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Best Ender 3 Upgrades for 2021 [The Complete Guide]

If you have experience with Creality’s Ender 3 series‘, you know how consistent they are in producing excellent print quality. However, there is always room for improvement. There are various Ender 3 upgrades and mods you can use to boost your 3D printer even further.

Below are the best Ender 3 upgrades and mods you can execute. Of course, there are tons of printable mods, but the list below provides you with the premium mods and upgrades for your printer if you want to produce great prints.

1- Glass Printer Bed

3D printer beds are a significant upgrade if you intend to replace your Ender 3’s original aluminum bed. That will increase and improve your machines’ printing materials range. They provide a perfect print bottom.

Their materials are heat resistant with high-temperature shock resistance and have low thermal expansion. Amazingly, this glass printer bed has a flat and smooth surface to enhance the quality of 3D printing. Better still, glass plates do not bend or warp under heat.

Also, it’s easy to clean the glasses. You use water to wash off and clean. Finally, they are comfortable and safe to handle.

Key Features

They have a flawless flat and smooth surface for printing and are heat resistant too. Also, it is resistant to high-temperature shock and lasts long because it hardly wears out.

Pros

  • It fits well to ensure your printing bed level is consistent.
  • Provides you with a smooth printing bottom
  • Long-lasting.
  • Simple to clean.
  • Uniform heating to ensure that the glass properties aren’t affected.

Cons

  • Fairly expensive.

Verdict:¬†For your 3D printer, Borosilicate glass is best compared to tampered glass. It’s more resistant to thermal shock and thermal expansion, thus hardly undergoes physical changes when exposed to high temperatures.

2- Metal Bed Leveling Nut

All the Ender 3s needs manual bed leveling. You can use the large nuts for leveling, making this daunting process easy. You can see them under the build plate. Nonetheless, the stock leveling nuts material is plastic, giving an unstable and flimsy feel in the process.

Amazingly, Creality addresses this issue by producing metallic leveling bed nuts. They currently make this Ender 3 upgrade in an eye-catching red color. And even if you do not like the fiery red, you will still appreciate the enhanced strength and stability the metallic knobs offer.

Features

They are metallic and come in one color, red. 

Pros 

  • Provide extra strength and stability.
  • It is durable.

Cons

  • It comes in one color, Red.

Verdict: It will do you well to have the bed leveling nut. This is because you can manage its form thanks to the predictable material behaviors at specific temperatures. It makes 3D printing even easier.

We recommend reading also Top 5 Awsome 3D Printers Under $200 in 2021

3- Silent Mainboard

Currently, this is one of the most popular upgrades Creality is selling. The useful Silent Mainboard V1 tops in making the Ender 3 soundless.

This driver is not only quiet, but it also comes with an installed Firmware, its own firmware 1.1.8, and bootloader.

The better part, it is easy to install. It is not wrong to say that the Silent Mainboard V1.1.5 is an essential and quick plug-and-play enhancement.

Features

The driver is super silent, and the silent mainboard comes with pre-installed Firmware and Bootloader. Also, you can use it with Ender -3 pro, Ender-5, and Ender 5 Pro.

Pros

  • Simple to install
  • Comes with pre-installed Firmware and Bootloader
  • It is versatile 

Cons

  • They are expensive.

Verdict: if you are determined to minimize the surrounding noise your machine produces and still promote a uniform and smooth print experience, ensure that you add the mainboard enhancement to your Ender 3 printer.

4- 3D Printer Enclosure

Are you worried that your print quality deteriorates because your printer has an open frame? Well, it’s time to get an enclosure for your 3d printer.

Having a printer enclosure will help you reduce the warping of materials upon extrusion. The printer enclosure keeps the temperature around the print bed uniform.

It also protects the place from dust and drafts. Additionally, it adds a protective layer to the printer, helps in organizing space, and reducing noise.

Better still, an enclosure reduces contact with fumes and toxic particles. If you print lots of ABS, you may want to introduce a section with an extraction system. That is essential, especially when your printer is in a room with poor ventilation.

Features 

3D printer enclosures are well ventilated and can keep the temperatures equal around the print bed. They have a protective casing for your printer.

Pros

  • Enclosures protect printers from fluctuating temperatures and drafts.
  • Also, they protect your printer from dust.
  • Traps fumes produced in your printing room
  • The printer enclosures have cases for fire safety.

Cons

  • In high temperatures, enclosures can be hazardous.
  • Fumes produced may affect your health if your printer enclosure lacks an extraction system.

Verdict: If you are working in a room with poor ventilation, it’s advisable to get a 3D printer enclosure to protect your printer and yourself.

You may also be interested in The 5 Powerful 3D Printers for Miniatures 2021

5- OctoPrint

If you want to make the general 3D experience more enjoyable and more manageable, you should consider OctoPrint as your number one upgrade. It may not relate directly to the print quality, but it can save you headaches and time.

If you use an OctoPrint, you will not need to start or load prints from an SD card. Moreover, you can remotely manage your 3D printer with OctoPi and Raspberry Pi.

In short, OctoPrint is a collection running on a small Raspberry Pi computer. Therefore, whenever you plan to print, you log in to a slick interface on your computer, and the interface allows you to start or stop prints and generally control them.

Features

It does not relate directly to the printer quality, and you can operate your printer remotely via a small camera. It has terminal commands the enable you to read codes sent to a 3D printer in real-time. Also, it has a touchscreen UI with multiple printer control.

Pros

  • It enables wireless printing; thus, you can print from anywhere.
  • It has cloud slicing that enables your 3D slicing without you installing the slicing software.
  • The multiple printer-control features allow you to operate more than one printer simultaneously.

Cons

  • Its webcam streaming, 2 Frames per second, hence the slow speed.

Verdict: This upgrade will suit you best, especially if you have several 3D printers. It makes your work easy and more efficient.

6- Creality Laser Engraving Attachment

Thanks to this fascinating upgrade, you can modify the Creality Ender 3 into an art laser engraver. If there’s a 24V option on your printer, you can easily attach and run this upgrade.

Better still, you can regulate the laser head according to the working distance of your unit. The laser engraver attachment will work well, though there’s a lot you may want to explore from the manual.

Therefore, you need to have in-depth “do it yourself” knowledge for you to enjoy more. Lucky for you, you can get assistance from various online video clips currently available. But if you understand electronic stuff and are ready to ask for help from the internet, you are prepared for the whole setup process.

Features

It uses a laser (high-powered) to engrave. Three in one machine: laser engraving, 3D printing, and CNC cutting, three offer you a whole new operating system.

Pros

  • It is easy to assemble
  • It is safe to operate
  • High-precision, hence accurate
  • It has a subtle 3D printing model
  • A smooth CNC cutting model

Cons

  • Requires skills to set it up.

Verdict: If you want high-end quality from your 3D print, you should consider upgrading to a laser engraving attachment.

7- Polypropylene Build Plate

It is an excellent substantial enhancement on the already sturdy printer; the polypropylene build plate provides various benefits. It builds upon your Ender 3’s stock print bed.

After installing the enhanced build plate, you improve adhesion for different materials like ABS and PLA. Once your machine finishes printing and its build plate cooled down, you can remove them by hand without worrying about getting burnt.

Additionally, the extra advantage of having polypropylene is that it’s a bit easy to clean, and you can quickly mount it on your Ender 3 using simple clips.

Features

It is made from poly-glass and works well with PETG, PLA, ABS, wood, and various filament types. Furthermore, you can attach it directly to the glass bed using tape or clips.

Pros

  • It is easy to clean
  • It enhances the adhesion of your printing materials hence stability or the parts during printing.
  • It is versatile
  • Made from durable material, therefore long-lasting.
  • Saves you time

Cons

  • It gets scratches quickly.
  • They are prone to warping due to heat and use.

Verdict: it is the right choice considering that it offers your printer extra strength, is simple to maintain, and is durable. Therefore, I’ll recommend this upgrade.

Wrapping Up

The above are the seven best Ender 3 upgrades. For enhanced 3d prints, I’ll advise you to ensure that you equip your printer with the necessary upgrades, of course, based on your need. You won’t regret it.

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