Upgrading a Creality Ender 3 Power Supply


August 10, 2019

3d printing ender 3


If there’s one thing I dislike about the Creality Ender 3, it’s the power supply. Large, noisy and from an unknown brand, the idea of running the printer from the stock power supply for hours at a time isn’t one I’m particularly fond of.

Another annoyance with the stock power supply is the position of the power output. The kettle cable connector sits on the side of the PSU holder, meaning the cable exits the printer to the side.

Ender 3 on
Ender 3 powered on using the original power supply.

For me, it would be preferable to have the cord exit the power supply holder from the rear.

The power supply has a form factor commonly seen in higher wattage electronic devices, with a need for multiple voltages. This means there are plenty of possible alternatives available.

The one I’ve selected is the Meanwell LRS-350-24, a 24V 350W power supply. It has a slightly higher wattage than the original, and importantly, is produced by a well-known and well-respected manufacturer.

To allow the power cable to plug in to the rear of the printer, a new power supply housing will be needed. One thing to note is that the new power supply is noticeably thinner than the stock power supply. Therefore, when looking for a new housing, it needs to be one specifically designed for this PSU.

As a commonly-chosen replacement, there are countless options available on sites such as Thingiverse. The one I chose also has a hole to mount a USB output, which might be useful in the future.

Remember to print this before taking your printer apart (unless you have another printer) – it will be difficult to print otherwise!

Removing the Old Power Supply

To remove the old power supply, you will need to undo the screws mounting the PSU holder to the printer. You’ll also need to unplug the XT60 connector, to fully remove the PSU/housing from the printer.

Original PSU
Power supply/housing, removed from the printer.

To remove the PSU from the housing, there are two screws which need to be removed. One is located on the rear edge, with the other on the opposite side to the plug.

With these removed, the power supply can be lifted out of the housing. Be aware that, at this stage, you will not be able to remove it completely.

PSU unscrewed
Power supply unscrewed from the housing. Note that the wires coming from the power supply are still attached.

The next step is to remove both the power supply wires, and the plug from the housing.

The power supply wires use spade connectors, so partially unscrewing the terminals on the power supply should be enough to slide them out.

The plug might be a little more difficult, as there is also a clip holding it in place. With the screws removed, squeeze the sides on the inside edge of the holder, and push the plug outwards. With a little force, it should come free.

Disassembled PSU
Stock power supply, with all parts removed.

With everything ready, the new power supply can now be prepared.

New Power Supply

The first thing needed for the new power supply is the housing. It should be easy to slot the plug connector into the new housing.

New housing
New printed power supply housing.

Now, the print quality of this is rather poor, largely down to a combination of large layer size and high print speed. Or to put it another way, my own impatience. It was also tricky to remove from the print bed. It’s fair to say, additional tweaks will be needed to this printer for future prints.

New PSU attached
New power supply, with wiring complete. Note that the XT60 connector connects to the +V and 0V sections of the PSU, while the mains plug connects to the ground, N and L terminals.

Attaching wires to the power supply should be simple, as the new power supply also uses screw terminals. Slide the spades into the terminal, and make sure they are screwed in place securely.

The new PSU can then be screwed into the new housing.

New PSU complete
New power supply, ready to attach to the printer.

With that, the new PSU housing can be attached back to the printer.

The new power supply is much quieter than the original, and I have more confidence in the quality of this power supply compared to the original. The next step will be to remove the XT60 connector and replace it with a fixed wire, due to concerns over the durability of the connector.

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