TH3D EZBoard Lite Board Upgrades Ender and Creality CR-10 3D Printers

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The basic setup of Creality 3D’s very popular Ender and CR-10 series 3D printers now have a drop-in board upgrade that is poised to rival printers that cost many times more than the Creality models. The original board only utilizes the ATmega2560 microcontroller, the A4988 stepper motor drives, with those cheap Chinese capacitors. The board runs Marlin 1.x open source firmware.  This setup is very close to the Arduino Mega 2560 and the RepRap RAMPS 1.4 board which are some of the most common and simplest board combinations in the world.

The upgrade from TH3D, is the EZBoard Lite, makes some very important changes to the overall board ability, scalability and functionality. The physical process of upgrade is simple and easy. The outcome is an increase in speed and functionality that is comparable to 3D printers costing 5 to 10 times as much.

EZBoard Lite V1.0
Click to Enlarge

Features

Easy Drop-In Installation

      • No Soldering
      • No Wire Cutting
      • No Printing of Adapter Parts

Multiple Creality Model Compatibility

      • CR-10 & 10S (Reg., Mini, S4, S5)
        • Needs the Creality Dual Cable LCD Adapter Board
        • DOES NOT Work With Touch Screen Models
      • Ender 3, 3Pro, 5

Silent Trinamic TMC 2208 Stepper Drivers Running at 1/256 Stepping

      • UART enabled for driver configuration and data
      • Change Modes with the LCD or GCode
        • StealthChop2
        • SpreadCycle
      • Change Motor Current (VREF) From LCD or GCode
      • SpreadCycle and StealthChop2 take 1/16 signals from the CPU and interpolates them to a 1/256 which creates smooth motor control

4 Layer PCB with 2oz. Copper for Durability and Heat Dissipation

      • TMC 2208 Drivers Require a 4 Layer PCB and 2 oz. Copper
      • Boards that use 2 layers and 1 oz. Copper when using TMC 2208s tend to overheat over the lifespan of the product

TH3D Unified Firmware 2.0

      • Based on Marlin 2.0
      • Easy Printer Setup like the Unified Firmware customers are used too
      • GPL V3 Source Code Provided to EZBoard Customers

32 Bit CPU for the latest Marlin 2.0 features currently and in the future

      • No slowdowns when running all the latest Marlin features
      • No USB printing bottleneck like the 8-bit boards

MOSFETs over specified for cool operation and longevity

      • Handles over 50A of power per MOSFET

Dual Controllable Fan Outputs

      • FAN 1 – Layer Fan Output
      • FAN 2 – When connected to the Hotend and Controller fan, will shut off when not printing

Compatible with single and dual cable Creality LCDs

      • Dual Cable requires the Creality Dual Cable LCD Adapter board

Other On-Board Connections

      • Servo header for BL Touch Use
      • Filament Sensor Connection (works with the EZOut Sensors)

Additional Features Include

      • Works with the EZABL Kits (all versions)
      • Includes the Dual Z Stepper adapter cable for machines with 2X Z Motors

The reason there is such a drastic improvement to the quality and speed is the use of TH3D EZBoard Lite uses silent Trinamic TMC2208 stepper motor drivers, much higher quality capacitors, and a 32-bit Arm processor that supports the Marlin 2.0 open source firmware.

It is easy to see, in the control box, where the board would be placed, and how the connections are made. Marking the connectors with a number or label would be advised, but it is well laid out and almost exactly the same layout as the original board, making the upgrade a smooth and effortless process.

The quality of the resolution is smoother with quite a bit more accurate microstepping and interpolation, where sub-microsteps are reached. Overall the increase in quality should be outstanding and the overall improvement in speed significant, so that this board outperforms those comparable 3D printers offered today and makes the CR-10 and Ender series even more desirable choice for the enthusiast or professional alike.

You can pre=order EZBoard Lite for $89.99 on the product page with shipping slated for June 19, and more details may be found in a Reddit discussion.

Thanks to Andreas for the tip.

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SeanAndreasBester42David WillmoreXtract Recent comment authors
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A little bit expensive compared to other solutions. Yes, it is drop-in for the crealitys, but does not allow replacing the steppers (which is a must for me!)

David Willmore
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David Willmore

Looked good until they droped in the NXP processor. Then I knew the cost was going to be prohibitive. Yep, there it is…. *sigh*

Thanks for the summary, Stephen!

Andreas
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Andreas

It appears that there is already a clone of this board available called FYSETC Cheetah which has the newer TMC2209 drivers.

https://wiki.fysetc.com/Cheetah_Board/

Assume that FYSETC Cheetah Board does probably not use an electrically safe design, however, it less than $32 on Aliexpress

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33041975057.html

One reason why TH3D EZBoard Lite is expensive is that designed in the USA using quality parts with electrical safety in mind.

Andreas
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Andreas

And yet another China-clone of this board has been announced in the form of BIQU BIGTREETECH SKR MINI-E3

https://www.reddit.com/r/BIGTREETECH/comments/c0hdht/bigtreetech_skr_mini_e3_done/

TMC2209 steppers and 32-bit STM32F103 MCU but running at a lower frequency than TH3D EZBoard Lite.

David Willmore
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David Willmore

Now that sounds like a better design. As long as they didn’t mess up anything in the thermal or power design.

I’ve had good luck with BIGTREETECH parts. Not so good with FYSTEC.

Andreas
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Andreas

Yes BIGTREETECH parts do have a better reputation and also actively contribute to upstream Marlin.

One big downside to those new China-boards is they only claim to support the Ender-series by Creality.

Technically I would think they could also support basic CR-series models too, like CR-10 & CR-10s

David Willmore
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David Willmore

Yeah, if it has endstops, steppers, a hotend heater, a bed heater, and some thermistors, what’s the difference? Maybe I’m just too used to swapping controllers amongst different printers.

Andreas
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Andreas

Quality is still a big difference, at least what I read on Reddit. TH3D EZBoard uses a 4-Layer PCB with 2oz Copper design for better durability as is the heat dissipation designed recommended by TMC for its TMC2208 & TMC2209 stepper drivers because their heat is dissipated down underneath the module instead of on-top so just putting a heatsink on-top is wrong from a heat dissipation design point of view. All other Chinese-boards use 2-Layer PCB with 1oz Copper design to keep the cost down which will cause the board to overheat in the long run when using TMC2208 & TMC2209 stepper drivers so should lessen the lifespan of those other boards. TH3D EZBoard also uses original branded high-quality parts, including high-quality capacitors and higher rated MOSFETs (50A+ of power per MOSFET), while most other Chinese-boards use unbranded or cheap capacitors and lower rated MOSFETs. You will not need to use TL Smoothers for that TH3D EZBoard board. TH3D EZBoard should be electrically safe and be less likely to burn down your house. And again, TH3D is well known for making a very solid Marlin firmware package for Creality Ender-series and CR-series of printers so you can expect well-tested releases and regular updates.

Sean
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Sean

So sick tired of China…
Dirty thieves…
Even more tired of Socialist Democrats and the Lack of ATTACKS ON CHINA, E.U. AND FED… NOT TO MENTION EMBOLDENING THE ILLEGAL FOREIGN NATIONALS AND COLLUDING WITH THEM TO ILLEGALLY VOTE…SICK…
Thank Goodness for President Trump!.

Bester42
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Bester42

One error in the article: The creality boart, even the expansive “silent” version, do not have ATmega2560 but only the smaller brother with halve the flash size.

The TH3d board – same as the upcomming skr mini e3 – is a solution for beginners. The only realy “new” features compared to other 32bit-boards are:
– same form-factor as the creality board
– firmware configured for the popular Ender 3/3pro/5 printers ready to use available (no need to configure yourself)
– ender 3 display connector

So realy a 1:1 replacement board.

For the SKR mini e3 also:
– TMC2209 with serial communication, so no tinkering withpotentiometers to set motor current.

So it is the most beginner friendly solution for improving the popular ender3. Also it add most requested features like easy add a bed leveling sensor, filament sensor runout and lighning.

I think it is a great idea. While tinkering on 3d printers is a hobby of its own, many users of the Ender3 do not want to tinker at thee printer but use it for printing. So a 1:1 replacement is a very good idea.

Sadly the SKR mini e3 have some leading time, as the TMC2209 are only delivered in smal amounts for development now. The mass production will start in july.

But you can buy the skr mini e3 at aliaxpress now (and at midsommer-sale it is now less than 25€ using coupons).

Normaly I do not like early announcements. But in this case it is good to know early, as many youtubers present crealitys (creapy and expansive) “silent upgrade”. So knowing about cheaper and better solutions if you are willing to wait some weeks is very good.