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Improving the stock ender 3: what to go for

  • 26-04-2021 3:19am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 4,315 ✭✭✭ iLikeWaffles


    So have been printing pretty much daily since I got my Ender 3, about 3 weeks ago now. I'm looking at upgrading the springs first off because levelling is really hit and miss. Just touching the off the adjustment knob at the back power cable will cause the bed level to go out; really finicky. When the printer arrived this knob was loose in the box and the spring was a little bit stuck. Also I think my bed might be warped can't get a good consistent level. The corners have a noticeable difference in level compared to the middle. I'm having to double side a post it note for the corners to get a single side of a post it note to slightly touch the nozzle in the middle - is this normal?
    Either way prints have been effected very little but I'm sure if I printed something large enough it might be a disaster.

    These orange springs might be a purchase but not sure I like that there is 20 of them, does it mean they don't last?! Will upgrading to aluminium knobs make much difference.

    Another thing I'm looking at is nozzles but what I've heard is the steps on the motor are what you want to match with, 0.04 steps. So multiples of this number is best to print at - i.e. layer height 1.2mm or 0.8, 0.4 etc for the 0.4mm nozzle - so if I have a 0.3 nozzle pointless printing at 0.6 or 0.9 but 1.2 etc would be okay, is this correct?
    Also will printing with a 0.2 nozzle give better precision, this is something I'm looking to improve because prints can be ±0.5mm out.

    The other thing I will be looking at is a firmware update, but it so happens I will need an Arduino Nano for a project so I can add a bootloader for the update before and use the Arduino for the project.

    After this will have to get less noisy fans and maybe add some lighting wired into the mainboard. I'm not sure about moving to glass as the adhesion with the stock bed is fine, tbh.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,546 ✭✭✭ geotrig


    check what mb is in your ender 3 ?i presume its a vanilla ender 3 but if any of the 4.** MB is in it which some have got you can update from USB

    Springs are good just firmer ,my motto now is if its working well dont change it on anything on it.

    I didnt notice a huge difference between .4 and .2 nozzle (there was a slight improvement )but maybe I needed to print something more precise or tweak setting more

    id say if bed is working for you know stick with it untill you need to change. i found the stock bed fine also


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,687 Mod ✭✭✭✭ oscarBravo


    Another thing I'm looking at is nozzles but what I've heard is the steps on the motor are what you want to match with, 0.04 steps. So multiples of this number is best to print at - i.e. layer height 1.2mm or 0.8, 0.4 etc for the 0.4mm nozzle - so if I have a 0.3 nozzle pointless printing at 0.6 or 0.9 but 1.2 etc would be okay, is this correct?

    Nozzle diameter and layer height are not really correlated at all, apart from the fact that the nozzle diameter sets an upper limit on your layer height (you physically can't print a layer that's taller than your nozzle diameter, and you really shouldn't attempt bigger than about 0.75 of the nozzle).

    The connection between motor steps and layer height is very well explained by CHEP:



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,064 ✭✭✭ Kenny Logins


    Do you have a glass bed on that?


  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 1,467 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Lucifer


    Also you mentioned prints being 0.5mm out. Are you finding they are oversized always?

    I watched a video that explains why. It is related to the nozzle size. Basically a 0.4mm nozzle will extrude 0.2mm each side of the center point of the nozzle. So if the nozzle were to move in a perfect square, say 100mm, you would expect the part to end up 100.4mm as there is 0.2mm more material on top of the path the nozzle took at each end.

    It went on to say that when designing to allow for this, so if you want a 6 mm hole, design it at 6.4 mm and should give a good fit.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,315 ✭✭✭ iLikeWaffles


    Lucifer wrote: »
    Also you mentioned prints being 0.5mm out. Are you finding they are oversized always?

    I watched a video that explains why. It is related to the nozzle size. Basically a 0.4mm nozzle will extrude 0.2mm each side of the center point of the nozzle. So if the nozzle were to move in a perfect square, say 100mm, you would expect the part to end up 100.4mm as there is 0.2mm more material on top of the path the nozzle took at each end.

    It went on to say that when designing to allow for this, so if you want a 6 mm hole, design it at 6.4 mm and should give a good fit.

    Yes always oversized, printed a benchy the other day and this was not to spec, have not bothered to measure the exact yet. That kind of makes sense and just confirms something: you shouldn't have to account for that, Cura should be accounting for it. By the same logic if I changed the nozzle I would have to redesign? :confused: This seems like a major bug in Cura to me.

    Think about it another way: cutting a piece of wood. If you cut exactly on the line you're loosing material (blade width / 2) this happens to be the complete wrong way to saw wood, btw. But if you cut after the line so the edge of the saw is at the line your piece of wood is exactly what was measured.

    I've probably watched the same video and it goes on to say you have to measure how much it is off by and reprint with a -offset. That's the same as putting you finger in a leaky pipe.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,315 ✭✭✭ iLikeWaffles


    Do you have a glass bed on that?

    No, and I don't think I will be getting one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,315 ✭✭✭ iLikeWaffles


    geotrig wrote: »
    check what mb is in your ender 3 ?i presume its a vanilla ender 3 but if any of the 4.** MB is in it which some have got you can update from USB

    Springs are good just firmer ,my motto now is if its working well dont change it on anything on it.

    I didnt notice a huge difference between .4 and .2 nozzle (there was a slight improvement )but maybe I needed to print something more precise or tweak setting more

    id say if bed is working for you know stick with it untill you need to change. i found the stock bed fine also

    Is that mobo or mega bytes?? not sure which. :)

    It is working well besides the inconsistency in the bed level corners/centre but I don't think springs will help there, I have noticed the extruder is at a slight angle on the x axis not sure if it supposed to be like this. I think I might have to adjust the belt tension also. I have been thinking about printing those X/Y belt tensioners to help with that. I'm with you on 'if it isn't broke'....




  • In terms of the bed.

    1st step is always to get a ruler and lie it flat, across the bed. Check if it makes even contact the whole way across.
    The one repeated complaint I see, regarding creality, is that their QC at this point is weak and thet do ship slightly warped beds.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 8,753 Mod ✭✭✭✭ mossym


    mine is heavily modded, but if i was to pick the ones that i think are should do to any ender 3, in order i'd say

    1) upgrade the main board , SKR mini e3 is pretty much a drop in replacement
    2) the springs, cheap, effective upgrade
    3) cooling fans ( i replaced with noctuas, what you go for here is based on your ability to wire in step down DC/DCs or stick with the stock voltages, but it's very easy)
    4) glass bed

    those have the biggest impact and what i'd look at first. after that you can print away a lot easier.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,064 ✭✭✭ Kenny Logins


    No, and I don't think I will be getting one.

    Why not? It does make levelling and adhesion easier.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,315 ✭✭✭ iLikeWaffles


    In terms of the bed.

    1st step is always to get a ruler and lie it flat, across the bed. Check if it makes even contact the whole way across.
    The one repeated complaint I see, regarding creality, is that their QC at this point is weak and thet do ship slightly warped beds.

    It is really hard to tell if it is warped with a straight edge. The difference in level from the corners to the centre is probably 1/3rd the thickness of the post it note/paper. As I said though that and the springs make levelling a bit finicky but it is not a major issue as prints have been doing okay besides the wrong dimensions being printed.




  • It is really hard to tell if it is warped with a straight edge. The difference in level from the corners to the centre is probably 1/3rd the thickness of the post it note/paper. As I said though that and the springs make levelling a bit finicky but it is not a major issue as prints have been doing okay besides the wrong dimensions being printed.




    Oh, they've sent out much more noticeable variances


  • Registered Users Posts: 654 ✭✭✭ TychoCaine


    Why not? It does make levelling and adhesion easier.

    +1 for this. I got the Ender 3 Pro off Amazon and it came with a Creality borosilicate (pyrex) glass bed in addition to the standard magnetic one. The prints just stick, and it's much easier to get a big print off a glass bed than the magnetic one.




  • Any issues with PETG?


  • Registered Users Posts: 654 ✭✭✭ TychoCaine


    Any issues with PETG?

    PETG sticks like glue to glass. People report pieces of the glass bed coming away with the print when using PETG. I bought a roll recently and am planning to print on a layer of blue painter's tape. I'll update you once it's finished


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 8,753 Mod ✭✭✭✭ mossym


    Any issues with PETG?

    done all my petg printing on a glass bed. Petg can be hard to get the first layer right. i've never hard to use glue/hairspray with PLA, but usually give a spray of hairspray to help the PETG stick

    the magnetic beds are much easier to the prints off, you can just pop them off and bend them to pull away. i'm using tough pla from 3djake at the moment for stronger prints on some woodworking tools and i've been cycling between two glass plates to pop them in the freezer when done to get the prints off.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,064 ✭✭✭ Kenny Logins


    TychoCaine wrote: »
    PETG sticks like glue to glass. People report pieces of the glass bed coming away with the print when using PETG. I bought a roll recently and am planning to print on a layer of blue painter's tape. I'll update you once it's finished

    I have used green Frogtape (with PLA) but it doesn't make it any easier to remove the print, I think it might even make it more difficult.

    I haven't opened my roll of PETG yet, but I'm planning to print on glass with a layer of Pritt Stick or something.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,315 ✭✭✭ iLikeWaffles


    Only used PLA myself. Sounds like the bottom layer would do with some sort of support that would more easily break away for PETG.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,315 ✭✭✭ iLikeWaffles


    Springs and new level knobs arrived today and I installed. Definite difference in levelling. Centre of the bed does not have as much bite now but there is still a difference in level from corners to centre.

    Question about the power cable clip on the ender 3. Should it have been installed like this from the get go:
    551793.png

    I had it the opposite end before (closer to the soldered wires), I couldn't get the spring in this way. This was the knob that was a bit finicky. Have no choice but to install it the way it is in the image above with the new springs as the tension is too great the way it came installed. Springs are slightly taller mind you but the Amazon page says they're for an Ender 3. Just have to adjust the z stop switch a few mm.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,048 ✭✭✭ AirBiscuit


    My Ender 3 arrived yesterday, the printed instructions were poor but got it built.

    Didn't even finish the first layer of one of the sample files before the Bowden tube disconnected at the extruder. No matter what way we fiddled with the connector, it wouldn't properly grip the PTFE so it would always work itself free.

    Any recommendations for a new tube and better connectors? Preferably something I can get from Ireland because I don't feel like waiting the added time for something from Amazon to arrive.


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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 8,753 Mod ✭✭✭✭ mossym


    did you put the blue cerclip like thing in place? that's the locking mechanism

    capricorn tubing is the usual recommendation for upgraded tubing


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,048 ✭✭✭ AirBiscuit


    mossym wrote: »
    did you put the blue cerclip like thing in place? that's the locking mechanism
    Every time I had to re-fit the tube to the connector. When I get home I'm going to try using the thicker clip which I was originally using for the hot end connector and see if that makes any difference, but I'm not holding out much hope.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,315 ✭✭✭ iLikeWaffles


    Just looking at a firmware update there. Seems I might have a 32bit board v4.2.2 :D

    Updated from card, took 5 seconds.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,315 ✭✭✭ iLikeWaffles


    Well feck...

    Turns out there is a stupid bug with the firmware where `M0 ; Pause print` will not work. Something to do with how the firmware communicates with the LCD waiting for the user to click.

    There is a workaround but it pauses the print a different way, same command as going into the menu and pausing the print `M25 ; Pause SD print`so you have to go into the menu and resume the print which is unnecessary distraction when levelling.

    Fixed by compiling the latest version from GitHub! No you don't need to pay for open source all the software and code you need to compile is already free.




  • Are the glass bed plates all pretty much the same?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,048 ✭✭✭ AirBiscuit


    Watched a video discussing the differences between Marlin 1.9 and 2.0. I wondered which I had: Neither, as it turns out.
    4.2.2 board though so 2.0 was A-OK, so I stuck an up-to-date version on it with manual bed levelling built in.

    EgoDkJ9.jpg?1
    GOnjo9l.jpg?1


  • Registered Users Posts: 654 ✭✭✭ TychoCaine


    AirBiscuit wrote: »
    Watched a video discussing the differences between Marlin 1.9 and 2.0. I wondered which I had: Neither, as it turns out.
    4.2.2 board though so 2.0 was A-OK, so I stuck an up-to-date version on it with manual bed levelling built in.

    Did you compile Marlin from scratch, or download it pre-compiled from somewhere?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,048 ✭✭✭ AirBiscuit


    TychoCaine wrote: »
    Did you compile Marlin from scratch, or download it pre-compiled from somewhere?

    Compiled it, I had everything needed to compile it either way already installed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,315 ✭✭✭ iLikeWaffles


    There isn't much to compiling it you just need Visual Studio Code and a couple of free plugins (platformio and auto build marlin). When you want to customise it can be tricky and you would want to at least know basics of coding. The only thing I customised in my compiled version was the order/name of the menu's and removing the swap media menu item. The print from Media menu item is miles down the page and requires scrolling to the bottom to get to it.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 654 ✭✭✭ TychoCaine


    There isn't much to compiling it you just need Visual Studio Code and a couple of free plugins (platformio and auto build marlin). When you want to customise it can be tricky and you would want to at least know basics of coding. The only thing I customised in my compiled version was the order/name of the menu's and removing the swap media menu item. The print from Media menu item is miles down the page and requires scrolling to the bottom to get to it.

    I know, but life is too short. I got out of the compiling habit years ago when Linux distros stopped requiring you to compile every kernel update from source. :D


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