The most important thing you can do before jumping in to the assembly of your new Ender 3 printer is to double-check that you have easy access to a large and uninhibited work space. Assembly of the Ender 3 doesn't take that long, but it will go much faster and easier if you can spread out and if you ensure you have all the parts close at hand!
If you're going to be using the same space you're assembling the Ender 3 to eventually level the bed and even print on, make sure it's also quite sturdy. If the Ender 3 is resting on a non-stable surface, it will jiggle during printing, and that will adversely affect the print quality.
This step can be a little confusing if you're looking only at the instructions and aren't used to putting machinery together. The Ender instruction manual is not as foolproof as IKEA instructions. Luckily, once you understand which piece goes where, installation is pretty easy.
First, make sure that the Ender 3 V2 base is facing you, with the power plugin at the rear (away from you).
The first step is to prepare the Z-axis limit switch kit and install it on the left Z-axis profile strut.
Install the endstops sensor (the little bracket from the kit) on the z-axis profile strut. Use the included screws on the endstops sensor.
Note: Many of the screws you'll use for the Ender 3 V2 have self-locking nuts that clamp into the grooves of the metal slots where they are placed. When inserting this type of screw and nut, make sure that the nut is clamping down across the groove like a little bridge so that it gets the best possible purchase. The instruction manual will remind you of this as well.
Once the endstops sensor is installed, you can install the z-axis profile strut. Take two of your four M5X45 screws and slot them up through the left side of the Ender 3 V2's base.
Using the included wrench of the appropriate size, connect the strut and screw it in until the screws slide into their slots and the strut can no longer wiggle.
Note: The endstops sensor will be on the outside of the Ender 3 V2, now, with the bit that sticks out like the head of the letter "F" facing towards the front of the base. See picture.
And with that, the Ender already looks better! The two profile struts will support the main printing head.
Now, we'll move on to installing the motor and screw that drive the printer head's operation.
Materials Needed: 1 t-type screw Z-axis motor * 2 M4x18 screws
You'll also need the included hex wrench of the correct size.
Simply insert the T-screw firmly into the socket and then tighten the top screw so that the T-screw is held in place. Don't loosen the bottom screw that's already tightened on the Z-axis motor—that holds the screw housing in place.
Using the two M4x18 screws, install the Z-axis motor on the left (front facing) strut of the Ender 3 V2, the same strut that the limit switch was installed on.
Now we get to the slightly hard part of the Ender 3 V2 construction. Don't worry, it's not that difficult, really!
- XE axis kit
- X-axis profile
- Pneumatic joint
- 2 M4x16 screws
- Synchronous belt
- and one open-ended wrench (included with Ender 3 V2)
Install the Ender 3 V2 pneumatic joint by screwing it into place on the XE-axis kit.
Take the two M4x16 screws and attach them as shown in the instruction booklet diagram or the reference photo above.
The synchronous belt fits into the XE-axis kit and sits on the rollers inside the kit with the "teeth" facing down. Pull it through until you can hold the two metal clip ends of the belt under the X-axis profile strut.
This completes the mechanism that controls the Ender 3 V2's printer head moving up, down, and across the printing area.
- Nozzle kit
- Z-axis passive block
- 1 M4x16 screw
The nozzle kit will slide right into the grooves of the X-axis profile strut.
Using your single screw, connect the Z-axis passive block to the X-axis profile strut so that two of the large rollers face out, away from the middle of the strut, while one roller faces in.
The tensioner is used to pull the synchronous belt taut.
- X-axis tensioner
- 1 M4x16 screw
- 1nM4x14 screw
You'll be threading through the belt from earlier, so the outer housing needs to be removed from the inner roller.
With the teeth of the belt facing inwards toward the roller, slide it through the tensioner block and pull it around the roller.
- The copper heads of the synchronous belt lock into place on the nozzle kit that you installed earlier on the X-axis strut. See diagram in instruction booklet.
- The tensioner cover lots over the tensioner roller's screw, and pulls the roller away from the strut, thereby tightening the belt.
Complete the tensioner's installation by screwing it into the passive block.
Now you get to put all your hard work to the test and connect the two sections of the printer!
Fit the moving kit that you just finished onto the two struts connected to the base of the Ender 3 V2. You want the rollers to be facing away from the front of the Ender 3 V2, so that the X-axis tensioner is on the right (facing) side opposite the screw motor.
To adjust the tensioners, manually rotate the tensioners until they reach the appropriate tightness. On the Ender 3 V2 this is accomplished through feel alone: you want to be able to press on the belts and feel the tension, but not have them be too tight or too loose. Too tight, the belt breaks, too loose and the printing will be effected.
The Ender 3 V2 is nearly complete!
- Gantry profile
- 4 M5x25 screws
Using your four screws, connect the gantry.
Note: The instructions aren't clear on this, but make sure that the wiring that is pre-attached to the nozzle kit is beneath the gantry when you install it!
During my research prior to setting up the Ender 3 V2, I encountered people who had made that mistake and were forced to disassemble the gantry because they had left the wiring on the top. If that happens, when the printer tries to print the wiring will be pulled taut against the gantry and the whole thing might be damaged.
Connect the multicolored cable from the Ender 3 V2 base to the display.
This step features more of the self-locking screws that slot into the grooves of the Ender 3 V2, so make sure that the self-locking bolts have aligned correctly.
The material rack is where the Ender 3 V2's filament roll hangs.
- Material rack
- Material pipe and nut
- 2 profile covers
- 2 M5X8 screws
- 2 M5T nuts
- Indication knob
Unscrew the nut from the material pipe, slot on the material rack, and reapply the nut to lock them together.
For some reason, these don't come pre-installed. So, just install them yourself.
Now, slide the material rack onto the Ender 3 V2 so that the material pipe extends out toward the rear of the Ender 3 V2. Lock into place using the self-locking screws.
Once the material rack is installed, attach the profile covers by slotting them in and then tapping them firmly with the back of a wrench or screwdriver.
The large blue knob easily installs, just drop it into place. It will feel a bit wobbly, that's okay.
Now you've reached the last big mechanical step of your Ender 3 V2 project!
- Power cable
- 1 blue wire clip
Note: It is vital that you check the red plate on the back of the Ender 3 V2 and use a flat-headed screwdriver to flip it to the correct input voltage for your geographic area. Use the 115v setting for North America, 230V for areas appropriate to that mains type.
The hazy plastic tubing gets inserted into the pneumatic joint you installed earlier. The blue wire clip is then inserted to lock it down and keep the tube from sliding out.
These are the 6 pin (4 wire) port cables, and have indicator tags marking them.
Connect the remaining two marked cables, and then plug in the Ender 3 V2's power cable after ensuring that the Ender 3 V2 is set to the correct local voltage.
That's it! You completed the assembly of your new Ender 3 V2 3D printer! Take a moment to pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
You'll still need to level the print bed and install the spool of filament material, but you're almost ready to start printing all your most exciting 3D designs.
Unless you're using BLTouch on your Ender 3, then you'll need to have your Ender 3, Ender 3 V2, or Ender 3 Pro's print bed on a proper Z-axis to manually level the bed.