For this build, as the title suggests, we will be using a Creality Ender 3 Pro as our base. I have written before about the Ender 3 Pro printers (here and here) that I have, but here is a bit of information about why I like this particular printer. The Ender 3 Pro features a sturdy frame that is made of aluminum extrusions. The frame is easy to assemble and disassemble, which we will be doing the latter, but that will be for another post.

The BIGTREETECH E3EZ Manta Mainboard is a 32-bit control board designed for use in 3D printers. It features an ARM Cortex-M4 CPU with a clock speed of 120 MHz, offering higher processing power and more precise control than 8-bit or even slower clock speed 32-bit boards. My other Ender 3 Pro inspired printers are running the 32-bit Creality 3D Printer Ender 3 Silent Motherboard V4.2.7. It is a solid motherboard, and I have had no real issues with it. The Silent Motherboard V4.2.7 that I have been running, as I have mentioned in a couple recent posts (here and here), are using a custom-configured Marlin v2.0.x firmware. Out of the box, the Manta E3EZ runs Smoothieware firmware, but, we won't be using that, nor will we be using Marlin, we will, instead, be using Klipper.

One of the key features of the E3EZ Manta board is its use of EZ2209 stepper motor drivers. These drivers offer advanced features such as stealthChop2 for silent operation, spreadCycle for dynamic current control, and stallGuard4 for stall detection. This allows for smoother and more precise movement of the printer's axes, resulting, in theory, in higher quality prints. The Silent Motherboard V4.2.7 uses TMC2225 stepper motor drivers; these are much quieter than the HR4988 used on the 8-bit motherboard that originally shipped with a stock Ender 3 Pro.

In a previous post on BIGTREETECH's CB1 compute module, I mentioned BIGTREETECH's Manta E3EZ board as being a great combination for 3D printing. Even though I have a CB1 from the previous review, felt strongly that it would be a good choice, we will, instead, be using a SOQuartz compute module. Here is a quick run down on the SOQuartz. The SOQuartz module from Pine64 is a powerful single-board computer designed for embedded systems and IoT applications. It is based on the Rockchip RK3566 SoC, which features a quad-core Arm Cortex-A55 processor running at up to 1.8GHz, along with a Mali-G52 2EE graphics processor. The module being used for this project comes with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and and will be paired with 16GB of external eMMC storage. It also features a wide range of connectivity options, including Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, and support for up to two displays with resolutions of up to 4K@60Hz via HDMI and DisplayPort. Other features of the SOQuartz module include support for up to four USB 3.0 ports, a 40-pin GPIO header, and a dedicated AI accelerator for machine learning applications. With its high-performance specifications and versatile connectivity options, the SOQuartz module is a promising option for a wide range of embedded and IoT applications, like using it with a BIGTREETECH Manta E3EZ. The E3EZ will support just about any Raspberry Pi CM4 form factor. Why the SOQuartz? I have a strange adoration for things-Pine64. I like their boards and compute modules, I also love their Pinecil soldering iron (which happens to be powered by a RISCV processor). I have two ROCKPro64 single board computers running as network file storage on my home network; one even has four 10TB drives running in a (software)RAID5 configuration.

Let's get down to brass tacks and look more holistically at this project. We have already discussed the use of an Ender 3 Pro as our starting point, and using a BTT Manta E3EZ for control + Klipper; what else is going to be used? The following a list of parts, printers, primer and paint for this project.

Part Name Price
X-axis linear rail $110.76
Y-axis linear rails $49.27
Onyehn TL-Smoother Addon Module for Pattern Elimination Motor Filter Clipping Filter 3D Printer Motor Drivers Controller $11.99
BIGTREETECH Direct Nema17 Damper Stepper Motor Steel and Rubber Vibration Dampers with M3 Screw $17.99
AFUNTA 5 Pcs Flexible Couplings 5mm to 8mm Compatible with NEMA 17 Stepper Motors $10.99
Park Sung 3D Printer Heat Bed Leveling Parts,Silicone
Column Solid Mounts,Leveling Spring Replacement
[Gulfcoast Robotics] 235x235mm Aluminum Build Plate
and 24V 250W Silicone Heater 3-Point Heated Bed Upgrade for Creality Ender 3
PEI Sheet 235mmx235mm and Magnetic Sticker with Adhesive for Creality
Ender 3/Ender 3 Pro/Ender 3 V2/Ender 3 S1/Ender 3 S1 pro/Ender 3
neo/Ender 3 v2 neo/Ender 5/Ender 5 Pro/Voxelab Aquila 3D Printer
Zeberoxyz Upgrade 2020 Profile X-axis+4040 Double
Slot Profile Y-axis Synchronous Belt Stretch Straighten Tensioner for Creality Ender-3 Pro/Ender3 V2/CR-20 Pro
3D Printer Parts (X2020+Y4040)
BIGTREETECH EZ2209 V1.0 Stepper Motor Driver 5PCS
Stepstick Mute EZ2209 Compatible with SKR 3 EZ Manta E3 EZ 3D Printer Controller Main Board
BIGTREETECH Manta E3EZ V1.0 Mainboard 32 Bit
Silent Control Board Work with CB1/CM4 Support Klipper Drop-in Motherboard for Ender 3 Compatible with EZ2209
EZ5160 Stepper Motor Driver
Creality Sprite Extruder Pro, Direct Drive
Extruder Hotend Kit, 300℃ High Temperature Extruder Kit for Ender 3/ Ender 3 V2/ Ender 3 Pro/Ender 3 S1/ Ender 3
Max/CR-10 Smart Pro 3D Printers
Creality CR Touch Auto Bed Leveling Sensor Kit, Creality 3D Printer Bed Leveling Tool with Metal
Push Pin for Ender 3/Ender 3 V2/Ender 3 Pro/3 Max/Ender 5
pro/CR-10 with 32 Bit V4.2.2/V4.2.7 Mainboard
Official Creality New Update Ender 3 Dual Z-axis
Upgrade Kit with Metal Power Supply Holder, Stepper Motor and Lead Screw
for Ender 3 V2, Ender 3 Pro, Ender 3 3D Printer
Ruby Nozzles for 3D Printers MK8 E3D Prusa Ender3 (E3DV6, 0.4mm) $24.90
Used Creality Ender 3V2/Ender 3 Pro/Ender 3/Ender 3 Neo 3D Printer $171.20
Unrepaired Creality Ender 3 E 3D Printers Ender 3 Pro Upgrade $97.09
64GB eMMC Module $42.62
Threaded-Stud Rubber Bumper with Steel Base Plate - M8 x 1.25mm Size, 30mm OD,
15mm High, 220 lbs. Maximum Load - 3810N137 x4
Uncoated High-Speed Steel General Purpose Tap - Plug Chamfer, M8 x 1.25 mm Thread, 1-1/8" Thread Length - 8305A39 $9.20
Black-Oxide High-Speed Steel Drill Bit - 6.8mm Size, 109mm Overall Length - 2958A114 $4.92
Extra-Fine Marking Punch -
with 1/8" Point Diameter - 3451A32
Duttek Micro HDMI to HDMI Coiled Cable, HDMI to
Micro HDMI Coiled Cable, Extreme Slim/Thin Micro HDMI Male to HDMI Male Coiled Cable for 1080P, 4K, 3D,
and Audio Return Channel (1.2M/4FT)
Wells Lamont unisex adult 14inch PVC Coated Gloves, Green, 2 Count Pack of 1 US $8.20
Rust-Oleum 7793830 Stops Rust Spray Paint, 12 oz,
Satin Shell White
Custom Coat Self Etching Acid Etch Primer - 12.9 Ounce Spray Can - Gray $24.99
2 ALAZCO Soft-Grip Handle Heavy-Duty Tile Grout Brush
- Accid Proof Extra-Stiff Bristles - Narrow Brush for Hard to Reach Areas Multi-Purpose
Rubbermaid Commercial Products Standard Bus/Utility Box, 4.625-Gallon, Gray $14.99

Some of this was unnecessary. I did not need to buy two Ender 3 Pros, but the first one I bought was missing frame components and the second one's listing on eBay had photos of the actual contents. The second one will also give me an ample supply of spare parts for the other Ender 3 Pros I have in service. Other items that would be optional are the gloves, primer and paint. The intent is to use a caustic solution (like lye or Draino) to etch away at the anodizing on the aluminum. A coat of etching primer and then an off white paint job. So, what is the total of the above list? I'll just say that the total has crossed over into four-digit territory.

That's it for now. Look for parts two and three of this project build.