Ender 3 Setup & First Print
Last updated: Dec 1, 2022
Guide for Setting Up & Optimizing Ender 3
A quick guide in how I set up my first 3d printer, Ender 3 by Creatlity. I choose Ender 3 because it is an open-sourced 3d printer with a large community. Also the printer can be picked up with a coupon/holiday deal for around $100 at microcenter and imo provides way more value than $100. It is a no-brainer.
- Assembly - unboxing and assembling machine
- Setup - setting up printer for first print
- Bed Leveling
- Tightening Tension Belts
- SD card preperation
- First Print - getting first prints
Assembling Ender 3
Purchased Ender3 from microcenter for $100 (coupon/holiday deal needed to get this price) along with some add-ons which include a metal plate addon (~$50), 2 x filament (~$42), and BLT touch mod (~$50) for a grand total of ~$243. Getting started with Ender 3 is straight forward and can be accomplished in an evening. It may take a few trial and errors before getting your first print, however the base assembly can be accomplished in a few hours.
My Ender3 was setup that evening with the help of my friend who shared the deal that he got and I wanted to tag along. Little did I realize how much ‘Maker Spirit’ I would be injected with. My friend left after base assembly and we didn’t get to power it on because you won’t be able to print anything with simply the unit assembled. So my unit collected dust for a few days as I handled day-to-day work activities and addressed the blockers which at this point are:
- viewing sd card
- getting slicer software
- loading up sd card with gcode
- bed leveling
- tightening tension belts
There is a lot of documentation on assembling the unit and some of my favorites are:
Setting Up Ender 3 to Print
I viewed the SD card checked out the direcotires and files. The slicer software I chose and use is CURA as I was told creality slicer ads a bunch of junk. I loaded up benchy gcode and tried to spin up a print. I could not print because my bed was not leveled and tension belts not properly tightened. I posted a youtube video showing the symptoms because I knew the bed had to be leved but was unaware of the tension belts. I also adjusted the bed and thought it was level per the diagram but to level the bed I had to do the paper trick.
Printing First STL files
Write STL files and insert images and video shorts.
Next Steps for Modifications
Currently printing mods and it has been about 3 days and I’m about 2/3s the way printing the mods I need thus far.
Some of my favorite mod tutorials are:
- Scott Yu-Jan’s Ender 3 Video Series
- Austen Hartley’s Ender 3 Pro Upgrades
- Zack Freedman 10 3d printed tools.
- Learn As We Go Upgrades
- Engineericly Tutorial
To complete the mods you will need to solder and you will need to learn it as well as make sure you practice correct hygene protocols. - make your own solder vent - how to solder
Other tools to print I have a pei metal bed as when I picked up the printer and I’ve been using the metal scraper. Needless to say I’ve scratched it quite a bit and realized I shuold have been using a 3d printed scraper. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nb2JI1upCOU
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