Klipper is a powerful open-source firmware that can be used to control a 3D printer, providing high-level control over the printer.
Installing Klipper on an Ender 3 printer can bring a lot of benefits such as improved printing quality, smoother movements, and faster printing speeds.
That’s why I wrote this article, to teach you about the process of installing Klipper firmware on your Ender 3 printer.
Installing Klipper on Ender 3
These are the main steps to install Klipper on an Ender 3:
- Gather the necessary materials
- Download the Klipper firmware
- Prepare the MicroSD card
- Copy Klipper files to the MicroSD card
- Configure Klipper
- Install Klipper on the printer
- Connect to the printer & Install software
- Test Klipper
Gather the Necessary Materials
Before starting the installation process, you’ll need to gather a few things:
- Computer with an internet connection
- MicroSD card
- MicroSD card reader
- Standard USB Type-B cable
- Ender 3 with a power supply
The installation process for Klipper is the same for any Ender 3 model except for the configuration file, which we will go into more detail in another section of the article.
Download Klipper Firmware
The first step you will need to do is to download the Klipper firmware. You can download the latest version of Klipper from the official website.
Simply right-click on the zipped file and select “Extract All” or “Extract Here” to unzip the files to a folder on your computer.
Check out the video below for detailed information about the Klipper firmware.
Prepare the MicroSD Card
The next step in order to successfully install Klipper on an Ender 3 is to prepare the MicroSD card.
You should use a MicroSD card with a minimum capacity of 4GB, and a fast read/write speed to ensure the smooth operation of the printer.
If you want to reuse the same MicroSD card you were using with your Ender 3, check the amount of storage space you have available. In case you already have a MicroSD card that meets the minimum requirements and has sufficient space, you can reuse it.
However, it is always a good idea to keep a separate MicroSD card specifically for firmware and system files to avoid any conflicts or loss of data.
Users recommend getting a MicroSD card of at least 16 GB to properly run Klipper at a good speed.
To correctly prepare the MicroSD card for Klipper, insert the MicroSD card into the card reader and connect it to your computer. Then right-click on the card and select “Format.”
In the format options, select the “FAT32” file system and click “Start.” Confirm the format process by clicking “OK.” After formatting, create a new directory named “Klipper” in the root of the MicroSD card.
Find the drive letter assigned to the MicroSD card and right-click on the drive letter and select “New” and then “Folder.”
A drive letter is a letter assigned to a storage device to help identify it on a computer. For example, the hard drive might be labeled “C” and the CD drive might be “D”.
You’ll then rename the new folder to “Klipper”. Just be aware that formatting a MicroSD card will erase all the data on the card. Make sure to back up any important data before formatting.
Copy Klipper Files to the MicroSD Card
The next step you need to follow is to copy the entire Klipper folder that you unzipped earlier to the “Klipper” folder on the MicroSD card.
This will copy all the necessary files that are required to run the Klipper firmware to the MicroSD card.
The next step is to configure the firmware. Klipper is highly customizable, and you’ll need to properly configure it to match your Ender 3.
In the “Klipper” directory on the MicroSD card, go into the folder named “config” and check for a file named “printer.cfg”. This file helps Klipper understand the dimensions and characteristics of the printer it is being installed with.
To properly configure Klipper for the Ender 3, you’ll need to edit this file to contain the correct technical information of the printer you’re installing it on.
The “printer.cfg” file is a simple text file that can be opened and edited using a text editor such as Notepad++.
You’ll need to open this file in the text editor of your preference and change the inside information to the one that matches the Ender 3 you’re installing Klipper on.
To find the correct information for your printer just go to Klipper’s configuration page and find the configuration file for your 3D printer.
For example, if you plan on installing Klipper on an Ender 3 V2, you need to find the file named “printer-creality-ender3-v2-2020.cfg”. The file will contain all the necessary technical information that Klipper needs in order to be installed in an Ender 3 V2.
Then just copy and paste the information from the file to your “printer.cfg” file. This process is essentially copying and pasting text from one file to another.
To easily copy the information from the configuration file over at GitHub, you can click on the “Copy raw content” button.
After copying the raw content, open the “printer.cfg” file in a text editor such as Notepad++ and paste the content over there, just like you would paste any text content.
After that, just save the file and make sure it is named “printer.cfg” and it is located inside the “config” folder.
It’s important to note that this is the only step that is different for each Ender 3 model, as each different model will have a different configuration file. So be aware that the file needs to match exactly the type of printer you’re installing Klipper on.
In case you can’t find the “printer.cfg” file inside the “config” folder, you will need to create it. For that, you can use a text editor such as Notepad++ and just copy and paste the information from the configuration file for your printer.
Just don’t forget to save it as “printer.cfg” and placed it in the “config” folder, so that Klipper can find and use it during the configuration process.
You can find more information on how to install and configure Klipper firmware in the official installation guide.
Check the video below to see how to configure Klipper for the Ender 3 in more detail.
Install Klipper on the Printer
After configuring Klipper, it’s time to install it on the printer. For that, insert the MicroSD card into the printer and power it on.
The Klipper firmware will start loading automatically. If everything is configured correctly, Klipper should start up without any issues.
If the Klipper firmware does not load automatically when the MicroSD card is inserted into the printer and powered on, there could be several reasons for this.
Make sure that all the necessary Klipper files are in the correct directory and are not misplaced or missing and that the main configuration file for Klipper is named “printer.cfg” and should be in a plain text format.
Also, make sure that the MicroSD card is formatted as FAT32 or a compatible file system that the printer can read.
Connect to the Printer & Install Software
Since Klipper is just a firmware we need a separate way of transferring information or communicating commands to the 3D printer.
The best way to do this is using OctoPrint, which is a software that can talk directly with your 3D printer.
You can also use software such as Fluidd or Mainsail which are user interfaces to communicate with your 3D printer. Still, they require a Raspberry Pi, a mini-computer that can transfer information. There is a separate process to install a Raspberry Pi that you’ll have to follow.
Users really recommend using OctoPrint as it provides a user-friendly interface that allows you to connect to your printer, send G-code commands, and monitor the print process.
They also recommend it because of its range of features such as print scheduling, print monitoring, and access to advanced tools such as slicing and g-code analysis.
One user recommends selecting “serial (on USART1 PA10/PA9) communication” instead of disabling “use USB for communication” for the Ender 3 V2 when configuring Klipper via the Fluidd interface.
Some users choose to run Klipper in “headless” mode, meaning that they do not use a display screen and control the printer solely through the web interface
With the web interface, users can access and control the printer from any device with a web browser, such as a computer, tablet, or smartphone, as long as it is connected to the same network as the printer.
The web interface for Klipper is typically accessed by typing the printer’s IP address into a web browser. The exact features of the web interface will depend on the version of Klipper being used.
To find the IP address of your printer, just log in to your router’s settings or use a tool like Fing.
You can log into your router’s settings by connecting to your router using an Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi, opening a web browser, and entering the default IP address of your router (e.g. 192.168.0.1 or 10.0.0.1) into the address bar.
Then just enter the username and password for the router, and go to the network settings or device list to find the IP address of your printer.
You can also use Fing, which is a software that can be downloaded on a phone or computer, it will scan the network and show a list of all connected devices and their IP addresses. Once you have the IP address, you can use it to connect to your printer.
After choosing how you’ll control Klipper, you can connect the printer using the USB cable. Once you’re connected, you’ll be able to send G-code files to the printer and start printing.
Once you’ve successfully connected to the printer and installed all the necessary software, it’s a good idea to test Klipper by printing an XYZ Calibration
This will give you a good idea of the quality of the prints that Klipper can produce. If everything looks good, you’re ready to start using Klipper for all of your printing needs.
Installing Klipper firmware on your Ender 3 printer can bring a host of benefits, including improved printing quality and faster printing speeds.
While the process of installing Klipper may seem a bit overwhelming at first, it’s actually quite straightforward once you have gathered the necessary materials and followed all the steps carefully.
Users have been able to successfully install Klipper even without being coders by following the steps and watching a few tutorials.
One stated that while it was tough for him to install Klipper, eventually he got it running on his modded Ender 3 Pro with the help of Mainsail.
Check out the video below for detailed instructions on how to install Klipper on the Ender 3 V2 (and other 32-bit Creality printers).