The Ender 3 V3 KE is a capable machine. With plenty of user-friendly and performance-focused features, the budget-friendly printer offers excellent performance out of the box. But if you’re looking to improve its performance, several Ender 3 V3 KE upgrades significantly boost print quality and ease of use.

Whether you’re a hobbyist pushing the boundaries of your 3D printing projects or a professional seeking reliable and precise results, investing in the right upgrades can make a world of difference. This blog post explores some of the best upgrades for the Ender 3 V3 KE, including build plate enhancements, hardened steel nozzles, the Creality Nebula Camera, vibration compensation sensors, and Y-axis linear rails.

Build Plate Upgrades

A dual red and blue colored vase 3d printed on an upgraded Creality Ender 3 V3 SE with a gold textured PEI spring steel magnetic bed

The Creality Ender 3 V3 KE already provides my favorite 3D printing build surface, a textured PEI spring steel sheet. The build plate provides incredible first-layer adhesion and easy print removal after cooling.

Although I prefer the stock build plate, upgrading the Ender 3 V3 KE build platform can improve bed adhesion, print removal, or first-layer texturing.

Glass build plates are a popular upgrade. Glass provides a smooth surface and even heating, improving first-layer adhesion and giving your prints a glossy bottom. However, prints can sometimes adhere too well to the glass, making them difficult to remove.

You can upgrade to different magnetic flexible build plates. Creality offers smooth PEI sheets, which provide better bed adhesion but more difficult print removal than the textured build plate. But it’s worth the upgrade if you prefer your prints to have smooth undersides.

Another popular choice is the PC build surface, similar to the one that comes with the Ender 3 V3 SE. But I don’t recommend a PC build plate.s

A PC build plate offers incredibly strong first-layer adhesions. However, the adhesion is too strong and makes print removal difficult. If you’re not careful when removing prints from a PC build plate, you can damage the bed. That’s exactly what happened when we reviewed the Ender 3 V3 SE, and that’s why we don’t recommend PC build plates for PLA 3D printing.

Hardened Steel Nozzle

A brass, stainless steel, and hardend steel 3d printer nozzle

The KE 3D printer comes with a copper nozzle. Copper nozzles are more durable than brass nozzles found on cheaper printers, but if you’re printing with abrasive filaments, you’ll need a stronger nozzle.

Hardened steel nozzles are more resistant to abrasion and maintain shape and diameter longer than copper and brass nozzles. This durability is especially useful when printing with abrasive materials, ensuring consistent extrusion and high-quality prints over time without frequent replacements.

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Creality Ender 3 V3 KE Hardened Steel Nozzles
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Upgrading your 3D printer’s nozzle allows you to print with abrasive materials like carbon fiber, glow-in-the-dark plastic, and wood or metal-filled PLA.

Editor’s Tip

I upgraded my Ender 3 V3 KE’s nozzle to a hardened steel one for longevity and reduced maintenance.

Although I mostly print standard PLA, the stock copper nozzle requires frequent replacement. By upgrading to a hardened steel nozzle, I don’t need to replace the nozzle as often.

Installing a hardened steel nozzle on your Ender 3 V3 KE is straightforward. Heat the existing nozzle to 220°C, then use pliers or the included wrench to unscrew the old nozzle and screw in the new one.

Creality Nebula Camera

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Creality Nebula Smart Kit
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The Creality Nebula Camera enhances your KE with advanced monitoring, recording, and time-lapse capabilities. It seamlessly integrates with your 3D printer, connecting via USB for easy setup.

My number one reason for purchasing the Nebula Camera is its real-time monitoring capability. This allows you to monitor your prints from anywhere.

I run a lot of long prints, and the Nebula Camera allows me to check the printing progress while I’m not home. The camera offers high-resolution imaging at 1920×1080, ensuring that you can see every detail clearly.

Additionally, the camera has night vision, allowing you to monitor your Ender 3 in low-light conditions.

The Nebula Camera also supports time-lapse photography, enabling you to create stunning videos that showcase your prints. I use the time-lapse feature to record stunning time-lapse videos for social media.

Finally, the camera includes advanced tools to detect spaghetti and failed prints. Once detected, the camera pauses printing to minimize wasted filament.

The automatic print failure detection has saved me more than once. By pausing the print when a failure occurs, the camera prevents hours of wasted filament printing.

Mounting the camera is straightforward. You can mount it on the z-axis gantry, which keeps the camera at nozzle level as the print progresses, ensuring you get the best possible view of the printing process. Alternatively, you can print different mounts to fit your needs.

This Printable file contains the mount I used to attach my Nebula camera to the Crealkity Ender 3 V3 KE X-axis.

Vibration Compensation Sensor

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Creality ADXL345 Vibration Compensation Sensor for Ender-3 V3 KE
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Creality’s ADXL345 Vibration Compensation Sensor for the Ender 3 V3 KE enhances print quality by reducing ringing and other artifacts caused by mechanical vibrations. This sensor measures the resonance frequencies of the printer’s X and Y axes, which compensates for these vibrations during printing.

The ADXL345 vibration compensation sensor detects vibrations and adjusts the print head’s movement to compensate for the distortions. The sensor reduces ringing and creates a smooth outer surface.

Installing the ADXL345 sensor on the Ender 3 V3 KE is straightforward. First, print the g-sensor mount that attaches the sensor to the print head. After mounting the sensor to the print head, connect the sensor to the mainboard via the USB-C port. The setup process includes calibrating the sensor to ensure accurate readings, which is crucial for effective vibration compensation. Once installed and calibrated, the sensor inputs data into the printer’s Klipper firmware, allowing for dynamic adjustments that significantly minimize the effects of vibration.

The vibration compensation sensor provides the greatest benefit in your final prints of all the upgrades on this list. Prints are smoother with fewer artifacts, ringing, and ghosting. If you can only choose one upgrade, the ADXL345 vibration compensation sensor is my choice.

Y-Axis Linear Rails

Upgrading the Y-axis of your Ender 3 V3 KE with linear rails enhances the stability and precision of your printer. Linear rails provide a more rigid and stable platform for the bed, reducing wobble and improving print quality, especially at higher speeds.

The installation process for linear rails involves removing the standard linear rods, mounting the rails to the Y-axis, and attaching the bed to the new setup. I’ve found this Printables file by NeedItMakeIt and installation video the easiest way to upgrade your Ender 3 V3 KE with linear rails.

You’ll need to purchase several parts, including:

  • M3 x 12mm (4pcs)
  • M4 x 20mm (4pcs)
  • M3 x 8mm (16pcs)
  • M3 x 8mm (12pcs) 
  • M3 x 4mm Heat-Set Brass (20pcs)
  • Linear Rails: You’ll need 2 ‘C’ Carriages per rail (4 carriages total)