decided to modify the Ender 3 to see how well I could get it
to print, starting with software.
started with the software first, because I wanted time to
learn the software while I decided what
new hardware updates I will need to make to make my new parts.
great thing about the Ender 3 is that it's totally open
source - a new concept that means
that Creality (the manufacturer) deciced to totally open all of its intellectual property about this
printer to the world. This means that there is a large and growing 'hive mind' (web based community)
that supports this printer with not only software but also actual hardware too!
first thing I changed was the printer's firmware, or
the basic program the printer uses to 'do its thing'.
The Ender's original factory firmware was Creality 1.1.3, which is fairly old by today's standards.
I updated the firmware using TH3D thirdparty programming for the original printer's computer, and
saw an immediate improvement. You can see it in this first photo.
is the 'inside' of the part I printed after upgrading
my Ender's firmware and slicer software.
What is it?
One of the Ender 3's design issues is that it uses a microSD card as a hard drive for its files,
and the card slot was put in a really inconvenient place. This part and a microSD to SD card adapter
fixes the issue. I apologize for the camera flare - I had issues with the plastic adhering to the bed from
time to time, and I was told to remove the black 'Ender' plastic bed sticker you saw in the very first photos.
It seems that if I use both a glass plate and the bed sticker, the plastic sticker may act as a heat insulator
and keep the glass from heating up correctly.
They were right, as the bed heats up much faster than before and more evenly too. The downside of this
was I can't take photos of things on the bed anymore.
BTW... both of the parts in the first photo were printed using this new bed modification.
The third photo shows the first layer of the print in the second photo.
first layer of a new print is probably the most important
one of all, because if the molten plastic
doesn't stick well to the base or doesn't stick well to the other layers your print will be ruined. The plastic
not only has to stick so the part doesn't move on the bed relative to the computer's programming, it also
has to stay at least warm so the newly placed plastic layers can stick to each other to make a solid part.
also switched my CAD drawing software to Autodesk Fusion
360, written by the same people who wrote
the Autocad program I learned in school. I'm hoping that since the two programs were written by the same
company, it shouldn't be too hard to learn the new software. I'm working on this now...