15 Best Ender 3 V3 SE Upgrades You Need

Marcello De Lio

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A 3d printed vase on a Ender 3 V3 SE With Upgrades

Creality’s Ender 3 V3 SE is a sleek, budget-friendly 3D printer packed with features. I quickly fell in love when I reviewed the Ender 3 V3 SE with the machine because of its incredible performance at just $219.

While the feature-packed Ender 3 V3 SE can achieve impressive print speeds and quality right out of the box, there is much room for improvement. Missing filament runout sensors, a cheap built plate, and no WiFi connectivity are three things you can improve without breaking the bank.

This post covers my 15 favorite Ender 3 V3 SE upgrades to turn your 3D printer into a performance-driven machine.

1. Filament Runout Sensor

Close up of the filament runout sensor on the anycubic Kobra 2 printer

A filament runout sensor is a fantastic little device that detects when your 3D printer runs out of filament or if the filament breaks unexpectedly during printing. The device tells your printer to pause the print when it detects filament runout or breaks so that you can replace the filament spool and continue printing.

The small sensor attaches to the filament feeding line of your Ender 3 V3 SE.

Benefits of Installing a Filament Runout Sensor

  1. Save Time and Reduce Waste: The primary benefit of a filament runout sensor is that it saves your prints from failing due to a lack of filament. Imagine starting a long print only to find a half-finished model because your printer ran out of filament. The sensor pauses the print so you can replace the spool and prevent failed prints.
  2. Increased Reliability: Reliability is key for 3D printing businesses. The sensor adds an extra layer of reliability and prevents print failures.

A filament runout sensor is a cost-effective upgrade that offers peace of mind, especially compared to the cost of filament wasted on failed prints. It’s a small investment that makes your printing process more efficient and less stressful.

Installation is simple. The sensor comes with clear instructions, and there are several online tutorials to guide you through the setup.

Our Pick
Filament Runout Sensor for the Ender 3 V3 SE & KE
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05/01/2024 06:12 pm GMT

2. PEI or G10 Print Bed

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 Ender 3 V3 SE does many things right, but the PC-coated build plate is not one of them. The PC-coated build plate is thicker than previous Ender models, which is a nice feature. However, prints adhere too well to the build surface, making them difficult to remove and clean.

Upgrading to a high-quality build plate material is essential.

I recommend upgrading to a PEI (Polyetherimide) or G10 (a type of fiberglass laminate) print bed. Both materials offer excellent adhesion properties and durability and make it easy to remove prints.

Benefits of Upgrading to a PEI or G10 Print Bed

  1. Excellent Adhesion and Easy-to-Remove Prints: Both PEI and G10 are materials that offer superb bed adhesion. They reduce the chances of warping and ensure a solid base for your model. The biggest benefit over the default PC build plate is that prints are easy to remove. Prints simply pop off the bed once the G10 or PEI build surface cools.
  2. Durability: PEI and G10 are both incredibly durable materials. PEI is resistant to scratches and can withstand repeated use without degrading. G10 is similarly robust, handling high temperatures and aggressive wear and tear over many prints. This durability means your print bed has a longer lifespan, and you won’t need to replace the build sheet as often.
  3. Ease of Maintenance: Both bed materials are easier to maintain than the V3 SE’s stock build surface. You can clean PEI and G10 surfaces with isopropyl alcohol and a soft cloth.

Which to Choose

Ultimately, choosing between PEI and G10 depends on your specific printing needs. I prefer PEI because it offers excellent bed adhesion, yet it’s still easy to remove prints by hand. I recommend choosing G10 (garolite) for high-temperature filaments like Nylon, Polycarbonate, and PETG.

Our Pick
Creality Textured PEI Build Plate
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05/01/2024 06:13 pm GMT

3. High-speed Nozzle Kit

Close up of the bottom of an Ender 3 V3 SE with the upgraded High Speed Nozzles from Creality

These copper alloy high-speed nozzles allow you to print higher-temperature filaments like TPU and nylon and more abrasive filaments. Compared to the stock brass nozzle, the nozzles offer higher thermal conductivity, ensuring uniform heating and smoother extrusion.

The high-speed nozzles are specially designed to handle higher volumetric flow. The high-flow design allows you to print at a higher print speed without under-extrusion issues.

Note: You must also upgrade the V3 SE to an all-metal hotend to print TPU and nylon.

The package includes two 0.4mm and two 0.6mm nozzles.

Installing a high-speed nozzle kit on your Ender 3 V3 SE is straightforward. Simply unscrew your current nozzle and insert the new, high-speed nozzle.

Our Pick
Creality High-Speed Nozzles Kit for the Spider Hotend 1.0
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05/01/2024 06:38 pm GMT

4. Creality Sonic Pad

The Creality Sonic Pad is a powerful touchscreen control panel that replaces your printer’s standard interface. The Sonic Pad makes it easy to install Klipper firmware, allowing for up to two and a half times faster print speeds without any hardware modifications.

With batch printing, you can run multiple 3D printers from one easy-to-use interface.

My number one reason for purchasing the Sonic Pad is the WiFi connectivity and access to Creality Cloud. The touchscreen device allows me to slice, upload, and monitor my prints from my computer.

No more running back and forth with SD cards.

Benefits of Upgrading to the Creality Sonic Pad

  1. Enhanced User Interface: The Sonic Pad features a large, responsive touchscreen with a user-friendly interface. It simplifies printer management by allowing real-time adjustments and a simple navigation interface.
  2. Improved Print Management: The device makes connecting and remotely monitoring your prints over WiFi easy. This connectivity allows for seamless integration with Creality’s cloud service for slicing, uploading, and monitoring prints.
  3. Faster Print Speeds: The Sonic Pad instantly adds Klipper firmware to your printer, allowing you to print up to 2.5 times faster. I recommend purchasing the high-speed nozzle kit with the Sonic Pad. The high-speed nozzles allow a higher flow rate to accommodate Klipper’s faster print speeds without experiencing under-extrusion print defects.
Our Pick
Creality Sonic Pad
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05/01/2024 07:13 pm GMT

5. Creality Laser Module

The creality laser engraver kit module on an Ender 3 V3 SE engraving a thin sheet of wood

The Creality Laser Module extends the functionality of your Ender 3 V3 SE from a standard 3D printer into a versatile laser engraver. The module attaches to the print head and utilizes a powerful laser to engrave or cut various materials, including wood, leather, and acrylic.

The laser module is a perfect choice for hobbyists who work in various crafts, such as printing, woodworking, and leatherwork.

Benefits of the Creality Laser Module

  1. Versatility in Projects: By adding laser engraving and cutting capabilities to your 3D printer, you can expand the range of projects you undertake.
  2. Seamless Integration and Ease of Use: The laser module seamlessly integrates with your Ender 3 V3 SE and mounts directly onto the printer. The best part is that it’s controlled through the existing interface, so you can easily switch between 3D printing and laser engraving without extensive modifications or additional equipment.

Installing the Creality Laser Module is straightforward, but following all safety instructions is essential due to the risks associated with the Class 4 laser. Proper safety gear, such as protective eyewear, should always be worn, and the laser should never be operated unattended or in the presence of pets or children.

Our Pick
Creality Official Laser Engraver Module Kit
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04/27/2024 08:30 pm GMT

6. All-Metal Hot End With Ceramic Heating Kit

The stock hotend uses a PTFE-lined tube with a maximum print temperature of 260°C. The stock hotend works great for PLA, ABS, and PETG. However, upgrading to an all-metal hotend is recommended for printing TPU, nylon, PC, and other high-temperature materials.

Upgrading to an all-metal hot end with a 60-W ceramic heating kit allows you to print up to 300°C. Adding a ceramic heating element further improves heat response and stability, ensuring more consistent melting and filament extrusion.

An all-metal hotend is superior even at lower temperatures. This hotend kit is more durable, longer lasting, and less prone to wear. Additionally, it doesn’t have the same health risks associated with heating a degradation of the PTFE tube.

Benefits of Upgrading to an All-Metal Hot End with Ceramic Heating Kit

  1. Higher Temperature Capability: With this upgrade, your printer can reach temperatures of 300°C. The all-metal hotend allows you to print higher-temperature materials like TPU, Nylon, and Polycarbonate.
  2. Improved Print Quality: The all-metal hot end provides more consistent heat distribution, stability, and durability, increasing the quality of your prints.
  3. Reduced Maintenance: All-metal hot ends are easier to maintain, last longer, and are less prone to clogging and wear. The ceramic heater’s efficiency and durability further reduce the need for frequent repairs or replacements.

Installation Tips

Installing an all-metal hot end with a ceramic heating kit can be straightforward if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

However, you’ll have to print an extended mount for the CRTouch as the ceramic heater is longer than the stock hot end.

Our Pick
All-Metal Hot End with Ceramic Heating Kit
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04/27/2024 08:38 pm GMT

7. LED Light Bar Kit

An LED light bar kit enhances visibility by providing soft light that’s comfortable for your eyes. The LED light bar easily mounts to the top of the printer’s frame. The soft lighting is perfect for photographs and evenly lights the entire build plate without harsh shadows.

The LEDs don’t use much electricity so that you won’t notice the hit on your electricity bill.

Our Pick
Official LED Light Bar
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04/27/2024 09:00 pm GMT

8. Bowden Tube Extension

The reverse Bowden tube mod is a clever modification that moves the spool holder to the side of the Ender 3 V3 SE. The printer uses a top-mounted spool holder. While the design looks great, it adds weight to the top of the printer’s frame. The increased weight creates more vibrations, which leads to ringing and ghosting in your prints.

Offsetting the spool holder reduces the weight and produces fewer vibrations, especially at high-speed printing.

Reconfiguring the filament path is a simple way to improve print quality and reduce ringing in your 3D prints.

Advantages of the Reverse Bowden Tube Setup

  1. Reduced Z-Axis Load: The reverse Bowden modification significantly lightens the load on the Z-axis by moving the filament spool off the printer frame. Reducing the weight decreases the Z-axis inertia, minimizing vibrations. Less vibrations enhance your prints’ overall smoothness and precision, particularly at higher printing speeds.
  2. Integration with a Filament Dryer: You can add a filament dryer to your 3D printer by moving the filament spool. The dryer ensures that your filament remains dry and prevents degraded filament quality.

Setting Up the Reverse Bowden Tube

Setting up a reverse Bowden tube involves a few key steps:

  1. Printing the Spool Holder: Printables file by Root Dsigns
  2. Mounting the Filament Spool Holder: Install a separate spool holder placed on the workbench or any stable surface near the printer.
  3. Installing the Bowden Tube: Connect a Bowden tube from the spool holder to the printer’s extruder. Ensure the tube is long enough to allow the print head to move freely without pulling on the filament.
  4. Calibration: Run a test print after installation to ensure the printer works as intended.

9. Linear Rails

The Ender 3 V3 SE uses upgraded linear rods on the y-axis but uses low-quality rubber v-rollers on the x-axis. The linear rods are a nice touch, but you can upgrade your printer’s movement by adding linear rails.

Linear rails on the X-axis provide smoother movement than the stock v-wheels. Upgrading to linear rails enhances the stability and accuracy of the printer’s movement. This upgrade is especially beneficial for those seeking to achieve high-quality prints with minimal layer shifting and increased reliability.

Additionally, linear rails last longer than rubber wheels and are easier to maintain. Just a bit of lubricant goes a long way to ensuring their longevity.

Benefits of Installing Linear Rails on the X and Y Axes

  1. Increased Print Accuracy: Linear rails offer a much smoother and more stable motion than traditional systems. This stability directly translates to higher accuracy in print jobs, reducing imperfections caused by vibrations or axis wobble.
  2. Enhanced Print Speed: With the added stability of linear rails, your Ender 3 V3 SE can handle higher print speeds without compromising output quality. Linear rails allow you to complete projects faster, maintaining excellent detail and precision.
  3. Reduced Maintenance: Linear rails are renowned for their durability and low maintenance requirements. Unlike wheels that can wear out and require regular adjustments, linear rails typically need less frequent attention once installed, providing a more consistent and reliable printing experience.

Installation Insights

Upgrading to linear rails involves replacing the existing motion system on your printer. This process can be detailed and requires some technical knowledge.

10. Cooling Modifications

Ender 3 V3 SE Upgrades with powerful cooling fan
(Source: T3Kmaker via Thingiverse)

Effective cooling is essential for achieving precision at high print speeds. The stock single-part cooling fan on the Ender 3 V3 SE is sufficient for casual printing, but it’s insufficient when your 3D printer is pushed to its fastest speeds.

Upgrading to dual 5015 fans significantly improves your printer’s cooling, allowing for greater precision at fast print speeds and more precise overhangs and bridges.

Benefits of Upgrading to Dual 5015 Fans

  1. Enhanced Cooling for Better Print Quality: Upgrading to a dual 5015 fan setup provides a more powerful and directed airflow.
  2. Improved Aesthetics on Prints: The increased airflow prevents sagging and stringing on PLA prints. You’ll get better overhangs and bridges, smoother surfaces, and sharper details, especially when printing at fast speeds.
  3. Reduced Noise Levels: Larger 5015 fans operate more efficiently at lower speeds and are noticeably quieter than the stock cooling fans.

Note: Upgrading the cooling decreases the mechanical strength of prints because the filament has less time to bond with previous layers. The trade-off is often worth it for prints where aesthetic quality and fine details are prioritized over structural integrity.

Installing the Dual 5015 Fans

After purchasing the 5015 fans, you’ll need to print this blower duct to direct the airflow to the nozzle. Once printed, mount the fans onto the shroud and attach it to the printer’s hot-end assembly.

Connecting the fans to the printer’s electronics involves basic wiring.

It’s important to note that upgrading your printer’s cooling adds weight to the print head. The Ender 3 V3 SE uses Marlin’s experimental ZV Input Shaping. After installing the fans, you can follow this guide to calibrate the input shaping parameters.

Our Pick
Two 50mm 5015 Blower Fans
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04/27/2024 09:07 pm GMT

11. Nebula 3D Printing Smart Kit

The Nebula 3D Printing Smart Kit is a comprehensive upgrade that transforms your Ender 3 V3 SE into a more intelligent and efficient 3D printing powerhouse. This kit includes the Nebula screen and camera.

Key Features and Benefits of the Nebula 3D Printing Smart Kit

  1. Nebula Screen: The upgrade includes a high-resolution touchscreen with a more user-friendly interface and intuitive control over your printing processes. The screen makes navigating, adjusting settings, and getting real-time feedback on your print status easier.
  2. Nebula Camera: You can remotely monitor your prints in real time and create stunning time-lapse videos. The camera also includes spaghetti detection, which helps prevent failed prints by pausing the print when it detects a mess of filament.
  3. Enhanced Printing Capabilities: This kit enables your Ender 3 V3 SE to operate at higher speeds while maintaining precision, thanks to its advanced vibration damping. You can print up to 45 times faster without any hardware modifications. The motion advance function optimizes filament flow to reduce blobs and oozes.
  4. Convenience and Monitoring: The ability to monitor your prints remotely on your phone or computer adds a layer of convenience and security.
Our Pick
Creality Nebula Smart Kit
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04/27/2024 09:11 pm GMT

12. Filament Drying Box

A white sunlu filament dryer on a wooden table. There’s a spool of blue Overture PLA in the dryer

A filament drying box is an essential upgrade for any FDM 3D printer. Filament driers store and dry 3D printing filaments to prevent materials from absorbing airborne moisture, negatively affecting print quality.

This box heats the filament to a specific temperature, ensuring that the filament remains in optimal condition for printing.

Our recommended dry box allows you to dry your filament while in use. It’s a great addition to offsetting your spool holder, as it ensures your filament remains dry even during week-long printing projects.

Our Pick
Upgraded SUNLU Filament Dryer
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13. 3D Printer Enclosure

A 3D printer enclosure maintains a constant ambient temperature for more stable and reliable printing. Enclosures are especially useful when printing materials sensitive to temperature fluctuations and drafts, such as ABS or Nylon.

3D printing enclosures also have the benefit of fire protection with fire-resistant walls.

Our Pick
Creality Fireproof and Dustproof Enclosure
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14. WiFi Cloud Box 2.0

Our Pick
Creality WiFi Box 2.0
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04/27/2024 09:33 pm GMT

The Creality WiFi Cloud Box 2.0 enables wireless control and monitoring of the Ender 3 V3 SE. This compact box connects your printer to the internet, allowing you to manage print tasks and monitor progress through the Creality Cloud app from anywhere, anytime.

Benefits of the WiFi Cloud Box 2.0

  1. Remote Print Management: The WiFi Cloud Box 2.0 offers the convenience of starting, pausing, and monitoring your prints remotely. It’s great for monitoring long print jobs or managing multiple printers simultaneously.
  2. Cloud Slicing and Uploading: The connection to Creality Cloud allows you to slice and upload files to your printer without running back and forth with the SD card.
  3. Simplified User Experience: Unlike setups that require additional hardware like a Raspberry Pi, the WiFi Cloud Box 2.0 is plug-and-play. You simply add the box to your printer and connect to your home WiFi. It’s a straightforward, user-friendly solution for adding internet connectivity to your Ender 3.
  4. Time Lapse: You can connect a camera or webcam to the box to create stunning time-lapse videos. The WiFi Cloud box makes it easy to control your print head and snap photos so that the print appears to magically rise from the print bed.
Editor’s Tip

You can get most of these features at a lower cost by installing OctoPi on a Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi enables WiFi connectivity and the ability to add remote monitoring through a webcam. It’s a cost-effective solution to boost the functionality of your printer without breaking the bank.

15. Z-Axis Support

Z-axis support enhances the structural stability of your Ender 3 V3 SE, particularly when operating at high speeds. Adding support rods or braces to the Z-axis gantry reduces the vibrations and movements during printing.

This Ender 3 V3 SE mod is essential for pushing their printer to the fastest speeds without impacting print quality.

Article by

Marcello De Lio

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