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A Means To Your Ender

2019 Best Creality Ender 5 Upgrades and Mods

Picture of Michael Ohl
by Michael Ohl
Jul 27, 2019
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The Ender 5 comes with many improvements, but it can be made even better! Discover our list of the best Ender 5 upgrades and mods!

Creality Ender 5 Upgrades and Mods The Big Picture

The untouched Ender 5
The untouched Ender 5. Source: Amazon

Creality’s Ender 5 builds on the success of the CR-10 and the Ender 3. It is a cube-frame printer, as is often used for core XY printers, but uses Cartesian movements to print. The Ender 5 proves to be a successful printer capable of great detailed prints, but it is not without flaws.

Creality Ender 5

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Product image of Creality Ender 5

We’ve gone through a large amount of upgrades and mods for the Ender 5. The ones chosen for this list are either must-have installs (in the case of safety upgrades) or mods that add features, functions, and make day-to-day printing easier.

To be more specific, the following types of upgrades are explored:

  • Safety: These are recommended features or installs to prevent potential hazards. This includes updated firmware and a bed strain relief.
  • Ease of Use: These Ender 5 mods will improve printing quality and make using the printer easier over its lifetime. Things of this nature help improve the flaws in the printer, such as bed supports.
  • Functionality: These Ender 5 upgrades will change the operation of the printer, adding new features.
  • Purchaseble: These Ender 5 mods and upgrades can be purchased and installed for ease of use or added functionality.
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1

Creality Ender 5 Upgrades and Mods Upgraded Firmware

Editing the Marlin firmware
Editing the Marlin firmware. Source: Hussain Bhavnagarwala / All3DP

One of the big flaws of the Ender 5 that carries over from the other Creality printers is that thermal runaway protection is not enabled. While the chances of this causing a fire is low – as long as the printer is well assembled – this is still an easy choice for an upgrade, as it’s both free and easy to perform. The steps are the exact same as performing them for an Ender 3, so if you know how to mod that machine, you know how to install this Ender 5 upgrade already.

Using your preferred method of either a Raspberry Pi or Arduino, you can install a newer version of Marlin onto your Ender 5 fairly quickly. Check out our guide on upgrading the firmware or YouTube walkthrough from Teaching Tech.

As well as adding to the safety of the printer, this upgrade allows for other modifications, such as automatic bed-leveling, mesh bed-leveling, and various other tweaks controlled inside the firmware.

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2

Creality Ender 5 Upgrades and Mods Bed Strain Relief

The bed strain relief mod ensures that cables are held safely
The bed strain relief mod ensures that cables are held safely. Source: derandi3d / Thingiverse

In countless discussion forums, Facebook groups, Reddit posts, and the like, when asked what the first print should be on an Ender 5, this mod is always mentioned. The heated bed cables on the Ender 5, like the CR-10, are left dangling without any support. Over time, as the bed is moved up and down, this can cause the wires to rub against the bed frame and fray, which is an electrical and fire hazard.

By printing this Ender 5 mod, you can easily support the cables and greatly reduce the risks. Depending on the print speed and quality settings, it can take between 45 minutes and 2 hours to print but makes for a good addition to any Ender 5. Aside from the safety risks, it also provides a base to use for cable management on the printer.

Who designed it? Andreas Rath (derandi3d)

Where to get it? Thingiverse

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3

Creality Ender 5 Upgrades and Mods Bed Support Arms

There's need to worry about your bed with these 3D printed arms
There's need to worry about your bed with these 3D printed arms. Source: Archer72 / Thingiverse

The Ender 5 has a rigid extruded aluminum cube frame, making it very sturdy when assembled properly, which goes a long way to increasing print quality. That isn’t to say there aren’t problems with the frame in certain areas. One of those areas is the built platform. While it is rigid, if you are printing anything that takes longer to complete, it may shift slightly. That is where bed support arm come into play.

This Creality Ender 5 mod allows for stabilizing the print bed. It involves printing two arms that attach to the bed by clipping on under it and clamping around the bearing socket in the back.

There are several designs for this, and what we looked at was being able to fit the print on the bed of the Ender 5 itself. While some designs could be printed in one part, almost all need extra parts added to them, such as screws or a spring. The chosen model only needs screws and nuts easily purchased at a local hardware store.

Who designed it? Dominic Guiffre (jumpshoutmedia)

Where to get it? Thingiverse

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4

Creality Ender 5 Upgrades and Mods Cable Chain Adapters

Two parts of the cable chain adapters
Two parts of the cable chain adapters. Source: cr6surfs / Thingiverse

The cabling on the Creality Ender 5 is one of the machine’s major downsides. Out of the box, several cables are just a bit too short to hide away, and there is no built-in management system. The cable path has several places that can be zip-tied, but they still hang out in the open, being both unsightly or getting caught on something during print jobs.

With this Creality Ender 5 mod, we tuck the cables away into 3D printed chains. The chains allow movement and protect the cables from catching on parts of the printer during operation. This adds a bit of safety, but is more just an appearance mod, keeping the cables neat and tidy.

Who designed it? Chris Robinson (cr6surfs)

Where to get it? Thingiverse

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5

Creality Ender 5 Upgrades and Mods Ender 5 with Bullseye and BLTouch

The Bullseye mod (with a BLTouch installed)

The Ender 5 stock cooling setup is fine, providing cooling that is good enough for most hobbyists and tinkerers. But if you plan to print more than just PLA, part cooling is more important, especially with materials like PETG and ABS.

Several different cooling mods are available, but for this one, we looked for something that still uses the stock fans while providing better cooling. In this way, we came upon the Bullseye, a model that even includes a mount for a BLTouch.

Printing this Ender 5 mod will give you a better-directed airflow below the nozzle, directly addressing the non-uniform cooling of the default setup.

Who designed it? Daniel Hoffman (thehoffau)

Where to get it? Thingiverse

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6

Creality Ender 5 Upgrades and Mods Manual Mesh Bed-Leveling

Visualization of a mesh bed in OctoPrint
Visualization of a mesh bed in OctoPrint. Source: OctoPrint

It seems like every printer in this price range advertises with assisted bed-leveling, guiding the print head around the bed while you use paper or your preferred method to adjust the bed. Without above bed supports, the bed can quickly become uneven, especially with the stock magnetic bed. If you already followed the guide above and performed the safety mod to enable thermal runaway protection, you’ve done the hard work of this next mod.

Manual mesh bed-leveling accomplishes the same thing as a BLTouch or EZABL by creating a mesh grid topology of your build plate. If it isn’t perfectly flat, your printer will be able to get much closer to a perfect first layer. Setting this up requires a few settings in your Marlin firmware and then a bit of time to go through and create your mesh. This works by setting Z offsets rather than adjusting bed level knobs and makes for much better prints.

The video put out by Teaching Tech gives instructions on the Ender 3 for manual mesh bed-leveling, but this mod also works as a Creality Ender 5 mod as well.

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7

Creality Ender 5 Upgrades and Mods BLTouch Auto-Leveling

The BLTouch (installed on a CR-10)
The BLTouch (installed on a CR-10). Source: voltlog / Instructables

Just above, we mentioned the importance of having a level bed to print on and gave you a way to manually make it better. Everything there still applies here, but this makes for a slightly easier time. Start your print, let the servo probe test the distance to the build plate, and go.

BLTouch Auto Bed Leveling Sensor

Product image of BLTouch Auto Bed Leveling Sensor
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8

Creality Ender 5 Upgrades and Mods Wham Bam Spring Steel Bed

A 3D printed rocket flexing off the Wham Bam plate
A 3D printed rocket flexing off the Wham Bam plate. Source: Wham Bam

The default bed that ships with the Ender 5 is a flexible build surface that works and does what it is intended to do. You could do better, though, with a much more rigid bed, such as glass, or with something much more flexible, like the Wham Bam. It provides a more stable surface that needs to be leveled less frequently. When prints are larger, it will still flex to release the parts without too much effort.

While other spring steel build plate replacements exist, this one has been tested over hundreds of prints to work with higher temperatures, allowing it to be used for materials like PETG and ABS.

Where to get it? Wham Bam

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9

Creality Ender 5 Upgrades and Mods Creality Silent Mainboard Version 1.1.5

Creality's newest silent control board for their Ender series of printers, version 1.1.5
Creality's newest silent control board for their Ender series of printers, version 1.1.5. Source: Creality

The Creality Ender 5 is equipped with a control board made specifically for it, but the stepper motor drivers can be quite loud. The base unit comes equipped with loud drivers. If you want to go more silent, you can upgrade the control board with a drop-in replacement from Creality.

Using the Creality Silent Mainboard Version 1.1.5 upgrades the base stepper drivers to TMC-branded stepper drivers, using their stealth chop functionality for a greatly reduced sound profile during prints. After this install, the loudest part of the printer is the cooling fans. The install on this Creality Ender 5 Mod is simple, as it fits in the exact same place as the installed mainboard. All the cables will plug in to the same place as the original ones. Make sure to download the included Hex file to make it works properly for the Ender 5. It will also come with an updated firmware to Marlin 1.1.8, by default.

Where to get it? Creality Store

Feature image source: jumpshoutmedia / Thingiverse

License: The text of "2019 Best Creality Ender 5 Upgrades and Mods" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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