Ender 3D .. upgrade?  

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robschaap242
(@robschaap242)
Active Member

Hey there, 

Been doing 3D printing for close to a month now, probably have printed 50 things on PLA from different manufacturers, colors and PLA+ (which I've had the most success with).

I've had a huge learning curve from Fusion 360 to slicing in Cura to calibrating and maintaining my Ender 3D pro with glass bed and spring upgrade. So its sometimes confusing to know what's a limitation in my knowledge versus the printer, or software. The biggest problems I had were with adhesion, after cursing at the printer, setting wrong temps, different filament - I ultimately discovered that the source of the problem was me. Not having the bed utterly level and the Z setting being too high. And then after setting it too low, "roughing up" the print, found a middle ground to where it should be, what speed to use and heating the bed properly after cleaning it with soap and water (which will force me to calibrate the bed each time) for the first couple of layers before letting it run as setup in the gcode - and leaving it unattended for a while (till the spool gets tangled on itself and strips a gear on the extruder). 

The Ender's bed seems to be perpetually out of balance, and with a center that's never aligned with the edges, leading me to trying to keep prints away from it when centering. Any large print is guaranteed to get warp or elephants foot as a result of temp changes in ambient, or that dip in the bed combined. Any print that goes after 2 hours seems prone to elephantitis.  I had my first clog recently (too low), so I replaced nozzle and upgraded the bowden tube which everyone says is vital. Meh, not really different but different story.

I ordered my MK3S last night. The extruder (non bowden) and the auto leveling being the primary reason. Secondarily that I'll be able to print PETA and other exotic materials one day.

I was hoping that the MK3S would save me from having to manually obsess on the Z tuning for 2 - 3 layers for 20 minutes. However this AM, looking at docs on Prusa's site, it appears that this might be no different from the Ender?  There is the same Z live tuning menu option, and albeit from having the ability to raise or lower the MK3S's nozzle to infinity or the middle of the bed, it seems to exist on the MK3S for the same reason, getting adhesion set properly each time you print. I assumed this was all automatic on the MK3S but doesn't appear to be.

So my concern is that this $800 upgrade to what I'm sure is a lovely printer from the reviews and following, isn't really going to change my current "workflow" at all?  I'm feeling like I should cancel the order now.

This topic was modified 2 months ago 2 times by robschaap242
Posted : 30/09/2020 5:51 pm
cwbullet
(@cwbullet)
Famed Member
Posted by: @robschaap242

Hey there, 

Been doing 3D printing for close to a month now, probably have printed 50 things on PLA from different manufacturers, colors and PLA+ (which I've had the most success with).

I've had a huge learning curve from Fusion 360 to slicing in Cura to calibrating and maintaining my Ender 3D pro with glass bed and spring upgrade. So its sometimes confusing to know what's a limitation in my knowledge versus the printer, or software. The biggest problems I had were with adhesion, after cursing at the printer, setting wrong temps, different filament - I ultimately discovered that the source of the problem was me. Not having the bed utterly level and the Z setting being too high. And then after setting it too low, "roughing up" the print, found a middle ground to where it should be, what speed to use and heating the bed properly after cleaning it with soap and water (which will force me to calibrate the bed each time) for the first couple of layers before letting it run as setup in the gcode - and leaving it unattended for a while (till the spool gets tangled on itself and strips a gear on the extruder). 

The Ender's bed seems to be perpetually out of balance, and with a center that's never aligned with the edges, leading me to trying to keep prints away from it when centering. Any large print is guaranteed to get warp or elephants foot as a result of temp changes in ambient, or that dip in the bed combined. Any print that goes after 2 hours seems prone to elephantitis.  I had my first clog recently (too low), so I replaced nozzle and upgraded the bowden tube which everyone says is vital. Meh, not really different but different story.

I ordered my MK3S last night. The extruder (non bowden) and the auto leveling being the primary reason. Secondarily that I'll be able to print PETA and other exotic materials one day.

I was hoping that the MK3S would save me from having to manually obsess on the Z tuning for 2 - 3 layers for 20 minutes. However this AM, looking at docs on Prusa's site, it appears that this might be no different from the Ender?  There is the same Z live tuning menu option, and albeit from having the ability to raise or lower the MK3S's nozzle to infinity or the middle of the bed, it seems to exist on the MK3S for the same reason, getting adhesion set properly each time you print. I assumed this was all automatic on the MK3S but doesn't appear to be.

So my concern is that this $800 upgrade to what I'm sure is a lovely printer from the reviews and following, isn't really going to change my current "workflow" at all?  I'm feeling like I should cancel the order now.

I own both and will never buy another Ender.  The Prusa is so much simpler and in my opinion, it is the BMW of 3D printers.  The Ender is the Ford Pinto.  

--------------------
Chuck H
3D Printer Review Blog...
Posted : 01/10/2020 10:11 am
Neophyl
(@neophyl)
Noble Member

Not correct.  The ender bed is variable, in that you can level it with the spring tension and have to worry about the whole knocking it out of alignment every time you look at it wrong.  I had the same issues with my Cr10S originally.

With the MK3/s the bed height is fixed.  There is no adjustment you can make to it without modding it (which some people do, just to get it really really level).  The PINDA probe detects the metal print surface of the bed and so stops the nozzle at the offset away from that. The software mesh bed levelling then compensates for most bed variance so that you dont need it to be perfect. 
While its true that you do have to get this initial value 'dialled' in correctly, it is a relatively simple process if you use the Jeff Jordan method and once done doesn't need to be done again unless you change something physically on your machine.  Such as changing the nozzle, using a different steel sheet, moving the PINDA probe position due to rebuilding your extruder etc.

For normal use you just print, remove sheet, remove part from sheet, clean sheet and place back on printer and print again.  You don't need to recalibrate stuff between prints (well maybe tweak the offset for PETG if you have been printing PLA but that's usually by a set known amount so takes 2 seconds in the menu).

One thing I will say about my cr10s that would also probably apply to your Ender 3 is to mod it to also use a steel sheet with PEI sticker sheet like the MK3.  I fitted a magnetic sheet to the cr10 bed instead of the glass plate then bought a spring steel sheet and pei sticker and fitted it on top of the magnetic surface.  Once I had dialled in the bed height on that I find I very rarely during normal printing have to redo any of it.  I think because once you fit a removeable sheet that any force you use to remove a part (which is much easier with a spring steel anyway) and for cleaning do not effect the printer/spring loaded bed.  You just place it back on and nothing is bumped.  Basically after using both mk3 and cr10 I modded the cr10 to be direct drive and removable steel surface.  Its now 'almost' as convenient to use as my Prusa but still isn't as accurate with things like tolerance between parts.

Posted : 01/10/2020 11:09 am
Peter M
(@peter-m-3)
Prominent Member

With a Prusa printer you can print, print, print, and not always adjusting and or upgrading the printer.

Prusa comes out often with firmware upgrades to adjust settings, for the user you do not need to do anything.

You have to adjust the z-live adjustment, but only a little, there is difference in heat in the bed, so it is possible there is a little difference.

There is a difference in pei bed or powder coated bed, but in the prusa settings you can set the a few steel plates as a preset, and number the steel plates, if there is a difference in height.

Wen starting printing you always have to check the first layers, if your live-z  is correct, otherwise you can damage your steel plate of your print will be sticking to your nozzle after 12 ours of printing.

It is wise to check also after a few layers, if all is  OK, after that I trust the printer.

most important for printing is:

1. clean bed, use dish soap, then it will stick the best, alcohol does not clean all, and model can come loose.

2. first layer calibration should be 100%.

If both settings are good then you can print, print, print , ............

Posted : 01/10/2020 11:48 am
cwbullet
(@cwbullet)
Famed Member

@neophyl

Stock: You are correct.  My Ender has a PINDA and is a fixed bed.  It cost less than $100 and works, but not like the Prusa.  

To get an Ender to work as reliably as a Prusa, it will cost you every bit of the $750-1000 that you will pay for the Prusa Mk3S and it is a lot less tinkering when you get there.  

This post was modified 2 months ago by cwbullet
--------------------
Chuck H
3D Printer Review Blog...
Posted : 01/10/2020 11:57 am
Neophyl
(@neophyl)
Noble Member

Sorry Charles the post I made was not directed at you, it was in response to the original poster.  My apologies I should have made that clearer by possibly using the quote function. 

The Not correct bit I was trying to say is that you dont have to constantly adjust things with a MK3, the OP mentioned that from their research that it was like the Ender which anyone who owns a Mk3 knows it isn't 🙂

Posted : 01/10/2020 12:06 pm
cwbullet
(@cwbullet)
Famed Member

@neophyl

I know.  I did not take offense.  I was cutting the response off that you can make an ender as reliable as a Prusa with mods and patience.  It takes as much money and a heck fo lot more patience. 

My Ender has half the hours printing because it has so much downtime.  

--------------------
Chuck H
3D Printer Review Blog...
Posted : 01/10/2020 12:10 pm
robschaap242
(@robschaap242)
Active Member
@all
 
Thank you for the peace of mind on this. Sounds like I arrived at similar conclusions concerning setup, after days of frustration - but thats good to hear again.  Tweaking Z-height isn't the end of the world, just didn't think I would need to? I think I was expecting magic, when human eye balls are ultimately the stop gap.
 
I never thought the Ender was going to be a top notch printer, I figured that it would be slower, print crappily, and not get hot enough for cool materials. Which was ok for my use case, for $200 who can complain.  I just didn't know how much work the bed leveling would be required constantly, and how crappy a bowden setup would be.  What would I know as a newbie.  The upgrade path is inevitable in anything that you pursue and enjoy, hobby or professionally, see the limits then its time to go up.
 
And so I'm ready to get my MKS, thank you for the wisdom all around and the time to share it.
 
Posted : 01/10/2020 5:15 pm
cwbullet
(@cwbullet)
Famed Member

@robschaap242

You will love and MK3S - it is idiot proof.  I am proof in concept.  

--------------------
Chuck H
3D Printer Review Blog...
Posted : 01/10/2020 6:59 pm
karl-herbert
(@karl-herbert)
Famed Member

@charles-h13

"it is the BMW of 3D printers" - is good 👍 . Bad people also call it "Bayrischer Mistwagen". I hope no BMW driver reads this 😑 . Of course BMW builds good cars.

Statt zu klagen, dass wir nicht alles haben, was wir wollen, sollten wir lieber dankbar sein, dass wir nicht alles bekommen, was wir verdienen....
Posted : 01/10/2020 7:37 pm
robschaap242
(@robschaap242)
Active Member

@charles-h13

hahaha,

Between fusions learning curve and all the nomenclature / knowledge needed to actually print something... I felt a little dumb.  But Cura was cake to pick up at least.

Posted : 01/10/2020 7:49 pm
cwbullet
(@cwbullet)
Famed Member

@karl-herbert

Then Ford vs a Yugo?  

--------------------
Chuck H
3D Printer Review Blog...
Posted : 01/10/2020 8:51 pm
karl-herbert
(@karl-herbert)
Famed Member

@charles-h13

Yugo 👍 👍

Some young people with very low budgets asked me for a printer in the range between 100 and 150 Euro. Which printer can you recommend - the Creality Ender 3 or the slightly more expensive Pro or even a completely different model?

This post was modified 2 months ago by karl-herbert
Statt zu klagen, dass wir nicht alles haben, was wir wollen, sollten wir lieber dankbar sein, dass wir nicht alles bekommen, was wir verdienen....
Posted : 01/10/2020 8:59 pm
cwbullet
(@cwbullet)
Famed Member

@karl-herbert

Karl,

The Ender-3 Pro is an updated ender-3.  It is not worth the $.  I personally would recommend anyone considering an Ender to save their money and wait till they can afford a Mini.  

--------------------
Chuck H
3D Printer Review Blog...
Posted : 01/10/2020 9:08 pm
karl-herbert
(@karl-herbert)
Famed Member

@charles-h13

Thanks for the tip! If the guys want to wait that long...but in my opinion the Mini has a very good price/performance ratio. I am not so well oriented on the huge printer market, because I usually build my own things.

Statt zu klagen, dass wir nicht alles haben, was wir wollen, sollten wir lieber dankbar sein, dass wir nicht alles bekommen, was wir verdienen....
Posted : 01/10/2020 9:55 pm
Nikolai
(@nikolai-3)
Noble Member

@karl-herbert

Agree to Charles. I haven't seen any 3D printer under $300 with good out of the box experience. You have to invest time and money to make this things work long term. Sure, some of them can print out of the box if you're lucky. But after some prints something gets loose, out of alignment ...

For example I bought Monoprice select mini v2, used for really cheap. Wanted to have something small to play with. It's printing ok out of the box and would fit in your price range. But you need at least change the bed cable management. Otherwise they will either break or short.

Often linked posts:
Going small with MMU2
Real Multi Material
My prints on Instagram...
Posted : 01/10/2020 9:58 pm
karl-herbert
(@karl-herbert)
Famed Member

@nikolai-r

Thank you very much for your feedback. I honestly expected nothing else. In this price range a lot of material has to be saved to the disadvantage of reliability. From my point of view these are rather short-lived "fun makers".

Statt zu klagen, dass wir nicht alles haben, was wir wollen, sollten wir lieber dankbar sein, dass wir nicht alles bekommen, was wir verdienen....
Posted : 01/10/2020 10:33 pm
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