Ender 3 V2 - What to do when one gets one?

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bp122

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Hi all

It is my first post in the 3d printing section of UKW.
I got into 3D printing due to work, back in 2020 when I got trained on a £250k SLA printer at work.
Then I switched jobs and got introduced to FDM printers. Now, I'm comfortable designing and printing stuff on all 3d printers at work.
But I need one because I can't keep using the office ones for personal projects without holding up others' work, so against my mate's recommendation of the Bambu p1p (Can't afford it at the moment), I went with the Ender 3 V2. (Not NEO)
It will be delivered this week at some point (when Yodel decides to!)
My application is:
1. Workshop jigs which are accurate
2. Slightly occasional prints for my little boy (3 yo) in terms of toys
3. Functional items around the house

I have a few spools of PETG (what I have printed mostly at work)
I want to be able to print TPU (or any other flexible material) at some point (very rare stuff)

Questions:
1. What mods are recommended first? - Metal Extruder, Upgraded hot end, Direct extruder, Bed leveler (BL / CR), Springs, Magnetic Bed, Dual Z etc (Please share model / make / any information that you can share)
2. What mods need to be done for printing TPU / flexible material?
Budget is of course limited and will be doing the upgrades on a monthly basis to spread cost.

Any help will be appreciated and please treat me like a complete novice :D


Cheers
bp122
 
My recomendation is to assemble the machine, buy a roll of PLA and print off as many things as you can with the stock machine.
Get to know if before you even consider making 'upgrades'.
For many users of these hobby level printers the printer itself is their hobby and they are constantly tikering with them. I have had a stock Ender3 pro for 5 years now and apart from replacing the driver board with a silent one from Ender (the noise drove me to distraction). I have not found the need to upgrade for what I do - like you mostly jigs and useufull items for the workshop.
Once you have a few prints under your belt and are happy with the slicer settings you are using then you can measure up your prints and check they are printing accurately. Even then I would be looking at slicer settings before modding the printer.
My rational is if you imediatly starting modifiying things you will never know if that persistent problem is from a fault with the machine or your 'upgrade'.

With regards PETG I would start with PLA and once you are happy with your results try it. I have not had great success with PETG. It printed OK but degraded quickly and simply fell apart. It was a mug holder so a fairly chunky print, I did 2 1 in PLA and 1 in PETG at the same time and fitted to the same workshop door (I got tired of losing mugs). The PLA is still going string after 4 years - I have replaced the PETG one.

I have never attempted TPU as my printer is a bowden model and not really suitable.

For what it is worth I find the standard profiles in CURA work well for me. I have my bed well levelled using a post-it note under the nozzle and checking the 'drag' in each corner. I have not had to level it in over 2 months and have put 2 rolls of PLA through it.
 
My advice would be to use the machine as it comes for a while, sticking with PLA filament. Once you get used to your individual machine and its short comings you will have an idea which upgrades are for you. It is also far easier to try out the various slicers out there if your machine is still stock.

Some thoughts on your list of upgrades:
* Springs
Personally I thing they make little difference but they are cheap and easy to fit so it does not hurt to upgrade them.

* Magnetic Bed (with smooth and textured, spring-steel PEI build plates)
Definitely do this one, they are a joy to print on.

* Bed leveler (BL / CR)
In my mind these are not for levelling the bed (though they do that to an extent) but are actually for compensating for a non-flat build plate. This is a more involved upgrade but worth doing at some point.

* Metal Extruder, Upgraded hot end, Direct extruder
Just upgrade to a direct-drive extruder rather than upgrade extruder/hotend parts that you will throw away when you finally fit a direct drive extruder.
My ender 3 has been upgraded with a Micro Swiss NG Extruder which works great. However, I picked mine up cheap when a supplier had a sale on and they are quite pricey normally.

* Dual Z
I have also done this upgrade and it is pretty much not required on an Ender 3 sized machine. Only bother with this if you find your x-axis droops once it is holding a direct-drive extruder.
 
My advice would be to use the machine as it comes for a while, sticking with PLA filament. Once you get used to your individual machine and its short comings you will have an idea which upgrades are for you. It is also far easier to try out the various slicers out there if your machine is still stock.

Some thoughts on your list of upgrades:
* Springs
Personally I thing they make little difference but they are cheap and easy to fit so it does not hurt to upgrade them.

* Magnetic Bed (with smooth and textured, spring-steel PEI build plates)
Definitely do this one, they are a joy to print on.

* Bed leveler (BL / CR)
In my mind these are not for levelling the bed (though they do that to an extent) but are actually for compensating for a non-flat build plate. This is a more involved upgrade but worth doing at some point.

* Metal Extruder, Upgraded hot end, Direct extruder
Just upgrade to a direct-drive extruder rather than upgrade extruder/hotend parts that you will throw away when you finally fit a direct drive extruder.
My ender 3 has been upgraded with a Micro Swiss NG Extruder which works great. However, I picked mine up cheap when a supplier had a sale on and they are quite pricey normally.

* Dual Z
I have also done this upgrade and it is pretty much not required on an Ender 3 sized machine. Only bother with this if you find your x-axis droops once it is holding a direct-drive extruder.
 
I bought an Ender 3 V2 3 years ago for my 12 year old and did get some decent prints. As time went on we had more and more problems and we gave up. Too many people on the forums who have no idea what they are talking about and as previously said, the printer itself was the hobby, not the printing. I looked into doing the upgrades mentioned by cgarry recently to get back into it and found that buying a 3 S1 pro would cost only £45 more. I did the latter and it prints fine.
I'm sure the 3 V2 will work out of the box if you get il levelled and the Z offset correct.
 
The information from other users is really all you need to start with. Had my Ender3v2 just on 2 years and never modified anything apart from bed springs until I got it producing good consistent prints.
I only use PETG and TPU now and get excellent prints on a standard glass. Once I was happy with the set up I fitted the micro swiss D/D and dual z axis which is excellent.
Do join the Creality Ender-3 V2 3D Printer Group | Facebook
The knowledge level is vast and helpful.
Any problems don't hesitate to message me. Insert is a petg benchy.
 

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Same here, when I bought the printer, there where a couple of "must have" upgrades according to the Internet, so I bought stiffer bed springs, a different tube, a metal extruder. All still in their respective packaging.
The printer just works assembled out of the box. For me, a must have was an enclosure, because it kept lifting corners of prints. And I fitted a 0.6mm nozzle, and I never use anything else, 0.4 takes ages, and 0.8 is too coarse for my taste.
 

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