Really starting to hate my Ender 3 Max

I’ve thrown a TON of money at it to date and it’s just endless issues, one after another.

So far I’ve tried a couple of different beds but the plate under the bed is so wonky it’s ridiculous so I’m back to the stock glass bed, I have replaced the hot end and put on a whole new direct drive extruder (BIQU H2), I’ve updated Marlin a couple of times (at first because the stock firmware had issues with Octoprint) and now also switched to Klipper. I’m on the 4th mount setup for the new extruder, the last one literally snapped when the machine lost Z and pulled itself through some already printed material and snapped off the whole fan assembly and then also proceeded to spew out so much filament below appropriate layer height that it took me a full day of disassembly and cleaning to get all of the filament off of the nozzle, heater block, etc. I’ve also replaced the CR Touch which failed. I’ve switched over to hardened steel nozzles as well.

Now I’ve built a brand new mount from scratch and was having heat break issues, that I think I resolved last night (sizzling and popping and bubbles in the filament, same filament prints perfectly on the printer beside it)… and today’s issue was that it’s constantly crashing Klipper or failing 3 layers into a print when the fans kick on. Got that resolved this morning – the fans were not pointing properly and cooling down the nozzle really quickly which Klipper didn’t like. Seems like I got that resolved by adjusting the fans and putting the boot back on (I had forgot to do that after the last round of fixes).

So just now as I tried to fire up another temp tower to test … it just started completely ignoring the CR touch when doing a G28 and started ramming the bed. Again, seems like yet another CR touch might be wonky.

Ghost in the machine? I was concerned it was user error but this is not my first rodeo … I’ve built many from scratch and all of my other similar gear is totally fine, even stuff I’ve done crazy builds and hacks on (printers, CNC machines, etc). At this point I’m pretty sure that getting anything from Creality in terms of warranty is going to be mostly impossible … I’ve gone over it top to bottom to make sure it’s all tight, connected correctly, belts are properly tensioned, nothing is slipping, no issues on the Z screw stuff … but it still just can’t run reliably.

It seems like it might be time to pull the plug on this thing and call it a loss and move along. My Prusa mini clone prints like a champ. Aside from the usual issues that will happen with them (replacing PTFE tube). The printer is only a couple of months old. It printed ok for a few weeks (after the initial Marlin upgrade that is) and then started this massive string of failures as soon as I tried to start printing with a larger nozzle. Again, the mini clone is totally fine with whatever nozzle sizes I throw at it, the issues are not slicer related, it’s always mechanical or firmware or whatever.

Thanks for listening to me rant. My Ender 3 max is going to sit in a corner for a week and be ignored while I move along to using things that actually work for me. It’s annoying though as I made all of this investment to have a machine with a large print volume that could handle a good range of filaments … and ended up with a make-work project that just sucks time and money and still can’t get a proper print off the bed…

And the ramming issue was indeed totally my fault … but it’s still gonna sit in a corner for a week!

Lol i know how you feel. My first printer worked ok out of the box… Then i started modding it. Now its a paperweight that has destroyed its print bed. XD

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My x1 is like that. At the end of the day it is almost completely rebuilt. It cost a fair bit more than the purchase price in parts. Lets not even think about labor. It prints reliably not but compared to my Prusa MK3s, it is slow and prints are not even close to as good.

Based on my $2000 experience I will just poke an idea out there. There may be a point where it is not worth the frustration and aggravation. Always consider when to cut and run.

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Ya that’s why I’m going to give it a week when I don’t think about it and see how I feel after that. I kinda regret trying to save money and buying an Ender 3 instead of just getting a bigger Prusa. But now I may just want to save my pennies and get an Prusa XL. My plan for this machine would be that this one would be the one I did updates on that I could print a bunch of different materials with … but it’s not working out so well :frowning:

I feel for you. I have zero experience with the Ender line but I see lots of posts on people and their problems with the Ender. I think they are not for the beginner print enthusiast, but for someone with prior 3D printer knowledge, can make one of these work with a small amount of modifications and effort.

This is my latest experience with Prusa. I got my second Prusa MK3S+ kit last Wednesday. I spent 3 hours Thursday and Friday evening assembly, and 2 hours Saturday morning making all the electronic/electrical connections. Then, after a 1/2 hour of going through the calibration wizard and first layer settings for three of my build plate profiles, the printer has been non-stop printing PETG enclosure parts. The kit gives me the implicit knowledge of the printer that everyone seeks in the tinkering of an Ender, but I would get tired of that tinkering outside of regular maintenance. At this point, I just want to get to designing and printing. I cannot rationalize the benefit of going cheaper for a few hundred dollars, IMO.

I have four printers my third was a Prusa it just works flawlessly, no mads just perfect prints. I never wait for it to finishing warming up I just send the print and walk away. I have been using it for ages and it prints non stop effectively and I can count failures on one hand.

My fourth printer was the X1 I spend a stupid amount of time and money to get it to print semi reliably and ok quality if I print slowly. I needed a bigger print size but at the end of the day I had to out source the prints because it needed so much work. I think that these helf baked printers anything from has damaged the industry more than helped it. The cloned parts and poor QC causes so much frustration and poor user experience that it frustrates users to the degree they thing 3d printing is only for experts.

Prusa has the best manual for assembly I have ever seen (I am a technician and install and assemble things daily for 30 years so saying a lot) It is a dream to assemble and has fantastic support if needed. It is everything it should be. Low frustration and high success.

Aaaaaand the Prusa machines are not $300 but you get what you pay for sometimes.

My problem is I blew the budget on this one already so if I decide to pull the plug on it it will be a while before I can order a Prusa. You just don’t see them used. I found one older ie MK2 used for $700, but I’d rather just save a few more pennies and order a new one for a few hundred more instead of a 5+ year old machine. I’m not sure if I could justify the $$ for the XL, but I bet I could get away with an new i3. I just want a decent bed size and a good range of materials (flexibles and the potential for occasional nylon, abs, etc.). I love my little mini clone but 180mm doesn’t cut it sometimes.

My Ender 3 max is still in time out. After giving it a week and posting my Amazon review of it the seller reached out to me and has been going back and forth with “try this” and “try that” which made me realize just how much time and effort I’ve put into this stupid printer. I mean they even asked me to disassemble it and try and both physically measure the bed springs as well as test that they all ‘feel’ like they are the same strength … almost every single thing they have asked me to do is basically the steps that QA should be doing on a printer before it ships (like make sure that it has the correct springs on it! Not to mention a 3 step process to test that the bed is level, fully disassembling the whole Z axis to check for flat spots or burrs on the screw, testing wiring with a multi-meter, etc). I also realized as I was doing these things that I had already done most of them. I highly doubt they will refund me for this lemon, not to mention I’ve already put several hundred more dollars into it not to mention hours and hours and hours of trying to make it work properly.

Lesson learned. I guess I’ll save up some pennies and get a new Prusa i3 or some such at some point. Until then I’ll continue hammering out the prints on my Prusa mini clone, which is still pumping out the prints with little to no issues or effort on my end.

I went through that with my Zortrax Inventure - I spent literally six months going back and forth (and it was still under warranty) and just gave up.

You pays your monies you takes your chances.

Indeed, that’s exactly what it feels like. Of course I said it’s still in timeout, but I just nuked and paved, fresh flash of klipper, started again with the most basic settings. On the 4th go around of a PID calibration. The first two were quite different, the third one was similar to the first … let’s see what happens with the 4th. I swear this printer has a ghost.

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Le sigh … It’s good at repeatedly doing something. Failing to deploy the CR Touch. It’s actually not failing to deploy, this is because the bed is so whacked and the wheel/spring adjustment moved (on it’s own, again), so it’s so bad that it just comes back as a fail. Also you can see just how many times it doesn’t even trust it’s own measurement.

Send: G29
Recv: // probe at 0.000,-18.000 is z=3.992500
Recv: // probe at 0.000,-18.000 is z=4.007500
Recv: // probe at 52.750,-18.000 is z=3.880000
Recv: // probe at 52.750,-18.000 is z=3.892500
Recv: // probe at 105.500,-18.000 is z=3.887500
Recv: // probe at 105.500,-18.000 is z=3.885000
Recv: // probe at 158.250,-18.000 is z=3.845000
Recv: // probe at 158.250,-18.000 is z=3.847500
Recv: // probe at 211.000,-18.000 is z=3.762500
Recv: // probe at 211.000,-18.000 is z=3.770000
Recv: // probe at 211.000,52.000 is z=3.737500
Recv: // probe at 211.000,52.000 is z=3.722500
Recv: // probe at 158.250,52.000 is z=3.985000
Recv: // probe at 158.250,52.000 is z=3.927500
Recv: // probe at 105.500,52.000 is z=4.095000
Recv: // probe at 105.500,52.000 is z=4.030000
Recv: // probe at 52.750,52.000 is z=4.130000
Recv: // probe at 52.750,52.000 is z=4.082500
Recv: // probe at 0.000,52.000 is z=4.315000
Recv: // probe at 0.000,52.000 is z=4.252500
Recv: // probe at 0.000,122.000 is z=4.617500
Recv: // probe at 0.000,122.000 is z=4.510000
Recv: // Probe samples exceed tolerance. Retrying…
Recv: // probe at 0.000,122.000 is z=4.510000
Recv: // probe at 0.000,122.000 is z=4.507500
Recv: // probe at 52.750,122.000 is z=4.285000
Recv: // probe at 52.750,122.000 is z=4.292500
Recv: // probe at 105.500,122.000 is z=4.207500
Recv: // probe at 105.500,122.000 is z=4.202500
Recv: // probe at 158.250,122.000 is z=4.020000
Recv: // probe at 158.250,122.000 is z=4.045000
Recv: // probe at 211.000,122.000 is z=3.795000
Recv: // probe at 211.000,122.000 is z=3.847500
Recv: // probe at 211.000,192.000 is z=4.160000
Recv: // probe at 211.000,192.000 is z=4.032500
Recv: // Probe samples exceed tolerance. Retrying…
Recv: // probe at 211.000,192.000 is z=4.032500
Recv: // probe at 211.000,192.000 is z=4.032500
Recv: // probe at 158.250,192.000 is z=4.535000
Recv: // probe at 158.250,192.000 is z=4.302500
Recv: // Probe samples exceed tolerance. Retrying…
Recv: // probe at 158.250,192.000 is z=4.300000
Recv: // probe at 158.250,192.000 is z=4.297500
Recv: // probe at 105.500,192.000 is z=4.707500
Recv: // probe at 105.500,192.000 is z=4.490000
Recv: // Probe samples exceed tolerance. Retrying…
Recv: // probe at 105.500,192.000 is z=4.487500
Recv: // probe at 105.500,192.000 is z=4.485000
Recv: // probe at 52.750,192.000 is z=4.742500
Recv: // probe at 52.750,192.000 is z=4.590000
Recv: // Probe samples exceed tolerance. Retrying…
Recv: // probe at 52.750,192.000 is z=4.587500
Recv: // probe at 52.750,192.000 is z=4.585000
Recv: !! BLTouch failed to deploy
Recv: !! BLTouch failed to deploy


This is literally within 30 minutes of doing a manual bed levelling.

I am sorry this is happening to you. It is too common a story sadly. Creality and the rest of the name here 3d Technology co ltd family. The consumer ends up doing the R&D it is just sad. Time and money to fix bad designs, poor execution and corner cutting assemblies.

Your story and mine are very similar. Eventually I got the printer working but completely disassembled added 1000$ in parts and shipping to correct design and assembly issues. They had mismatched electrical connections ja,ed together and held with hot melt glue. Absolutely insane.

On one hand they flooded the market and made printers accessible. The other hand is how many got turned off because the printers don’t work out of the box. They started the race to the bottom. Prusa has not entered the race, they run a massive print farm of their own printers for ages before release, the ultimate R&D.

Yep that’s dog fooding to the Nth degree.

I thought I was starting to get somewhere with a benchy so I walked away. You can pretty much tell where I walked away in this one. And I swear I see an evil pirate ghost laughing at me from this print. I wonder what was in those brownies …

Hey, @Gerk you have multiple issues going on here.

I know you are trying to fix one issue but I have to ask the question here. Is there something major off in your slicer? What I mean by that is do you have 2.85 filaments instead of 1.75 filaments selected, Maybe .6 or .8 nozzle instead of .4?

If you want send me your STL file for this benchy and I will print it on a printer here, Just as a sanity check for you?

One step at a time, let’s make sure the slice is good.

Hey Jason, thanks for the offer. I’ve printed that same benchy STL dozens of times without issue.

The slicer is fine … I was printing with a 0.8 nozzle on that one and it was a fan setting that caused that issue. This thing is honestly just a lemon. It’s like a boat with a bunch of holes in it, you plug one, the next pops open. It’s been like this since day one to be honest, got the fan adjusted properly now but it’s back to crackling and popping at the hot end … and the filament doesn’t have moisture issues … I think I need to disassemble it as I suspect that the PTFE tube between the extruder and hot end is wonky.

At this point the reseller has been working with me and are offering a replacement set of bed springs, a new hot bed assembly, a new board and a new hot end assembly. It’s honestly just a lemon and has been a time suck and I’m going to call it a loss and move on like I said I was earlier, since I was working with the reseller I figured I’d give it a last kick at the can to see if it was something I did incorrectly or something I missed but every time it’s solve one problem and three more pop up, even when it was fully stock.

HI @Gerk

Sorry to hear that, I generally like the Creality printers, For the most part, they are pretty stable, there will always be one once in a while that gives a bit of a problem but those are the ones I kinda like the most. Gives me a bit of a challenge in the day-to-day.

I know the time that’s required to work on any of them and that’s the most valuable of all.

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I used to enjoy those too but these days I just want to print and not spend time wrenching on the printer! It’s kinda like owning an old Harley … they are cool and fun, but if you wanna just ride you’re gonna need another more reliable one for your daily driver because there will always be something that needs work on the old one.

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That is a super bummer to hear! I have the same machine with some groovy upgrades and it just takes everything I throw at it. I have an ender 6 collecting dust and feeling shame for bumming out the whole town while the 3max squishes out reel after reel.