Getting started with the Creality CR-6 SE 3D printer
I noticed an uptick in interest for the Creality 6-SE 3D printer lately (either because the price is dropped a bit end of last year, or because people are buying second hand). Since I’ve had mine since it was initially released on kickstarter, I thought I’d add some useful insights and links for people getting started with one.
First off: it’s capable of making really consistent quality and precise prints for an FDM printer. That being said, the initial design and QA felt a bit rushed, and even if the newer models being produced now have fixed all the initial issues, there are still a few small things you should definitely do to upgrade the printer. For all the things I mention here, there are plenty of videos and more detailed information out there, google them if you are unsure or want more details.
Ok, so you have the printer in front of you and are new to all this. Have a look at the following checklist to get it set up and make sure everything is working as intended: https://gist.github.com/Sebazzz/030d21c606413e22cbd77d8df9fb8b17
The official firmware is a bit lacking in features and doesn’t make full use of the Marlin firmware it is based off. There is a community maintained firmware version that is far superior and add a lot of functionality and fixes: https://github.com/CR6Community/Marlin/releases
The firmware updates both the main motherboard and the firmware for the display.
Bigtreetech has a drop in replacement motherboard that also fixes a lot of the issues with the initial Creality motherboard. I’m using this motherboard and have been more than happy with it.
If your hotend daughterboard breaks, it can be hard to find a replacement. What is sometimes easier to find is a complete hotend assembly (e.g. on aliexpress, it has the whole hotend assembly, strain gauge, daughterboard, hotend with heater and thermistor, fans and backplate).
- Don’t tie the ribbon cable to the hotend (black) and the bowden tube (white, filament moves through it) together. The hotend is connected to the strain gauge (which is used for the automatic bed leveling and triggers at around 160g of pressure if calibrated correctly). Pulling/pushing on the bowden tube can influence the sensitivity of the automatic bed leveling. This also means that if you make any modifications to the hotend assembly (especially to fans, cover or duct), you might have to recalibrate the strain gauge (there is a small potentiometer on the daughterboard on the hotend, it’s super finicky to adjust, I suggest using a kitchen scale and the LED should light up blue at around 160g).
- Before you print anything else, print this filimant guide thing:4677617 it snaps in place between the extruder and the runout sensor and makes it infinitely simpler to feed filament into the system. Trust me, it’s a quick print and will make handling filament so much easier.
- If you want a quieter printer, replace the motherboard and power fans. I use Noctua versions of the fans (will need a step down from 24V to 12V for the motherboard fan), but any quiet fan will do. You will want to print an alternate cover for the psu that has space for the larger fan: thing:4665448. Since the fans extend farther down than the original design, you should also add/print risers to the feet of the printer to lift everything a few centimeters.
- If you plan on updating firmware more regularly, you might want to extend the sdcard externally (so you don’t have to take apart the display to get to the display board each time). Just get a simple/cheap extender off amazon, you can either bring the cable outside at the bottom of the board, or through the ventilation slots on the back.
- The standard glas printing surface is OK. I’ve also had good experience using the Creality PEI magnetic bed (has a rougher surface) and a magnetic WhamBam surface for a smoother finish.
Another list on reddit of helpful things to know: So you just ordered your CR-6 SE…
This should be enough to get you started 🙂