How To Update/Install Ender 5 Firmware
With the release of the Ender 5 printer, its manufacturer, Creality, has since experienced a large following. This major hit brought along by the widespread purchase of the printer enabled its upgrade versions, Ender 5 Pro and Ender 5 Plus.
However, although the 3D printing community has embraced the Ender 5 printer, impressed by its new features and larger build volume, it is common to desire an upgrade of the firmware. The Ender 5 firmware, which is the program saved to the mainboard that interprets G-code from your slicer, can be updated/installed.
Reasons such as the addition of upgrades and mods, or the need for the latest firmware features on your printer can make you want to update/install your firmware. This article will therefore provide a step-by-step guide on how to update/install Ender 5 firmware.
STEP 1: Checking your Firmware Version
The first thing to do before updating your firmware is to check the one you have now. By going to the “Printer info” tab under “Firmware version”, you can see the version number based on Creality’s firmware. For instance, if you see “Ver 1.7”, that means at the moment you are using Creality’s V1.7 firmware.
Whether you want to update your firmware to a better version, or you simply want to change it to accommodate upgrades to your machine, these options are available:
- Slicer Software: With a slicer like Creality Slicer or Cura, you can easily update the firmware on your Ender Plus through the mainboard. This can be done with a USB cable connected to your machine’s mainboard and a firmware program in the HEX file format.
- Arduino IDE Software: You can also edit, build, and upload new firmware to your 3D printer through the Arduino IDE software by using a USB cable connected to the mainboard.
STEP 2: Finding the Best Firmware Options
It is important to note that before making the decision of what firmware version you want, and downloading it, you need to be sure of its compatibility with your Ender 5 printer. This is why you should thoroughly consider all the options provided below before finally downloading the one you prefer.
- Creality: This version of firmware is the official Creality firmware and it is based on older versions of Marlin, although it isn’t specified which exact Marlin version. The Creality firmware comes with your Ender 5, but since Creality updates it every now and then to catch up to the real Marlin firmware, the specific version may depend on when you purchased your printer. If it’s been a long time since you purchased your Ender 5 and you want newer stock firmware, you may want to install the Creality firmware on your printer.
With this firmware based on older versions of Marlin, you are guaranteed stability and reliability. However, the downside to this is that there's a lack of newer features like improved temperature measurement calibration, improved print quality & experience, etc.
To access the latest Creality firmware on the website, click “Ender Series Firmware” from the right sidebar. Then scroll down and expand “Ender-5 Plus 3D Printer”. The latest firmware is included in a RAR file that contains a preconfigured HEX file that can immediately flash to your mainboard without having to configure or build it. Also, remember to copy the “DWIN_SET” folder for the LCD screen’s firmware, and if you’ve upgraded your mainboard to the silent version, the latest firmware can be found on the Creality website.
- Marlin 2.0: This open-source firmware for FDM 3D printers was released in early December 2019. It is also the most popular printer firmware at the moment and is funded by donations. Due to it being constantly fixed and developed by enthusiast programmers, the Marlin 2.0 firmware has undergone several changes and is currently on 220.127.116.11. One of its most significant new features is its compatibility with 32-bit boards.
Marlin 2.0 is quite beneficial due to its availability of new features like improved thermal control, better linear advance, more control for the BLTouch Sensor in Ender 5 Plus, and controllable enclosure temperature. However, this firmware isn’t the most stable but it is to be expected considering the improvements and new features being included constantly.
You can get this firmware from Marlin’s website, although all firmware obtained there is unconfigured and you will have to build the firmware on your own to make it compatible with your Ender 5. This can be done by using the example configuration files for the Ender 5 on Marlin’s GitHub page and replacing the generic configuration files in the Marlin folder. To build your Marlin 2.0 firmware, you will need Microsoft Visual Studio (VS) Code as well as the PlatformIO and Auto Build Marlin plug-ins. You can also edit your firmware to account for upgrades or offsets in the process.
- TH3D’s Modified Marlin: This is another open-source firmware that is compatible with the Ender 5 printer and is quite popular as well. Since TH3D manufactures and retails 3D printer upgrades like dual Z-axis, bed leveling probes, etc, they’ve also made two unified firmware packages. The firmware packages are called Unified 1 and Unified 2. It is named Unified because it unifies changes from the original Marlin firmware and bug fixes with TH3D’s adjustments to easily allow for any TH3D upgrades you might have. The Unified 1 is based on Marlin 1.9, while the Unified 2 is based on Marlin 2.0 firmware.
While the Unified 1 firmware may not have the latest and greatest features that Marlin 2.0 offers, it is ultra-stable because it combines the older Marlin 1.9 with the even more stable bug-fix Marlin 1.9 firmware. The Unified 2 firmware is the best option if you want the latest and greatest features, and there’s even a version of the firmware specifically for Creality’s silent main board. The disadvantage to TH3D, however, is that functionality may be limited depending on the type of LCD display of our printer. Also, the linear advance feature might not work properly with either of Creality’s mainboards.
The TH3D firmware also needs to be configured by yourself just like the Marlin firmware and you can do this by copying and pasting files. Since it’s based on Marlin 1.9, Arduino IDE should be used to edit or build the firmware instead of VS Code. For the Ender 5 Plus printer, the Unified 2 firmware can be found at TH3D’s Help Center with everything arranged according to the types of mainboards under the Creality tab. The Unified 2 firmware is available for Creality’s V2.X and V4.2.7 boards, and VS Code is used to edit and compile the firmware.
- Kersey Fabrications’ Modified Creality V1.7: Created by Kersey Fabrications, a hobbyist and content creator for 3D printing, this firmware is a modified version of the Ender 5 Plus’ stock Creality V1.7 firmware. This modified version succeeded in solving a BLTouch offset problem and went ahead to improve other features for Ender 5 Plus’ firmware.
With the adjusted offsets for the BLTouch, during sensor probes, the sensor is in the middle of the bed instead of the nozzle which makes 3D printing easier. An additional configuration (HEX) file for the HeroMe Gen3 hot end mount, which requires different BLTouch offsets, was also added. Another change made to the Creality V1.7 firmware by Kersey Fabrications was the inclusion of linear advance which is a prediction feature for nozzle pressure that can improve print quality.
To download this firmware version, go to the Kersey Fabrications’ GitHub folder. You can download configurations for either the hot end setup or the HeroMe Gen3 setup. Also, to edit the firmware, the source code can be found on the GitHub page and you can use Arduino IDE to make the desired changes. Or, you can just upload the provided preconfigured HEX files.
- Jay Aristide’s Modified Marlin: Created by Jay Aristide, another 3D printing enthusiast, this firmware is a modified version of David Menzel’s Tiny Machines 3D firmware. It is based on early versions of Marlin 2.0 and many have commented on its reliability, making it their go-to option.
Some of the changes made to the firmware include adjustments to the feed rates and lengths which help prevent under- or over-extrusion, adjusted acceleration, and jerk settings to optimize printing results at a speed of 80mm/s- making it possible to print much faster without tuning the acceleration or jerk settings, and change probing offset for the BLTouch sensor with the sensor tip centered on the build plate rather than the nozzle.
Luckily, this firmware comes with a full set of instructions on how to properly configure and install this firmware. The Ender 5 firmware folder contains preconfigured HEX files for two different configurations of the printer, one for the stock version and another for the hot-end version. Additional programs and applications, like Printrun and XLoader, also need to be installed to change the firmware.
STEP 3: Updating/Installing Ender 5 Firmware
For Ender 5 Pro
- Visit Creality’s website and download the firmware you need.
- Rename the file you’ve downloaded as “firmware.bin”. Then, copy it to your printer’s SD card.
- Turn off your computer
Insert the SD card into the printer and power on the printer. It may take about 60 seconds to flash the firmware before the Creality logo appears, so be patient.
- Once the logo appears, you have succeeded in flashing the firmware.
For Ender 5 Plus
- Download and unpack the firmware upgrade you want from this website: https://www.creality3dofficial.com/pages/firmware-download. The firmware image will be provided in the mainboard directory as a ‘.hex’ file.
- If you don’t already have a copy of AVRDUDE, you can install it via homebrew as it is necessary.
- You will also need to have a terminal program that can connect to the serial port over USB as this will let you interrogate the printer before you start flashing.
- Be sure to find out which USB to serial chip is on the controller board and if your computer does not recognize the USB to serial port hardware, you’ll have to install another driver.
- Also, find out which controller your printer is using as this will allow you to know the exact part number to specify when running AVRDUDE.
- Know the type of programmer you need to use. You can find this out through the source code Creality releases for your printer or by contacting Creality, or Google.
- The next thing to do is to disconnect your printer from the mains and connect it to one of your USB ports. There will be a display and a new entry appearing in /dev with a ‘tty’ prefix. If the prefix does not appear, install the USB to the serial port driver.
- Interrogate your printer to open a connection to the controller. You can use a program like CoolTerm for this. Once communication through to the controller is active, you have the right baud rate and can shut down the terminal program.
- Finally, flash the software with the command: avrdude –c <programmer-name> -p <par-number> -b <baud-rate> -P <tty> -U <firmware-file>
Updating your Ender 5 firmware could be desired for so many reasons, but make sure you go through the different versions before settling on the best option for you. With the steps provided above, we hope updating the firmware has been made easy.
If you need additional support, you can search on YouTube, Red