I upgraded the main board on my Creality Ender 3!

About a year ago I posted about purchasing a Creality Ender 3 3D Printer and I have enjoyed having it, but have not been able to using it much in that time. I definitely was getting disheartened with it as I was having extremely inconsistent results. I eventually had to shelf the printer as we have had some issues with our home that have taken priority over many of the hobbies.

I finally have been able to focus some time on other things, and recently decided to pick up the new (to me, this has been available for months) Ender 3 Silent Mother Board (Firmware V 1.1.5 – Delivered with V 1.1.8). One of my biggest gripes with the printer was the amount of noise that it made. In addition to the whine of the motors, I was also was having issues with the Micro-SD card reader, and USB port. With the USB port I wanted to be able to connect a Raspberry Pi, and with the Micro SD card reader I wanted to be able to connect an adapter that would allow the use of a standard SD card.

To put it lightly, the installation of this board was a CHORE! It should not have been nearly as much of an issue as it was. Every connector was hot-glued to the board and in addition to that, there was a lack of slack on the wires which made removing the board with everything connected impossible. I had to take tweezers, a screwdriver, and my large hands and fit them in a small area to pry away the adhesive. If it weren’t for the glue, this would have been a breeze.

Original board inside of Creality Ender 3
Original main board inside of Creality Ender 3, prior to upgrade.

Once installed, this board has made the operations of this machine nearly silent. It is incredible. If the fans were higher quality, this machine would not be a problem to have in a quiet office, or somewhere else.

I am thrilled with the results. While I am back to learning how to use the printer, and having issues with basic things like bed adhesion during prints, this board has actually improved the layer quality from what I can see so far. My first print following the replacement was of a fan shroud for the main board housing on the bottom of the machine.

This piece is a common piece that is made by users as it is used to protect an opening that is on the top of the housing of the main board which can allow dust and debris to enter, potentially impacting the logic board. I have previously printed a part for this, which awful results, so I figured it would be a quick and easy way to test the printer following the upgrade.

Fan shroud being printed following board replacement
Fan shroud being printed following board replacement

The first two attempts failed approximately 20% of the way through the print, and from there, I bumped the temperature of the heated bed, and had perfect results. About 3 hours later, I had an incredible print.

First completed print following board upgrade
First completed print following board upgrade

While the installation took significantly longer than it should have, I am absolutely thrilled with the results following the upgrade. The completed print is absolutely stunning in comparison to the results I was getting previously. While the machine still makes more noise than I wish, it is night and day different in sound level. There is no longer a high pitched noise that is made every time one of the steppers is moving, it is only a constant fan noise.

I would highly recommend anyone who has an older board in their Creality Ender 3 to make this change.

A brief video of the printer operating following the upgrade:

Brief video of the Creality Ender 3 after silent board upgrade

Previous post about why I chose the Creality Ender 3: Here

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