Ender 3: Is it an 8 bit or 32 Bit Motherboard? (more on how to tell)

Creality updated the stock motherboard in their Ender 3 3d printer towards the end of 2020. So how do you tell if it’s an 8 bit or 32 Bit Motherboard? There is nothing external to the 3D printer that allows the user to figure out whether they have an older 8 bit Atmel board or a new 32 bit Arm board with the exception of of one thing. Creality took the opportunity to change the USB connector from a mini USB socket to a Micro USB socket on their stock board. I blogged about this HERE I think that this is still the easiest way to find out. But here’s some more information on identifying the boards.

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Ender 3: Attaching Glass Bed without Spring Clips.

My Ender 3 came with a glass bed and spring clips as well as the more usual composite bed. I like the glass bed and generally get (what I regard as) good results from it. I’ve hardly ever used the composite bed. But the thing I really hate with the Ender 3 is attaching the glass bed with spring clips to hold the bed in place.

Creality Ender 3 attaching glass bed with Spring Clips
Two spring clips at the front and two at the back. Ugh!
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Installing Latest Cura and Slic3r on Ubuntu 18.04. Prusa Slic3r too!

The library of applications for Ubuntu 18.04 is getting old. It is after-all over 3 years since 18.04 was released. But you can install the latest Cura and Slic3r versions on Ubuntu 18.04. As well as the latest Prusa Slic3r if you prefer. Here’s how.

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Ender 3: My Auto Home is off the plate. Here’s Why.

Auto home on a Creality Ender 3 (and presumably all other 3D printers) moves the bed and the extrusion nozzle into a default “zero” position. In essence the bed and the extrusion nozzle are moved so they hit the end stop microswitches which signal to the controller board where the bed and nozzle are.

Mostly people assume that this is 0,0,0. In fact that is what it is set to in the factory defaults for the Ender 3. But if you look at the bed of an Ender 3 after it has been auto homed you will find that the nozzle is actually off the bed by about 5mm. It is not in the bottom left hand corner of the plate as you would expect.

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FreeCad: Angled Text on a sloping surface

3D printed keyfob
The final freshly printed keyfob with raised text at an angle

This is just a simple little Freecad project to design and build a keyfob with angled text like the one below. In this previous post I detailed how to cut text into a flat object. This does the reverse. It raises text out of an object. Just to make it a little more interesting this is done on a sloping face. I skim over some parts in this. If you get stuck try this post series that describes these skimmed topics in more detail.

Open FreeCad and change the Start screen to the Part Design Screen by selecting from the dialog box in the middle of the top bar. Then click on start body and finally click on start sketch.

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Freecad Font Path Set-up for Text String Shapes.

When you add a text string to a 3D project (like this simple one) you have to fully specify the path to the font you are using. Which is a pain and is error prone. But there is a Freecad font path set-up in “preferences”. You can specify the base directory of all the fonts. This considerably simplifies the selection. Or you can even just set one font in “preferences” and just use that with no further selection needed. But there’s a small gotcha that tripped me up for a while.

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Printing on Creality Ender 3 with Pronterface USB connection.

This is the last part of a small series (starts here) tracking the design and processing of an ultra simple 3D project using Freecad and Prusa Slicer. Together they produced a Gcode file. This can be printed as usual using a SD Ram card. But this post is mainly about printing on a Creality Ender 3 using Pronterface (also called Printrun) on a USB connection.

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Using Prusa Slicer to produce Gcode for a Creality Ender 3.

This is the third post in a series plotting the development of an ultra-simple plate from design in Freecad, processing the STL file using Prusa Slicer through to printing on a Creality Ender 3 3D printer. The first post in the series is HERE. In the previous post (Here) we produced a project of our 3D plate with two holes. Now we need to export it from Freecad as an STL file we can process it using Slic3r-PU

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A Simple worked example with Freecad, Slic3r and Pronterface.

Many people intermittently use Freecad and the other associated software tools. So when they need to get a 3D design printing they have to go back up the learning curve each time. I expect that like me they go through a phase (each time!) of re-learning what should already be known. But my/your brain has “filed” it away. Hence I thought I’d produce an ultra-simple example with Freecad to remind me of the basics. If like me you are forgetful or maybe just starting to build your own 3D prints then I hope this helps.

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Connecting Pronterface to Ender 3 3D printer with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

I had an irritating problem when I tried to connect Pronterface on my Ubuntu 18.04 LTS system via USB to my Ender 3 3D printer. Whenever I tried to establish a connection I got permission denied displayed in the right hand side of the Proterface GUI.

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