I have bought a refurbed Ender 3 Max as I want the larger 300x300x340 build area, it should arrive either tomorrow or Thursday but I’m already planning the mods I want to make.
The mods I want to do are:
PEI bed upgrade - found the right size on 3dJake (remove if naming sources is not allowed).
Dual Z axis motors
Touch Screen upgrade
And in a couple of months:
Sprite Pro upgrade kit (the same as what’s on my S1 Pro)
Here’s the question, can I use the standard Ender 3 upgrade for the dual z axis or should I be looking for a different kit?
Which one? Are you going with a dual stepper drive or the belt drive. The Steppers should be the same unless there is a Z axis height difference, the second screw would be to short. On the belt drive the “belt” will be to short and need replacing.
Thanks for the reply, I was looking at the dual stepper version, I’m not sure if I can get the Y cable separate from the kit as it may be easier to build the kit myself using a replacement threaded rod, a stepper motor, etc.
I could add the pulleys and belt to the top but would need to measure the size of the belt needed once the second threaded bar is in place.
@LeeUmney I don’t know what experience you bring but if you are new to printing. I would strongly recommend running it for a while before mods. There are basic skills needed before you can work out the inevitable issues mods bring.
The best advice I received was to burn through a spool of filament getting use to 3D printing. As it turned out most of the prints were OK but it was good experience. As far as Dual Z axis mods go it seems most people go for the dual stepper kind but there is the potential to bugger up your gantry level when the power is turned off. Is it a real problem??? I went for the belt drive, the screws are always in sync.
Setting up the belts for a single stepper drive is a pain that you don’t see with two steppers. It’s also difficult to set the height correctly on both sides.
While two steppers is easy to set up, it’s fiddly to get them at the same point for a nice even print.
What I do is screw down the bed and, using a level, make the gantry parallel to the bed (you can also use a block on either side of the bed to make sure the gantry is level) by turning the stepper motor on one side.
Once that’s done, I threaten the cats to stay away.
Experience? Ok, I have 20-25 years in IT in general, I have a mechanical background as I’ve been disassembling/reassembling engines, etc, since being around 14, I’m now 51 and still dabble in both the electrical and mechanical side of things.
I’m not saying I’ll find it easy, I hope I don’t, I want a challenge.
I’ve burnt through a couple of rolls on the S1 Pro, the Max arrived today, it’s been assembled, levelled and is running a couple of level tests, etc. Because it’s a refurb it comes with a non-standard glass bed, I will be changing that to the PEI one early in the new year, I’ll then go through the entire process of levelling, testing, etc, again.
I’m enjoying the learning curve that comes with this ‘hobby’, I also get to play designer (something I’ve not done since high school) and design a cover for around the front of the Max.
The S1 Pro has both the dual steppers and the belt, that would be the ultimate for me to match if I’m honest.
I’ve had the Max for over a year, have had some challenges, but it works well.
I tried the dual Z mod with two steppers; that was a bust - The two steppers wouldn’t align with one another - it has only one Z stepper driver. As Mykepredko said above, it is a pain, and, for me, didn’t have any benefit. Took the second stepper out; using it with just the single. Works great.
If you want to do the belt method, yes, you do need a longer Z screw.
I upgraded to a 5mm glass bed - best thing I’ve ever done!
I upgraded the hotend to the Micro-Swiss All Metal direct drive. That’s allowed me to print flex filaments, and just about anything else I’ve tried.
Thanks for the reply, it’s interesting that the dual stepper motor method seems to be so troublesome.
I’ll keep that in mind.
I tried a couple of bed levelling print tests last night, I kept getting random thermal runaway issues, not sure if it’s because the printer is in the conservatory and it was getting cooler but the S1 Pro is literally 6ft away from it in the same room and that had no issues, I’ll check the thermistor later today.
With regards to the glass bed, would you recommend keeping that instead of going to a PEI coated magnetic plate?
I’ve seen the Micro-Swiss All Metal direct drive, my S1 Pro has the Sprite pro and I was going to add the Sprite pro to the Max, I’ll take a closer look at the Micro-Swiss DD.
The glass bed has been good for me; it is perfectly flat, and seems to be staying that way, unlike the original Creality one. I haven’t tried the PEI plate, so can’t really comment. That said, the heat bed on my Max is not flat, and I suspect that the metal plate would conform to the bed underneath?
As to the thermal runaways, it is most likely the thermistor - bad connections / bad thermistor. That’s been my experience.
My printer seems to print fine regardless of the ambient temp. I have it in my garage workshop, where i keep the temp at 12C if I’m not there. There may be some printing issues related to that. Perhaps others would have some ideas? Bed adhesion? Print warping? I’m in the process of building it a cabinet where it can be enclosed.
Ok thanks for the extra info, my S1 Pro has the PEI sheet and I like it on that, hence the idea to switch to it on the Max.
I’ve just run a test that someone advised, set the nozzle to 230 deg c and watch what happens after that.
If it’s stable then (supposedly) the thermistor is fine, if the temp fluctuates greatly then the thermistor is toast.
Once hitting 230 my nozzle stayed within 1-2 degrees of it for several minutes without tripping anything alarm wise, etc.
I’ll run some more tests but I have a 4.2.7 motherboard arriving tomorrow so I’ll change that over and see how it goes.
Doing a little bit of testing with the Thermal Runaway E1 issue I’ve been seeing randomly, I swapped from a 9 pad bed levelling print to an X, Y, Z Cube and noticed that the E1 error kicked in, when the fans started ramping up.
There is no silicone cover over the hot end, I’m doing a couple more tests but it looks like the E1 error happens when the fans kick in to more than 20%, it causes the nozzle temp to drop by 5 degrees which in turn triggers the thermal runaway warning.
I have a silicone cover ordered, it will be here tomorrow, bless Amazon, I’ll do further testing today just to confirm it is this (as best as I can now I can reproduce the issue).
I’ll fit the silicone cover probably after X-mas when I do the motherboard, and retest it with it on.
So far, so good, the new parts arrived this morning, I didn’t bother replacing either the thermistor or heating element as yet but I did fit the silicone cover to the hot end.
Previously, anything above 15% fan and the nozzle would start to lose temperature, after 5 degrees it would trip the thermal runaway warning.
So far, it’s been printing for just over 2 hours with no issues and I have the cooling turned up to 25% but I’ll increase that slowly (+5 degrees) every hour or so and check for nozzle temp stability before I restart the wait before increasing it again.
I could bump it straight back to 100% but I want to ensure that there are no other issues and that it finishes the current print, so steady does it.