Upgrading your Ender 3 mainboard/motherboard can be a difficult task if you’re not sure how to access and remove it properly, so I decided to write this article to teach you how to properly upgrade your Ender 3 mainboard.
Keep reading to find out how to do this.
How to Upgrade Ender 3 Motherboard/Mainboard
To upgrade your Ender 3 mainboard, you’ll need to access and remove the existing one and replace it with your new board. Users recommend either the Creality 4.2.7 or the SKR Mini E3, both of which are available at Amazon, with its pros and cons.
One user who installed the Creality 4.2.7 board said the upgrade wasn’t hard to do and couldn’t believe how much smoother and quieter the steppers were. The only sound he really hears now is just the fans.
Another user, who chose the SKR Mini E3, said he was avoiding this update for years, fearing the installation was going to be too difficult. At the end, it was pretty easy and took only 15 minutes to be complete.
Check out this cool video below that does a sound comparison about both the mainboards mentioned above.
These are the main steps you’ll take in order to upgrade your Ender 3 mainboard:
- Unplug the Printer
- Take the Mainboard Panel Off
- Disconnect the Cables & Unscrew the Board
- Connect the Upgraded Mainboard
- Install all the Cables
- Install the Mainboard Panel
- Test your Print
Unplug the Printer
This may seem a bit obvious, but it’s always important to remember to first, before doing any sort of modification and removal of the printer’s parts, to unplug it from any power source.
It is dangerous to mess around with the Ender 3’s parts with the printer plugged in, even the best safety equipment may not protect you from danger, so remember to always unplug your printer before doing any sort of upgrade or modification.
Take the Mainboard Panel Off
After unplugging your Ender 3 from any power source, it’s time to take the mainboard panel off, for you to be able to access the board and remove it.
First, you’ll need to move the bed of the printer forward to gain access to the panel’s back screws, that way you’ll be able to unscrew them easily.
A few 3D printing hobbyists recommend you not to forget to put your screws somewhere safe, as you’ll need them to put the panel back in after replacing the board.
Now you can return the bed back to its original position and remove the other screws present on the panel. Be careful as the fan is plugged to the board, so don’t rip that wire off.
Other users recommend you to take a picture with your phone, so you can see where everything is placed, in case you get any doubts when installing the other board.
Disconnect the Cables & Unscrew the Board
After removing the mainboard panel in the previous step, you gained access to it.
The next step in order to upgrade your Ender 3 mainboard is disconnecting all the cables that are plugged in the board.
When disconnecting the cables from the board, users recommend to first remove the most obvious wires, which you’ll know for certain where they’ll go, such as the fan and the stepper motor, that way you can pay more attention when removing the unlabeled ones, minimizing any confusion.
Some of the cables are hot glued to the board, don’t worry, just scrape it off and disconnect it.
In case one of the sockets comes off with the cable, gently remove the superglue and place it back on the board, just be aware to place it on the right orientation.
After disconnecting all the cables on the board, you’ll just need to loosen four screws to be able to completely remove the mainboard.
Connect the Upgraded Mainboard
After removing your old mainboard, it’s time to install the new one.
Users recommend getting a pair of Precision Tweezers (Amazon) which will help you install the wires, as the board has a minimal space to work with. They are really recommended as after the upgrade they will also help you pull the ooze out of the 3D print head before printing.
They are available on Amazon with great prices and positive reviews.
First, be aware of any differences between the board you are installing and the one you had, for example, Creality 4.2.7 Silent Board has different fan sockets than the original board for the Ender 3.
Although no real change in installation is needed, just be aware of all the labels for all the wires.
Before screwing your new mainboard in, you’ll need to loosen the screws of the power wires sockets otherwise the wires won’t go in. As you loosen them, they will open up, so you can connect the cables when the board is screwed in.
After screwing the new mainboard in, you’ll need to plug all cables back into its place, if you took a picture when users recommended. Now would be a great time to check it as a reference to put everything back together.
Reinstall the Mainboard Panel
After connecting all the cables of your new upgraded mainboard, you should reinstall the mainboard panel you took at the beginning of this process.
Take the screws that you put in a safe place and repeat the same process of moving the bed forward, so you can access the back of the panel and screw it in.
After you reinstall the panel, your Ender 3 will be ready for a test print, so you check out if your new mainboard is working.
Run a Test Print
Finally, after installing your new, upgraded mainboard, you should run a test print to make sure everything is running smoothly, and you installed the board properly.
Just run the “auto home” feature of the printer, and you probably will be able to already feel the difference, as the upgraded mainboards tend to be a lot more silent than the original Ender 3 one.
A lot of users recommend upgrading your Ender 3 mainboard, especially if you’re looking to 3D print around your own room or any other living area and want to reduce the noise of long prints.
Check out the video below for further instructions on how to upgrade an Ender 3 mainboard.
How to Check Ender 3 V2 Motherboard Version
These are the basic steps to take in case you need to check the Ender 3 V2 motherboard version:
- Unplug the Display
- Tip Over the Machine
- Unscrew the Panel
- Check the Board
Unplug the Printer & Display
The first step you’ll want to take to check the motherboard of your Ender 3 V2 is to unplug the printer and then unplug the LCD from it.
The reason you will want to unplug the display is that you’ll want to place the printer on its side for the next step, and that can harm the display if you leave it plugged in.
You’ll also want to remove the display mount, unscrewing it from the Ender 3 V2.
Tip Over the Machine
The next step in order to check your Ender 3 V2 motherboard is to tip over your printer as its motherboard is located underneath it.
Make sure to have a leveled table where you can place your printer on its side without damaging any of its parts.
When you tip your Ender 3 V2 over, you’ll be able to see the panel, which you’ll want to unscrew to check the board.
Unscrew the Panel
After unplugging the display and tipping over your printer on a leveled table, you have gained access to the motherboard panel.
To unscrew it will be very easy as you’ll just need to loosen up four screws and remove the panel.
Users recommend putting the screws in a safe place, as you’ll need them to reinstall the panel after checking your printer’s motherboard.
Check the Board
Finally, after going through the steps mentioned in the sections above, you’ve gained access to your Ender 3 V2’s motherboard.
The motherboard serial number is located right underneath the Creality logo on the board.
After checking it, users recommend placing a label on the printer with the motherboard version number on it, so you won’t have to check it again if you forget it through the years.
Check the video below for a more visual example on how to check your Ender 3 V2 motherboard.