The CR-10 series has great 3D printers, but they aren't perfect. Check out the best Creality CR-10/S/V2/Mini upgrades and mods to pimp your 3D printer.
Out of the box, a CR-10 is good. With a few tweaks, it becomes even better. Give it an upgrade, and it’ll be among the best. So what are we looking for in an upgrade?
We’ve chosen the best upgrades for the CR-10 and all CR-10S-variants (S, S4, and S5), the CR-10 Mini, and the CR-10 V2. Each upgrade provides a useful function on the printer and is proven to work. For example, yes, a “hood ornament” is cool, but no, we don’t consider that an upgrade.
We split the upgrades and mods into four sections:
For the most part, all of these mods are compatible with the complete list of the above-mentioned variants, unless stated otherwise. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get to it!
If you’ve been into 3D printing any decent amount of time, you know that bed adhesion is one of the most important factors in whether a print will turn out or not. Also, having a good build plate makes your printer much easier to use, no more fiddling around with scrapers and blades trying to get that one fragile print off without breaking it.
A 310 by 310 mm Tempered Glass build plate with silicone-carbon coating for optimum print adhesion.
If you’re on a quest for better adhesion, Creality offers some enticing upgrade options. Theirbuild plate features a special carbon-silicone coating, similar to Anycubic’s Ultrabase, that reportedly has fantastic adhesion while hot, but breaks free easily when cold.
If glass isn’t your thing, you could always opt for the. Essentially a floppy magnetic version of a Buildtak-like surface, this product allows you to peel prints off without a scraper, by nature of being both highly flexible and easily removable from the printer.
These products are primarily available for the CR-10 and 10S, or their variants with a 310 by 310 mm surface area. If you have a larger build area but still want to upgrade, it may be worth looking into 3rd-party alternatives.
Ever get tired of turning those tiny little knobs on the underside of the print bed, fiddling forever, trying to get a perfect level? Then these are for you!
A printable Creality CR-10 upgrade, these knobs fit over the included ones, making bed leveling a much easier and more precise process. There are a number of designs available, but we picked this one because it also prints with a strain relief bracket for the heated bed wires.
While not exactly enhancing the ease of use, the strain relief bracket does exactly what it sounds like: Relieve strain from the heated bed wires, contributing to safety and ease of mind during long prints. This upgrade is essential for anyone looking to ensure their house won’t burn down due to 3D printing, which should be just about everyone.
Who designed it? Chris Taylor (Nerys)
Where to get it? Thingiverse
If you’ve ever worried about losing the tiny little microSD card that came with your printer, then this upgrade is for you.
Essentially, this is anfor your microSD slot, converting it to a full-sized SD card reader. It also allows you to reposition your SD slot, so you are no longer dependent on having the side of the control box always accessible.
If you like to do time-lapses of your prints, or if you want to be able to monitor your print remotely, you undoubtedly need this upgrade. Essentially, this is a 3D printable articulated arm for mounting an action camera, a webcam, or a Raspberry Pi camera to your printer.
There are two variations of the overall design: One mounted to the bed of the printer and the other mounted to the frame. The frame mount is more stable, but the bed mount allows for a steady image of the print.
Who made it? Raffaele Biasiello (RaffoSan)
One of the community complaints about the CR-10 is the cruddy spool holder, which has some serious limitations. This upgrade is for all of you who want to surpass this annoyance and just get printing.
This spool holder is simply ingenious: The filament roll sits on top of four bearings, with no worries about spool size whatsoever, and the spool is held in place by the sides of the holder. This design significantly decreases friction and thereby relieves some of the strain on the extruder.
The holder fits nicely on top of the control box for easy access and use.
Who designed it? Hendrik Hendrik (Hendrik72)
Where to find it? Thingiverse
While your stock CR-10 hot end isn’t the worst in the business, it isn’t without issues. Printing at higher temperatures presents problems with the PTFE liner, and frankly, a lot of people in the community report having issues with reliability.
To mitigate and eliminate these issues, Micro-Swiss presents their all-metal hot end as a prime replacement, designed to fit the original mounts without modification. They also tout their wear-resistant plated brass nozzles, which is a step up from the stock nozzle you’ll be replacing.
Printing with PLA might be all fine and dandy, but when it comes to ABS and nylon, the CR-10 printers really struggle. A combination of an open-air frame and a massive heated bed makes it difficult to maintain a draft-free printing environment at the right temperatures.
Taking note of the issue, Creality released athat allows you to seal off your printer from the woes of an open workshop. Sized to fit the original CR-10 and the popular Ender printers, this enclosure should fit most of the CR-series machines, aside from the much larger S4 and S5 variants.
A fairly popular mod to add to the CR-10’s control box is a pair of 120 mm fans, replacing the stock cooling fans on the control board and power supply. Surprisingly, it turns out that the larger fans are a lot quieter and more efficient than their smaller stock counterparts.
This particular version replaces the base of the control box.
Who designed it? John MacArthur (Midevil1)
Where to find it? Thingiverse
Many users have noted that the tall vertical extrusions in the Z-axis of the CR-10 aren’t the most stable, which leads to wobbling and inconsistent layers in taller, larger prints.
However, to mitigate this problem, Creality offers a, the same ones included with the CR-10 V2. The rod set includes a tapping kit, allowing you to thread the core of the front-most aluminum frame extrusion, to which the rods are then bolted.
This kit is advertised as compatible with the CR-10 and 10S, but should also fit on the S4 variant. The other CR-10 models have different frame sizes, and as such would likely benefit more from the DIY version of this upgrade, mentioned further on in our list.
Part cooling is a very important part of getting a nice print, and sometimes the stock fan duct just doesn’t cut it. Enter the Petsfang modular fan duct, one of the coolest Creality CR-10 upgrades around.
Optimized to cool the filament as efficiently as possible, the Petsfang fan duct has two fangs — one on either side of the hot end — designed to begin cooling the filament the moment it leaves the tip. Powered by a blower fan, the fan duct also features interchangeable mounts for auto-leveling (something we’ll bring up later).
This dual cooling technique is one of the most popular around, and the results after installing one of these are often quite stunning.
Who designed it? David Petsel (dpetsel)
Where to find it? Thingiverse
Ah, the gripping fear of a filament jam, a true classic in the 3D printing world.
Creality’sshould make your filament jamming days a distant memory. This upgrade comes stock on some of Creality’s newer CR-line printers, but for those of you with older models, this dual-drive extruder is available for sale as an upgrade. All you have to do is swap it out and re-calibrate your E-steps, and you’ll be ready to roll!
Alternatively, if you are the lucky owner of a CR-10 V2, you can also purchase a. Designed to slot into the Cr-10 V2 as a seamless transition into direct-drive 3D printing, this upgrade facilitates the use of flexible filaments and relieves some of the common issues of Bowden tubes.
The Titan extruder can also be used in place of the stock extruder on the other CR-10 models, but this may require more work to install.
Note that for any extruder upgrades, it is a good idea to calibrate your extruder (also known as E-steps calibration) to make sure your printer is pushing the right amount of filament while printing.
The E3D Titan is an amazing lightweight extruder made with injection molded parts for maximum performance. Best of all, it's universal! The Titan is compatible with both 1.75mm and 3.00mm filament, and easily swaps between the two if needed.
If you have a fancy new extruder, why not make sure what comes after has the same quality and precision?
This, in its iconic dark blue color, has much tighter tolerances than a standard PTFE Bowden tube. What this means is there is less room for the filament to wiggle around on its way to the nozzle, resulting in smoother, more precise and consistent extrusion throughout your print.
Capricorn Bowden PTFE Tubing is designed with an extremely precise internal diameter, making it easier for you print with flexible filaments.
When printing tall, vibrations traveling through the printer frame are often magnified in the vertical Z-axis, resulting in banding effects across the tops of prints. One of the best ways to mitigate this is through the use of Z-braces.
These Creality CR-10 upgrades are brackets attached to the base and the Z-axis, with rods between the two adding rigidity to the frame. The design we found requires threaded rods and some assorted nuts, bolts, and washers in addition to the printable brackets.
This upgrade is a DIY version of the above manufacturer-provided supporting rod set, and similarly, is not necessary on the CR-10 V2.
Who designed it? Jonathan Lundström (jonathanlundstrom)
Where to find it? Thingiverse
A relatively cheap but more time-consuming Creality CR-10 upgrade is addingto your printer. This decreases the vibrations caused by the stepper motors and significantly reduces noise levels while printing and, in some cases, can help the quality of your prints.
One of the main issues with the CR-10 series of printers is that the beds are so large that keeping a good level across the entire surface can be difficult. A classic solution to this is to add an auto-leveling sensor.
In the case of the original CR-10 series, Creality offers their own, including everything you need to get going with a BL Touch sensor, including a mounting bracket.
Creality's full BL Touch kit.
For owners of the CR-10 V2, ais available at the same price, featuring a different mounting bracket to fit your X-gantry.
are relatively cheap add-ons for your CR-10’s stepper motor drivers, which essentially help smooth your print and remove artifacts like “salmon skin”. They can be bought for a couple of dollars and are super easy to install thanks to plug-and-play setup and zero software. Cheap and easy, a no-brainer Creality CR-10 upgrade.
Adding ato your CR-10 can be useful for a number of reasons, but the most popular one is for using the free OctoPi software. OctoPi allows you to monitor and control your printer remotely or over WiFi, so that you can check on your print, ensure against failures, and perhaps even run a printer farm. Another cool feature of OctoPi is that it will auto-record the entire print with a connected camera.
The Raspberry Pi itself is of course the only essential component, however you can also add on a Pi camera or webcam. And don’t forget to print yourself a cool case.
License: The text of "2020 Best Creality CR-10/S/V2/Mini Upgrades & Mods" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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