April 12, 2021
This week, we’ll be talking about upgrades that won’t necessarily improve the quality of your prints, but will improve the quality of life for anyone who spends time near your printer! These are silent mainboards and quieter fans. When it comes to your Ender 3, two things stand out as the loudest components: the stepper motors and the fans. Stock Ender 3s can be quite loud, and if you want to go about your day with your Quinly equipped Ender running non stop, it can get quite irritating. Luckily, there are many solutions that work great for achieving a quieter printing experience. For quieting down your motors, you can buy new mainboards with higher quality stepper drivers that use smaller steps for quieter operation and more precision during prints. Then to silence the fans, you can replace them with higher quality, better balanced fans that are near silent during operation!
Quiet printing is very helpful when you're working next to your machine
For silent mainboards, there are many to choose from. If you have an Ender 3 V2, congratulations! Your machine already has a silent board pre-installed. For the rest of us, though, we have to buy a compatible board. Almost any 3D printer mainboard can be rigged up to be used with the Ender 3’s motion systems, but for a silent mainboard you have to make sure that it comes with TMC 2208/2209 stepper drivers or has ports where they can be installed. We recommend going with the V4.2.7 Creality silent board. It’s a very popular upgrade and we have pre-compiled firmware on our website to go along with it! If you choose to go with another option, keep in mind that you will have to find or write your own firmware to get it to work with Quinly, if you need any help with that you can visit our community discord or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
An Ender 3 power supply upgraded with a larger, quieter fan
For fans, you have to be careful with your selections. Many fans that are the same size as OEM but run on a different voltage or do not supply enough air to match the cooling needed by your printer. Because of this, you need to look for fans that are 24V for the hotend, part cooling, and mainboard fans, and then a 12V fan for your power supply. Look up the specs on the OEM fans online, and find matching fans on a site like Digikey that provide similar or more air flow, with less sound. In general, any fan under 25db of noise should be a large improvement over the stock fans. For the 24V fans on your printer, the Orion brand of fans work quite well, but other great fans are available from different brands. If small fans are still too noisy for you, many larger form factor fans provide the same airflow for much lower noise levels, and you can print adapters to fit them to your printer. You can also choose to replace the blower fan with an axial fan using some ducts available on Thingiverse. So have fun with your setup, and change fans based on how you want your printer to look and function!
Hopefully now you have some better insight into the options for quieting down your printer. It may not get you more prints or better performance, but with the reduced noise printing will become easier and less intrusive on your life, which is what we at 3DQue are all about. Have you done any of these upgrades? Send us info on what upgrades you have done to your Quinly-equipped Ender @3dquesystems!