from the manufacturer and, as far as I know, it’s the only one where you have a disclaimer:
Both here and on the Klipper forums, I see an unreasonable number of support requests with people who spend hours trying to get these things working with maybe a 50% success rate. I think companies like 3DPC need to send the message to companies that you won’t peddle and support their crap.
Southern Manitoba for me. I discovered your website when filament shopping online, and found this forum through that(I think there was or is some sort of notice on the webstore about this forum).
Edit, and the repositories, and such I have not used yet. I came here for the community discussion about printers, so that is why I am here. More members will mean more discussions, so I am in support of growth
I live just west of Toronto. I think I found your store through a google search and since I go to Hamilton quite often, decided to stop by to pickup some supplies. I ended up setting up an account (I think the debit payment system was down when I was there) and then joined the forum. You have a good spread of topics… though some are pretty thin on content. I think slicer settings for the printers/filaments you sell would be helpful for some folks.
Oddly, I am in the east end of where you were driving to (Ottawa for the others reading) when you came up with this post. Like a few others, I found you online when shopping to buy a 3d printer last year. We had some fun with the first choice I made, but that was returned and I went with the next step up.
I like the feel of this forum - it’s a bit easier to chat in than Reddit or FB forums (I am a member of the Geeetech FB group. Not a huge fan of their I3 clones, but they are awesome for forcing you to learn a lot!)
I’d like to see slightly tighter sections on the models of printers you sell, but that’s the librarian in me wanting to have tighter categories for specific searching.
Your idea of cheat sheets, etc. sounds interesting. Having reference profiles that can be cross checked against could be helpful. For example Creality Slicer 4.8.2 has the CR 10 Smart Pro, but Cura 5.X doesn’t Mildly irritating to have to port up to/into it, and having an idea of what absolutely needs to change vs. what doesn’t would be a nice to have. Same goes for the latest PrusaSlicer… thankfully they had an experimental one to play with, I just dislike that they insist by default in probing the bed each and every print. gah.
I don’t know when I’ll be back anywhere near the store - I don’t travel for work anymore, and have no reasons to want to go anywhere near the GTA these days, so Virtual is good. Oh, kudo’s for greying out the images on out of stock items on the Web store… that is a blessing. Read your post in another thread about the diff temps for dif. colours of the same PLA… that was an interesting tidbit, and I think I’m glad I don’t have your hydro bill for all that testing.
North of Barrie here. I am not sure which came first, the videos or the purchase. I normally do a search for whatever I’m looking for (product wise). I ignore the top results (ad placements) as they aren’t normally local then go from there. If I saw it was Canadian AND a good price including shipping I’ll do my purchase. If I don’t, I look around for product costs and see if it’s competative and then sign up for any email lists or subscribe to videos.
So, you guys would have had to have stock AND be inexpensive AND/OR have good videos or newsletters.
that’s an awesome description, I am just trying to get a feel of where my users are and what they would like to see. This community is for all of you and I want to make sure I hit the mark. If I want to let everyone meet each other and do a store BBQ but no one is local, doesn’t make sense.
gonna be a bit awkward for me but I am going to try and explain the intent behind the “warning”
Most people who bought the sonic pad either did not realize that it burns new firmware to your printer or did not read the instructions to understand what it will do. So we get caught between a rock and a hard place. Without the Sonic pad attached to your printer, your printer will not function, With the sonic pad attached it adds another layer of complexity to troubleshooting the printer.
We have to sell the products that our customers want, at a price that will be competitive. Included in this price is a certain amount to put towards “sales/support” labour. It is unfortunately impossible for us to be able to retail the sonic pad at a competitive price and be able to cover the cost of an hour’s labour on each one. (my average phone time on the setup of a sonic pad is 72 mins.) I always get them running however I just cannot include the cost of that hour’s labour in the sonic pad and expect people to still purchase them.
The Spirit of the warning is this;
If you are technically able to set up and use this item, We have it available.
If you are willing to ask questions or do some research on it we will absolutely help you as much as we can.
If you require 1 on 1, phone time tech support to set up this unit we have to charge you for it.
I know the warning looks harsh but if we don’t word it that way a lot of people don’t understand or ignore it.
I get it, but most of what I read about this device is that it’s being marketed as an easy way for a beginner to use klipper, 3DPC’s warnings notwithstanding, your brochure page for this device doesn’t mention anything about it burning new firmware to your printer, what that means or that anyone can really get klipper to run without this device. I was really surprised when 3DPC went all in on these Creality products and never seem to call out the bad quality, then lean on the forum for “free support”. The very users you’re inflicting this stuff on and 3dpc are advertising them as an asset to sell this stuff. If a product causes you this much grief then it could be sold only as a factory-installed device if they really can be made to work or packed up and sent back to China, especially if they are failing at the rates posted here in this thread by experienced users.
I found your site when looking to buy a printer and noticed the forum decided to find people smarter than me
I would love to see a section just for what ever you did with printing that day that doesn’t weren’t its own forum much like the what did you do in the shop on a blacksmithing forum I’m on
I don’t understand the business of selling 3D printers retail and maybe the “rock and a hard place” you’re stuck between is that if you don’t buy the Sonic Pads, you don’t get to sell other Creality products. However, I would think you should be taking a very hard look at selling something at a “competitive price” if you can’t follow your traditional business model.
Doing a bit of research, I see that all the reviews for the product are with Creality products (primarily Ender 3s) and I would concede that it will work with Creality printers - the problems that I see is people trying to connect a Sonic Pad to something other than a Creality product OR enhancing their product and running into trouble (ie adding a BL Touch is a big one, although the CR Touch seems to be okay - again, this is a Creality product).
From what I am seeing, there is an electrical problem with at least one of the Sonic Pad’s USB ports as they behave differently when you are trying to connect to a non-Creality device (as well as some Creality). You might claim that the problem is with the printer’s controller board, but I haven’t seen a situation where a controller that can’t connect to a Sonic Pad could not connect to a PC or Raspberry Pi and I have seen cases where Sonic Pads can’t connect to Creality controller boards without changing the USB cable and/or the USB port on the device.
Please correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems that Creality ships firmware with their printers that isn’t available for download from any website. I’ve seen several cases where somebody has tried to add the Sonic Pad to their printer only to fail and then discover that they can’t get a copy of their old firmware and the latest versions won’t work with their printers - now they may have modified their printers and not understood the ramifications, but can’t get back to what they had before.
Even when the Sonic Pad is running, there is a huge problem with the product’s fork of Klipper and that is it doesn’t produce a “klippy.log” file which records everything that happens in the printer and provides a pretty good explanation of failures. A few days ago somebody was trying to get their printer up to 260C and the Sonic Pad wouldn’t let them, I made a suggestion to try adding the verify_heater statement in his printer.cfg file as I’m guessing as to what his problem is - with a klippy.log, I could understand the issue much more easily.
I know there are glowing reviews (with installation instructions for the Ender 3 and CR-10, I can’t find any for a third party printer) of the Sonic Pad on several prominent websites but the reality of working with the product is something else again and not addressed in any of the articles.
From where I stand, I’ll continue to answer questions from people who have a Sonic Pad that is connecting to their printer and are experiencing Klipper based problems. If anything questions come up regarding connections, I’ll let you answer them.
As you know I truly appreciate your cander and technical knowledge. I can see where you are coming from and personally I agree with you.
From what I can see when we carry creality products we try to carry everything that we believe we can sell. Creality does have some printers we don’t carry because they do not sell in our market. Some commercial printers for example. I have a much better fit on the commercial side of things that fits the bill just a little better. The other side of that is I would never want to become a one-trick pony. Someone that sells only one product and may be very good at it but you take away your own flexibility to service the customer, which is always the end goal. I have in stock a range of products to meet multiple needs. For the most common, most community supported and most recognized, Creality has it hands down. Until I saw the flyer on the Creality High temp printer and their sign printer I didn’t even know they made it.
I have had a discussion with some very high-up people at Creality over lunch and we discussed at length the direction of Crealtiy as a company. Their naming schemes for printers and new products coming down the pipes. I am excited by some of the stuff they have coming. What I do not agree with (and yes I have made this quite clear) is don’t branch out into unknown territory without knowing where the limits are.
Creality has attempted to create a Klipper replacement, that is easy to use but has no ability to troubleshoot for someone from a Klipper background. To me, it’s just frustrating. If you are going to make a different product, Make it better, Don’t remove functionality just to say it’s different. Now please don’t get me wrong, If your printer is on the list of printers in the sonic pad, for the most part, it works out of the box. If you have modified your printer at all there is no guarantee it will work.
Crealty markets the Sonic pad as a device that when you plug it in your printer will automagically (not a typo) print 250 mm/sec on a stock ender 3 V2. This is NOT true. And unfortunately, this is the problem where I am caught. As you all know I speak very real, A stock ender 3 V2 out of the box will NOT print 120MM/sec and no amount of sonic pads will ever change that. I personally think that Creality was better off putting together an all-in-one bundle of “klipper parts” including a screen, all the USB cables and a printed holder for everything and calling it a klipper kit. I think there is more value in having all the required parts in one kit rather than having 1 part that only does a small subset of all the 3D printers out there.
We all know that if they had said “sonic pad will only work with creality printers” fewer people would buy it, but I think that’s the most accurate way to market it. Extending that I think that it should tell you that it will flash your firmware. BTW a side note I have always been able to find the factory firmware for any crealty printer. usually on the officialCreality website. I also believe it will work with other printers you just need to truly understand what you are asking it to do.
I am going to apologize for other reading this I did not mean to make this quite as long winded. I truly wanted to find out who you guys are on the forum and how I can service you guys better.
don’t apologies, that post gives me more respect for you and the company knowing how you stand on what you sell to the customer.
I agree that some of Crealities “upgrades” do nothing to help the customer as they often seem to sell somewhat buggy products or attempt to oversell a product as better than it can do.(ender 7 release was such)