Which 32bit mobo should I get for my Ender 5?

If I cannot resolved the Y axis issue I’ve been having, I may have to consider replacing the mobo. Given that genuine Creality 8 bit boards are often more expensive than 32 bit boards, I would think 32 bit would be the way to go. But, which board would be the best choice? Opinions please.

The BigTreeTech SKR 1.4 Turbo is what I use on my Ender 5, but I printed an entire base to mount it the power supply, cooling fans etc. It is overkill and looking back I should have gone the SKR Mini board to fit into the original housing. I guess it comes down to what your goals are, if it is simply to get full menus and you are not going to change the stepper motors etc then the mini board is a good choice, if you want to change things then you need to consider drivers etc. Before you click buy on the SKR mini ask a few questions to your self, like, do I want to keep the original case that currently encloses your creality 8 bit board, do you want to upgrade steppers at a later date, do you want a touch screen, do you want to hook up a octoprint server, do you want it all hidden and dont mind printing a case, do you want LED lights controlled by the board where you can make it Green when its cold, Red while warming up and White when it is print ready. I personally printed a case for the entire base designed by TeachingTech and specific for the Ender 5 frame so holes etc line up, there is a modified version that someone made that houses everything and has the screw holes perfectly aligned. Please let me know what your looking for and I can help save you some time and frustration

Thanks so much for your reply Drone_Pilot. Saving time and frustration, “talking” to fellow posters, sharing the communal experience are all reasons for me to participate.

My most urgent issue is to figure out how to get rid of the random failure of the Y axis stepper. To clarify, on most prints, the Y axis will suddenly stop working, and I’m not alone. There is topic in the forum at octoprint.org where a number of people are having exactly the same issue with their Y axis. Quite a few troubleshooting steps have been taken, but you can hop over to octoprint.org if you want to know more.

Anyway, the upshot is that the printer is almost unusable ATM. I have a call in to the vendor about it… no reply yet. My successful print rate is probably less than 40%.

My own feeling is that the issue is heat related. I think, probably, Creality didn’t pay enough attention to cooling the TMC2208 stepper driver chips when they designed the Silent 1.1.5 board. The TMC2208 chips run quite a bit hotter than the ones on the 1.1.4 board. I was also thinking I might want a board that uses the TMC2209 chips, because I understand they run significantly cooler than the 2208s.

So, in the planning-for-the-future vein, I’m looking at what boards might be suitable to replace the 1.1.5 if I’m unable to get satisfaction from the vendor (which I should get, because the printer is 1 week old). I do want the issue resolved as soon as I can because I have things I want to print, while it’s still not winter.

So, to specifically respond to your questions: [LIST=1]

  • [I]do I want to keep the original case that currently encloses your Creality 8 bit board?[/I] preferably yes.
  • [I]do you want to upgrade steppers at a later date?[/I] probably not. I have found the resolution of the Ender 5 Pro pretty satisfactory (I assume that would be the purpose of upgrading the steppers?).
  • [I]do you want a touch screen?[/I] most likely not. It probably wouldn't be big enough for my fat fingers.
  • [I]do you want to hook up a octoprint server?[/I] I suspect not. I'm retired, so I don't have a need to be able to monitor or control the printer from outside my home.
  • [I]do you want it all hidden and dont mind printing a case?[/I] I don't care about hidden, but I think a case might be a possibility. I have a spool of nylon filament & one of ABS (both sealed & unopened). I want to use them to make parts for different, but specific, purposes. I gather they both require higher temps, and can create noxious fumes, so enclosing the chassis might be good to keep heat & fumes inside. Of course, I've never done this, so what do I know? Please correct me if I'm way off base. I do realize I will have to change the hotend for a full metal one.
  • [I]do you want LED lights controlled by the board where you can make it Green when its cold, Red while warming up and White when it is print ready?[/I] hmmm, probably not?? What I would like is some lighting that would make it much easier to see the model while it's being printed. It's not a priority, so I haven't really thought about it, but someday maybe. [/LIST] Of course, all the other advantages of a new board are an enticement: 32 bit, more memory, even better stepper drivers, inbuilt bootloader, potentially WiFi so I don't have to do the SD card shuffle, and, most importantly, no more random dropout of the Y axis.

    I might also want to convert the extruder to direct drive. I suppose that would affect the design of any case.

    Again, thanks very much for your reply. You given me some info to chew on for sure. BTW, I should be receiving a cheapo drone from Hong Kong in the next week or two. It landed in North America a couple of days ago.

  • I upgraded my Ender 5 with a Th3d Ezboard. (TH3D EZBoard V2.0 - For Creality/Sovol Printers - TH3D Studio LLC) Yes, the board is expensive but I think the guys at Th3d do an excellent job in optimizing the firmware for Creality printers and support an online configuration tool that takes a lot of the challenges out of setting marlin options.

    They also regularly upgrade the firmware build and provide good support for a complex upgrade. I did a video about this upgrade you can find here:

    [video=youtube_share;M-Evp6oi_UY]Creality Ender 5 Ultimate Upgrade - YouTube