Creality Ender 3 - 3D Printer
Ender 3 Helpful Hints, Tips, Upgrades and Information
The Ender 3, manufactured by Creality, has become a very popular $200 3D printer during 2018. Although it has a low cost, it does not lack capabilities or print quality. The Ender 3 is a great first-time 3D printer, but also an attractive option for an additional printer to your collection.
Our First 3D Printer
The Ender 3 is our first 3D printer, and we are pleased with its operation. Being such a low cost device, the 3D printer community has readily adopted the unit and is continuously producing expansion items, many of which can be printed by the printer and improve the overall effectiveness and quality of prints.
Presented here are some of our findings along with handy hints so you too can get the most from your Ender 3 printer.
Ender 3 Accessories Have Arrived
Sept. 18, 2018: New Creality Ender 3 accessories have started to arrive. Have a look in our online store for necessary add-ons to increase your productivity and reliability of your Ender 3.
One of our most popular items is the SD to Micro SD adapter. This allows you to use a standard SD card with your Ender 3 eliminating the fidgety and fragile Micro SD card on your printer.
Machine Configuration Tips
Initial Setup and First Print
- Guide: How to Assemble the Creality Ender 3
- Unboxing and Build (YouTube Video) – 3D Printing Canada
- Initial Setup and First Print (YouTube Video) – 3D Printing Canada
- 3 Build Tutorial: Good video for initial assembly
- reddit Creality Ender 3 New User Guide – as published by reddit
- Creality Ender 3 Review! And Build + Simplify 3D Profile (YouTube Video)
Firmware Updates and Bootloader Installation
- TH3D Unified Firmware Package: Link to website and additional documentation
- Ender 3: How to install a bootloader and update firmware (YouTube Video) – For TH3D Firmware
An equally import addition to your 3D printer is the Slicer. A 3D slicer is a piece of software, running on a computer. It acts as an interpreter for your 3D printer. You feed it a 3D file, usually, that’s an STL, M3F or OBJ file (which describe coordinates in a three-dimensional grid) and it will produce an optimized g-code which your 3D printer understands and will use to print. There are currently two major contenders for a slicer:
Simplify3D: Unlike other options, this Simplify3D costs USD $149.00. Although it is costly, it seems to outperform other free software. We have standardized on Simplify3D and are very happy with the results.
Basic Operation, Maintenance and Optimization
Updating the Print Bed
Adding a glass or mirror bed on top of existing work surface
Must Have Add-Ons
- Fan Guard: (Tested and In Use On Our Ender 3)
Prevents printed bits and accessories from falling into the controller fan. There are a couple of options including a model with a grill (the model we use) and a second version without the grill. See Thingiverse Thing or download the local file version from us (model with the grill).
- Upper Filament Guide: (Tested and In Use On Our Ender 3)
An essential upper filament guide provides a gentle guided slope on the filament. There are several versions available and this is the one we have standardized on trialing several models. Clips on to the top extrusion and holds exceptionally well (see Thingiverse Thing) or download the local file version from us
- Lower Filament Guide: Fits beside extruder to aid in guiding in filament. Thingiverse Thing (see video)
- LCD PCB Cover: (Tested and In Use On Our Ender 3)
Covers the bottom of the LCD module. There are several versions of the LCD display cover from the contributor. We selected the model which is covered and has an opening for the integrated buzzer (Ender-3_Display_Cover_with_bell_closed.stl). This did require that we use 2 x M3x10 and 2 x M3x16 screws (discarding the old screws). Thingiverse Thing (see video) or download the local file version from us
- Cable Clamps: (Tested and In Use On Our Ender 3)
We experimented with several cable clamps to guide and secure our ribbon cable going to the LCD display. Some were just too tight, while others were difficult to remove. A model was located that secures the cable into place, can be easily removed and repositioned as needed and is available in several sizes. Thingiverse Thing (see video) or download the local file version from us
- SD Card Extender Holder: (Tested and In Use On Our Ender 3)
The Ender 3 uses by default a Micro SD card, which has become popular but is small a difficult to handle. There are adapters which allow for use the even more popular standard SD card in Micro SD card applications. The other advantage of the adapter set is that you will not be causing wear and tear on the built-in Micro SD card socket. The adapter is available with either a 48cm or 60cm cable. See the listing for an adapter tested and proven with the Ender 3.
There are several styles of holders available for the SD card adapter. We have tried and are using one of the models that install into the 2020 rail. Thingiverse Thing or download the local file version from us