Setting up your Ender 3
This is a tutorial for beginners who’ve just purchased the Ender 3 and haven’t gotten it set up yet.
To start off with you’ll want to unpack everything in the Ender 3 box and get a head count on all the items. The pictures below will show you everything you’re supposed to have. If everything pictured below is found then we can move onto building the printer, if not you’ll need to contact Amazon or mechsolutions to get replacer parts.
Now that you have everything the first thing you’re going to do is put the center printing pad and rig down on a clean, even surface. After the rig is down on a flat surface you need to find the two large metal bars. The bar that’s going to go on the left will have two small screw ports at the bottom end of the bar (if there on the high end of the bar just flip it over), the right bar will have two ports one near the bottom and the other near the middle of the bar. You’ll want both these ports facing inward towards the printing plate.
Now you’ll want to hang one of the sides slightly off the end of your even table (be sure it doesn’t fall off) and take your 2 M5x45 screws (put the metal rings on beforehand) and screw the bar in from the bottom of the rig up. (if you notice on the bars there are two holes going down the length of the bar, this is where you’ll need to put the screws to support the bar in an upright position). Once both screws are in, carefully change the position of the rig so the other half side is slightly hanging off and take two more M5x45 screws and proceed in putting them into place.
For the next step you’ll want to take your power supply and console device out of their packaging and place them careful besides you rig (the Console has circuits on the back so be careful not to drop it). With the console in hand, you need to line up the ports with one another on the right bar side and use two M5x8 screws to keep the console in place. (you’ll notice a portion of the console is hanging off the side that’s ok so long as both screws are in place). Next, on the opposite side of the right bar, take the power box hold it so the holes are aligned and use two M4x20 screws put it into place. (you’ll notice that the power box is slightly suspended when in its place, this is perfect as the power cable needs space to get under the printer). I should also note that outlet should be facing away from the central rig as space is needed to fit in the power cable.
The next step is to take the Z limit switch and place it into the left bar. If the Z switch doesn’t fit into the bar you need to change the angle that the T-nuts are on, you can do this by screwing the bolt left or right. (In the instruction manual it says you want the switch to be 32 mm high, this is incorrect you want the switch to be at about level with the printing plate)
For step 5 take the Z motor and place it on the left bar on the same side as the power supply. Then take two M4x18 screws and screw the motor into place. After the motor is in place take the metal rod in the black rubber cover and insert it into the motor. If the black cover is stopping the rob from entering, go ahead and remove the cover (but be careful the rod is covered in grease).
The next step is the X-axis assembly (this is notoriously difficult section so if you have an extra pair of hands that would be very helpful). The leftmost mount contains two motors, the X-axis motor along with the extruder motor, you’ll know it by the fact that it has a Facebook QR code on it. To connect it to the X-bar, take two M4X16 screws insert them into the inner side of the bar towards the side with the QR code. Once both screws are placed carefully take the bar and place it below the screws (there is a divot for a preplaced large metal screw in the bar use this to the center bar). Now with the screws in place hold the bar and motor together tightly and using the appropriate Allen wrench tighten the screws through the topmost hole down to be the screws and bar meet (due to the difficulty of keeping your hand steady well you tighten the screws it can help if you have another person hold the bar for you).
Now using the open end of the axis bar slide the actual printing mechanism onto the X-bar, make sure the side with the fan is on the same side as the QR code. Next, you want all three wheels to be touching the bar and all be able to move across it smoothly. If one of the wheels doesn’t seem to be working turn the bolts on the back of it to make the wheels tighter or looser.
The next step involves the final section of the X- bar, grab the bracket with 3 wheels on it and the belt tightener. Place the bracket on the right side of the bar and attach the bracket to the bar with two M4X16 screws. On the same side of the bar as the bracket you’ll want to place the belt tightener and just like the Z switch you need to tighten the T-nuts on the bar to keep it steady (the belt tightener will most likely have to be moved from time to time depending on what belt your using so don’t worry if about the slack until you need to print).
With the X-bar complete the final step is to connect the belt to the bar (this can be a tricky part if your belt tightener is too far along the X-bar if so loosen and readjust). Proceed to take the belt and with the teeth facing down lay the belt down carefully and around the belt tighteners main wheel. Proceed to take both ends of the belt and slide them through the end notches so that the metal is the only part hanging out. (It can be very difficult to get the belt under the moving wheels of the nozzle machine, to remedy this slide one metal end into the divot and roll over the end with the machine). For the machine to work the belt must be around both wheels on both ends of the axis if the belt is loose or comes off the printer won’t be able to move across the X-axis.
The picture above shows the correct method to connect the belt.
Now that the X-bar is all set we need to connect the X-bar to the rest of the printer. To connect, first, we need to place the X-bar with the wheels in the divots of the right and left vertical bars. Next, make sure that the metal rod in the left side of the machine goes into the port on the x-axis motor. With the rod safely placed in the port, you can slide the X-bar down safely. To get the rod in place turn it slightly to the right as your pushing down of the bar.
Now that the X-bar is safely on the printer, the final bar can be placed on the top of the printer. The final horizontal bar needs to be placed so that the holes on ends are lined up with the holes in the verticals bars (the correct top bar has 4 divots each in the same location on the different ends). Then take M5X25 screws and place them in the holes at the top of the bar (the opposite of what you did to get the vertical bars on in step 1). Tighten them to make sure they and the bar are secure. Then take the two plastic x-axis limits and place them on the ends of the bar.
Finally, we move onto the wiring （If your unsure where a wire goes look at its yellow tag as it says what axis it belongs to）.
1st connect the two XT-60 connectors to one another (the yellow rectangles with black and red wires coming out of them), one of the connectors can be found under the power supply and the other under the printer itself.
2nd connect the z-axis motor cable to the z-axis motor (the white port under the cylinder and metal rod)
3rd Connect the x-axis power cable to the x-axis motor
4th Connect the Extruder motor cable to the Extruder
5th Connect the Z-Axis light switch to the Z-switch (the part you connected in step 3), this stop the printer from printing outside its Z-axis
6th Connect the X-axis limit switch to the X-axis switch (near the wheel that you wrapped the belt around on the left side.
Now that your finished completing your Ender 3 there are several extra steps that may be required to optimize your printer.
As discussed previously the metal rod could require a slight readjustment to fit properly, and the and the Z-switch shouldn’t be at 32mm but level with the printing plate itself.
Some customers have messaged us about the printer being slightly unlevel on one of the sides and making it wobble. To correct this its advised to take a piece of printing paper and fold it several times place it under the section of the printer that wobbles.
Another common issue reported with the printer is that the plate can wobble during a print causing it to become lopsided. To remedy this, find the screws on the bottom of the plate and taking the appropriate Allen wrench tighten the screws until no wobble can be felt.