Upgrading and modding have been significant parts of 3D printing for a while now, whether it’s something simple such as replacing the spool holder, something slightly more complex, such as an extruder upgrade, or something quite advanced like switching the control board or the stepper drivers.
On the other hand, while rarer than the examples we have mentioned, we can consider converting the type of a 3D printer, which essentially indicates the replacement of a significant portion of its parts, to be the ultimate form of modding with the 3D printer turning into a whole new device.
In this article, we will investigate whether it’s possible to convert an already existing Ender 3 or an Ender 5 to CoreXY instead of having to purchase a new and separate CoreXY printer, which would allow the saving of a decent amount of money and prevent the old 3D printer from going to waste.
So, is it possible to convert your Ender 3 or Ender 5 to a CoreXY 3D printer?
While it’s a process that can take a lot of time, effort, and experience (definitely more than buying a new CoreXY printer), it is possible to convert your Ender 3 or Ender 5 to a CoreXY 3D printer as long as you have the correct parts, which are often sold in a complete set as CoreXY conversion kits.
Moving forward, we will examine the possibility of converting the Ender 3 and the Ender 5 to CoreXY in better detail, find out what type of printers Ender 3 and Ender 5 initially are, and finally, discuss the differences between the two most common types of 3D printers, CoreXY and Cartesian.
Can You Convert an Ender 3 (Pro/V2) to CoreXY?
While buying a separate CoreXY printer is always a possibility, if you are planning on exclusively using a CoreXY printer for the foreseeable future, converting your Ender 3 would be a great way to obtain a CoreXY printer without letting your Ender 3 to go waste.
Even though how the movement of the Ender 3 works is entirely different than how a CoreXY performs its motion, modding your Ender 3 in a way that will convert it to the CoreXY system is entirely possible due to there being many shared parts between both types of printers.
On the other hand, as the process of converting the Ender 3 to CoreXY requires experience, time, and the purchase of an Ender 3 CoreXY conversion kit that supplies the necessary parts for the conversion process, it’s not exactly as simple as buying a new CoreXY 3D Printer.
Unfortunately, as it stands, CoreXY conversion kits for the Ender 3 do not seem to be available on the market right now, with the only manufacturer who has supplied such kits recently, known as KAY3D, ceased their operations due to production issues.
On the other hand, the closest thing to a CoreXY conversion, a CoreXZ conversion (based on the Voron Switchwire), is available for the Ender 3 in various community repositories.
Please note that there is no premade kit for the Ender 3 CoreXZ conversion mod either, meaning that you will need to gather all the required materials yourself according to the BOM while ensuring that all the materials precisely fit the specifications listed.
Can You Convert an Ender 5 to CoreXY?
While the Ender 3 and the Ender 5 are pretty similar for the most part, with only a few minor differences to separate the two, the options available are somewhat different in the case of converting the 3D printers.
Similar to the Ender 3, the Ender 5 also operates entirely differently than how a CoreXY printer does (even though it’s often confused as a CoreXY printer due to the printhead moving on the X and Y axes with the bed moving on Z), but a CoreXY conversion is once again possible with the correct set of parts.
At the time of writing, a community-made mod named Mercury One for converting the Ender 5 to a CoreXY 3D printer, based on Voron (not the Switchwire model, which is a CoreXZ), is available, with some sites selling all the parts in the BOM as a complete kit.
While it will most likely run cheaper to gather all the materials yourself according to the specifications, purchasing a kit that is put together is the surefire way of ensuring that you do not face any problems finding some of the required materials.
What Type of 3D Printers Are the Ender 3 (Pro/V2) and the Ender 5?
As each 3D printer type has advantages and disadvantages of its own, knowing the type of your printer allows a better understanding of the areas where it is strong and the areas where it falls short compared to other options.
While almost every system, including popular ones such as CoreXY and Delta, technically falls under the Cartesian umbrella, printers that share the same type as the Ender 3 are often referred to as a Cartesian 3D printers, with some members in the community also preferring to call them Prusa-type or an i3-type 3D printers.
On the other hand, the Ender 5, even though it’s also a Cartesian 3D printer like the Ender 3, is often referred to as a reverse Cartesian printer due to it following a system where the printhead moves on the XY axis (which causes people to think it’s a CoreXY printer), and the bed moves on the Z-axis.
An example of a CoreXY printer would be the Ultimaker S3, which, while looking similar to an Ender 5 due to both printers having the printhead move on the XY axis and the bed on the Z-axis, has an entirely different system behind the movement of its printhead.
Converting the 3D printer’s type is one of the best ways to re-purpose a 3D printer that you aren’t planning on using anymore, as it allows you to obtain an entirely different 3D printer with distinct attributes for a fraction of the cost of buying a new one.
To quickly recap, while it may not always be feasible due to the amount of time, effort, and budget required for the process, it is technically possible to convert your Ender 3 or Ender 5 to CoreXY by purchasing a conversion kit that supplies the necessary parts to make the conversion possible.
On the other hand, as Creality does not officially manufacture these conversion kits, and as CoreXY conversions aren’t exactly the most popular form of 3D printing modding due to the complexity involved, it’s possible for the conversion kits not always to be available for sale.
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.