One of the most important manufacturers of electronics for 3D printing, specifically the company BigTreeTech , surprised us some time ago with a specific electronic board for the massive community of Ender 3 printer users.
The name of this board was the SKR MINI E3 BTT and it was launched on the market in its initial version V1.2. This one had several very interesting improvements to update the already “quite” obsolete electronic ones of the Ender 3 printers.
Recently BigTreeTech has made a review of these boards, the new version V2.0, and they have been launched few weeks ago on the market. And in today’s article, of course, we will talk about them and some of their characteristics.
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Ender 3 printers, as you all know beforehand, have become quite popular and offer excellent value for money. And Creality has certainly succeeded in bringing huge numbers of units to market around the world.
This fact has attracted the attention of various manufacturers such as BigTreeTech or Makerbase, which have been launched to produce specific electronics for all this type of 3D printers seeing the existing market niche.
Ender 3: Very limited electronics as standard
Although these 3D printers have been sold massively, this not means means that they not have one Achilles heel. One of their “weakest” points is the limited memory of the electronics that comes from factory.
If we install, for example, a Marlin 2.0 firmware on its original board, an ATMega1284P 8bit AVR, it will occupy about 119,408 bytes of the maximum 130,048 bytes that we have on the board (keeping SDSUPPORT).
This leaves us in a drastic position with about 11,000 remaining bytes to be able to activate other functionalities that we may need (such as activation of a self-leveling sensor or BLTouch / 3DTouch). And we are not going to deny it, it is something unacceptable at this point.
To partially “alleviate” this problem, you can always disable other functions available in Marlin that drain memory from our compilation, although of course is not the best option . Having to deal with this issue every time you compile firmware can be quite cumbersome.
Some of the options that you can disable (or rather sacrifice) to get to compile your firmware for these boards successfully are these:
Although of course, the ideal solution is to replace our electronics , something cheap and that will bring us many advantages and extra functionalities that are quite worth it. Just silencing the drivers from Allegro to Trinamic in my opinion deserves the change, without any doubt.
Acquiring our BTT SKR MINI E3 V2.0
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|Creality Ender 3 printer|
|Electronic board SKR MINI E3 V2.0|
|3DTouch Level Sensor|
Characteristics and technical specifications
In this section we are going to name you some of the most important characteristics of this electronics. We will probably leave some in the pipeline, but the ones we present already prove to be excellent in our opinion.
Starting with the management of the motors, we find 4 ultra-silent TMC2209 drivers welded to the board . And in this new revision the distance between them has been increased, to avoid possible heat dissipation problems. These drivers should be noted that they use the same physical UART port, for a greater stability.
One of the options that in my opinion is more interesting about these great TMC2209 drivers is the “Sensorless” option. This option, in case you don’t know it, avoids the use of limit switches on the X and Y axes of your printer and all the wiring that this entails.
Recently at 3DWork we wrote a very long article about another BigTreeTech board very similar to this one, and we discussed how to configure and compile Marlin to use Sensorless. If your intention is to activate it, do not hesitate to visit the great article Complete guide SKR v1.4 / v1.4 Turbo with TMC2209 Sensorless drivers and Display TFT35 V3.0 .
In addition, to facilitate the task and to be able to activate them on the board, BigTreeTech has prepared a specific jumper that you simply have to place if you want to use this option, a great success indeed.
For the Z motors BigTreeTech has chosen to add two connectors, as in the BTT SKR 1.4 Turbo board, to facilitate the connection in Prusa type printers.
A Eeprom AT24C32 (more stable data storage), a Power Chip MP1584EN has been added that increases the voltage to a maximum output of 2.5 A and a new Mosfet WKS220N04 to improve heat dissipation.
It also has protection devices for the different thermistors found on the board, connectors for the numerical fans and even an interface for the automatic shutdown of the printer at the end of all our jobs.
Lastly, and if that seems not enough, BigTreeTech offers us independent 5V power supply for BL Touch, TFT and RGB , as well as support for functions of filament detection, resumption of printing after power outage and, of course, shutdown after the completion of our jobs.
|Size||100,75 x 70,25mm.|
|Microcontroller (MCU)||ARM Cortex-M3 STM32F103RCT6|
|Input||DC 12 / 24V|
|Motor driver interfaces||XM, YM, ZAM, ZBM y EM|
|Temperature sensors||TH0, THB, 2 channels 100K NTC (thermal resistance)|
|Supported displays||BTT TFT24, TFT35 V2.0, TFT35 V3.0, TFT35 E3 V3.0, LCD12464, etc.|
Supported Creality models
Perhaps the name of the article can be misleading, but in reality the electronics is not exclusively focused on the Creality Ender 3. The manufacturer recommends its use to update up to 4 models of 3D printers of the famous brand.
The recommended models are the following:
- Ender 3
- Ender 3 Pro
- Ender 5
Obviously, this does not mean in any way that you cannot install it on any other brand or 3D printer. It is a very complete and powerful board, with some of the best drivers on the market, so there is no doubt that it will work on any other machine without any problem.
In short, these new electronics can be the ideal complement if you have an Ender 3, or one of the other supported models, and you have not yet considered updating your original electronics.
I hope and hope that this article could have been of interest to you. If you wish, you can find other interesting articles in the following links:
- Closed-Loop Motors: Makerbase MKS Servo42b (Brief analysis)
- Complete guide SKR v1.4 / v1.4 Turbo with TMC2209 Sensorless drivers and Display TFT35 V3.0
- DyzeXtruder Pro: Analysis of a high-performance extruder for professional environments
- MKS TFT35 Display: Latest updates v106 and v107 available
- The Spaghetti Detective: Monitoring Octoprint from the Internet safely
- Powering the Raspberry Pi from the power supply of your 3D printer
- Booting our Raspberry Pi from USB with an SSD hard drive (or pendrive)
- Maker Ultimate 2: Review of the latest Monoprice printer