While factors such as print quality and maximum print size are the most critical deciders when selecting a 3D printer in most cases, it’s also worth thinking about the quality of life features that don’t affect the print itself but make the 3D printing experience better.
Especially considering that quality of life features are rapidly improving for many electronic devices all around us nowadays, there is no reason for 3D printers not to have these features either to make 3D printing a more enjoyable and accessible activity.
In today’s article, we will dive into one of the QoL features for the Ender 3 specifically, known as auto shut off, which, while isn’t recommended, can be pretty handy in scenarios where you have to leave your 3D printer unattended and would like to ensure that it shuts off.
So, does the Ender 3 have the capability to shut off after the printing process is over automatically?
While Creality’s Ender 3 does not offer the feature of automatically shutting off after finishing a print through its interface, it does power down the components that draw the highest amount of energy after the print, which are the hotend and the heated bed.
Next up, we will analyze the automatically shutting off capabilities of the Ender 3 in greater detail, find alternative methods to get the Ender 3 to shut down after a print entirely, and finally, discuss whether it’s suitable to leave the Ender 3 running overnight or not.
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Does the Ender 3 (Pro/V2) Automatically Shut Off After a Print?
There is no denying the auto shut-off feature is a useful one for almost any electronic device with the convenience it brings to the table, and a 3D printer is no exception to this.
Unfortunately, the Ender 3 does not offer a built-in option for automatically shutting off after completing the printing process, meaning that your printer will stay on until you manually turn it off.
On the other hand, the hotend and the bed of your Ender 3 will automatically power down after the printing process is over, meaning that the components that draw the most power won’t be operational while printing isn’t taking place.
Even though leaving a 3D printer unattended is not something we recommend due to the safety risks involved, having the option to get the Ender 3 to automatically power off after a print could definitely come in handy in some scenarios.
How to Automatically Shut the Ender 3 (Pro/V2) Off After a Print?
Fortunately, the Ender 3 not having the capability to shut itself off after a print does not mean we can’t make it happen, as there are plenty of alternative methods we can employ to get an Ender 3 to shut off as soon as it finishes the printing process.
Here are the different methods you can employ to get your Ender 3 to shut off after the printing process is over:
- Connect your Ender 3 to a mechanical outlet timer – A mechanical outlet timer is very similar to a standard wall plug, with the extra of a built-in timer that cuts the power off once the time runs out. By simply setting the timer to a value that lines up with the time the printing process will be over, you can shut your Ender 3 off automatically.
- Connect your Ender 3 to a smart plug – A smart plug is essentially an electrical plug that you can control programmatically, which can allow you to automatically shut your Ender 3 off after the printing process is over. As the process of configuring the smart plug heavily depends on the product you’re using, we recommend referring to the manufacturer’s documentation.
- Utilize the OctoPrint PSU Control plugin – The OctoPrint PSU control plugin allows you to specify an idle timeout period and a nozzle temperature point, automatically shutting down your Ender 3 when both of these conditions are satisfied. As an extra, it’s also possible to specify G-code commands that OctoPrint will issue to the printer before shutting it off.
The methods we have listed above are by no means the only ways to get your Ender 3 to shut off after a print, as practically every technique that allows you to detect that the printing is process is over and manipulate the power going to the printer will do the job.
With any method, ensure that you wait until the hotend has cooled down to room temperature before cutting the power off, as powering your Ender 3 off will also stop the fans and prevent the hotend from safely cooling down.
Should You Leave Your Ender 3 (Pro/V2) Running Overnight?
The fact that the process of 3D printing usually takes pretty long can make it impossible for your Ender 3 to complete a print during the hours that you are awake, especially if the model you’re printing is especially large and complicated, prompting the question of whether it’s a good idea to leave your Ender 3 running overnight or not.
As the Ender 3, or any other 3D printer for that matter, consists of moving parts that operate at very high temperatures, we do not recommend running it overnight due to the safety risks involved with the process that can lead to catastrophic results.
In fact, we do not recommend leaving your Ender 3 (or any other 3D printer) unattended in any shape or form while it’s operating, as the likelihood of a dangerous situation, such as a fire occurring, is a lot less if you keep an eye on your 3D printer during the printing process since you will be able to intervene quickly.
Auto shut off is a feature that we can find in almost every electronic device nowadays, ranging from computers to coffee machines, which saves us from manually shutting off the devices that we aren’t actively using.
In the case of the Ender 3, while an auto shut off feature that entirely turns the 3D printer off after the printing process is over does not exist right now, the hotend and the heated bed do power down, which are the two components that are responsible for drawing most of the power.
On the other hand, even though the Ender 3 does not have the auto shut off feature built in, there are plenty of methods we can employ to add this functionality in a relatively straightforward manner, which makes the absence of the auto shut off feature less of a problem.
Mike started his 3D printing journey with the Anet A8 when it first came out back in 2017, and has been obsessed with 3D printers ever since. Nowadays, he primarily uses his Ender 3 to print functional parts that make his life more convenient whenever possible.