Introduction: Easy Upgrades for Ender3 2020

Hi All,

Ender3 is a great DIYer's 3D print to get started with 3D Printing. Recently, I bought a Creality Ender3 - 3d printer. Before buying I watched many videos on Youtube, talking about it. In these videos, the experts share a lot of insights, how-to-fix issues, and upgrades on Ender3. There have been some improvements and some of the upgrades are not needed

In this article, I have combined the best recommendation, that I could find for Ender3, and based on my experience, I want to share 8 must upgrades, that every newbie should perform, as soon as they get a new ender3.. You do not need additional hardware like screws etc as the printer helps to print these upgrades

Update 1: How to update firmware

Update 2: Upgrade to 1mm Nozzle

Step 1: The Filament Holder

  • As per the installation guide, one is instructed to mount the spindle on the top of the frame
  • Because of which the filament brushes on the Z-Axis and is not free flow
  • To avoid this mount the filament holder on the side as shown.
  • This maintains at-least 5mm gap between the filament and the z-axis, enabling a free movement of the filament
  • This method does not need any additional upgrades
  • Caution: with this mod, you may not be able to go to the full height for your prints, I have been printing upto 180mm heights without an issue
  • You can mount the filament on standalone

Step 2: Bed Leveling and Adhesion

  • Two of the biggest problem with Ender3 is bed leveling and adhesion
  • Even if you get a bed that is perfectly flat, when you adjust the bed levels 3 adjustable screws
  • The bed is no longer flat and it becomes difficult to print
  • To fix this issue, I used a glass from an old photo frame
  • The photo frame glass was about 1.5MM thickness, same as the current bed so I didn't adjust the z-Axis
  • And did not crack at 50 degrees for PLA, maybe with higher temperatures, it could crack
  • If you do not have the right-sized glass photo frame, you could get a new piece from a local glass seller
  • I recommend going for a 3mm or 4 mm glass piece and adjusting the z-axis
  • To increase adhesion to this glass, I have used simple masking tape and applied some glue stick on it
  • This increases the adhesion to the bed and the prints do not fall of while printing

Step 3: Z-Axis Support

  • When you assemble, you will notice that the Z-axis stepper is 1 to 2 mm in the air
  • The spiral rod is not well supported and can bend over time
  • To fix the issue, I downloaded stl files for Z-spacer side v2 and Z-spacer bottom v2 from Thingiverse
  • The V2 has these groves that fit in the metal channels for easy installation

Link :

Step 4: Power Supply Silencer

  • Ender3 is not a silent printer, so to lower some sound from the power supply
  • I printed fan silencer from link
  • You can use the same screws that are holding the fan in-place
  • Unscrew one at a time and fix the silencer
  • Tip :
    • You would see many in 3D community to replace the power supply to a certain brand,
    • For now, let's not invest more in the printer
    • Use the power supply as is, till it goes bad and then change it

Step 5: LCD-PCB Cover

  • The LCD/PCB is not housed in a case, this makes it vulnerable
  • To prevent any accidental damages, we need to cover it with a case
  • Since I had just started this journey, I did not have longer M3 screws, so found a stl file that use the existing M3 screws of the printer
  • Link to the file
  • Choose the file with factory screws (Ender-3_Display_Cover_factory_srews_with_bell*)
  • Another thing to keep in mind is the bell/buzzer, which can make an irritating and loud sound
  • I missed selecting the right case to reduce sound for the bell, so I just covered it with paper tape
  • It is the easiest way to reduce the volume of those annoying toys (my son use to play with) with buzzers

Step 6: Cooling Print Not the Extruder

  • Another recommended upgrade is to replace the cooling duct on the extruder
  • This should point downwards at the print and not on the extruder nozzle
  • Link
  • Unscrew the 2 lower screws and replace the original duct with the new printed one

Step 7: Board Fan Guard

  • As you print, there is a lot of 3d printers debris that could fall into the fan and block it
  • This is a simple cover with a lower profile to avoid any debris
  • Use the same factory screws
  • Link

Step 8: Cable Clips for LCD


Step 9: Tips

  • Adhesion: For prints that have smaller contact on the bed, with a wider body, use a raft to increase adhesion to the bed. Example while printing a minion, the shoe is smaller contact on the bed while the body is much wider, It could easily fall, if there is no adhesion to the bed
  • Supports waste a-lot of filament, but is needed for hanging parts of the print. One needs to experiment with what is the best support. Sometimes it becomes difficult to remove support
  • Flexible bed: this can help to remove the print easily. maybe we can it later, for now, apply masking tape on the existing bed and then pull the tape off to release the print
  • Patience: 3D printing time-lapses are misleading. It takes time to print
  • Strength: PLA is not strong. For simpler prints it is good and by increasing infill, you can get some desired strength. Experiment with different infills, materials or change the direction of the print
  • Firmware Upgrade: In many videos, it was advised to upgrade stock firmware, I am no expert and I did not want to touch firmware on my new Ender3, so I will differ it to a future date. I do not want to mess up the current firmware and brick my printer
  • 32-Bit Controller: The new Ender3 v2 is coming with 32bit controller, for the original Ender3, I will just stick to the original 8-bit controller for now
  • OctoPrint: This is a good option to do, maybe for timelapse and remote controlling the printer. One can differ these to future based on what level of 3d printing nerd you become
  • Environment: do not get stuck on 3D print only. look at options to recycle and reuse

Please share your comments and suggestions