Checking in with my Ender3 pro


Limp Gawd
Jan 4, 2016
I picked up a: SainSmart x Creality Ender-3 PRO 3D Printer from woot over black Friday. Figured the entry price point was low enough for me to tinker with, and not something I would be angry at if I left on the curb. ($155)

Assembled it over Christmas, and have been dickering with it ever since.

Upgrades to it:
- Creality 3d upgrade kit of new springs, better tube couplers, metal extruder, and capricorn tubing. ($20)
- BIGTREETECH SKR Mini E3 V1.2 (new main board) ($35)

All the upgrades have gone in.. the mainboard has better firmware support and silent steppers so a plus.

The springs were super to keeping the manual bed leveling less of an issue, couplers to keep the tube in, metal extruder because the plastic one will wear out with filament rubbing on it, and tubing for heat/retraction issues.

I also picked up some digital calipers and ferrules crimper but the latter was overkill as the pro's power supply and mainboard were pretty rock solid.

I use Cura for my slicer. Never thought how much time it sucks to print. .that may be the death of my love for this project.

My boss picked up a Sovol3d on his friend's recommendations. It has a lot of nice upgrades for an Ender3 over mine, and wouldn't be a bad entry model.

After a lot of futzing, swearing, and drinks I think I have this thing tuned in for PLA. The cube and level verifier helped quite a bit.

Oh geeze, and yes.. CALIBRATE THOSE ESTEPS! That seemed to be the last blocker to get this really humming.

Things I've printed:

The makerbot fidget gear was especially a great moment. After failure and failure and more failure I finally have things tuned enough withing tolerance to print functional gears - in their housing! Super neat.

I am off to inspect 'OpenCad' to see what I can come up with on my own.
Yeah my tail for my 1/8 scale Little Boy took 36 hrs.


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May 3, 2005
Viper16 - that's a rough one to puzzle out. Is it layer shifting always to one specific direction? Like always back or always forward?

Any wonky acceleration issues?

Is the gantry arms for-realsies square and not loose? That the spacing between the vertical arms are the same when the gantry is at the bottom as compared to when it's at the top? The arms are not twisted by a wee amount or having any play?

Depending on the printer age it very well may be just a y motor swap.

Acceleration issues I haven't noticed. I will try to reduce speed to 90% and see if I get same results. the failure always appears to be offsetting the same direction (towards the back the printer) . I will check for square. The printer has been in service from 4/19.

What modi said, also I would also check wiring. You might have a connection that is weakening and it is causing a couple skips on your motor.

And sometimes the nozzle can impact a high spot in the model where there was a z-hop and retraction, it can leave a peak. This can make the motor skip if the bed adhesion is good.

I will definitely check the wiring. I will check my failed prints for any anomaly. The bed adhesion is outstanding, I am using the flex plate, and I have to work hard to separate my prints.


Fully [H]
Feb 24, 2005
Has anyone here with the Ender 3 had success with using the USB port on the front when connecting to a computer? No matter what I have tried, the software can never find it


Supreme [H]ardness
Sep 6, 2006
obviouslytom - no I haven't. Just been using the SD card. Have you considered using octoprint instead of tying up a whole computer?


Nov 29, 2004
You have to download the right drivers for Windows. I've run mine from a PC but now run it from a Raspberry Pi on Octoprint.


Nov 29, 2004
Christmas present for my son who's a big Portal fan.

Built using a design I found on Thingiverse. But I didn't like the mains powered bulb, so I changed things up. It's powered by a USB wall wart and cable that runs up the back leg. That goes into a 5 -> 12v DC booster to run strings of white 12v LEDs on the sides and red ones around the "eye". It also powers a bluetooth receiver and amplifier with a speaker at the bottom pointing up, and one at the top pointing down. To do all this I had to take the original files and add some rectangular cutouts for the PCBs, some complicated semi-cylindrical ones for the speakers, and design some side plates for the LED strings. I also used the optional "eye" details, but just made a circular piece of acrylic instead of printing it out of PETG. The whole thing is PLA+.


Lights on!


Oh yeah. It has a freakin' laser beam! 5v laser module wired in as well.


Nov 14, 2003
This is off an Ender 3 v2. Purchased new @ Amazon. This was chosen based upon the /r/3dprinting, based off of widespread community support and going into it, I knew that this wasn't going to be a turn-key experience.

Retraction Distance: 3mm
Retraction speed (both Retract and Prime) is 25mm
Extra Prime amount is 0mm
Retraction minimum travel is 3mm
Maximum retraction count: 10
Minimum extrusion distance window is 6.0mm
Combing mode : "Within Infill"
Max combing distance with no Retract: 30.0mm
Retract before outer Wall is : Checked
Z Hop When Retracted is : Unchecked

My temperature setting is 200c for the white hatchbox PLA. I ran the orange PLA+ @ 205c Both were determined with a temperature tower. The Hatchbox looked good from 190-210c, so I arbitrarily picked 200 "in the middle."

My original problem I had all pointed to a bowden tube gap, presumably caused by improper initial assembly. I had this awful problem with filament underextruding after about 2.4mm height into a print, causing this dreadful "click-click-click-click-click-click-click" sound at the extruder knob. The gear was slipping across the filament, gouging the heck out of it, to the point where it would not feed. Steps taken to "fix" that issue, involved changing to all-metal extruder (Crealty brand), capricorn tube and upgraded couplers, new nozzle.
What finally got my under-extrusion fixed was to thoroughly clean the pre-heated hot-end with spare tubing, and a new nozzle, installed flush, backed off, tube installed, then tightened back up.

I'll try the temperature settings. The orange stuff, was intended for some more "durable" products, the white Hatchbox was purchased by reputation only, as a high-quality premium filament. I wanted to remove some doubt.

I am, Cura 4.10.0 with 4 plugins (Calibration Shapes, Custom Supports, Cylindric Custom Support, and OctoPrint Connection) and the default "Crealty Ender-3" printer profile.
I’m sure you have figured it out by now, but just for reference for anyone else reading, your issue was probably the minimum retraction count settings.
This setting sets how many times the extruder will retract within the Minimum extrusion distance window. So you were setup for 10 times within 6mm, which will work for simple prints, but more detailed prints will need to retract the filliment more than simple prints. Once you get past 10 retractions in 6mm of fillement, the extruder stops retracting and you get stringing. This setting is meant to keep the extruder gear from eating into the fillement with too many extractions. But a good filament go through the extruder gear way more than 10 times. I have mine set to 100, and haven’t had an issue yet.


Supreme [H]ardness
Sep 6, 2006
Hadn't had a reason to print anything in a bit, but this sure looks awesome!
It was a bit more of a pain than I was expecting. Snapped a few skin parts, filed a TON, and even used a bit of glue.

PETG blue skeleton, white PLA skin. The leg skins needed a lot of filing for me, and I ended up gluing the skin things for the hands on as well as the head.. but dang, it was a fun one to hyper focus on.

I feel it was about 3hours for the skeleton plate as a whole, and like 2 hours on the skin plate.