Our Top Recommended Creality Ender 3 Upgrades
These Creality Ender 3 upgrades are the ones we think give the most bang for your buck, and are upgrades we’ve applied to the printers we use to make sure they can keep up and running with minimal maintenance. Although there are many Ender 3 mods online, we feel that these particular upgrades provide the most improvement for your new 3D printer, including improving print quality, reducing maintenance, and preventing frustration chasing down problems down the road. Each of these upgrades are fairly easy to install and just require the tools that come with your printer.
We've also tried a few upgrades that we don't think you need, and we'll talk about why to save you the trouble and expense.
All of the Ender 3 mods we recommend here can be used with the base Creality Ender 3, the Ender 3 Pro, or the Ender 3 V2. Some are also compatible with other printers like the CR-10 (we will note these in each section).
Before diving in, a little background: The hot end and the extruder are the most important parts of your printer to maintain, since both see the most wear out of any other part and have the biggest impact on print quality. The extruder is on the left side of the printer and is what pushes filament through a tube to the hot end. The hot end is where the filament is rapidly heated and melted immediately before becoming your 3D printed part. We typically use stock hot ends on our printers because they work great out of the box. However, there are a number of extruder upgrades that we recommend, and we’ll discuss them in this article.
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Install time: 15 minutes
Benefits: Reduced maintenance
Applicable Printers: Ender series and CR Series
We recommend upgrading the plastic extruder with an all-aluminum extruder. After installing this Ender 3 extruder upgrade on all of our printers, we’ve noticed far fewer quality issues from our extruders, and no breakages of extruder components. The stock plastic extruder will work well for a while, but there are many wear points that won’t hold up and it is only a matter of time before something like this happens:
The worst part about issues like this is that you might not notice a small crack right away, but it will cause significant under-extrusion on your prints since the extruder tension will be reduced.
This can all be avoided by replacing the extruder early on with a metal one that will never break. Replacing the extruder assembly is a fairly quick job, but it does require a bit of use from the allen wrenches that come with your printer.
The Ender 3 metal extruder assembly we recommend also includes upgraded springs, which is a nice-to-have upgrade to the bed that will help your printer bed stay level. They provide more tension than the stock springs and will prevent gradual movement of the leveling nuts over time.
You can find detailed assembly instructions for this and the other extruder upgrades in this article here.
Click here to view the all-aluminum extruder kit on Amazon.
Install time: 10 minutes
Benefits: reduced maintenance, improved print quality
Applicable Printers: Ender series and CR Series
While you are upgrading the extruder, we also recommend replacing the stock extruder gear with a steel extruder gear, which will wear significantly less than the brass gear that ships with the printer. This is what will eventually happen to the stock brass gear if you don’t replace it:
Like a broken extruder arm, this wear will cause a gradual degradation of print quality that will probably take a lot of digging around to solve. Steel extruder gears are harder and will last much longer, and have no drawbacks. We have these on all of our printers and have not had to replace any so far after plenty of use.
You can find detailed assembly instructions for this and the other Extruder upgrades in this article here.
Click here to view the steel extruder gear on Amazon.
Install time: 5 minutes
Benefits: reduced maintenance
Applicable Printers: Upgrade for Ender series and CR Series
Another component that will commonly wear out over time are the couplings that connect the Bowden tubefrom the extruder to the hot end. When these fail, the Bowden tube will detach, and the filament will start coiling outside the printer. Once they have failed, you can sometimes reconnect the tube, but it will fail again quickly so we recommend you replace them if this ever happens.
The stock couplings use plastic “teeth” to hold the Bowden tube in place, so we recommend picking up some improved F1RST LAYER couplings with metal teeth which will last longer. It’s also a good idea to have spares of these pieces, since you can’t print at all if they fail.
There are two different sizes of these couplings; a smaller size connects to the extruder, and a larger size to the hot end. Both parts have the same issue, so we recommend replacing both.
Many kits also include a Capricorn PTFE tube as well, but we have found that these tubes don’t provide a significant improvement and are not something we usually add on our printers.
You can find detailed assembly instructions for this and the other extruder upgrades in this article here.
Click here to view the upgraded Bowden tube couplings on Amazon.
Install time: 5 minutes
Benefits: Better print adhesion, easier print removal
Applicable Printers: Upgrade for Ender 3, Ender 3 Pro
Note: This is not a necessary Ender 3 V2 upgrade since it is included with that printer.
We have found that the best bed adhesion combination is a heated glass bed (60C for PLA, 100C for ABS) with the occasional application of hairspray(this is an Amazon link to purchase, but you can also find this at your local store…. we prefer to never leave the house). As an added bonus, you’ll get shiny smooth bases on your prints. While Creality has released some coated glass panes, we have found that straight borosilicate glass has the most consistent bed adhesion, so we use that on all of our own printers. You should also pick up somesmall binder clips from Amazon to clamp the Ender 3 glass bed to the printer, or just grab these from your local store.
Another nice feature of glass is that the prints will release from the bed once it cools, making print removal easy. Occasionally a print will still stick, but a light tap with a mallet or chisel will release the print. The stock Creality Ender 3 bed requires prints to be peeled off, and the bed surface can even come off with the print in some cases:
We typically spray our print beds with hairspray every 10-15 prints, or if we notice any adhesion issues. We also suggest cleaning the bed every 50-75 prints using any standard window cleaner (such as Windex) to make sure the bases of your prints have a nice finish.
Installing the bed is fairly simple; just clip it over the existing bed (For the Ender 3 Pro, remove the magnetic bed before installing). You will need to significantly adjust the leveling due to the increased thickness of the bed. This may require raising the Z end stop on the bottom left of the machine. This requires loosening the two screws, moving it up slightly, and re-tightening.
Click here to view the Ender 3 borosiciliate glass bed on Amazon.
There are also a few upgrades that we have tried that we just didn’t feel were worth the effort or cost. Some of these are useful in specific situations, but we don’t recommend them as upgrades for everyone since they have drawbacks that aren’t necessarily mentioned on the product page.
Capricorn PTFE Tubing
We’ve seen a lot of hype around Capricorn PTFE tubes and how they reduce friction on the filament and improve print quality, but when we have tried them we didn’t notice a significant difference in print quality from standard tubing. While it works just as well as standard PTFE, we didn’t feel like they were worth the elevated price tag.
Click here to view the Capricorn PTFE tube on Amazon.
Steel nozzles are often marketed as a harder, more durable alternative to standard brass nozzles, and while this is true, they often don’t mention that steel is a poorer conductor of heat than brass. When we have tried steel nozzles in the past, it was much harder to dial in the print quality and overall not a pleasant experience. Since Brass nozzles are so cheap, we recommend sticking with them, and replacing them every so often as needed.
Steel nozzles do have their place when printing particularly abrasive filaments like metal-fill or glow in the dark, which can quickly wear out brass nozzles, but they aren’t worth it for standard uses like PLA or PETG.
Click here to view the steel nozzles on Amazon.
All-Metal Hot End
All-metal hot end kits replace the stock hot end on your printer, and are advertised as a premium product that will improve your print quality and improve the performance of your printer. We have found however that these hot ends are much harder to dial in than the standard ones, especially with retraction settings, and are more prone to jamming if your retraction is too much. This makes it more difficult to get consistent results with these hot ends. While they do require less maintenance than a standard hot end, we don’t feel like they are worth the increased cost and difficulty to calibrate.
It’s important to note that these hot ends are a requirement for certain filaments that need high temperatures, such as nylon or Polycarbonate (PC), since the PTFE tubing in standard hot ends can release harmful fumes when the temperature is above 260C, however you will never need to print standard materials like PLA or ABS at this temperature.
Click here to view the all-metal hot end kit on Amazon.
Once you have completed these upgrades, your printer will be ready for many trouble-free prints to come. We’d also suggest taking a look at our recommended spare parts to make sure you are ready in case any issues do occur so you can quickly get your Ender 3 back up and running.
Below are the top 3D-printable Ender 3 mods and upgrades you can perform. Tons of other printable mods exist, but this is the core list that will give you the best bang for your print time.
Board fan guard
Before you print anything else, print this mod. The location of the mainboard fan is directly beneath the build plate, meaning bits of filament can fall in and damage the fan or board. The model is available on Thingiverse.
This filament guide holds the filament away from the feeder, allowing for a more consistent feed rate and less skipping. It snaps directly into the side of the upper support.
This cable chain is a must-have for preventing dangerous cable snags when the bed moves along the Y-axis.
Display PCB cover
This simple screen cover protects your Ender 3 display's PCB (printed circuit board) from damage.
Bowden tube fitting fix
If your Bowden tube has popped out of place or if you're having print quality issues, you might want to print these pressure fitting shims that will prevent your Bowden tubes from shifting or popping out during printing.
You've probably noticed how loud the Ender 3 beeps when navigating the menu interface. This beep can level villages and knock satellites out of orbit. This 10-minute print mutes the beep quite a bit, getting rid of that annoyance and protecting our countrysides and space assets.
If you're using a 3D printer enclosure, I recommend printing these mods using ABS or PETG filament; ambient enclosure temperatures can cause PLA to warp and deform over time.
How many times have you grabbed a piece of paper and slid it back and forth between your print bed and the extruder? Is it more than a hundred? What if I was to tell you that one upgrade could make it so you'd never have to manually level the bed again? Sound good to be true?!
"I love leveling my 3D printer's bed" -Nobody, ever
With a BLTouch kit specifically for the Ender 3, Ender 3 V2 or Ender 3 Pro, you can have a perfectly level print each time without having to manually level the bed. Because it's supported directly by Creality, installing the BLTouch is a fairly easy process, even for 3D printing novices.
What is BLTouch?
The BLTouch by Antclabs is an add-on electrical component for a 3D printer that uses a sensor stem to detect any tilt in the bed surface. It's built to use very little power at idle and use so that it can be installed directly in the Ender 3's mainboard, without any heat issues.
What about other auto-leveling sensors?
Other sensors like optical or proximity sensors do have some upsides, but we've found them to be expensive to repair and not compatible with certain print bed surfaces.
With the BLTouch, you can use any type of bed and need only swap out the plastic nozzle if it's damaged. There's also a ton of support and articles that can help you if you run into trouble using your BLTouch.
Installing the BLTouch
Check out our complete guide to install and set up the BLTouch on any Ender 3-series printer.
There are two main sources of noise on your printer: 1) fans, and 2) the drivers (chips) that run your stepper motors. The "whirring" noise you associate with printing is caused by the cheap stepper motor drivers used on the stock Ender 3 board.
Enter the Creality Silent Mainboard (v1.1.5). This board directly replaces your existing Ender 3 mainboard, upgrading your printer to the silent TMC2208 stepper motor drivers. This is the biggest "sound" upgrade you can make. It reduces your printer's noise from approximately 48dB to 36dB, with the remaining sound coming from the Ender 3's fans (which can also be upgraded to quieter fans).
If I had to choose a single upgrade from this guide (other than OctoPrint), it would be this one. Combined with the MeanWell PSU upgrade also mentioned in this guide, I often forget my printer is running since it now generates so little noise.
Of course, in addition to decreasing noise, this board and its upgraded stepper motor drivers improve the quality of your prints.
OctoPrint is the #1 upgrade for making the overall 3D-printing experience easier and more enjoyable. While this upgrade doesn't relate directly to print quality, it will save you a ton of time and headaches. With OctoPrint, you won't need to load and start prints from an SD card ever again.
In a nutshell, OctoPrint is a library that runs on the small Raspberry Pi computer. When you want to print something, you'll log into a slick interface from your computer. This interface will allow you to control your printer, start and stop prints, and more. You can even monitor your printer remotely using a small camera!
I wrote a full guide on installing and using OctoPrint on the Ender 3, as well as a video:
If you’re using the newer Ender 3 V2, check out our Ender 3 V2 OctoPrint setup guide.
There are several reasons to upgrade your Ender 3 to a MeanWell PSU including noise, safety, and even reducing bed-leveling issues.
Compared to the stock PSU whose fan runs continuously, the MeanWell PSU only runs when it needs to—usually less than 20% of the time. This means a much quieter printer, especially when paired with the silent board upgrade. This reason alone made the upgrade worth it to me. I work in the same room as my printer, so noise is a huge issue.
MeanWell PSUs use higher quality components than the cheap stock unit, providing cleaner power with fewer of the electrical spikes and sags that could pose a safety hazard.
Reduce auto-bed-leveling issues
If you're using an auto-leveling sensor such as the BLTouch or EZABL, the MeanWell PSU's consistent, clean power reduces issues related to power ripples and grounding.
The MeanWell PSU is noticeably thinner than the stock unit, which is handy if you're using an enclosure and need to relocate it.
Which one to buy (and where)
The MeanWell LRS-3500-25 PSU is the correct 24V MeanWell power supply for the Ender 3, and this upgrade takes about 20 minutes to perform, excluding PSU housing print time.
The Ender 3 Pro already ships with this upgrade.
There are tons of different build plate surfaces out there: metal, magnetic, BuildTak, painter's tape, and tons more. But after printing for many years on several different printers, I've always had the best experience with glass.
Glass beds are supremely flat, fixing the all-too-common "warped Ender 3 bed" issue that many of us experience. Glass beds also save on prep time, are easy to clean, and offer effortless print removal with a semi-glossy print finish.
Choosing a bed
I wrote a comprehensive guide to 3D printing on a glass bed if you'd like to dive into the details. tl;dr; Choose a thin borosilicate glass bed, and adhere it directly to the existing build plate using small binder clips. This 235x235mm glass bed is the one I recommend for the Ender 3.
Proper print illumination allows you to identify issues with your prints early—it's also nice to be able to see what's happening clearly. There are tons of methods for adding an LED strip to your 3D printer. I prefer one that places the light source as high as possible in order to illuminate the entire print bed, not just the current print area.
I wrote a comprehensive guide on adding an LED strip to your 3D printer, featuring the Ender 3 specifically. Using the method outlined there, you can even power your LED strip directly from your Ender 3 by regulating the voltage using this buck converter in conjunction with this XT60 splitter cable.
Check out that guide for step-by-step instructions on what to print and how to wire everything up!
Easy LED version
If you'd prefer an easy-version LED strip, Creality makes an official LED strip kit, as well.
Your bed springs might seem like an insignificant part of your 3D printer, but they're actually quite important to bed leveling and stability.
The stock Ender 3 bed springs are terrible and can lead to print issues and frequent bed leveling. These issues are largely caused by:
- The cheap metal used to manufacture the springs, and
- The rounded design of the springs themselves
In fact, if you compare the stock and upgraded springs side by side, you can see only the upgraded ones feature a flat surface on the top and bottom. This leads to less shifting compared to the stock springs.
Upgraded Ender 3 springs take minutes to install and mean less frequent bed leveling between prints. This upgrade costs about $10, making it one of the least expensive Ender 3 upgrades out there.
The plastic metal feeder assembly on the Ender 3 leaves something to be desired, and improper tension can even cause feeder gear skips, leaving gaps in the layers of your print. Installing an all-metal feeder assembly such as this one will add durability and stability to your printer.
Most Ender 3s ship with an outdated version of the Marlin firmware, which lacks mandatory safety features such as thermal runaway protection. Thermal runaway is a condition where a failure in the thermocouple (temperature sensor) can cause your extruder to continue heating, forever, until your extruder block melts and a fire occurs.
Here's a video demonstrating thermal runaway in action:
Thankfully, newer versions of Marlin have thermal runaway protection, a software-level safeguard that polls periodically for an increase in temperature and shuts things down if something isn't right.
I wrote an in-depth guide to updating your Ender 3 firmware that you can follow to perform this mod. You'll need any kind of Arduino to perform the firmware update, such as this inexpensive Arduino clone. This is a safety upgrade that you shouldn't skip.
If you're using Octoprint, you should see a warning appear upon logging in if your printer's firmware lacks mandatory thermal runaway protection. This is an easy way to check.
Did I miss a mod or upgrade that you think is a must-have? Let me know in the comments section below!
The Ender 3 is a bare-bones 3d FDM filament printer. It doesn’t come with much, but you don’t need much. There are all sorts of things you can add to this little printer to improve your life. None of them is required. You can print quite happily without any of these. Consider them only if they look like they might help. Replacement parts are handy, too. I usually get mine from Amazon.Com.
Ender 3 is good as it comes. It is even better with a replacement metal, magnetic print bed with a PEI coating. This allows for greater first-layer adhesion and easy removal of prints without any tools. A home-printed cover for the control board fan vent to protect it from debris is another great addition that you can find on Thingiverse.Com. Every other mod is a nice to have.
I have included links and descriptions to the modifications and replacement parts that I have used on my two Ender 3 printers. Many are free downloads from Thingiverse.Com that you print on the Ender 3 itself. I had a hard time with these at first, as I couldn’t get my prints to stick to the print bed at all. I started with a replacement print bed, listed below, and a new appreciation for leveling the print bed. Once the replacement was in and leveled, I had no problem printing the mods.
Replacement Parts for Your Ender 3
I’ll start with replacement parts, including the replacement print bed that I referenced above. I had to replace a clogged nozzle, and in doing that, I damaged my PTFE tube. Actually, I damaged (or it was already damaged) the connector for the PTFE tube to the top of the hot end, so I replaced it and both connectors. While doing all of that, I found that I had somehow gotten molten plastic under the tape insulating the hot end, and removed that too. I found a replacement silicone sleeve that just slips on (and off, should I need to clean it again).
Replacement Metal Magnetic Print Bed
The replacement print bed has multiple advantages over the stock rough sticker on the aluminum bed of the Ender 3. You don’t replace the whole bed, just peel off the rough sticker that’s there, and replace it with the magnetic sticker that comes with the plate. Once that’s in place, you simply magnetically attach the metal plate to the top of the bed. It has a PEI coating on one side. Put this side up.
The PEI coating makes filament stick to it rather well. It helped my prints a lot to stick down to the bed. To remove a finished print, simply flex the metal sheet (I don’t even have to remove the sheet – I just flex it a little and the print pops off). I do lightly scrape the surface with a plastic spatula to remove any stuck plastic particles, then wipe it down with isopropyl alcohol on a paper towel. It’s ready for the next print. I do this after every single print.
Replacement Brass Nozzles
Nozzles can get clogged, and there’s always the chance that you want to experiment with smaller or larger holes in your nozzle. The smaller nozzle is good for higher detail prints (due to the thinner layer height) and the larger nozzle is good for speed, but you’ll sacrifice detail. I say smaller and larger, but in fact, it’s only the hole that’s smaller or larger. The nozzles are all the same size.
The kit I liked above comes with multiple sizes of nozzle, but a bunch of the 0.4mm nozzle that I normally use. It also comes with some nozzle cleaning rods that are very thin, but useful for cleaning out nozzles.
Replacement PTFE (Bowden) Tube and Connectors
I’ve only replaced the tube and the two connectors once, but I bought a kit that had 10 sets (only five tubes, but you can cut the tubes in half and you’ll have 10 full sets). I lost half of a thumb nail fighting with the original tube and connector on my printer. I was motivated by pain to purchase this kit and it saved me from more heartache. It fixed my problem and my thumb has since healed!
Replacement Silicone Sock for Hot End
When I was replacing my tube and nozzle, I saw that I had, at some point, not gotten the tube to butt up against the nozzle well. This caused molten plastic to leak out into the hot end through the gap, and all over the hot end. It got under the insulating tape that wraps the hot end, and made a huge mess. I removed it all and ordered these silicone replacement socks. Once clean, I just slipped the sock over the end. There’s a hole for the extruder so placement is easy. It’s held in place by the housing for the fan that you screw back on.
Replacement Electronics To Upgrade Your Ender 3
Creality 3D Ender 3 Silent Mainboard Control Board V1.1.5 with TMC2208 Driver
Thermal runaway protection enabled. Bootloader already installed.
The stock control board for the Ender 3 works just fine, but it’s lacking a few items. The most important, in my mind, is that the thermal runaway protection is disabled on the board. This just seems silly to me. It’s a safety feature that I would think is essential.
The second is a bootloader. This is the software that allows you to upgrade the software loaded on the board. You can’t update the stock Ender 3 software without first installing a bootloader to manage that install. The Silent Mainboard Control Board V1.1.5 comes with these two things already installed and working.
But best of all, for normal operations, it makes the axis servos much quieter by upgrading the driver that runs them. It makes the printer much quieter in operation.
In the future, should you want to upgrade the software on this board, or to install new software (like adding an auto bed leveling system), you’ll need to have an Arduino board and some connector wires that can connect your computer to the Arduino to the Mainboard. It has to have a bootloader, so this board is excellent for that. The board is a one-for-one swap with the existing board, and the connectors go in the same places, making it an easy upgrade.
LANMU Micro SD to SD Card Extension Cable Adapter
The Ender 3 comes with a perfectly serviceable microSD card reader. It comes with a small microSD card, and an adapter to convert it to be able to be loaded into a computer’s USB port. All this works just fine. The issue comes only if you find the microSD card fiddly and difficult to work with. This cheap accessory will plug into the microSD slot on your printer, and the other end presents a full-sized SD card slot.
Many computers come with SD card ports, so you could use this without needing an adapter. SD cards tend to be easier to handle, due to being a lot larger. They are far more fat-finger friendly!
Combine this with a 3d printed enclosure (see below) to make a nice, neat package that is housed on your printer.
Downloadable and Printable Mods For the Ender 3
Minimalist Rear Sliding Drawer
By Callahan Kovacs
Great for keeping tools out of the way but handy. It’s certainly not a need to have, but it’s a nice way not to have your screw driver, hex keys and 6, 8 and 10mm wrenches in one place. If you use this one, make sure you have enough room behind your printer to be able to access the drawer (and not jammed up against a wall or some other item).
Holder For Micro SD to SD Card Extension Cable Adapter
By Danny Street
I linked the Micro SD to SD Card Extension Cable Adapter above. This 3d print will allow you to house it and mount it to the frame of your printer, so it’s not lying loose. It keeps everything neat, and it away from anything moving.
Ender 3 Board Fan Guard
By Adam Thorpe
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2935204 – Regular Version
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3023758 – Jeep Grille Version
This is an excellent mod to print for your Ender 3. I use the regular version, but I might just upgrade to the Jeep Grille version (I’m a World War 2 vehicle guy, after all!) This keeps stuff falling off of the build plate and getting sucked into the fan that sits facing up on the box covering the printer’s control board. The Ender 3 Pro fixed this issue by putting the fan on the bottom of the board’s box, so it’s already covered. For those of us with the basic Ender 3, it’s a great mod to print!
Filament Guide for Ender 3
By Benjamin Williams
The filament comes off the top of the printer and can be quite taught before it goes into the feeder mechanism on the left side of the printer. This filament guide pushes the filament out, so that it has more of an arc before entering the feeder mechanism. It isn’t strictly required, but some like it. I broke mine off when reaching around the printer, so it can get in the way. I haven’t decided yet whether I will print another to replace my first one.
Ender 3 Vent Ring
By Benjamin Williams
The fan on the extruder head is also used to cool the print. To make that cooling more efficient, this vent ring will distribute the air flow and more effectively cool the print. I’m not convinced that this mod does a lot, but if you want to give it a try, it certainly does no harm, and theoretically can improve print quality. I don’t see any way to prove that, though.
Nice To Have Accessories For Your Ender 3
Sovol 3D Printer Tent Enclosure for Ender 3
If you’re printing ABS or some of the other difficult to print filaments, then you’ll want an enclosure. The enclosure removes any possibility of a draft or uneven cooling for the print, which could cause warping and the unsticking of the first layer of the print. To combat this, use an enclosure. You can make your own enclosure with whatever materials you have available, or you can consider something like this. It’s expensive (at two thirds the price of the printer itself) but it does have the advantage that you’re much more likely to succeed with your ABS prints.
Remember, if you’re printing with PLA in a temperature controlled room, it’s not really required that you use any of the above mods or enhancements. They’re all just nice to have. For me, the replacement print bed was the closest to a required enhancement, but I’m sure if I had worked at it, I could have gotten my prints to stick without it.
But that’s the point. These will make your life easier and thus less frustrating when it comes to 3d printing. And that increases the fun for me. As always, your mileage may vary (YMMV)!
Can the Ender 3 print metal?
The Ender 3 cannot print metal. It excels at printing PLA and ABS filament plastics, and it can work with other specialty filaments, but no form of metal filament will work with the Ender 3. No commercial FDM filament printer will work with metal filament.
Can the Ender 3 print TPU?
The Ender 3 can print with flexible TPU filament. TPU, or thermoplastic polyurethane, is a flexible filament that mimics rubber. It is great for printing model car tires, or smart phone cases, where flexibility of the material is of use. TPU filament can be purchased in a number of colors, and can be purchased from Amazon.Com or other 3d printing supply shops.
25 Best Creality Ender 3 Upgrades you can buy and print
Creality’s Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro printers have been designed to deliver absolutely awesome print quality right out of the box.
However, this does not mean that one can’t improve on perfection. This holds particularly true as far as 3D printers are concerned where there is always plenty of room for improvement.
As of now, there are a huge number of Creality Ender 3 upgrades as well as modifications that can take your Ender 3 to the next level.
Because the Ender 3 is so popular, 3D model repositories have tons of 3D printable parts and upgrades for the Ender 3.
These components are designed to improve the Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro’s design and printing performance.
Apart from that, there also exists a vast range of inexpensive upgrades as well as accessories that can be purchased online, in order to enhance your whole 3D printing experience.
Once the Ender 3 became a runaway commercial success, the engineers at Creality designed and subsequently released an upgraded version called the Ender 3 Pro.
This highly refined machine is one of its top-selling 3D printers and it boasts of a magnetic print bed. Apart from that, it also has a newly redesigned and improved extruder, not to mention the fact that there is a very sturdy, 40×40 aluminum extrusion that acts as a support for its Y-axis base.
In spite of these new changes, most of the various upgrades available today can easily be used with both the Ender 3 as we as its Ender 3 Pro counterpart.
Creality Ender 3 Upgrades you can buy
1. Polypropylene Build Plate
This is a really solid upgrade on an already solid printer. The polypropylene build plate offers a whole new world of benefits over and above the stock print bed of the Ender 3 series of 3D printers.
Once you install this upgraded build plate you will get enhanced adhesion for various materials such as PLA, ABS, and many others. Once the machine has finished printing and the bed has cooled down, you will be able to remove them by hand without any fear of getting burnt.
On top of that, there is the added advantage that the polypropylene is quite easy to clean. In fact, you can easily mount it on the Ender 3 with simple clips.
2. Cmagnet Build Plate
The easily removable Cmagnet build plate is a really nifty upgrade integral to the Ender 3 Pro. This build surface plate actually allows the user to safely and quickly remove the build platform from the machine and to bend it until the 3D printed object pops off. However, this feature is not available with the original Ender 3.
Now, there is no need to go and buy a new printer since you can get the same enhanced experience via an upgrade.
To use it, you can simply attach the new and flexible plate onto the original build plate. Once you have finished your 3D object, you can simply peel up the top plate. You will have to bend it a bit to remove it from the machine.
3. MK10 Hot End
This is an upgrade that has been created by Creality itself. Once added to the Ender 3 Pro, the MK-10 Extruder Hot End can substantially decrease the overall risk of any sort of clogging and uneven extrusion. This holds particularly true when you compare it to the original stock extruder system that is available with the factory packed Ender3 Pro.
4. Creality Laser Engraving Attachment
It is also possible to transform the Creality Ender 3 into a state of the art laser engraver, thanks to this absolutely fascinating upgrade. If you have a 24V option for your printer, you will be able to easily attach and operate this upgrade. You can also easily adjust the laser head as per the working distance of the unit. This laser engraver attachment works well enough, but the instructions manual leaves a lot to be desired.
This is why you will have to have in-depth DIY (do it yourself) knowledge to get the job done. Fortunately, you can also take help from many online videos that are now available. If you are good with electronic stuff and are ok with asking for help from online resources, you are good to go.
5. Tempered Glass Build Plate
A 3D object’s quality depends upon that very first layer of very fine print. Here, nothing is more important for the initial print than your machine’s build plate. If you want some great quality finishes, it is time to make improvements to your machine’s stock print bed. Keeping this in view, Creality has now started retailing a branded tempered glass build plate.
One that is fully compatible with not just the Ender 3 but it’s Pro brother as well. Thanks to its innovative design, you can also place it right on top of your unit’s hotbed. Once fitted in, you can secure it in place with the help of the provided clips.
Creality claims that this Ender 3 upgrade has been designed with a full carbon and silicone build surface. It offers uniformly greater adhesion in comparison to the stock print bed of your machine.
This feature makes it an absolute must-have for any user who wants to print with volatile materials such as ABS. Unlike many other more generic options, this particular tempered glass build plate also proudly features its Creality logo, thus keeping your Ender 3 series on brand.
Apart from all of the above, the overall coating used on this glass build plate has a positive hardness of up to 8 Mohs and it also offers high-level heat resistance that can easily withstand temperatures up to 400 ℃.
6. 3D Printer Enclosure
If you are worried that the print quality of your builds is being compromised due to the open-framed Ender series, there is no need to worry anymore. An enclosure for your printer is here! Now, there is no need for any of your cherished prints to be negatively affected by external environmental forces.
Creality has created this really quick and easy to assemble 3D printer enclosure so that it would be possible to improve the printing experience of the Ender 3 and the Creality Ender 3 Pro.
This Creality Ender 3 upgrade is not just convenient but also very easy to install. When not in use, it can also be folded for more efficient storage. Apart from that, the enclosure is also equipped with pockets to hold necessary tools.
The printer can also be safely accessed by the simple expedient of unzipping the front of this enclosure. It also features a see-through screen in case you want to monitor your equipment.
The core purpose of this enclosure is to help ensure the consistency of the temperature inside the print chamber. Apart from that it also helps to keep the external weather out. Lastly, it also prevents the ingress of foreign matter inside the printing chamber.
Overall, this 3D printer enclosure actively serves to improve both quality and stability in order to make fine 3D objects. It features an interior coating that has been made from a strong and flame-retardant aluminum film.
As per Creality Ender 3 Pro specs, this enclosure can actively help prevent any potential fire hazard from spreading outside the machine. On top of that, this upgrade also substantially reduces the noise from your printer. At the same time, it also offers extra breathing room for your machine, even as it makes an excellent dustproof cover. Both Ender 3 and its pro version can share this enclosure.
7. Silent Mainboard
This is arguably one of the single most popular upgrades currently sold by Creality. In fact, the well-designed and appropriately named Silent Mainboard V1 is one of the best ways to make the Ender 3 and Creality Ender 3 Pro as soundless as possible.
This mainboard is now available on some of the newer Creality offerings, and Creality states that their silent motherboards are not available in stock Ender 3 or Ender 3 Pro models.
Not only is this driver extremely quiet, but as an added bonus it comes installed with Firmware its own bootloader and firmware 1.1.8.
Best of all is the extremely easy installation process. In won’t be wrong to state that the Silent Mainboard V1.1.5 is essentially a simple plug-and-play upgrade.
If you are really interested in reducing the ambient noise of the machine and you also want to promote a uniformly smoother print experience, you should add this mainboard upgrade to your Ender 3 printer.
8. SD Card Extension Cable
“Necessity is the mother of invention” goes the old saying. If you are interested in a bit more flexibility when loading your SD card into the machine, then this SD card extension cable is just the thing for you.
It is sold directly by the manufacturer and this is why it is quite easy to install and use. While most SD cards are very small, this one comes with an easily attachable plug-and-play interface.
Yes, you can work without it, sure, but it is far more convenient to simply spend a few extra bucks and get hold of an official SD card upgrade. You can share it all across the Ender 3 Family.
9. Metal Bed Leveling Nut
The Ender 3 family of 3D printers requires manual bed leveling. Unfortunately, this is not exactly the easiest of processes. However, this should not make you shift to other more expensive models, at least not when there is a solution to your problem. Ergo the metal bed leveling nut.
While the stock bed leveling nuts have been crafted in polymer, these ones are solid metal. This means that they don’t have the flimsy and unstable feel of the original ones.
In fact, the good people at Creality have gone out of their way to add some extra flair to the oft arduous leveling process with the help of this upgrade.
They are not worth much. Just about a couple of dollars. However, once you add these gorgeous and sleek, fiery red nuts to your printer, you will also get both stability and strength to go with the classy look. Best of all, the bed leveling process will become a complete breeze.
10. Bltouch Auto-Level Sensor
The Creality Ender 3 has a lot of perks for a printer with such a low price point. However, the auto-leveling feature is conspicuously missing from its repertoire. Since the manual calibration process can get tiring very quickly the BLTouch auto-leveling sensor can be a truly terrific upgrade for your printer.
11. Raspberry Pi 3 for Octoprint
This upgrade will give you the ability to control and observe your Ender 3 from the web browser of your smart device. You will be able to watch prints through an available and embedded webcam feed. You will also be able to control print temperatures, check print status, and also pause your printer, irrespective of your location.
12. Glass Print Bed
This glass print bed is a great upgrade if you want to replace the original aluminum print bed of your Ender 3. It will not only improve but also increase the range of print materials that you can use with your printer. Your prints will have a smoother surface where they are in contact with the bed. Finally, it is much easier to clean as well.
13. E3D Titan Aero Extruder
This is another really great way to improve your printer’s overall performance and quality. The E3D Titan Aero extruder package includes the extruder, as well as a V6 Hot End.
The extremely tight filament path ensures that this upgrade is picture-perfect for both flexible and specialty filaments. Moreover, it also drastically reduces the impact that knocks and bumps might have on the print quality of the 3D object.
14. Stepper motor dampers
An ongoing issue with the Ender 3 series is the excessive noise levels with 3d printing on these machines. These all-metal dampers are a really great way of decreasing both the noise and the noise and the resonance of your printer.
15. All Metal Extruder
The usual extruder present in the original model is a bit of a letdown since it is flimsy in construction. This is why purchasing an all-metal version of the same will definitely take you a step beyond. It will also provide better stability and durability to your machine.
All of the above upgrades are available commercially and they can be added to your Ender 3. However, it is also possible to upgrade your machine by simply 3D printing the following upgrades from Thingiverse thanks to the detailed links available there:
Creality Ender 3 Upgrades you can Print
1. Petsfang Cooling Duct
The Petsfang cooling duct is a very popular option that easily fits the Ender 3. This mod encompasses the whole of the extruder and it enhances the airflow from the extruder all the way to the print. You can also use it with the BLTouch auto-leveling tool.
Get it here
2. Ring Fan Duct
The Ender 3 has been equipped with a fan duct. However, its simple design only distributes cold air from a single direction. This ring-shaped vent can ensure that the blower’s airflow reaches your printed object from all around and thus improve print quality.
Get it here
3. Fan Guard for Control Board
The base Ender 3’s board enclosure is susceptible to dust and even tiny bits of filament. Apart from that, the board fan also draws heat air from under the heated bed. This is the part where the fan guard for the control board comes into the picture. It will protect the essential components from debris and overheating issues during the 3D printing process.
Get it here
4. Cable Chain
If you don’t like that ugly mess of wires and piping around your Ender 3, simply get this cable chain to cover it up. And using a neon orange color can add a touch of flair to your machine.
Get it here
5. Filament Guide
The Creality Ender 3 lacks a customized guide for the filament. However, this problem can be resolved with this easy and printable solution that will snap right onto the frame of your machine to keep the filament strands out of harm’s way.
Get it here
6. Ribbon Cable Clip
This fully printable Display Ribbon Cable Clip can keep your LCD display’s cable out of the way and out of sight. It can easily be printed within a very short time and you can latch it on the display cable.
Get it here
7. Belt Tensioner
You need to adjust the tension in the printer belt. In fact, this is one of the single most important aspects of achieving a high print quality. You can easily print this belt for both the X and Y axis.
Get it here
8. Extended Extruder Arm
The short extruder arms of the Ender 3 series can lead to a lot of problems when it comes to leading filaments. However, this issue can be easily resolved with the help of an extended Extruder arm 3D printed for this purpose.
Get it here
9. Control Knob
The stock control knob of the Ender 3 is a bit small and it is not easy to dial in the exact settings. However, a larger 3D printable knob can easily give you near-unprecedented control over your machine.
Get it here
10. Beeper Silencer
If you are disturbed by the sound of the beeper on your machine, you can simply snap this beeper silencer to the back of the LCD board. It takes about ten minutes to print and it can be installed in under a minute.
Get it here
These 25 upgrades are a great starting point to get your printer performing even better. Even if you don’t want to drop some extra cash on the upgrades to buy, you should definitely get started with the printable upgrades.
3 parts ender upgrade
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