The Ender 3 series is a popular budget option for novice and experienced users alike. The Ender 3 Pro is much like the Ender 3, save for a better power supply, an upgraded silicone hot end sock, and a sturdier Y-axis. Otherwise, both versions look and act nearly identical.
The Ender 3 Pro is a fully open-source, cost-effective 3D printer that has a large community of online users that share completed projects, help each other out with technical problems, and are, of course, constantly upgrading and improving their 3D printer. The Creality Ender 3 Pro is an assemble-it-yourself device, allowing users to enjoy a fun building project, understand their printer on a deeper level, and, of course, save a few bucks. Additionally, the Creality Ender 3 Pro offers fast heating up (5 minutes) and resume printing while the power-off feature. The Ender 3 Pro is also marketed as being high-precision, stable, and having a simple leveling method.
The Ender 3 Pro was reviewed as being an inexpensive option that has a lot of potential for upgrades and adjustments. The printer was also positively noted as producing solid prints and having a range of printer capabilities.
The Ender 3 Pro has an extruder (where the material comes out), a robotic mechanism that moves the extruder as necessary, a print bed, as well as additional components. These components are attached to a rectangular frame and printer base. The Ender 3 Pro has the Ender logo located on the printing base.
A clogged extruder is often accompanied by a horrible grinding noise, and no filament is released when you start a print. Under-extrusion may be caused by a partially clogged nozzle. Cracks, holes, or thin layers are signs that your 3-D printer is under-extruding. Over time, the printer’s pin-sized nozzle can become clogged with left-over filament or dust. Regular maintenance to keep the extruder clean and lubricated, as well as printing at the proper temperature with a high-quality filament, will significantly reduce the chance of a clogged extruder.
- Remove the filament from your printer and heat the extruder to the melting point of the filament that you used last. Carefully use a needle or another tool to fit in the 0.4mm nozzle through its hole.
- Cold pulls can also clear a clogged extruder when working with nylon and other flexible filaments. Heat the extruder to the temperature of the filament, then push as much filament through the nozzle as possible without applying a lot of pressure. Let the nozzle cool down to around 100 degrees Celcius, and pull the filament up and out of the extruder to pull any obstruction out along the filament. Cut the end of the filament and reload it to start printing again.
- If the above solutions fail, dismantle the extruder or soak the nozzle in a dissolving solution to remove the obstruction.
Filament won’t stick to the print bed
If layers of your 3-D model end up in a pile instead of sticking to the print bed, use one of the following solutions to ensure your model has a solid foundation:
- Treat the print bed with an adhesive like stick glue or hair spray. Try covering unheated print beds with lightly textured tape, like painter’s tape.
- Make sure the print bed is level and the nozzle is neither too far nor too close to the print bed.
- Slow the print speed down to give the first few layers time to adhere and cool off. Also, try lowering the extruder temperature.
Stringing or fly-away filament
If your model is covered in strands of fly-away filament, use the following solutions to prevent having to remove the strings:
- Make sure that Retraction is enabled in your slicing software. Retraction pulls filament back into the nozzle before it moves across the model so that filament is not drawn between spots.
- When Retraction is set but stringing continues, increase the nozzle’s move speed (which is different from print speed). There is less time for the strings to form when the nozzle moves faster between areas of a model.
- If the above fails, slow down the print speed and lower the extruder temperature by small intervals.
Because plastic becomes smaller when it cools, warping can be a problem with all types of filament. Warped models are uneven, curled, or lift off the print bed. Warping is almost always caused by temperature control issues, so follow one of the following solutions to prevent warping:
- High-temperature filaments require a heated print bed to adhere properly. Heated print beds prevent the bottom of the print from cooling and warping before the model is complete. If you are already using a heated print bed, check its temperature, and make sure it keeps the proper temperature throughout the print.
- Drafts of wind can alter a model’s finish when using open-frame or semi-enclosed printers, which are more subject to their environments. You can build an enclosure for your printer that will keep the temperature and air pressure more constant throughout a print.
Rings and waves
If the exterior of your model has distinct patterns of rings or waves, it is most likely caused by vibrations from motors, fans, and other moving parts impacting the print. Use one of the following solutions to reduce rings and waves in your 3-D prints:
- Mechanical failure is most likely to blame, but might be hard to pinpoint. Watch your 3-D printer while it is working and try to follow excessive vibration back to its source, which could be a loose screw or a belt that needs replacing.
- Print speed could be to blame for rings and waves. Slow down the print speed to stabilize the extruder and reduce the appearance of rings in the exterior of your model.
Elephant foot (wide, flared base)
Large and heavy models sometimes experience ‘elephant footing,’ where the base of the model becomes wide or flared as the model weighs down on the base of the cooling filament. This problem most often arises when printing with a heated print bed. Make sure that the print bed is level by following the instruction manual that came with your printer (if you still have it). If the print bed is level, try raising the nozzle height slightly to stop the nozzle from interfering with the first layers of your model. Also, try lowering the temperature of the print bed so the first layers dry faster. Lower the first-layer extrusion speed to allow the layer more time to adhere and solidify.
If shifting layers are ruining your models or giving them a slight lean, there is likely a mechanical problem within your 3D printer.
- Check the printer’s pulley belts to make sure they are not too loose or tight, and adjust the belt tension as needed.
- The extruder moves along rods when the belts turn, and these rods can become misaligned. If the rods are bent, they should be replaced. If the threaded rods or leadscrews are bent, they should also be replaced.
- Check to make sure the grub screw or set screw is tight. Grub screws attach your printer’s pulleys to the stepper motor. The pulley and stepper motor shaft should move smoothly together when working correctly.
In 3-D printing, the span between two points is called a bridge. Bridges are built over empty space, and small gaps up to 10 cm can be achieved by most 3-D printers without supports. If your bridges are sagging, cracking, or stringy, use one of the following solutions:
- Unsupported bridges need to solidify as quickly as possible, so adjust slicer settings to ensure the bridge is built with a slow extrusion speed, high fan speed, and low extrusion temperature (5-10 degrees Celcius lower for bridge-building).
- Bridges over 10 cm long are a challenge for almost all 3-D printers, so use supports for long bridges. Print a test bridge with varying lengths to check for tolerance and your printer’s capabilities.
If there are cracks where the filament has not adhered to the previous layer, your model may separate along these cracks or look messy.
- Layer separation occurs when filament cools too quickly, making it hard for the next layers to adhere. Raise the extrusion temperature and/or the temperature of the print bed. Consider building an enclosure to help control your model’s temperature and environment, and adjust the fan settings to give the layers more time to cool.
- Try slowing the print and move speeds to give the filament a longer time to adhere to the previous layer if temperature fluctuations are not the problem.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use a 3D printer to repair other devices?
3-D printers can certainly be used to replace and fix existing objects, and there are large online communities dedicated to the creation of useful 3-D prints. 3-D printers can be used to print a wide variety of useful items like curtain rod mounts, leaky garden hoses, refrigerator clips, and car brake line clips. As long as the model does not encounter very high temperatures or excessively heavy loads, you can use 3-D printed parts in many applications. One of the best places to start is to join a website or online group that has sections for household models. This way, you won’t always have to start with your own modeling program. Try looking through Thingiverse, Hackaday, or 3D Printing Useful Things (a Facebook group).
What are the best databases for repair parts’ 3D printing files?
The best databases for downloading 3-D models for 3-D printing include Cults 3D, Thingiverse, GrabCAD, 3D Warehouse, and Yeggi. Cults 3D targets hobbyists and designers and includes over 5,000 3-D models that are downloadable mostly for free. Thingiverse is one of the largest and most popular databases and offers free-to-use STL files only and targets makers with over 9,000 models. GrabCAD provides technical, engineering, and scale models only, and offers over 27,000 technical 3-D files. GrabCAD is not specifically intended for 3-D printing, but the downloadable files can be formatted into printable files. 3D Warehouse offers architecture, product design, and scale models and users can filter the database for 3-D printable models by selecting ‘Only Show Printable Models’ in the advanced search function. Yeggi is a search engine for 3-D printable models and scans a wide range of databases for 3-D printable files.
- Model: Ender 3 Pro
- Printing Method: FDM (Fused Deposition Molding)
- Printing Size: 220x220x250mm
- Printing Accuracy: ±0.1mm
- Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm standard, can be as low as 0.2mm
- Bed Temperature: ≤110℃
- Working Mode: Online or SD card offline
- File Format: STL, OBJ, AMF
- Slice Software: Cura, Repetier-Host, Simplify3D
- Power Supply Input: AC100-120V/6.8A 200-240V/3.4A/ 50/60Hz
- Output: DC 24 V 270W
- Filament: 1.75mm PLA, ABS, Wood, TPU, Gradient color, carbon fiber, etc.
- Weight: 6.9kg
- Machine Size: 440x440x465mm