Ender 3 Assembly Guide For Beginners


On today’s episode I’m going to show you
a few tricks on how to properly assemble your ender 3 3d printer right here at
filament friday this video is brought to you by these patreon supporters the
first thing I recommend is take everything out of the box lay it out on
the table so you can see it and then you can easily assemble it you don’t want to
be pulling stuff out of the box you may lose something or grab the wrong part it
does come with an illustrated manual it’s really just one sheet with a bunch
of decent pictures but the most important is it gives you a picture of
all the parts that you need to assemble it so you can verify you got everything
out of the box and you’re ready to build the first thing you want to look at is
the main assembly which is the bed or the base of your 3d printer it also has
the hot end connected to the electronics but you want to check the bed to see if
it’s loose like this one that was the best time to adjust this bed before you
assemble anything else to it so we’re just gonna flip this over like this get
the electronics to the side and pull this back and now we can get access to
the two wheels that we need to tighten if I move this you can see it’s really
wobbly and these are the two adjustable wheels they’re on eccentric nuts so as
we turn those the center will actually offset into the rail they give you a
wrench to fit those just put it on and turn it until it’s tight not too tight
but you’ll feel it snug up and you want to go counterclockwise to do this and
then once those are tight it slides pretty easy back and forth and no wobble
so we’re ready to go to the next step so I flipped the bed back over and the
first thing I recommend you do is take this top material off this is actually
your printing bed and it’s held on by four clips just take those clips off and
you can set all this aside we’re now to step one of the manuals so everything I
showed you was just suggestions and they recommend you mount these two uprights
but this is where I differ I say you mount only
one upright to start and the one on the electronic side because this is the main
upright that the arm will mount to that the stepper motor will go to this needs
to be perfectly straight so we’re going to use a square to mount this and focus
all assembly here this upright is just a secondary operate so we’re gonna set
that aside for now I got the base on the side and this is the arm I want to mount
to it the one with the two holes at the bottom is the arm you want to put on
this side of the base and there’s two screws that go on the bottom there m5
forty-fives you’ll find them in your pack of screws and you want to hand
tighten them into the aluminum extrusion don’t use the wrench yet just hand
tighten them and then as they get a little stiffer you can use the wrench to
turn them in a little bit further but you want to keep this loose so we can
put a square out here and make sure everything is perfectly square as we
tighten it up this is where it’s nice to have the tools I’m a big speed square
that I’ve got a clamped to the upright and also to the base so this way it’s 90
degrees perfectly this direction and then as far as the side-to-side I took
one of the aluminum extrusions that came with it and I clamped it to the side so
it lines up with the bass and the side of this so it should be 90 degrees on
this side as well so now that everything’s clamped up I can just
tighten those two screws and this upright should be perfect next I
recommend installing the stepper motor and this requires 2 m4 screws and you’ll
find those in a bag and this is totally out of order from the manual but I
recommend you install this put the two screws in but don’t tighten them up just
get them to where they’re in place and then this motor isn’t going anywhere but
it’s loose and then we’re gonna install the stop switch and it’s got two t-
nuts and it’s got a little lip that stops it from going too far line up the
t-nuts slide it down to that lip and then I recommend tightening the bottom
one so that way you know what tightens up which it didn’t do on this one so I
can loosen it up and then as you tighten it it’s supposed to twist and go into
place so now it’s holding in the top one I can
actually see a twist so I can see if that one there just twisted that ones in
place so these you can tighten up but we’re gonna probably loosen those and
adjust them in a little bit when we get the gantry level so I still like to
tighten those up so it’s ready to go next step is actually step five in the
manual where we mount the aluminum extrusion to the bracket that has the
extruder motor and the x-axis motor and there’s two screws you got to access
them it’s kind of awkward you got to stick them in here and screw them into
this guy what I recommend you do is you tighten the first one and then the
second one you just have it loose because this rod will actually pivot and
it’s hard to see it here but if I mount it where it’s gonna go right here and I
can’t put all the way into the screws there but you can see though just a
little movement here produces a big movement over here and that’s really
critical because it has to be leveled to the bed you’ll level the bed but you
want this as perpendicular to this bar as possible so the easiest way to do
that is to like I said tighten that first screw and then pivot this so the
top of the extrusion is even with the top of this bracket and then once you
have it tight what you can do is actually check it with a square put a
square in here you can’t get it all the way up to let it touch but you can
eyeball it to see if it looks level and if it’s actually a little bit high on
this side that’s okay because the hot end and there’s gonna be another bracket
that’ll go on here so the weight of that will slightly say
get but it’s best to get that as perfectly flat as possible and then
tighten that second screw would you have to go through this hole tighten it up
and then you’re ready to go once you got this assembled then we’re gonna slide it
over the bar and there’s an eccentric nut right here on this wheel that we can
adjust and if some loose or doesn’t go on smoothly you can adjust it with that
same wrench you adjusted the bed and just tighten it up
now don’t be afraid to tighten a little too much because this will wear in a
little bit but it needs to be smooth and not loose and here’s something else that
the instructions don’t show you once you put it all the way down check the front
of your bed pull it all the way back and check the front of the bed if it’s
parallel to this bar now even though we put a square on this and try to square
everything up this bar can still twist a little bit while you’re tightening the
screws and you’ll see it now I’m going to show you here this is an absolute
worst case where it’s way off I purposely did that and then here’s mine
which is nice and square you see it’s lining up with the screws so if you need
to twist this just loosen the screws on the bottom here and then twist it to
where it needs to be and tighten those screws and then recheck the squareness
just to make sure that they can get thrown off we got it moving smoothly so
now I’m going to rest it down on the switch you can hear it click and then
I’m going to come in here now I’m going to tighten these screws on the motor we
left them loose before now is a good time to tighten them up and you can
eyeball the hole right here where the threaded rod goes and you should see it
lines up with this but the best way to do it it just put the threaded rod end
and it should naturally just fall into place if they’re lined up it’ll go right
in and you’re all set if it doesn’t if it’s hitting then you
may have to shim the motor here or loosen this tea nut and it can slide a
little bit left and right but mine’s lined up pretty good because it goes
right in now you want to make sure that the threaded rod is all the way into the
coupling and then take the allen wrench and tighten this screw so the coupling
is tight against that threaded rod and now the motor can lift the gantry step
six they have you install the belt with the teeth going inside around the motor
and I like to throw these aside I like to test the carriage and this is where
it’s nice to have the threaded rod in place because I can put this at any
level but the assembly here the hot end needs to be smooth but not loose and
there is an eccentric nut here that you can adjust to make it tighter or looser
I got mine really nice no wobble so this is ready so now I need to take the belts
and the bottom one just hangs but the top one goes inside the channel and then
you want the brass to go down so it goes into the bracket and it goes down so you
don’t want to rub it against the metal here so that one’s in place now you want
to pull this ahead actually pull it back this wheel is going to go right over the
top of that belt and I want to get it on then you can pull this and put the other
one in its spot and now we’re ready to install the end piece the M piece has a
bearing and two T nuts similar to the switch that’s over here so this just
slides over the belt and then you put those T nuts right into the rail they
should pop in place if you had them lined up and then what I like to do is
just tighten the back one and make sure the T knot is spinning and gripping but
don’t tighten it all the way so it’s gripping then take the smaller allen
wrench and just come in here and just pry a little bit just to get a little
bit of force on it so I grab it on both sides and just pull and then I tighten
that first two nut now you want to make sure the belt is tight and also equally
spaced on both sides so you may have to angle this a little bit so just move the
bracket up or down just loosen this second one up or down to get that belt
tight and also even on both sides so if this bracket is going upwards slightly
don’t worry about it you just don’t want the belts rubbing now you may be
wondering why I didn’t follow the manual and I took you through these steps it’s
because I want to get you here this is really the core of your 3d printer
you’ve got your upright which is perfectly perpendicular this arm is
perfectly level it’s even with the bed this is the core of your ender 3 3d
printer you get this portion right and everything else is just
support this really could be in the 3d printer this is like an ender 2 which
had an articulating arm like this you can actually almost print with it like
this and the LCD hookup the electronics in print away but we will add the other
parts but that’s why I wanted to assemble it this way so you make sure
that these parts are perfectly square now let’s finish the rest of the
assembly so here’s the second upright and this is the bracket that will go on
the crossmember now is a good time to check this eccentric turnout here is it
smooth and you can easily adjust it here make it smooth and not wobbly so I got
mine set so now I can install this upright and this step Rex can you
install three pieces at once one is the bracket that goes to the crossmember
there’s two screws one on the inside one on the outside and the one on the inside
I tightened and made the bracket flush with the beam the crossmember beam the
outer screw here is still slightly loose and then I put the upright in place with
two bolts they’re loose and I put a speed square to square it all up this a
little bit smaller one that I use before and you want to make sure that the holes
in this upright are on the inside there’s one down here at the bottom
and one right here I want to make sure those are on the inside because that’s
where the power supply goes and then you have this up or crossmember here and
I’ve got these screws just finger tight into their slots will tighten these up
last so the first thing I’m going to do is tighten this screw once everything
looks point up then I’ll tighten the two bottom ones and then we’ll try the
movement of this up and down and finish tightening these tops now I can move
this real smoothly I don’t feel any bumps or resistance other than the
threaded rod spinning over here so I’ll leave it right there and then I’ll
tighten these four screws this is what I call the silver screw section because
you’ve got two silver screws that go through the upright into the power
supply so the plug goes out the wires go in and then you have your LCD the wire
connects to connector exp three it’s keyed so you can only put it in one way
but it’s the third slot and then there’s two more silver screws use the mount to
the front here before you proceed you check your hot end if you push down on
this white couple and you should be able to pull the PTFE tube out make sure
there’s no leftover plastic fill them in in there and then what you want to do is
push this all the way down till you feel it bottom that means it’s hitting the
nozzle you don’t want any gap between this and the nozzle
I felt it hit really hard and then they give you these little blue plastic clips
put one on there and that should lock it in place there’s also a coupling they
give you that screws into the extruder here at the back just hand tighten that
because you’ll take that on and off all the time when you’re loading filament
then take the PTFE tube stick it in until it goes all the way in you feel it
bottomed out and then take a smaller blue clip put it on that coupling lock
it in place the wiring is pretty straightforward you’ve got this big loom
that goes to the hot end that just clips here onto the extruder and then you’ve
got a Z connector for the Z motor that snaps in place here and then you have
this multi connector cable it’s got an X for the X switch which is in here so
that goes in there and you might have to use the pliers to reach that and then
there’s an X stepper motor that goes under here and then the e or extruder
that goes right into this guy right there the last connection is the power
connection here these two just snap in place and then I’m going to tie strap
that to the base I also use some tie strips over here I got one down here at
the bottom one on the middle and one up top and brought this all the way up to
make sure that it’s not snagging anything and then the bed wiring just
stays loose for the instructions I mount the spool holder on top with two screws
and t-nuts I like to put it on the side with a 3d
print as you see in some of the machines back here but to start just mount it as
they have it on top now they do give you a small monofilament but I suggest you
get your own filament spool put it on there and then feed it through the
extruder I like to unscrew the PTFE tube it’s easier to slide it through and then
slip it on here that’s why I said just hand tighten this and then
once that’s hand tighten then you can push the lever and push the filament
little rest away through all the way to the nozzle depending on where you live
you want to make sure you have the right voltage setting there’s a switch here at
sets of 230 if you slide it up 115 if you slide it down so in the US where I
live I want to slide that down to 115 so I just use the allen wrench push the
switch down if you’re outside the US leave it up for 230 there’s one more
connection I forgot and that’s the Z switch that’s right over here snaps in
place and now we’re ready to power this up I put the bed material back on with
the little clips lined everything up plugged it in and now we’re ready to
power up and then we’ll go to the prepare menu and then auto home and
that’s gonna move everything and home the hot end and that’ll tell us that the
XY & z motors are all working and all the switches are working so I’ll power
it up it takes a few seconds if you don’t see the LCD light-up check your
connection it should be on the exp 3 not 2 or the 1 and then you just click by
pushing down on the button scroll down to prepare push on the button click on
auto home and now you can see that it lifts it up a little the X is moving
it’s gonna hit and switch and stop the bed’s moving back it’s a switch to stop
and now it’s gonna go down hit the switch on the side and stop now if you
want to move it to but the motors are all powered so you can shut it off or
you can go disable under the prepare menu but I’m just going to shut it off
after you shut it off then you can adjust the nozzle so it’s just above the
adjustment knob then take a piece of paper slide it underneath it and adjust
the nava till the paper just barely rubs against the nozzle do that at each
adjustment knob and you should be ready to print now I have a full video showing
how to properly level your bed I’ll link to it at the end of the video I also
have some videos on using the cure slicer and some pure profiles linked in
description below to help you get started I’ve also got some sample prints
like my chap cube I hope this helps you get your under 3 assembled properly so
you have success 3d printing right out of the box so that’s it for this week if
you like what I’m doing here maybe check out some of the video
that are popping up if you want to help support the channel patreon is one way
or just buy through the affiliate links it all helps a lot and if nothing else click on
that CHEP logo and subscribe I’ll see you next time right here at Filament
Friday

45 thoughts on “Ender 3 Assembly Guide For Beginners

  1. Awwwww man where were you a year and half ago! Could have really used this. Following the printed directions when you don't know diddley squat about 3d printers is a nightmare. Although I did get it working it took me all day and night. Thanks to your vids I now get some fabulous prints. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

  2. Side mounting the spool as you said really makes a difference. Get some cheap skate board bearings and print out some spool adapters and you will get a smooth filament feed direct into the extruder. Best change it to the aluminium version, a real cheap upgrade. Great video as always, thanks and respect.

  3. Never seen a triangle used before. Good idea. Hey, Chuck, good turn on the โ€œEdge of Techโ€ guest talk. Feel like I know you now. ๐Ÿคฃ

  4. I've had the Ender 3 for more than 1 year, but your video is so good that I watched it all the way through. Almost making me want to disassemble it, get it clean and start over ๐Ÿ˜

  5. The best part of the video is Chuck explaining WHY you should take so many of these actions. A square, rigid frame is SO important to sub millimeter accuracy in 3D printing.

  6. 12:44 it's usually not recommended to move the motors like that, especially the Z-axis (because the screw can make the motor spin very fast). Moving the motors causes the motors to produce a voltage at the connectors which backfeeds through the stepper drivers. On my ender 3, on both a quiet and a stock Mainboard, I could see the fans twitching whenever I moved an axis manually, and I could also hear a faint high pitch noise coming from the fans and the other motors.

  7. I was told I was being over dramatic when I used my squares to assemble my 3d printer. Now I see someone else doing the same thing.

  8. Would you recommend this or another Creality printer for a beginner? It'll be my only 3d printer for a while and I'm not sure what to go with.

  9. So I was just sitting in front of my Ender 3 Pro which arrived yesterday, it was still in bits and I was about to start the build. Your timing is impeccable Sir! Thanks for a great video and thanks for "hand-holding" me through the process.

  10. I bought mine secundo second hand. Is prints ok but o wonder of i can improve. One question about your profiles. Are these for flex and pla? For flex I now use the chazmeister that gives me good results. But I'm still on a previous cura version. I'm looking to upgrade.

    Thanks for the videos๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ

  11. Nicely done Chuck, you definitely show new beginners and the rest of us just what is important when building this printer and "Trust me Beginners you will want to use his profiles!"

  12. I would like to see you also recommend a hot tightening before starting the print, preferably with the nozzle unscrewed a quarter of the turn, and the PTFE moved down to the nozzle, before locking the PTFE up. That way you don't have to worry about leaking

  13. chep hello i want to ask u a question ! both on my ender 3 and 5 when i print small object with low speed like 20 mm/s or 30 mm/s and smaller layer heights lik 008 0r 1 i got a lot of stringing like hair and blobs and both on my printer have dual gear extruders so should i reduce filament temps or flow ?

  14. Thanks Chuck! My E3 has been sitting idle since we assembled it due to so many issues. Looks like Iโ€™ll be disassembling it and starting from scratch with the reassembly following your procedures.

    One thing that is an issue on mine – the front right leveling screw is loose at the plate. Is there an easy fix for this, or will I need a new plate? (BTW, mine has the magnetic build sheet with a self adhesive sheet applied over the metal plate itself.)

  15. Great assembly video based upon your experiences. I have a second E3 Pro to assemble and will use your methods to assemble it – much faster. I also have a bit of trouble getting the filament to thread into the bowden tube coupler at the extruder and find if I keep the two feeder gears as close together as possible when squeezing the lever the the filament stays straighter and finds its way through.

  16. Just a question about my ender.
    It has huge problems with the first 1mm of printing. Burnt or over cooked filament and over extrusion.
    What could give such inconsistent results?

  17. With so many upgrades available for an Ender 3, it seems wasteful to buy one and then upgrade, is there a way to just get just a basic kit and just add the upgrades?

  18. Just bought a Ender 3 Pro with the "Silent Mainboard V1.1.5" and a BLTOUCH, any tips or maybe a video on getting a BLTOUCH working?

  19. I love this video. Unfortunately, I purchased my Ender 3 Pro three weeks ago so I had to go through some of the mistakes you described. That's okay. You had a ton of other videos helping correct those.

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