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  1. #1

    Question Failings i should expect for ender 5

    Hi everyone,
    Just a month ago I got a new ender 5 pro and the poor thing has been working 24/7 ever since. I am a sculptor and the waiting line for printing is huge so I don't expect it's use to slow down any time soon.

    What I would like to ask the community is this:

    With such heavy working, I assume that sooner or later something is going to fail (belts/cables/whatever) and I want to be prepared with spare parts.
    From your experience, what are the most common failures from wearing? what parts would it make sense to have readily available?
    What is the expected wear for a machine working like this?

    It is a priority for me not to 'halt production' just waiting for a week for some part to come through mail.
    I even thought buying a second printer just for parts. Assuming that the first one will be working for years, maybe it would be cheaper on the long run to pay once for a second printer than accumulating overcharges/shipping fees from parts. (I haven't investigated this, just a thought)
    Any input would be helpful,



    Thank you!
    Last edited by Aris; 05-17-2021 at 03:25 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    The electronics - stepper motor drivers are the heaviest worked component in a 3d printer.
    And the bit that's most likely to die.
    The actual motors themselves will most likely outlast you. Incredibly robust little devices.

    But over 8 years and 6 printers I've had NO failures due to wear and tear.

    The belts aren't under any real strain, they should be lightly tensioned, but nothing that will stress them.

    As long as you keep the rods clean and very lightly lubricated. There should not be mechanical wear and tear.

    I change brass nozzles about every 2 or 3 years - whether they need it or not :-)
    Depending on what type of filament you use that might vary.
    Anything with crabon fibres in will chew the nozzle up min a few months.
    But normal pla pretty much won't do anything to it.

    Generally 3d printers are exceptionally reliable beasts.

    And the ender 5 is based on a pretty solid cartesian design.
    They didn't do anything 'clever' with it. so it's a pretty basic and solid design.

    Check frame bolts are tight every 6 months or so and keep the rods clean and slippy.
    That's it really.
    :-)

    A second printer would make sense purely from the angle that it sounds like you actually NEED a second printer :-)
    And if you're happy with the ender 5 - it makes sense to get another.
    No learning curve and the odds of both dying at the same time are pretty unlikely.
    Also get one now while they are still pretty cheap :-)

    In the next 6-12 months all devices that contain electgronics are going to increase exponentially in price as parts and stock run out.
    There is a world semi-cinductor shortage, and it's going to hit all aspects of soceity in the near future.

    So what sort of sculptures are you making ?
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 05-17-2021 at 07:28 AM.

  3. #3
    wow, thanks for the extensive answer Aardvark!
    I used to have a printrbot a few years back and everything broke down on that machine. (it was a good company but it was the early days of 3D printing and they didn't solve all the problems in time, they are now out of business)
    In a youtube video I dug up after I posted the question it said pretty much the same thing.

    Yes, a second printer is unavoidable I think!
    I make naturalistic human figures. 3D printing allows me to preview the various details before sending a file to the foundry. For every real life statue I make, I usually print at least 5-6 scale models and partial prints of challenging areas

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    Also get one now while they are still pretty cheap :-)

    In the next 6-12 months all devices that contain electgronics are going to increase exponentially in price as parts and stock run out.
    There is a world semi-cinductor shortage, and it's going to hit all aspects of soceity in the near future.

    So what sort of sculptures are you making ?
    So for new printer owners without a warranty, I wonder if there is a list of parts they should have on hand to be ready for routine maintenance?

  5. #5
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    I thought I'd replied to this thread, but apparently not.
    For an Ender 5, I'd have:
    High priority:
    • Spare fans for both hotend and print fans.
    • Spare thermistor/heater (or perhaps a full spare hotend that can be swapped in).
    • Spare bowden tube clamps
    • Spare bowden tube
    • I'd also get an extension from the micro SD card slot to a full size SD card to avoid wear and tear on the micro SD card reader.
    • Spare nozzles

    Lower priority:
    • Spare idler pulleys
    • Spare wheels for the V-slot runners
    • Bit of spare belt
    • Spare Z-probe if using one. If not, a spare limit switch is cheap and may be worth keeping around.


    There are still a few potential failure points - e.g., bed wiring. Whether you want a spare bed and wiring harness is very much up to you.
    The idea is stuff that's easily damageable - particularly on the hotend/extruder has a direct replacement. Then just carry a few spares for other items that undergo wear and tear, but which will generally give a reasonable indication of failure so you have time to order a replacement. I normally order those when I'm placing orders for the critical replacement parts.

    Second printer is a great option. Especially given that the cost of a bunch of spares can rapidly build up.
    Last edited by Martin_au; 05-17-2021 at 07:33 PM.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    [QUOTESo for new printer owners without a warranty, I wonder if there is a list of parts they should have on hand to be ready for routine maintenance? ][/QUOTE]
    lol - in your case ?
    probably my workshop.
    You do seem to have more problems than most.
    It's basically the controller boards that are going to start getting expensive.
    Depending on where you look some prices have already doubled from this time last year.
    Stuff is getting expensive on ebay - while not yet changing much on amazon.

    But 3d printers are not complicated machines, they do a pretty remarkable and complex job.
    But at the end of the day, it's a hot glue gun on rails.

    None of the basic components of a printer are going to 'wear' out.
    Belts tend to only break if they've been rubbing.

    So with basic maintenance, there's no reason the mechanical parts shouldn't last for many years.

    with the ender 5 creality didn't get 'clever' or cut a lot of corners.
    They just built a large framed standard cartesian printer.
    So as long as you make sure the frame stays tight and any rods or rails are lightly lubricated and bolts are tight.
    No reason at all anything should fail.

    generally the electronics will go before the mechanics. And modern electronics are pretty durable.

    In the unlikely event that something does get damaged - pretty much every single part of a 3d printer can be had for next day delivery from amazon.

    So if I was going to have a spare of anything - it would be the motherboard and a spare set of stepper drivers - they do go on an irregular basis.
    And get one now - they will be going up in price and potentially getting hard to get hold of in the forseeable future.

    Plus if you have the exact same board and firmware - it's a pretty quick change over.
    If you have to make do with a different board - then things get complicated with firmware and screens and it's generally not quick or easy.

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