Creality Ender-3 V2 Assembly

From what I can tell, Creality’s Ender-3 is now the go-to beginner 3D printer. It works sufficiently well in stock form out of the box. And if anyone wants to go beyond stock, the Ender 3 has a large ecosystem of accessories and enhancements. These are exactly the same reasons I bought the Monoprice Select V2 several years ago. So when Creality held one of their frequent sales, I picked up an Ender-3 V2. The key feature I wanted in V2 is Creality’s new controller board, which uses silent stepper motor drivers. A nice luxury that previously required printer mainboard replacement.

When the box arrived, I opened it to find all components came snugly packaged in blocks of foam.

The manual I shall classify as “sufficient”. It has most of the information I wanted from a manual, and the information that exists is accurate. However, it is missing some information that would be nice, such as a recommended unpack order.

And this is why: the Ender-3 came in many pre-assembled components, and when they are all tightly encased in foam it’s not clear which ones were already attached to each other. Such as the fact the printhead was already connected to the base. I’m glad I didn’t yank too hard on this!

That minor issue aside, it didn’t take long before all pieces were removed from the box laid out.

The Z-axis leadscrew is something to be careful with, vulnerable to damage in the sense that the slightest problem would cause Z-layer issues in the print. It was cleverly packed inside a bundle of aluminum extrusion beams, protected by a tube of what looks and feels like shrink wrap tubing.

All fasteners are bagged separately by type and labeled. This is very nice.

As far as I can tell, all of the tools required for assembly are bundled in the box. The stamped-steel crescent wrenches weren’t great, so I used real wrenches out of my toolbox. In contrast the hex keys were a pleasant surprise, as they had ball-ends for ease of use. I considered that a premium feature absent from most hex keys.

I was initially annoyed at the instructions for the filament holder spool, because it looked like the channel was already blocked by some bolts.

But then I realized the nuts are not perfectly rectangular. Their shape gives them the ability to be inserted into the slot directly, without having to slide in from the ends of the beams. As the fastener is tightened, they will rotate into place within the channel. These are “post-assembly nuts” because they allow pieces to be added to an extrusion beam after the ends have been assembled. These are more expensive than generic extrusion beam nuts and a nice touch for convenience.

Here is the first test print. It’s pretty good for a first print! But not perfect. Uneven vertical wall indicates issues with Z-axis movement.

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