Welcome to the Farm: Our Custom Upgraded Creality Printers

At 3D Print Pittsburgh, we definitely have a love for consistency and quality. That’s why we have a high standard for everything we choose to use for our print farm, especially our printers! Through a lot of personal experience, we landed on the Creality Ender 3 Pro as our go-to printer. Between the inexpensive cost and expandability, the Ender 3 Pro checked all the boxes we needed for a custom, well tuned print farm.


The first factor we had to look at for building the print farm was cost. When you want to have a small army of printers running you don’t want to break the bank on the initial setup. This is why we chose to explore Creality’s printers as an option. Not only do they have a wide range of different printer models, the cost of each model varies to fit any budget. This allowed us to pick a great printer at a cost we were comfortable with.

Further on that range of printer models, we are able to expand to other printers that fit more specific needs as the farm grows.


Why the Ender 3 Pro? Why not an Ender 5 or something more advanced? Well, the beauty of Creality’s printers really lies in their open source machines that can easily be upgraded.

Through personal experimentation, our print team figured out the best combination of upgrades and add-ons to make the Ender 3 Pro work for us:

  • Our first upgrade for every printer is the silent driver board. Out of the box, many people complain of the noise of Ender printers when they’re running. Luckily, there’s a really easy fix for the noise by replacing the main board with an inexpensive silent board.
  • Next, all of our printers get a direct drive and high temperature hot end upgrade. This upgrade is mainly so we can work with the specialized industrial filaments our client’s projects demand.
    • The direct drive upgrade is a 3D printed part that shifts the filament feeder from the Z axis to being directly attached to the hot end of the printer.
    • The high temp hot end requires a few purchased parts that have a higher heat tolerance than the stock Creality hot end. This is crucial for printing with nylon filaments like carbon and glass fiber.
  • Finally, all of our printers get some 3D Print Pittsburgh branding. This doesn’t do anything for the performance of the printers, but it sure does make the line up look slick!


Because we need our printers to run so often, it’s important that they are reliable. The open source format of Creality’s printers means we have the freedom to repair and replace anything that might go wrong with them. Rather than work with a proprietary brand with highly specialized parts, we have a variety of options to get our printers back up and running faster.

Want to learn more about the exact upgrades we use to build our printers? Check out our other post The Recipe for a Perfectly Tuned Ender 3 Pro to find a parts list and detailed info about each upgrade.