Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another video. Today we’ll be taking a look at all the upgrades which I’ve done to this machine and talk about which ones were worth it and which ones were not. I purchased all of these components for the purposes of this video, and no money has exchanged hands. Full disclaimer, I’m in no way responsible if any damages may occur, so do these mods at your own risk.

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve upgraded the build plate, the adjustment knobs, pulley wheels, springs, extruder, axis, Bowden tube and added a CR Touch for auto bed levelling. So while that’s a lot of different components, many of these only become a requirement for specific use cases. So to start things off, we’ll take a closer look at which hot end upgrades are actually worth doing.

First and foremost even though this may sound underwhelming, this is easily one of the most important upgrades I recommend, especially when it’s a Creality machine. Almost all the budget friendly printers I’ve bought have had issues with the stock Bowden tube at some point in time, and in most cases when it does decide to fail it’s awful. A simple replacement of the Bowden tube with a Capricorn one can save you countless hours of frustration, and it’s it’s the cheapest upgrade on the list.

Now because I know all of you want to know about the all metal hot end, I will say that it is definitely worth upgrading to a quality hot end by a known company with a good reputation. Generally speaking, the hot end that comes with most machines will be functional until you try to print with higher temperatures, especially when you begin creeping up to the 135 mark. Even if your machine is rated for a higher temperature, both the Bowden tube and the hot end my not be suitable for those temperatures. Very important to keep in mind is that you’ll need to modify your machine’s firmware to allow for the higher temperature settings once you’ve upgraded your machine. Quite a few all metal hot ends still require a Capricorn tubing inside, but most come with a Bowden tube, so make sure to swap that out before using it.

There can be quite a lot of debate whether upgrading the standard Bowden tube to a direct drive is worthwhile, but once again, that will depend on your specific use case. If you intend to print mostly flexible filaments, then this is something you may wish to take a closer look at, since there’s less chance of the filament compressing within the Bowden tube. If you don’t have money to upgrade to a direct extruder setup, simply upgrading to a Capricorn tubing could actually solve some of these issues because of the higher tolerances, but make sure to check that your tubing doesn’t have any defect’s prior to installing it. When using a direct extruder, you’ll want to keep in mind your retraction amounts and speeds will change. On almost all of my direct extruder machines, I have my retraction distance set to 0.6 with my retraction speed set to 20 and for the most part this has given me the best results thus far. Now if you do decide to install a direct extruder, the kit that I used is just one of many on the market today, but you should also upgrade your machine to have dual Z axis if this is the case. The additional weight that’s on the extruder can cause issues, so adding some stability will greatly improve the overall prints.

IF you decide to add another Z axis, you may also want to look at upgrading the pulley wheels. In this case, I have to say that unless you actually have flat spots on your wheels, this isn’t really a useful update. Another YouTuber made a great video testing this, and showed that material that you see coming off the wheels, goes away once they’ve worn in a bit. So unless it’s actually necessary, maybe just leave that mod alone for now.

Do you need a CR Touch? Well no but maybe a yes for convenience. So if you’re willing to update the firmware, then this can be useful in a scenario where you’re continuously changing between filament types. For this to be truly beneficial, you will need to run the bed levelling prior to starting a new print after the print bed it up to the correct temperature. This normally takes the form of adding the G29 command within your start G-code and while this will help with bed levelling accuracy it can increase your print time by quite a bit so just make sure to keep this in mind.

Upgrading the adjustment knobs and tensioning springs are not necessary unless you’re adding a flex build plate. So if you’re looking to add a flex build plate, make sure you install silicon columns instead of the springs. I found that I had to consistently adjust my print bed when I had the springs on, and this only started happening once I began using the flex build plate. I can only assume that the process of removing and placing the build plate causes the springs to loosen much more quickly, but the moment I added the silicone columns, this stopped being an issue.

This brings us to the final mod which we undertook for this machine. The flex build plate in all its glory. Now, in my case I didn’t find it necessary, but it was useful for larger prints that took up most of the surface. On smaller prints, however, I found this to have the opposite effect, and this was the complete reverse of a glass build plate. So if you’re planning on printing smaller objects, then the glass build plate will do just fine. However, if you plan on filling up your build plate, then the PEI flex build plate is a great choice. There are some things you’ll want to keep in mind, though. The build plate temperature in my case need to be raised, and it needs to be within a 5 degree difference, otherwise the print would simply peel right off. Before you start printing with the flex build plate, try cleaning it with soap and water first, since some people including me had issues with the build surface until it was cleaned off. After that, you can use isopropyl alcohol to clean it’s surface or continue using soap and water instead. I would try both and see what works best for you.

As you can see, not all the expensive mods provided all that much in return, so I would look at your use case to evaluate your needs instead. I am currently working on a comparison video for this machine and the Ender 3 S1 that just came out, so keep an eye out for that since I will be comparing which one was a better deal for your money.




Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another video tutorial. In today’s video we’ll be upgrading the Ender 3 V2 to use a flex build plate, upgrade to adjust knobs and replace the pulley wheels. I purchased all of these components for the purpose of this video, and no money has exchanged hands. Full disclaimer, I’m in no way responsible if any damages may occur, so do this at your own risk.

Like many users of the Ender 3 V2 and the remainder of the Ender 3 series, I was tempted to see what all the fuse was about when it came to these flex build plates. Pretty much all of my current machines had the glass build plate until recently, and for the most part I haven’t found it necessary to upgrade as yet. Now it should be noted that at the time of making this script, I had just purchased two machines with flex build plates and I will be making a more direct review to all of these mods in a latter video, so keep an eye out for those in the future.

As far from mods go, this one is fairly simple to complete, but it best paired with two others if possible. So instead of just adding the flex build plate we’ll be upgrading other surrounding components as well since we already need to remove it. To start things off, we’ll first take off the glass that’s on the machine, followed by the adjustment knobs. Something to be very careful about is to not damage the wire connections on the bottom of the build plate. Without the springs holding them, they can easily be ripped off if you’re not careful. We can now remove the screws for the pulley wheels while making sure to leave the timing belt in place. For testing purposes, I wanted to see if these wheels make any difference in performance, so I bought a bunch of these to test out for a latter video. Very important to note is where the eccentric nuts are located. If you have my Ender 3 V2 PDF, then you’ll have a diagram of where they are located, and you can use that as a reference. Making sure to keep this order for the components, we’ll attach the new wheels into place. Using the eccentric nuts, you’ll adjust them so that the build plate doesn’t wobble but still moves freely.

For the next upgrade, we’ll be adding some new adjustment knobs and springs. When I did this, I originally used springs, but I recommend using the silicone columns instead for a couple of reasons. With the flex build plate, there’s quite a bit of motion that occurs when you remove and re-install it into place, and what can happen is that it does loosen over time. For me, this occurred quite quickly, so it was easier to simply replace these to prevent any more issues from occurring. Now, adding a BLTouch did in fact lessen this, so you might also want to take this into consideration. When re-stalling the build plate, you’ll want to add the screw, then the spring followed by the adjustment knob, and it should look like this once you’re done.

For the build plate itself, we simply have to attach adhesive magnetic sheet, but this will make it more difficult to change the leveling screws in the future since they will be covered. Although that’s rarely an issue, it is something to keep in mind. To attach the magnetic sheet, you’ll want to peel up the top portion and fold it so that you have a flap that’s sticking out. You’ll then align this and slowly while using a squeegee begin pressing it down while pulling off the protective sheet. It’s very important to remove as many bubbles as possible to prevent any issues in the future. In most cases, you’ll need to adjust the end’s stop to keep the hot end from crashing into the build plate. To do this, I used my feeler gauge key to get the right thickness, but you could simply mark the original location with a marker and adjust it by eye. Once all the basics were complete, I was then able to begin levelling the print bed using the feeler gauge method.

Now there are a couple of things to keep in mind with this modification and the main one is the print bed temperature. For this print bed I did find that I needed to have a higher temperature than normal and if it was off by more than 5 degrees my prints would lift from the print bed. One more thing to take into consideration, is that you do not want to clean it with isopropyl alcohol, but instead use some soap and water. To do this, I simply add a small amount of soap to a wet paper towel and gently scrubbed the surface. Using a new paper towel, that only had water on it, I then clean off all the soap until there was no more residue left on the surface.

Now I will be making a full review of all the mods that I currently have on this machine, so stay tuned to see just which one’s I found to be the most useful. I’ll be giving you my verdict on which ones were worth the money and which ones were a waste.





Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another video tutorial. Today we’ll be upgrading the hot assembly to allow for a direct extruder, all metal feeder and CRTouch. I purchased this upgrade kit and all the other parts specifically for this video, so no money has changed hands. Full disclaimer, I’m in no way responsible if any damages may occur, so do this at your own risk.

Even if the direct extruder upgrade kit is complete as is, there are some portions which could use improvements, and this is what we’ll be taking a closer look at today. Before installing anything, we’ll first want to upgrade the direct extruder hot end assembly that we’ve ordered. In this case, I’m using a version which is sold by Creality themselves, but will be upgrading both the extruder feeder along with the hot end. If you’re doing this yourself, you’ll want to upgrade the extruder feeder first because it’ll be easier to reassemble afterwards. The extruder feeder components that come with this kit are made from plastic, so we’ll be swapping those out for metal one’s. Out of this kit, we’ll only be using these components, so you may be able to buy a cheaper version for this upgrade. In order to do this, we’ll first remove the original components and begin assembling the new one’s. I’ll be using the MK-8 feeder, but we’ll be replacing one of the screws with a M3 x 10 mm since we won’t be able to use the tension adjustment feature that’s included. We’ll be keeping the original extruder wheel since it’s the correct version and is already lined up. Also, important to note, is that we’ll need to trim the bracket that holds the motor into place so that it doesn’t interfere with the screw that’ll be holding the spring. It’s very important that the replacement screw head has a low profile, otherwise it’ll prevent the attachment screw from connecting to the motor. When re-attaching the extruder feeder to the bracket, you’ll find that it’s a little finicky, however it should fit as long as you line everything up properly while tightening the screws. Make sure that the motor shaft has enough space, otherwise its movement will be hindered.

Next we’ll take a look at upgrading the hot end itself by replacing it with a Micro Swiss all metal hot end kit. This version in particular is designed to work with Creality printers because of where the two top screws are located. After removing the hot end assembly cover, we’ll carefully remove the thermistor and heater cartridge, since we will be re-using these. We can now remove and attach the new hot end, followed by the original thermistor and heater cartridge. One important difference with the heater cartridge is that there are two screws to help distribute the pressure and heat more evenly. Although this hot end doesn’t have a Bowden tube near the nozzle, a Capricorn tubing isn’t necessary but will be something that we’ll be replacing because of it’s tighter tolerances. Although it’s rare, on some occasions the Capricorn tubing can have some internal defects, so make sure to test the filament’s ability to move freely prior to cutting it to the proper length. I used the original tubing to get a better idea of the proper length and simply trimmed small amounts off until it was correct. While re-installing the hot end assembly cover, we can then attach the CR-Touch as well using the provided mount. In my case I was able to use this adapter which lined up perfectly with the mounting plate.

Before beginning the installation of our direct extruder, we’ll first pre-heat the nozzle for the machine and remove any filament which in currently loaded within. To remove the hot end assembly that’s on the printer, we’ll remove the bottom screw. To do this, we first have to remove the hot end cover and use a wrench to hold the nut in place. Once it’s been loosened enough, you should be able to wiggle off the extruder assembly and replace it with the new one. For the direct extruder assembly, make sure to once again loosen the bottom screw and raise the Z axis, so you have enough space to work. Check to make sure that the hot end assembly is secured but moves freely before moving onto the next step. In certain cases, you may also have to adjust the eccentric nut if it’s not stable. I currently have PDF guide which goes through this process on my main website. When re-attaching the timing belts, loosen the belt tightener slightly so that you have a little more slack on the belt and re-tighten afterwards.

Since it has an open design, the original bowden extruder is fairly easy to remove, however you’ll want to make sure to hold onto the motor so that it doesn’t fall onto your build plate. After taking off the feeder knob off, there will be a couple of screws that you’ll need to remove in order to release the motor from the mount. There’s one screw for the adjustment arm and the two for the baseplate.

Making sure to turn off the machine, we’ll then begin to work on updating the wiring. We’ll first use the extension connector for the extruder motor, which attaches to the original cable. With that connected, we can then prepare the remaining wires for their own connections. In this case the kit has tinned wires which we’ll remove and replace with ferrules ones for additional safety. There are 4 screws holding the cover in place, so you’ll want to remove all of these to get to the motherboard. One of the screws is located on the two other side of the machine, so make sure to remove all of these before opening the cover. We’ll first slide the wires through the sleeve, since this will be difficult to do after the wiring is completed. Removing one connection at a time, you can match the wires to their proper connection points. I generally like to have a wiring diagram handy so that I can double-check everything one last time before closing the machine. These are all the connections that you’ll need to update with this particular modification. If you have the PDF Survival kit that on my website, I have this diagram which shows you where to connect the BLTouch or CR-Touch on the motherboard page. The CR-Touch will connect to this port here and if you’re able to feed the wire through you’ll want to do this prior to connecting it to the motherboard. In my case, I opted to use some additional cable management afterwards. When connecting the CR-Touch connection, make sure to check where the pins are oriented, since it can require quite a bit of pressure to connect it properly. I ended up using a pair of pliers to help push it down into place.

After some quick cable management, the printer was ready for operation and I began my first test prints. Now I will be making a full review of all the parts of this modification and other’s on the Ender 3 V2 so make sure to keep an eye out to find out which ones were worth the money and which ones were a waste. The next video will be about updating the build plate and the surrounding components, so make sure to keep an eye out for that video once it goes live.