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Creality Ender 3 Direct Drive

Started by Joe Lavery, October 14, 2021, 03:53:59 PM

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Joe Lavery

October 14, 2021, 03:53:59 PM Last Edit: October 14, 2021, 03:55:15 PM by Joe Lavery
This week I decided to give my little Ender 3D printer a makeover with a direct drive unit to replace the bowden tube system that needed replacing anyway.

I was spurred on by the fact that Amazon had the whole system, that's the Motor, Hot end, Complete cable loom, back pate and all the running gear straight from Creality for £32.00. Quite a bargain.
It arrived the following day and I had it installed in about an hour or so.  8)
I did the usual bed levelling and XYZ calibration, checked the heaters and extruded some filament... All good so far.

After about ten minutes into the first print the extruded started to play up so I abandoned the print to check the feed. I checked the motor which seemed to be okay so I pressed on the filament to see if the nozzle had become blocked, nope it flowed out in a steady stream.
So I withdrew the filament and checked the drive gears and was amazed to find that the locking grub screws on the gear fitted to the stepper motor had not been locked up. In fact when I held down the tension arm I was able to slide the gear straight off the shaft.

Naturally this was then an easy fix, although I had to slide the assembly off the runner to get the screws tightened up.

I suppose in hindsight I should have checked everything before fitting it. But it was not a cheap knockoff, it came straight from Creality in their packaging. So a lesson learned.

I've only documented this tale hear in case one of you good people have a similar purchase in mind. Then perhaps you can do what I did not and check everything before setting it to work.  >:(

Incidentally it does work fine, I also upgraded the main motherboard at the same time for one with quieter stepper drivers.  :)

Joe.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain

Journalist - writer for  PC Pilot Magazine

sagrada737

Hello Joe,

Congratulations on getting a Direct Drive installed on your Ender 3 printer.  Direct Drive is very useful for "hard to feed" filaments, like TPU.  In fact, it's almost impossible to feed highly flexible filaments through a long Boden Tube.  This is made even more complex if you need Retract in your printing.  I think you will enjoy using Direct Drive.

Regarding loose parts...   I have two Creality 3D Printers.  They both came from the factory with screws loose, and/or fallen off in the shipping box.  If you buy a Creality 3D Printer, make sure you carefully open the shipping carton and look for any screws, washers, etc.

That said, my 3D printers are holding up fine.  In fact, I just 3D printed two grip handles for my Seat Lock Release Lever using TPU with Direct Drive.

Mike
Full-scale 737-800 Sim; P3d v4.5x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP,  FlightIllusion hardware.  3-Optoma ZH406ST Laser HD projectors, with 4K inputs from a single Nvidia RTX-3090 GPU, resulting in a 210 deg wrap-around display.  6dof Motion Platform using BFF 6dof motion software, driven by a Thanos Servo Controller to 6.2 KW Servos, Lever type actuators.

Joe Lavery

Yes Mike,

I agree, the Creatilty printers are quite robust once you get them tuned in. Mine had been working fine until I had a major clog up and decided to use the excuse of changing to the direct drive.

Although the prints are very clean they have quite a noticeable moire pattern on each side. On investigation some folk say it's due to the steppers, others say the X axis belt should be quite tight.

As it happens I can live with it because most of my prints are painted anyway.  8)

Joe.

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain

Journalist - writer for  PC Pilot Magazine

blueskydriver

Thanks guys, now I'll be checking out direct drive for mine; although, the problem I have is the fumes.

With my windowless building being so tight, the melting fumes gets pretty bad. Already purchased some ducting and hoods to go above them, but that means holes in the walls...bummer. Then again, a couple of holes versus the headaches I was getting after a while is worth living with.

Do you have any issues with the fumes and venting?

John
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

Joe Lavery

John, to be honest I've never noticed any fumes from my Creality printer. The Elegoo resin printer yes, dreadful smells but not the FDM one.

Joe
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain

Journalist - writer for  PC Pilot Magazine

Jason L

What material are you using?  I know that ABS can make bad fumes so most have it enclosed (to keep the heat) and also vented outside or similar.

Joe Lavery

I use PLA or PETG which as far as I can tell don't give off any fumes, well at least none that affects me, and my printer sits roughly four feet from where I work.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain

Journalist - writer for  PC Pilot Magazine

blueskydriver

Just PLA for me, but I'm printing large items that run for 24-30 hours at times.

Glad too hear you guys don't have issues with this....

John
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

Jason L

My last two prints with pla were 48 hours each. No stinky fumes just a warm room.

n4208t

If anyone is interested and in/near Minnesota, I have a 3D Printer enclosure (from Matterhackers) sitting empty and doing nothing I would let go for cheap.  I had my Tevo Tornado in it before buying a second printer that is enclosed.

I have also not found that ABS gives off a lot of bad fumes but the enclosure stabilizes print temperatures which really helps, especially in cold climes in the winter.

Steve

Jason L

Quote from: n4208t on October 18, 2021, 04:37:42 AMIf anyone is interested and in/near Minnesota, I have a 3D Printer enclosure (from Matterhackers) sitting empty and doing nothing I would let go for cheap.  I had my Tevo Tornado in it before buying a second printer that is enclosed.

I have also not found that ABS gives off a lot of bad fumes but the enclosure stabilizes print temperatures which really helps, especially in cold climes in the winter.

Steve

Small world!  I used to live near you about 8 years ago.  Spent a good 18 years up in the twin cities.  Now live down in the SW corner of the state.  Here I thought I was the only sim-pit geek in the state.

lol.

sagrada737

Be careful of the fumes that are given off from ABS.  An enclosure helps, but is is useless unless it is vented to the outside air.

You might find that for structural parts, printing in PETG does a great job.  It can be post machined, sands and paints well using Rust-Oleum2X spray paint.  I print this at 240 degrees C, with a bed temperature of 80C.  Layer to layer adhesion is excellent.  Fumes are non-toxic.
Full-scale 737-800 Sim; P3d v4.5x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP,  FlightIllusion hardware.  3-Optoma ZH406ST Laser HD projectors, with 4K inputs from a single Nvidia RTX-3090 GPU, resulting in a 210 deg wrap-around display.  6dof Motion Platform using BFF 6dof motion software, driven by a Thanos Servo Controller to 6.2 KW Servos, Lever type actuators.

n4208t

Good point.  I actually prefer PETG anyway.  Hey Jason!

Steve

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