Category Archives: 3D Printing

Improving Creality Ender 3 V2 PSU cooling

For some reason designers of Creality Ender 3 V2 3D printer decided to make power supply unit (PSU) for it by slapping together two metal housings that don’t have overlapping holes, instead, the holes almost perfectly align in such a way that they block almost maximum possible amount of airflow into the PSU.

Spot the problem? So, I’ve decided to change that. But since my metal work skills are basic, I’d just cut away the middle part of the black shroud. But that would still be blocking large part of the airflow. So I asked my dad for help and with some of his metal working magic, this is the improved PSU fan intake now…

Spot the difference? Look, you can actually see the fan now! Now, the fan is still audible, but at least it’s not beating same air around trying to get it through those narrow gaps in metal that were there originally.

Next step is replacing that 40mm fan on motherboard that’s just 10mm thick with another 40mm fan with 20mm thickness. Should spin much slower while moving a lot of air. But that’s for another time…

RTX 3080 Noctua Edition finalized!

Hey, got something for this mod whole month ahead of predicted date. Noice!

I needed these 2 to finish up my mod. Decided to do it in such way that I won’t have to solder a single thing and it went pretty well.

This is as clean as I could get without modifying any cables. Yup, this is fully finalized card now. All the cables neatly tucked inside the card so there is nothing sticking out. Fans are also fully powered and controlled by the card itself. They fire up under load and go into 0 dB mode on desktop. It’s actually cooler in 0 dB too because less plastic crap is covering the fins and when under load, it can push a lot more air with less effort out of those fins. It’s ridiculously quiet now. I can’t believe why manufacturers stick bunch of ugly ass plastic crap on cards instead of going for industrial looks like this.

Just imagine having card identical to this, but with fancier single piece shroud around all 3 fans at exact thickness as the fans and simple text like RTX 3080 on the side of the fans and nothing else. Like, come on. Even ASUS’s official “Noctua Edition” doesn’t look this good with the stupid ugly Noctua’s color scheme.

And here is one when it’s running inside my current system…

Only thing I regret here is that I didn’t get myself a 3D printer 2 years ago and did this mod back then already. I could have enjoyed this RTX 3080 card in absolute silence. But oh well, seeing how RTX 4000 series are already destined to weird shit, I think I’ll just be sticking with this one for a while now. It just got A LOT better now so why not 😀

Almost finalized RTX 3080 Noctua Edition

I guess I can call this a success. Yes, I’m still waiting for the graphic card to 4pin adapter cables, but it’s running fine using motherboard headers and emulating same fan curve via FanControl software with same 0dB operation below 55°C and with very aggressive fan curve with 100% at 75°C and it usually never even hits that. Testing fans at 100% (2000 RPM) and they are audible, but they are like night and day compared to stock fans. Not only they push significantly more air thanks to thicker fans, they aren’t whiny at all. All I can hear is basically just air rushing through heatsink fin stack and it’s really inoffensive noise.

The prototype printed parts didn’t show any change or deformation from heatsink and heatpipes heat so I’ve just gone ahead and printed the full fat parts. The front took me 3 hours to print, rear part good 2 hours and each of four links on top took 10 minutes.

I’ll post an update when I get the adapter cables and how I’ll hide that to make it visually appealing. See you in about a month when the cables come from China 😀

My first own RTX 3080 Noctua Edition prototype design

Well, after many hours of thinking, measuring and designing 3D models for aesthetic fan retention, this is my first prototype. We’re not doing any ghetto mods here lads, we’re doing it properly!

After considering many options how to attach fans to the card, this is what I came up with. It’s entirely screwless design. On the right side I attached the fan holding frame to the end of heatpipes and on the left side it’s anchored under the metal “armor” that’s above PCB and has two neat notches next to the PCI slot bracket. Fans are held together by those links that are actually T shaped and go in between fans a bit for extra strength. It’s all held together by tension of fans pressuring towards the middle of heatsink which then puts tension on both ends.

Now, this is just basic check how to attach the Noctua fans to the card. There is some more work to do. The ends will be much thicker and shaped to the contour of the card in the corners, but I’m thinking of keeping the sharp lines and edges. I could make them round, but I actually like the sharp lines and corners, gives it more industrial look. And final print will be in black. I’m using white because it’s my prototyping filament as it’s easier to draw on it with marker and you have better visibility. Though Storm Trooper looks aren’t bad either.

Noctua fans conveniently have short cables with extra extension if you need it, which means I won’t have issues with cables and having to cut them or anything. Have already ordered adapters that convert graphic card connector to the motherboard 4pin PWM connector so the fans will run from the card itself and since there is a gap between both heatsink fin stacks, I’ll neatly hide cables in between there. Sucks that they’ll be coming for entire month. AliExpress and all that… So, for now I’ll run the fans from motherboard headers.

My main concern is 3D printed part being attached to the heatpipes end and to the “armor” frame. Which both get very hot during operation and I’m worrying that 3D printed parts will start to melt and expand under weight of fans. Heatpipes are on the absolute far end so I’m suspecting it shouldn’t be hot enough to melt the printed parts, but the “armor” part in which other end is attached may be an issue. Now, printing bed is at 60°C and filament doesn’t melt, it just sticks. In theory, it should be fine since GPU core is usually around 75°C under full load, meaning heatsink shouldn’t ever be that hot, but I’ll just have to stick the card into the case now and test it under heavy heat to see what happens…

You know what this means :)

That’s a stripped out Palit GeForce RTX 3080 GamingPro. Those below are Noctua NF-A9 PWM Chromax 92mm fans. It’s exactly what I’m going to do 😀 The factory fans are tiny little buzzing buggers that drive me nuts under any kind of load because the rest of the system is so quiet. Well, if all goes to plan, this will become a Palit GeForce RTX 3080 Noctua Edition. Similar to what ASUS did officially, just better looking without the silly beige and brown color scheme.

Now I just have to fabricate the platform to hold these fans properly on top of the heatsink and not do it using zip ties. I’ll most likely 3D print the assembly. Which will be fun doing on backup GeForce 8400GS since I need my RTX 3080 in front of me. That thing can’t do 144Hz, can’t do 1440p and Tinkercad runs like poop on it. Fun times ahead!

3D printing with 60°C heated bed is unnecessary on Ender 3 v2

I’ve religiously sworn by 60°C because that’s what everyone online said I should use for best bed sticking. It’s also default setting for Ender 3 v2 which I’m using. But through months of use I maybe had bed sticking issue just once or twice and the rest of the time I was battling with my printer to release my damn prints from the printing bed. It was so bad I cut myself twice with the included spatula thingy that came with the printer because I was trying to jam it under the print so hard. It was insane how difficult it was for me to pry prints off the printing bed.

And then I finally realized, heating the print bed to 60°C is at least for my use case entirely unnecessary, time consuming and wasteful. Why?

  • Heating up print bed takes time because it’s using a thick slab of glass-ceramic for print bed surface which makes pre-heating process unnecessarily long
  • Since my printer is using glass-ceramic bed surface, it’s a big thermal mass and takes forever to cool down as well and release my prints (so I can even take them off the print bed)
  • It’s energy wasteful, heating up printing bed to 60°C for several hours of entire print just to stick the bottom most layer (you can set it to just heat up to 60°C for first few layers and then cool down to different temperature but still)
  • During summer, it significantly warms up the room which is not helpful

So, I’ve noticed my printing bed is basically at around 25°C anyway during summer, so I’ve decided to settle with 30°C. It needs just few seconds to reach 30°C before printing starts and after printing is done, I don’t need to wait half an hour to pull my prints off. I can do it right away which saves me tons of time when prototyping some design. And best of all, the prints still stick so well I was having super hard time pull it off even when I’ve printed it at just 30°C printing bed temperature.

I can’t say for other printers that use printing bed made of some different material, but in case of stock Ender 3 v2 printing bed (glass-ceramic plate), it works great and so far I’ve tried relatively big prints as well as ultra tiny that measure just few millimeters in size and they both stick extremely well with no worries of print detaching mid printing and ruin everything (I am using Z hop feature which makes chance of knocking off elements very small).

So, if you’re using Ender 3 v2 with its factory glass ceramic plate, give it a try and see how it works for you. It absolutely changed my work flow, not only I can churn out prints faster with less downtime between them, I also save on power because it barely has to heat up the printing bed and I also save power because my A/C in room doesn’t need to work harder.

Layer seams are annoying in 3D printing… Creality, do it inside model!

Quite some time ago I’ve bough myself a 3D printer. Because why not. Wanted to learn something and they are really cheap now, grabbed Creality Ender 3 v2 because it was super cheap and felt like it’s not a too big downgrade from Ender 3 S1 plus a great way to learn basics including bed leveling and stuff. I used to fabricate parts for years, but in reverse, by removing material from a block and carving it into desired form. 3D printing goes the other way, by adding material until it forms a desired shape. It’s sometimes more efficient and neat.

One thing I quickly noticed is a layer seam that happens at a point where 3D printer is changing layers. I get the reason behind it, what I don’t understand is how it’s done, with no option to get rid of it in the slicer itself. Essentially slicer software computes the printing paths and then just feeds it to printer via gcode so it’s irrelevant what printer it is.

What I can’t understand is why (at least on Ender 3 v2 in Creality Print slicer), there isn’t any option to make the seam fully on the inside of the printed model. You can only adjust whether filament is retracted on layer change which seems to improve things dramatically, but it’s still not it. You can also control where seam is preferred, which is by default designated to happen on the inside of the sharpest edge. Question I have is, why not have option “middle of the model” ?

Who says layer shift needs to happen on the outside edge? Or on the sharpest anything? Usually doing it on the corners, basically ensuring its visibility.

Just add option to slicer to create seam in the middle of the model on the infill. I don’t care if it takes a bit longer and uses a bit more filament, if it’s piling up material on layer changes literally in the middle of the model, I don’t care how ugly it is, it’s done on the infill which I don’t see anyway. Travel outside of the model, move nozzle in the middle of the model and change layer there and return printing to the outside uninterrupted, entirely eliminating any seam formation on the exterior of the model. It’s such a simple solution, yet at least Creality isn’t using it. Hm.