By Philipp Schönberger
Since this month I own now one small 3d printer. Its a "ender 2" with an build volume of 165x165x200mm. For my purposes this is more than enough, since I always could print larger parts with the Toolbox e.V. printers since I am member there.
The printer was pretty easy to assemble and took just about 2 hours of carefully reading the manual and assembling the parts.
Out of the box the printer was printing prefect. But since I did know that the printer from Creality have disables safety features I installed the latest firmware from the Marlin github repository.
There I changed the config parameters to my need and enabled the following options to lower the risk of fire caused by a printer failure.
#define THERMAL_PROTECTION_HOTENDS // Enable thermal protection for all extruders #define THERMAL_PROTECTION_BED // Enable thermal protection for the heated bed
With this option enabled I printed a benchy, which came out perfectly. A benchy is a small boot which you can see in the lower picture. It has some structural parts which are though to print.
After some time I did research for some upgrades since some parts where annoying over time.
the noise level
The original board had some motor step drivers which where not capable of micro stepping. Also they where no exchangeable mounts to replace the current ones with new stepper drivers. Also the original board had only a AVR atmega1284p and not the big brother the AVR amega2560. This limits you to not enable all features on it.
Therefore I replaced the complete board with one which had these options. I found the rumba board and choose the TMC2100 since they are capable of micro steps. This made the printer barely noticeable and only he belts where still doing a slight noise.
The second upgrade I did is to replace the hotend with the e3d v6 and added a part cooler from both sides and added a Probe to get a repeatable and reliable printer.
The last update I did was to replace the printing surface. After some time and several prints the ice effect print surface was damaged and a small hole was ripped in the middle. The main reason for this was that the original ice surface had a strong grip on the printed part. Even if the part is cooled down the 3d printed part was barely removable. A fast wear out was also cased by the slicer. I always printed on the same spot in the middle of the bed. This of course let the bed surface wear out much faster at this place.
For an replacement I wanted to have a similar bed like the Prusa i3S has with the removable spring steel layer which lets you remove the printed part without any tool. This should also extend the life of the printing surfaces since it does not get any stress or scratches. There are only 2 option available buildtack for 60€ and whambam for 30€. Since I did not want to spend that much on the print surface alone I've chosen the Flexible Build System from Wham Bam.