Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide
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Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

The Ender 3 S1 is much easier than the Ender 3 V2 to set up since many of the components come pre-assembled and pre-wired. The full process typically takes about 15-30 minutes depending on your experience level, and only requires the Allen wrenches that are included with the printer. There are a couple things to be aware of that will help make the process go smoothly, which we’ll go through in this step-by-step guide.Note: If you have an Ender 3 S1 Pro or S1 Plus, you can still use this guide since the assembly process is almost identical.


Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

The top insert protects the printer and contains the smaller components.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

The main components of the printer are packaged under the top insert.

The Ender 3 S1 is securely packaged in foam box inserts. Remove the pieces from the top insert, then remove the insert itself to reveal the main pieces of the 3D printer. Remove the gantry frame assembly from the box, then you’ll be able to remove the printer base assembly from the box. The printer also includes a set of tools and hardware you’ll need to assemble the printer, an SD card with some ready-to-print files, and some sample PLA filament.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

We’ll use these terms when referring to the various parts of the assembly process.


1. Mount the Extruder Assembly to the Gantry Frame

The Ender 3 S1 includes a direct drive extruder that comes fully assembled. You’ll just need to mount it to the gantry using the 4 M3x6 screws (smallest screws). Align the 4 holes on the extruder assembly with the extruder carriage, then use the M3 Allen wrench to tighten.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide
Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

2. Mount the Gantry Frame to the Printer Base

The Gantry Frame is mounted using the 4 largest screws, two on each side of the Printer Base. The screws are inserted underneath the printer base, so we recommend installing it by resting the printer base on its side, allowing both pieces to rest while you insert the screws.

When mounting the frame, ensure that the 2 Z-motors are facing the rear of the machine where the Y motor and bed wire is located. Tighten these screws snugly to ensure the best print quality.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

We found it easiest to lay the printer on its side to attach the gantry frame. Make sure the Z motor wires are pointing toward the rear.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Insert the 4 screws into the holes on the base.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Use the largest Allen wrench to tighten each screw. We found it helpful to prop the printer up on packaging to access the lowest screws more easily.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Be sure to tighten these screws well! It is important that the gantry be very rigid to ensure quality prints.

3. Mount the Screen

Mount the screen bracket to the front right side of the 3D printer using the 3 M4x18 screws. Plug in the LCD ribbon cable to the port at the back of the screen, then slide the screen into the bracket.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

The LCD mounting bracket mounts to the front left of the printer.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Attach the bracket with the 3 M4 screws.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Plug the ribbon cable into the LCD.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Mount the LCD by sliding it down onto the bracket.

4. Mount the Spool Holder

The spool holder comes in two pieces that attach with a twist lock mechanism. Once assembled, the spool holder snaps onto the top of the gantry frame. To mount it, first, clip it in, then push down to snap it in, which requires a bit of force.

Once assembled, plug in the filament runout sensor into the nearby ribbon cable.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Install the filament holder as shown.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Plug in the filament runout sensor.

5. Connect the Extruder Ribbon Cable

Before connecting the extruder cable, hand-twists the Z motor counter-clockwise to lower the extruder by about 1-2 inches, which will make the cabling easier to install. Once lowered, slide the cable into the small cable bracket piece using the included tag as a guide. Once connected, slide the cable bracket onto the rear left side of the gantry.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Twist the nut counter-clockwise to lower the extruder 1-2 inches to make the cable easier to install.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Insert the cable bracket onto the rear of the left side of the gantry.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Slide the cable into the bracket using the label image as a guide.

To connect the extruder cable, open the two locking levers and push the connector into the extruder port. Be sure that the extruder cable is running under the top beam of the gantry. Close the levers to secure the cable.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Plug in the extruder cable.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Tuck the edges of the cable into the bracket on top of the extruder. Note that the cable should be running under the top extruder beam.

6. Connect the Remaining Electronics Cables

Most of the remaining electronics are already wired, but there are a few more cables you’ll need to connect:

  • Z motor cables

  • Filament detector cable

  • X end-stop and motor cables

First, install the Z motor cable wires and the filament runout cable on either side of the gantry.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Remove the tape holding the cable and plug it into the left Z motor.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

The filament runout cable is taped to the right side of the gantry and can be hard to spot.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Remove the rubber stopper from the nearby ports, and plug in the Z motor and filament sensor cables as shown.

Now, connect the X endstop and motor cables, located on the left side of the gantry.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

The X end-stop cable is on the underside and can be tricky to spot.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Connect the nearby X motor as shown.

Before plugging in the printer, ensure that the mains voltage is set correctly for your region (for USA, 115V). This is set using a switch on the rear of the printer, but you’ll need to remove a sticker to access it. Since the switch is recessed, use an Allen wrench to toggle it if needed.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Remove the sticker to access the power supply voltage switch.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Use an Allen wrench to toggle the switch, if needed.

The Ender 3 S1 is now fully assembled! Next, it’s time to test the printer out and start a print.

Testing the 3D Printer Hardware

Connect the included power cable to the power supply and plug it in, then power on the printer using the switch next to the power plug. Note that the power supply fans will not start spinning until needed. If the screen does not show anything, power off the printer, and then check for these two common issues:

  • Check that you set the power supply to the correct mains voltage (115V in the USA, see step 6 in the assembly section)

  • Check that you plugged the LCD cable into the screen (see step 3)

Once the screen shows the main menu, the best way to test that all the motors and end-stops are connected is to auto-home the printer, which moves all three axes to their starting points by hitting the end stops and testing the auto-leveling sensor.

To home, push the control wheel to access the menu, then select Prepare >> Auto Home. (rotate the wheel to select options in a menu).

  • If you notice that any of the axes don’t move, check that the corresponding motor cable is completely plugged in.

  • If you hear grinding from any axis, note the source of the sound, then turn the printer off. Check that the end stop for the problem axis is plugged in securely.

If you had any problems, auto-home the printer again after resolving the issue to make sure everything is working properly.

Finally, test that the heat bed and nozzle are working correctly by heating both. You can do this quickly using Prepare >> Preheat PLA. Once selected, watch the temperatures of both the nozzle and the bed to ensure they reach the set point and maintain their temperature.

You’ve now verified that the Creality Ender 3 S1 is working! Next, we’ll level the print bed and try a test print.

Leveling the Bed

Leveling the bed of a 3D printer is the process of calibrating the height of the print bed to ensure it is the correct distance from the print nozzle across its entire surface. The nozzle needs to be far enough away from the bed that there is a gap for the filament to come out, but also be close enough that the filament sticks to the bed. Getting the leveling as accurate as possible will improve print quality and reduce failures. The built-in Auto-bed leveling sensor on the Ender 3 S1 makes this process much simpler than previous models. To level the bed:

  1. Auto home the printer using Prepare >> Auto home.

  2. Place a sheet of paper under the nozzle, then move the Z position (Prepare » Move Axis » Move Z) to 0 (the auto home will end with Z around 10mm).

  3. Select Back, then select Z Offset. Decrease the value by 0.1, then press the wheel to move the nozzle to the new position. Continue adjusting in small increments until you can move the paper under the nozzle, but feel some resistance. If the paper will not move, you’ve gone too far and should increase the Z offset.

  4. In the same menu, select Disable Stepper to unlock the motors, and adjust the bed level at each corner.

    1. Move the nozzle to a corner of the bed.

    2. Place your sheet of paper and adjust the leveling knob until you feel some resistance when moving the paper.

    3. Repeat on each corner.

  5. Now that the bed is level, fine-tune your Z offset by repeating step 3.

  6. Power the printer off and back on, then auto-home the printer and verify that the nozzle is positioned correctly after moving it to 0 in Z.

  7. Select Level on the main menu to perform a 16-point mesh leveling calibration, which will allow the printer to adjust for any slight imperfections in the bed leveling.

Loading the Filament

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Our initial TPU print had some defects, but we were pleased with how easy it was to print. On our other machines with Bowden extruders, TPU is hard to print, often jams, and has significant stringing.

There is one last step before you can start printing: you’ll need to load the filament into the extruder. You can use the small sample of PLA filament that is included with the printer or buy a full-sized roll. We recommend that you start with PLA filament since it is the easiest to print and is great for most applications. Make sure you order 1.75mm filament—there is also 2.85mm filament which will not work with this printer. Fortunately, most filament on the market today is 1.75 mm.

Since the Ender 3 S1 uses a direct drive extruder, it is well-suited for printing flexible filaments, the most common of which is TPU.

Before feeding the filament, heat up the nozzle using Prepare » Preheat PLA on the menu, and wait for it to reach the temperature. To feed the filament, place it on the spool holder, then push the end through the filament runout sensor and extruder while squeezing the finger lever on the extruder. Make sure the end of the filament is straight before doing so to ensure it feeds smoothly. Once the filament is past the extruder, continue feeding it until you feel some resistance. You should see some filament coming out from the printer nozzle, meaning the filament is fully loaded and you are ready to print.

Running a Test Print

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Selecting a test print from the provided test files on the SD card.

The SD card included with the printer includes some 3D models you can print, which is a great way to make sure everything is working as expected. We started with the cat print (select Print >> Cat), which shows the printer’s capabilities for handling small details and takes approximately 2-3 hours to complete. The printer will heat up first, then auto-home, then begin to print. It’s important to watch the first layer as it prints to be sure that the printer is leveled correctly. If you see the plastic peeling up or see the nozzle dragging across the bed surface, stop the print and follow the process above for leveling the bed.

Once you have printed one of these files successfully, the next step is to print your own 3D models, which you can find online from sites like Printing these models will require you to use slicer software to get them prepared to print. Slicer Software is what converts a 3D model into commands for the 3D printer, or Gcode. The SD card includes Creality’s slicer software, Creality Slicer. We prefer using Cura since it is more widely used by the 3D Printing community and has more testing and support.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Our completed cat test print showed that everything on our Ender 3 S1 was working properly.

Printing Your Own Models

We recommend downloading the latest version of Cura from to get started. Once you download and install the software, you’ll see prompts to select your 3D printer model. The Ender 3 S1 isn’t listed as of this writing, but you can use the Ender 3 profile without issue. You will need to change a few settings since the Ender 3 S1 uses a direct drive extruder:

  1. In the right pane, type “retraction” into the search field to show the relevant settings.

  2. Change the Retraction Distance to 0.8mm.

  3. Change the Retraction Speed to 45 mm/s.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Series Guide

Configuring the retraction settings in Cura for the Ender 3 S1 for PLA filament.

You can now prepare a 3D model file, or STL file, to be 3D printed:

  1. Drag the STL file into Cura. You can find models to print on the included SD card or online from websites such as

  2. Click Slice to generate the Gcode printer commands for the model.

  3. Insert your SD card into your computer, then click Save to Removable Drive on the bottom right.

  4. Once completed, you can move the SD card to the printer and print using the Print menu.

You can print many things with the default slicer settings, but it’s a good idea to learn more about the various printer settings and how they will impact the results.

Origin of the article: crealityexperts


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