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Usually, you’ll want to print with an SD card, but they can be fiddly, so a USB cable is a better option.
However, you’ll need some software to send files to your 3D printer for printing. I’ll show you how to connect Ender 3 to pc and print in the sections below.
- Ender 3 or Ender 3 V2
- Micro USB Cable
- Micro SD Card *8GB or smaller
- SD Card Reader
How To Connect Ender 3 To Pc: Step By Step Guide Step 1: Get a USB Cable
The Micro USB cable is the most common, and Creality adopted it with their 32-bit mainboards, which is fantastic. You will, however, require a mini USB cable if you have an older 8-bit board. The Mini USB cable is slightly larger than a micro USB and was popular a few years ago. However, it is no longer widely used.
They are, however, still available on Amazon, at your local electronics store, and in various other online stores. The best place to get one will be determined by which country you live in.
The most important thing is to find one long enough to allow your computer to communicate with your 3D printer. For example, if you keep your 3D printer on the other side of the room, you’ll need a much longer cable.
However, if you have a laptop, you can get a shorter one and place it next. But I don’t recommend it because your 3D printer moves around a lot and produces some heat, which could cause problems.
How To Connect Ender 3 To Pc: Step By Step Guide Step 2: Connect It to Your Ender 3
This step is simple: connect the mini USB end to your Ender 3 and the USB end to your computer. When you plug it into your computer, it will display a message and make a noise to indicate that it has detected your 3D printer.
Typically, it will state that it is installing the drivers. Allow it to do so for a while.
How To Connect Ender 3 To Pc: Step By Step Guide Step 3: Install a Slicer
After that, you’ll need to install software to send prints to your Ender 3. Installing the firmware from the official Creality website is a good idea.
Creality has software for all Ender 3 models, including the Max and V2. You can find a list of downloads for each of the Ender models.
Software list for Ender 3 models.
You will also require slicing software. A slicing program is not the same as a program for designing prints. It reads the 3D print design file and processes it. The most common file type for 3D print design is an STL, as you may know.
Cura is the most popular slicing software because it supports many 3D printers right out of the box. It’s also entirely free.
How To Connect Ender 3 To Pc: Step By Step Guide Step 4: Add Your 3D Printer to Cura
To start printing, you’ll need to add your printer to Cura. At the top, there’s a drop-down box where you can select ‘Add Printer.’ Then, from the list of auto-detected printers, choose one. ‘Ender 3 xx’ will appear in the drop-down menu.
Cura allows you to configure multiple 3D printers. And if you do, make sure you choose the correct 3D printer from the drop-down menu before printing.
Also, check this article to find the best Cura settings for your Ender 3.
How To Connect Ender 3 To Pc: Step By Step Guide Step 5: Print
All you have to do now is open the design file in Cura. Using the ‘Open File’ or ‘Folder Icon’ options. You can print almost immediately now that everything is connected.
It will display the design on your screen once it has been opened. Then, instead of exporting to an SD card, click the bottom right corner, where you’ll see a print option.
After that, it will begin printing. Just keep in mind that printing on a computer can result in a variety of problems. There are a few things to keep in mind ahead of time to ensure the print doesn’t stop halfway through.
How To Connect Ender 3 To Pc: Step By Step Guide Major Issues That Can Occur When 3D Printing With Your Computer
If something happens on your computer while printing, the print will be interrupted. You won’t be able to continue without destroying your print. So you’d like to take a few steps to ensure the printing process isn’t disrupted. These are the following:
Turn off the Sleep Mode.
If your computer goes to sleep while printing, your print will be halted. This is particularly aggravating for prints that take a long time to complete. As a result, you should turn off sleep mode, so it is always on.
Because every computer is different, the best way to learn how to do this is to Google “how to turn off sleep mode in Windows 10.” Alternatively, you can use whatever operating system you want.
Other devices should not be plugged in.
If you plug in another device, such as your phone, a window will appear, allowing you to pause your print. So, while it’s printing, don’t plug anything in.
Background programs should be turned off.
If you have any other programs running in the background, such as Steam for gaming, disable them. Alternatively, if you have a messaging app open, the pop-ups may cause your print to be paused. You should close any other running programs while it is printing if at all possible, or your print will be paused.
Invest in a battery backup
Finally, I recommend connecting your computer and 3D printer to a battery backup to protect yourself from short power outages. A consumer battery backup can be had for a reasonable price. It can pay for itself over time by reducing the amount of wasted filament.
Check this article if you have an elephant foot on your 3D prints.
When you use your computer to make a 3D print, the computer’s sole purpose is to print the 3D print. And you SHOULDN’T do anything else with it until the print is finished.