3D Printed Reef Innovations: the Frag Shipper

by | Apr 4, 2022 | DIY, Equipment | 0 comments

2 years ago I wrote an article outlining how 3D printing is intertwining with the aquarium hobby.  As a mechanical engineer, maker, and reef hobbyist I appreciate seeing others with similar backgrounds innovate and share their designs. It is an extension of the knowledge sharing we have all been doing these last 3 decades on the forums to advance this hobby.

The “Frag Shipper” is one design that caught my eye with how simple yet novel it was – it holds frags securely in a sample cup for shipping.  Many crude solutions exist like wrapping frags with plastic bag strips, frag plugs inserted in foam, and ketchup cups.  Sure these are a step above just letting the frags tumble around in the cup or bag, but it could be better.

The “Frag Shipper” is designed by Kris Cleven (@K.Cleven on Instagram). He started this last September 2021. Kris stated, the “Goal was: cheap, easy to print, reusable and adjustable.” The “Frag Shipper” holds 1 large frag disk plug or up to 4 small frag plugs away from the walls of the sample cup and keeps the frag submerged at all times in shipment when filled fully. It will also prevents contact damage from rough handling against the cup.  The “Frag Shipper” is reusable and great for transporting multiple small frags, as it prevents small corals from touching one another. This can reduce the unnecessary waste from all the foam, plastic, rubber bands and ketchup cups that just get thrown away after a single use. He also has the “Frag Shipper v2.0” you can use in bags as well. See a video in the following link: https://youtu.be/7EHhZVaiZls

Kris has made many other hobby-related 3D design solutions that he freely shares on Thingiverse. I salute all those who help to improve the hobby by keeping these open source. But if you do not have your own 3D FDM printer or access to one he can also help you out with that too.

Just a tip for fellow makers on what materials to use.  My personal choice is to use PETG on your FDM printer.  PETG is food safe and stronger than PLA. If you have an enclosed printer in a well ventilated space to print ABS that is fine too.  Avoid submerging PLA  parts in you tank. PLA will degrade like bio-pellets as a carbon source (unless you do want to carbon dose…)

  • Ellery Wong

    Ellery is a mechanical systems engineer at a Fortune 500 technology company. He has automation experience in the automotive, appliance, printing and robotics industries as a product development professional but also has over 35 years of saltwater aquarium experience as a hobbyist. He currently maintains a 9 tank / 540 gallon SPS/LPS/Mixed systems. DIY is his forte!

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