The Ender 3 Series are very popular 3D printers but they are known to emit fairly loud sounds and noises from the fans, stepper motors, and overall movement. Many people put up with it, but I wanted to write an article to show you how you can drastically reduce this noise.
To make your Ender 3 quieter, you should upgrade it with a silent mainboard, purchase quieter fans, and use stepper motor dampers to reduce the noise. You can also print a cover for your PSU fan, and damping feet for the Ender 3 printers. Printing on a concrete block and foam platform also leads to the best results.
This is how most of the experts make their Ender 3 printers quieter and more silent, so keep reading through this article for more information about each method.
How Do You Make an Ender 3 Printer Quieter?
I’ve made a list of all the different things you can do to make your Ender 3 printer quieter. Many factors need to be looked out for when accomplishing this task. Let’s take a look at what you need to focus on.
- Silent Mainboard Upgrade
- Replacing the Hot End Fans
- Print With an Enclosure
- Vibration Dampeners – Stepper Motor Upgrade
- Power Supply Unit (PSU) Cover
- TL Smoothers
- Ender 3 Vibration Absorbing Feet
- Sturdy Surface
- Use a Dampening Foam
1. Silent Mainboard Upgrade
One of the Ender 3 V2’s most significant upgrades is the self-developed, 32-bit, silent motherboard with TMC drivers that allows printing as low as 50 decibels. This feature is a huge step up from the Ender 3 and the Ender 3 Pro.
That said, you can also install an upgraded silent mainboard on the Ender 3 and the Ender 3 Pro. This is one of the best upgrades you should be looking to do if you want to make your printer quieter.
The Creality V4.2.7 Upgrade Mute Silent Mainboard on Amazon is what people normally go with to significantly reduce the noise of their Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro. It has a host of positive reviews and a 4.5,/5.0 overall rating.
The silent mainboard consists of TMC 2225 drivers and also has thermal runaway protection enabled to prevent any heating issues. The installation is quick and easy, so you should definitely consider investing in this upgrade as many other people have.
It’s a high-quality upgrade for your Ender 3 that will make the printer whisper-quiet if combined with the Noctua fans. People say that it’s amazing how quiet their printer has become after installing the silent mainboard.
You can also purchase the BIGTREETECH SKR Mini E3 V2.0 Control Board from Amazon to eliminate your Ender 3’s noise when it prints.
It’s relatively more expensive than the Creality silent motherboard, but also supports the BLTouch automatic bed-leveling sensor, power-recovery feature, and a bunch of other upgrades that make it a worthy purchase.
It boasts a 4.4/5.0 overall rating on Amazon with the majority of the people leaving a 5-star review. People call this upgrade a must-have for your Ender 3, as it’s painlessly easy to install and features a direct replacement.
You only have to put it inside and plug it up, and that’s about it. From ease-of-use to making the Ender 3 print unbelievably quieter, the SKR Mini E3 V2.0 Control Board is a very deserving upgrade.
The video given below is an excellent guide on how to install the Creality silent mainboard on your Ender 3. I highly recommend following it along if you want to do the same.
2. Replacing the Hot End Fans
The Ender 3 series printers have four main types of fans, but the fan type that is modified the most is the hot end fan. A reason that happens is that these fans always stay on during 3D printing.
The hot end fans are one of the major sources of the Ender 3’s noise. However, you can easily replace them with other quieter fans that have decent airflow.
A popular choice among owners of the Ender 3 printers is the Noctua NF-A4x10 Premium Quiet Fans (Amazon). These are known to perform well and thousands of people have modified their current Ender 3 fans in favor of Noctua fans.
Replacing the stock Ender 3 fans with this one is a great idea to reduce the noise of your 3D printer. You can do this on the Ender 3, Ender 3 Pro, and the Ender 3 V2 as well.
To install Noctua fans, you will first have to make certain modifications to your Ender 3 printer. Apart from some models that ship with 12V fans, most Ender 3 prints have fans that run on 24V.
Since the Noctua fans have a voltage of 12V, you will need a buck converter to get the right voltage for your Ender 3. This Polulu buck converter (Amazon) is something good to get started with.
Additionally, you can check what voltage your Ender 3 fans are using by opening the power supply and testing the voltage yourself.
The following video by CHEP goes in-depth regarding the installation of 12V Noctua fans on an Ender 3. It’s definitely worth checking out if you intend to make your printer quieter.
3. Print With an Enclosure
Printing with an enclosure has many advantages in 3D printing. It helps regulate a constant temperature when working with high-temp filaments such as Nylon and ABS and provides more safety when printing.
It leads to high-quality parts, and in this case, also contains the noise level of your 3D printer. Some people have even tried printing in their closets and have noticed considerable results.
For several reasons and now quieter printing too, printing with an enclosed print chamber is highly recommended. It’s one of the easier and quicker methods to make your Ender 3 quieter and room-friendly.
I’d recommend going with the Creality Fireproof & Dustproof Enclosure for your Ender 3. It has over 700 ratings, 90% of which are 4 stars or above at time of writing. The noise reduction is definitely noticeable with this addition.
Many previous issues that occurred with the 3D prints of many users actually got fixed just by making use of this enclosure.
4. Vibration Dampeners – Stepper Motor Upgrade
Stepper motors play a highly important role in 3D printing, but they are also on the side of things that cause loud noises in the form of vibrations. There is a way to make your Ender 3 printer quieter, and that is by simply upgrading your stepper motors.
A great option to go with is the NEMA 17 Stepper Motor Vibration Dampers (Amazon). This simple upgrade is picked up by thousands of people and has several awesome reviews to back up its performance and overall effect.
Customers say that these dampers were able to quieten down their Ender 3 even with the stock noisy mainboard. They come nicely packaged, are well-built, and work as intended.
One user wrote that after easily installing the stepper motor dampers, they were able to print overnight and sleep peacefully in the same room.
Another person says that even though they use a cheap-quality stepper motor, the dampers still made a great difference in terms of noise reduction.
An Anet A8 user said that they wanted to prevent the vibration from getting to the floor and into the ceiling of their neighbor downstairs.
The stepper motor dampers successfully made that happen and significantly quietened the printer in general. This upgrade can do similar stuff for your Ender 3 printers.
However, some people said that the dampers don’t fit the latest model of the Ender 3. If that happens with you, you’ll have to print mounting brackets so they can properly mount the stepper motors.
The Ender 3 X-axis stepper motor damper mount STL file can be downloaded from Thingiverse. Another creator on the platform made an STL file of the damper mounts for the X and Y-axis, so you can check which one suits your 3D printer set up the best.
Noise from the stepper motor is usually the first thing people deal with when trying to make their printer quieter. The vibration can cause discomfort for not only you but also the people around you as well.
With the help of stepper motor vibration dampers, you can minimize the noise generated through a quick and easy installation. These are usually mounted atop the stepper motors of the X and Y axes.
According to the people who have done this with their Ender 3 printer, the results have been wonderful. Users say that their machine does not make any noticeable sound anymore.
The following video explains how you can install the NEMA 17 vibration dampers for your printer’s stepper motors.
On the same side, some people believe that using stepper motor dampers is a good solution, but it’s easier to change the mainboard altogether for quieter 3D printing.
That can be expensive and difficult if you lack the required knowledge, but is definitely a worthwhile upgrade to look into. I’ll be discussing it in detail later on in the article.
Hears what Teaching Tech has to say about stepper motor dampers in the video below.
5. Power Supply Unit (PSU) Cover
The power supply unit (PSU) of the Ender 3 printers generates a considerable amount of noise, but that can be fixed using a quick and easy solution of printing a PSU cover.
The Ender 3’s power supply unit is known to be extremely noisy. You can either print a cover for it or replace it with a MeanWell power supply that is quieter, safer, and more efficient.
Printing a cover for the stock PSU is a convenient and fast solution to make your printer noise-free. To do that, you will have to search for your specific fan size in order to print the right cover.
There are several different sizes of fans out there. If you’ve recently upgraded your Ender 3, Ender 3 Pro, or the Ender 3 V2 with quieter fans, it’s a good idea to confirm what size your fans are before getting the STL file for their cover.
Here are some of the popular PSU fan covers on Thingiverse for the Ender 3 printers.
- 80mm x 10mm Ender 3 V2 PSU Cover
- 92mm Ender 3 V2 PSU Cover
- 80mm x 25mm Ender 3 MeanWell PSU Cover
- 92mm MeanWell PSU Cover
- 90mm Ender 3 V2 PSU Fan Cover
The following video is a tutorial on how you can print and install a fan cover for the Ender 3 Pro. Do give it a watch for more information.
One user who did this upgrade said it was easy to install but did require a new holder since it’s a thinner model than the original PSU. The PSU fan cycles on and off depending on the temperature so it doesn’t always spin, leading to a quieter 3D printing experience.
When it’s idle, the battery is dead silent since heat isn’t being generated.
You can get a 24V MeanWell PSU Upgrade from Amazon for somewhere around $35.
If you can afford the extra effort and cost, you should definitely look into the MeanWell PSU upgrade for your Ender 3. Fortunately, the Ender 3 Pro and the Ender 3 V2 already ship with MeanWell as their stock PSU.
The following video is a step-by-step guide on how to install the MeanWell power supply on your 3D printer.
6. TL Smoothers
Using TL Smoothers is another way to reduce the Ender 3’s noise during printing. They typically go between the stepper motors and the stepper drivers.
There are vibrations that happen within the stepper motors of a low-cost 3D printer such as the Ender 3 and the Ender 3 Pro. This results in those loud noises that can be heard.
A TL Smoother directly addresses this issue by reducing vibrations, and this has worked for plenty of Ender 3 users out there. Your Ender 3 can also greatly benefit from this upgrade in terms of noise reduction and print quality.
You can easily find a pack of TL Smoothers online. The ARQQ TL Smoother Addon Module on Amazon is a budget-friendly option that has many good reviews and a decent overall rating.
If you have an Ender 3 with TMC silent drivers, however, then you don’t need to install the TL Smoothers. They can only have a significant effect on the old 4988 stepper drivers.
If you’re unsure what drivers your Ender 3 has, you can print a 3D Benchy and observe if the print has zebra-like strips on it. If you notice such imperfections, it’s a good idea to install TL Smoothers on your 3D printer.
The Ender 3 V2 also does not require the TL Smoothers upgrade. It comes equipped with TMC silent drivers that already print quietly, so it’s better to avoid doing this on the Ender 3 V2.
The following video by CHEP goes in-depth on how to install the TL Smoothers on your Ender 3, and I highly recommend checking it out for more information.
7. Ender 3 Vibration Absorbing Feet
To make your Ender 3 print quieter, you can also use vibration-absorbing feet. You can easily print this upgrade for your 3D printer and install it quickly with no difficulty.
When a 3D printer prints, there’s a chance for its moving parts to cause vibration and transmit it to the surface it’s printing on. This can cause discomfort and noise.
Luckily, Thingiverse has an STL file called Ender 3 Damping Feet that can be printed for your Ender 3, Ender 3 Pro, and Ender 3 V2 as well.
A Reddit user replying to a post has said that using these damping feet has made a huge difference in terms of quietness. People usually use a combination of this and a fan cover to maximize the reduction of noise.
In the following video, BV3D talks about five simple upgrades for the Ender 3 printers. If you skip to #2, you’ll see damping feet in action.
8. Sturdy Surface
An easy way to make your Ender 3 print quietly is by using it on a surface that doesn’t wobble or shake. You might be printing somewhere that makes noise whenever your printer starts printing.
A 3D printer has several moving parts that generate momentum and have to change direction quickly. In doing so, jerks can frequently occur that can vibrate and shake the table or desk you’re printing on if it’s not sturdy enough.
In that case, your best bet is to print on a surface that’s firm and sturdy so all the vibrations coming from the printer won’t create disturbance or noise.
I put together a list of the Best Tables & Workbenches for 3D Printing that offer great stability and smoothness. It’s a good idea to check that out to find what the experts are using for their 3D printers.
9. Use a Concrete Paver & Dampening Foam
While using the vibration damping feet as mentioned earlier can lead to quieter printing, using a combination of a concrete block and a dampening foam can usually bring the best results.
You can use a block of concrete and place your printer above it to get started. This should prevent the vibrations from traveling to the surface you’re printing on since the concrete will act as a dampening agent.
However, you can further quieten your 3D printer by using dampening foam. You shouldn’t place your printer on top of the foam directly as this can cause the foam to push down and become totally ineffective.
Make sure you have an even concrete paver first to use with your 3D printer. In this way, the printer goes on the concrete block which is placed on the dampening foam.
If you build this platform for your Ender 3 printer, the combined effect of the foam and the concrete paver can reduce the noise by 8-10 decibels.
As an added bonus, doing this can also improve the print quality. Providing a flexible base to your 3D printer causes its moving parts to move as a whole and warp lesser. When that happens, your printer is bound to be more stable and smooth during the printing operation.
You can watch the following video by CNC Kitchen to see how the experts do it. Stefan also describes the difference each upgrade makes in his experiments.
Hopefully, this article is helpful for finally learning how to quieten your Ender 3 machine, as well as other similar printers. If you use many of these methods at once, you should see a significant difference.