A Tale of Three Enders: Bare Bones Upgrades for the Ender 3

8/13/2019  – USED ENDER Printers back in stock!  I’ve bought 3.. they help you fix ’em!

Ender 3 Pro  $185.00 OBO!

Ender 3 $155.00 OBO!

Ender 5 $249.00 OBO!

CR-10 259.00 OBO!

See how I stencil!


I still love my Creality CR-10 and I put a lot of upgrades into it but the Ender 3 is a cheap utility printer that has a small foot-print and great build volume for around $200 bucks.  The Creality Ender 3 is a great starter printer if you are new to 3D printing.  The frame is heavy duty and it holds up over time.

I started with two, bought another for 139.00 used on eBay (used 10.00 in eBay bucks) and just ordered another.  I print  my artillery shells nearly every day.

The Used one I bought on eBay is indistinguishable from new as far as I can tell.  It looks to me like it never came out of the box.  It did have the fixed or non-removeable build plate.

This is the link for the Used Creality Ender 3 and they re-activate it when more are available.  They say they are “used,” but the one I just received was new in the box.  Last price was 155.00 and I did a “Make Offer” for 149.99 and they instantly took it.  It might be a gamble but I ordered a second one.

I cannot say it often enough, this is a great utility printer for the buck and mine have been printing pretty much non-stop.

Where to start:

Maker Steve’s Ultimate build guide for Creality Ender 3

Fixin’s – These will help you get going.  Once I applied these fixes I can print and print and print.

Bed level fix

Gantry Fix

Under-extrusion Fix

I also highly recommend Octoprint for remote printer management.

And now the upgrades.  These are the minimum 3D printed parts that I think you need to make a Creality Ender 3 reliable.  These parts are Maker Steve Approved!

UPDATE: I highly recommend you replace the compression fittings and bowden tube.  I replaced most of my 10 Creality printers with Capricorn XS and experience fewer failures and much less stringing.

Here is the write up that includes a video: https://makersteve.com/2019/01/04/a-tale-of-eight-enders-maker-steves-bowden-edition-compression-fitting-fix/

Capricorn XS on Amazon

Capricorn Bowden Tube

20 pcs – Pneumatic Fitting

Capricorn XS on eBay

1 Meter Capricorn XS – for a couple printers

2 Meters Capricorn XS 

This one for the Extruder 10 Pcs PC4-M6 Pneumatic Air Straight Quick Fitting 4mm thread M6 One touch W5Y5

This one for the Hotend For V6 PC4-M10 Straight Teflon Tube Push In Quick Release Fitting Connector

UPDATE 2: I highly recommend you upgrade your stock plastic bowden extruder with an aluminum one.

Every Ender 3 I have, except for ones I already upgraded, have filament cutting into pressure lever on the extruder as shown below. Every single one!

Where to get an Aluminum Extruder kit:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2WpS7Xe
eBay: https://ebay.to/2Ff5RvX


Here is a walk-through video on replacing the extruder

3D Printed upgrades

All of these upgrades are available on  Thingiverse.com

CPU Fan Cover by dinesh612– This keeps the filament from falling in the fan of your CPU.


Anti-snag End Cap by Jeph15– This keeps the cables from hanging up on the extrusion in the back of the printer.


2020 Filament Guide by Filboyt – To relieve the strain on your filament as it enters the extruder.  Without it your filament will be forced to an extreme bend on the way into the extruder.


Creality Cable Clip by Hagenauto to get the zip ties out of the equation and provide a clean solution for cable management to your hotend.


There you have it… that is bare bones to make a stock Creality Ender 3 very reliable.


There is a ton of other useful stuff on Makersteve.com and more coming every week.

Be sure to check out my Ultimate Build Guide for Creality Ender 3

If you find this useful, please consider purchasing products through any of the links on the page, it’s free to you and I get a little something for my time.  Or, just go shopping at Amazon or Ebay  or Gearbest using one of these links.

You can also support me through Patreon with as little as a dollar a month.

Or buy me a Ko-fi!  Someone buy me a coffee.

Happy Printing,


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