3D printing Ender 3 upgrade

Thread Starter

Oliver_Simpson

Joined Mar 12, 2022
3
I currently own a 3D printer, the older version of the ender 3. It is becoming to old and not powerful enough for me and I’m looking to upgrade. I’m defiantly looking for a printer under £1000, with self levelling bed, and dual extrusion if possible. It also has to be a laser engraver and mabye cnc to if possible. I need the build plate to be 300mm x 300mm x 300mm or larger, as my ender 3 is already this size. I’m open to any suggestions, even if they don’t follow all these needs and grateful for any responses, thanks.
 

scorbin1

Joined Dec 24, 2019
103
Just an FYI, Ender 3 is only 220mmx220mmx250mm build volume. For a multifunction machine under £1000, I think you are going to be very hard pressed to get anything with any sort of decent quality. In fact, even building it from scratch is entirely likely to exceed the £1000 considerably, especially if you value your time. I know the Ender 3 can't do CNC but it can be adapted for laser cutting. I actually find the Ender 3 to be a very reliable and capable printer when properly cared for and maintained, though the maintenance and care apply to 3D printers in general. It is designed to be an entry level printer but there are a massive number of upgrades limited only by your imagination. I am not sure what you mean by "not powerful enough" but my Ender 3 still competes quite well against other 3D printers, including the Robo2 that we use at work. In fact, in my honest opinion, the Ender 3 beats the Robo2 any day of the week and with that I think the price comparison of the two says it all. What the Robo2 does have going for it is the turnkey setup/installation, but definitely not worth the extra $1500 we shelled out at the time, imo.
 

Thread Starter

Oliver_Simpson

Joined Mar 12, 2022
3
Just an FYI, Ender 3 is only 220mmx220mmx250mm build volume. For a multifunction machine under £1000, I think you are going to be very hard pressed to get anything with any sort of decent quality. In fact, even building it from scratch is entirely likely to exceed the £1000 considerably, especially if you value your time. I know the Ender 3 can't do CNC but it can be adapted for laser cutting. I actually find the Ender 3 to be a very reliable and capable printer when properly cared for and maintained, though the maintenance and care apply to 3D printers in general. It is designed to be an entry level printer but there are a massive number of upgrades limited only by your imagination. I am not sure what you mean by "not powerful enough" but my Ender 3 still competes quite well against other 3D printers, including the Robo2 that we use at work. In fact, in my honest opinion, the Ender 3 beats the Robo2 any day of the week and with that I think the price comparison of the two says it all. What the Robo2 does have going for it is the turnkey setup/installation, but definitely not worth the extra $1500 we shelled out at the time, imo.
Thanks for the info, I was wondering if you had any suggestions of mods for my ender 3? Such as a self levelling bed sensor or how to install a laser module for laser engraving.
 

scorbin1

Joined Dec 24, 2019
103
The BL Touch is a good pick for auto bed leveling. You will have to re-flash a custom Marlin image to your Ender's main board, but there are a lot of tutorials on this and it's really not that difficult. The BL Touch can be found here: https://www.antclabs.com/bltouch or on Amazon. Creality also has a kit pre-packaged and ready to go specifically for the Ender 3 here:
https://www.creality3dshop.eu/colle...-10mini-ender-3-ender-5?utm_source=all3dp.com

Here is a good tutorial on installation.
https://all3dp.com/2/ender-3-bltouch-install-it-on-your-3d-printer/
**Just an FYI it looks like the firmware link in this tutorial is dead but you should be able to find it here:
https://forums.creality3dofficial.com/download/ender-series/ender-3/

Also another great upgrade is the motherboard. If you have a bit of money to spare, I highly recommend the SKR 2.0 board. This upgrades you to a 32-bit board with A LOT of room for expansion. It looks like it's going for around $75 us right now with TMC2209 stepper drivers. for another $20 you can upgrade the user interface to a TFT touchscreen as well(available as an option on the same page). There is an SKR mini board that fits perfectly in place of the original board, but some features are missing. The only major drawback to using the full-size SKR board is that you will have to make your own enclosure. Note that some firmware configuration may be necessary. Personally I would recommend getting familiar with the source code and its configuration parameters. As I mentioned before, once you do, the possibilities are literally endless. Marlin 2.0 has a great number of features that are not available by default in most printers.
 

Thread Starter

Oliver_Simpson

Joined Mar 12, 2022
3
Thank you so much for all this it’s amazing info and Im looking at all of it and most likely buying and installing the equipment you’ve recommended.

As a side note I’ve had a problem with my ender 3 recently, every time I print (about the last 7 prints in a row after levelling and checking everything multiple times) about a centimetre up on the z axis, the bed always seems to jolt backwards and carry on the print a couple of millimetres back, out of place, the odd thing is, it’s exactly the same distance up on all the prints where it jolts backwards, I was wondering if it could be an unlevelled bed, causing the nozzle to scrape the print and push the motor off but it’s been levelled many times, I couldn’t find what it could be, do you have any ideas?
 
Thank you so much for all this it’s amazing info and Im looking at all of it and most likely buying and installing the equipment you’ve recommended.

As a side note I’ve had a problem with my ender 3 recently, every time I print (about the last 7 prints in a row after levelling and checking everything multiple times) about a centimetre up on the z axis, the bed always seems to jolt backwards and carry on the print a couple of millimetres back, out of place, the odd thing is, it’s exactly the same distance up on all the prints where it jolts backwards, I was wondering if it could be an unlevelled bed, causing the nozzle to scrape the print and push the motor off but it’s been levelled many times, I couldn’t find what it could be, do you have any ideas?
ender extender has a kit to enlarge the build area. as was stated an skr board, bltouch, filament run out sensor. upgrade the filament extruder to an aluminum one. these printers last forever by replacing parts. I have two ender 3 pros and an Anet AM8. one of the Ender pros is for ender extender kit for large scale prints. these are great for printing electronics enclosures and other useful things.
 

ErnieM

Joined Apr 24, 2011
8,337
As a side note I’ve had a problem with my ender 3 recently, every time I print (about the last 7 prints in a row after levelling and checking everything multiple times) about a centimetre up on the z axis, the bed always seems to jolt backwards and carry on the print a couple of millimetres back, out of place, the odd thing is, it’s exactly the same distance up on all the prints where it jolts backwards, I was wondering if it could be an unlevelled bed, causing the nozzle to scrape the print and push the motor off but it’s been levelled many times, I couldn’t find what it could be, do you have any ideas?
Bed leveling has zero to do with such a problem. (Neither does those mystical "E" steps I frequently hear recommended to measure and adjust.)

OK, the bed is the Y axis, and the way "up" is Z. Neither of these axis are mechanically connected, but what is common is the hot end printing head. If that is loose then pressure on the Bowden tube as the head rises can make it seem that the bed is jolting.

With the steppers live give everything a nice tug test to see if everything is tight, if not, tighten. Then either using the MOVE AXIS commands see if each axis moves smoothly from side to side or up and down. It may help to turn the steppers off and move things by hand (slowly!) if any rough spots are suspected. The base plate (Y) should not rock side to side, the X gantry should be stable on both ends, and hot end locked in place.

Luke Hatfield has written the manual that should have come with your printer. Much is a fast read so don't let the length scare you, do be scared you gloss over the info you really need.
 
Bed leveling has zero to do with such a problem. (Neither does those mystical "E" steps I frequently hear recommended to measure and adjust.)

OK, the bed is the Y axis, and the way "up" is Z. Neither of these axis are mechanically connected, but what is common is the hot end printing head. If that is loose then pressure on the Bowden tube as the head rises can make it seem that the bed is jolting.

With the steppers live give everything a nice tug test to see if everything is tight, if not, tighten. Then either using the MOVE AXIS commands see if each axis moves smoothly from side to side or up and down. It may help to turn the steppers off and move things by hand (slowly!) if any rough spots are suspected. The base plate (Y) should not rock side to side, the X gantry should be stable on both ends, and hot end locked in place.

Luke Hatfield has written the manual that should have come with your printer. Much is a fast read so don't let the length scare you, do be scared you gloss over the info you really need.
and the wheels wear and get flat spots
 
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