Without getting to far in to the specifics, the MKS Gen L has a better microcontroller that allows us to change the firmware without having to compromise on features, a bootloader already installed so that you don’t have to flash one, changable stepper motor boards, and multiple servo outputs so you can easily add multiple upgrades like the the BL Touch or filament runout. The one drawback is that you will be losing the built in SD Card support but there is a way to add it back.
If you are planning on adding on upgrading your printer or would like it to be nearly silent while printing, I HIGHLY recommend making the upgrade to the MKS Gen L. This isn’t a step by step guide per say, as most of it is covered in Teaching Techs video, but a few of us over at the Sudomod Discord have found a few things that are different between the Creality Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro.
LED lights are a cheap, easy way to light up your 3D printer. This is a guide of how I added LEDs to the top and under the Bullseye on my Ender 3. The jist of the guide would work for just about any 3D printer though.
The Creality Ender 3 is arguably the best printer in the sub $250 price range. You can find it anywhere between ~$180-$250 depending on how long you would like to wait to receive the printer.
If you are wanting it sooner and are willing to spend a few extra dollars, you can head over to Amazon and pick one up for $235 at the time of writing. The benefits of choosing this route is that you can have it delivered in 2 days if you have signed up for Amazon Prime. If you do not have Amazon Prime, you can select to start a 30 day free trial and obtain all the benefits of prime for the duration of the trial.
If you are willing to save a few dollars and wait, BangGoods would be your best option. Sold and shipped from the US.
GearBest is another option. The downside is that the printer would be coming from overseas and there is a possibility that you would have to pay customs or duty fees on top. There is more of a possibility that your parcel gets lost also. I received a tracking link that went from GearBest’s warehouse to my front door so it wasn’t that bad. I personally did not have any problems with anything but you never know.
Recently, Creality has also released the Ender 3 Pro. The pro features a removable magnetic plate, a high quality Meanwell 500w power supply (though people have been reporting that they are getting 350w), the Y-axis frame has become beefier reducing the rare issue of wobbling, and the control box has been flipped upside down reducing the risk of foreign objects being sucked in to the fan. These upgrade come with a $100 price tag. you can find the Ender 3 Pro over at Amazon, BangGood, and GearBest.
Octoprint is an amazing piece of software that I believe is an essential tool for anyone with a 3D printer. Octoprint allows you to monitor your prints over your network or even online if you wish to take the security risk of doing so. Sixteenbit has made an easy to install option that is much safer than opening your Octoprint to the internet.
Say that you are combining multiple STLs in to a single print and one of the objects come unstuck from the build plate. What do you do? Cancel the print and waste all the plastic that has been printed so far? Well this plugin will allow you to stop printing on that single object while continuing the rest of the print. Very useful and saves plastic which in turns saves money!
This plugin allows you to connect your Octoprint instance to your Discord server. I honestly started using it to have it ping me when a print is finished but have not gotten that far in to setting it up. Discord Remote does allow you to send various commands to your printer like /status will take a snapshot of the current print and basic info like temps, Z height, and printing status; /snapshot will display a snapshot; and you can even /pause or /abort a print.
This plugin allows you to create a filament inventory and keep track of each individual roll. It automatically adjusts the amount of filament left but also lets you manually adjust the amount left in case you forget to change what filament you are printing with when you change spools… Like every time for me…
I like this plugin mainly for the dark theme. Added bonus of letting you be able to control the CSS of any element. Useful for fixing the elements of other plug ins that just have to go off target of the default CSS…
TouchUI will make Octoprint touch friendly for small devices. I keep an old unused phone next to my printer because I find the menus on my Ender 3 very hard to navigate and counter intuitive. I find it much easier to just use the phone to control everything.