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Ender 3 - Direct Drive Adapter

by benawhite Jan 28, 2019
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Thanks for sharing this great adaptor.
Is there any chance to get the motor to set out to the front 9mm ?
I am using the e3d petsfeng base and bullseye cooling. I have this bracket installed for the direct drive , and if it was set forward 9mm the it would line up perfect with the petsfeng ev3 ptfe hole.
Thanks for your time. If you have fusion 360 file I could mix it and repost.

Does this work with the v6 hotted?

Can you by any chance, share the step files as I would like to remix it a bit :-)

This look nice but one thing I need help with : how exactly you can ''splice'' a USB cable to lengthen the extruder cable ?

Are you still using your X-axis stepper damper with this setup?

Hi great looking design was going to go way of direct drive but bought a microswiss hot end and thought what waste if I bought one, but now
I can use it with your design

Your design has proven to be absolutely perfect for the last months. Thanks again for this awesome model!

I have a little (big?) request:

I had bought an E3D V6 hotend for my Kossel but due to space limitations, it's not really working good there. As it should work and I don't want to throw that much money in the trash, I have printed the E3DV6 mount for the bullseye and Ender/CR10. I took it from the buildplate and found that the entrypoint for the Filament into the hotend has moved forward quite a bit so that it cant be reached with the existing Adapter plate.
Would it be possible for you to make a revised adapter that fits the E3D V6 mount? https://www.thingiverse.com/download:5449926
The distance from the metal mounting plate to the Center of the hotend equals to the thickness of the mount (upper part) and is about 17.5-18mm.

Thanks a lot in andvance!


how did you extend the extruder motor cable? Did you bought or made your own? Trying to make it work

I used an old USB cable to extend the extruder cable. details are in the installation instructions.

im currently printing all of the parts out... are there any extra screws needed to assemble it? and i might make an assembly video once im done depending on how im feeling lol

An assembly video would be great :)
Here are the required things...

  • 2 x M3-20 screws
  • 50-60 cm of Old USB cable
  • Small heat shrink tube or electrical tape

have you considered posting an assembly video onto youtube?

life has been very hectic lately, but I would be happy to pay a video when I have a little time :)

Hi! I want to go and make these but I notice the way the mount fits on the wheels basically renders the X cable chain design here (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3545936) incompatiable. Could you by any change add in the cable chain part onto the model?

Ender 3 extruder cable chain (won't crash at max height or come loose.)

I only have m3 15 mm screws is it ok if i dont use spacer
or can you make a modified version for me please ?
Thaks for the design it seems very smart

I think the screws for the stock extruder need the spacer.

Beautiful job. Thank you. Will this fit the CR-10S as is?

I believe this works with cr-10 as well

Will it work with, or could you modify it to work with the bondtech dual drive extruder? I use the trianglelab clone of it.

I actually purchased the Bondtech gears only and created my own extruder with them. I'll see if I can track down the original Bondtech extruder specs and provide an alternate mount for it. Alternatively, I could also publish my updated extruder that supports the 8mm dual gear system.

Would be nice i have also a bondtech extruder ;)

Alrighty, do both if you can :) I rather stick to the full "bondtech" one i have and mount it on the bracket.

Check this out not to change subject but interesting 400% speed https://zesty.tech/products/the-nimble?variant=31732311297

Have you tried your mod at faster speeds just to see what happens?

I generally print pla between 60-80mm per second... I have not really pushed that any higher

Honestly thinking about this mod just struggling with its benefits other than loving to mod.

I think that's probably the best option if you're willing to sink $100 into a direct drive conversion.

Have you had any issues w/ creep/warping inherent in most plastics under constant stress? My E0 stepper runs in the 115F (46C) range.

I have not been running mine inside an enclosure, so I have not had any issues with heat. I'll post an update once I finish my enclosure and do more testing.

Nice design, I didn't know it was this simple to convert to direct drive! But doesn't the added weight decrease the performance of the printer (particularly the X-axis)?

Unless you are printing at high speed it should not impact the quality of the product any. So, it really depends on what you're looking to optimize your printer for.

Thanks! I want to print lots of flexible filaments. I've ordered an upgrade so I'll see if that helps, if not I might consider doing this upgrade some time, although I would prefer not to cut my cable :/

Is it possible to get a file that I can edit in Fusion? I am using an upgraded metal extruder, which does not fit this model.

Try using blender or meshmixer and see if any of them can convert the stl to the format fusion can read.

Is it okay to print this in PLA?

PLA works great... just use 3 or 4 walls and 30-40% infill

Just for info: doesn't FIT with e3d v6 & bullseye...

There should be no moire as a result of any of these mods, nice work you've done here. I'm gonna use the cable guide with my direct drive design. Well done. Here's my project https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3328971

Ender 3 Direct Extruder

Anyone had problems with massive moire effect after the direct drive conversion?

I don't think direct drive configurations have any impact on moire effect. I'll could cause ringing to appear if you have your speed up too high, but it's pretty minimal even when present.

Nope, also the original MK8 extruder created the same moire effect

my understanding is the best way to fight moire is to install TL-smothers

I mean it was there before, but less visible. So it did not create it. It may occur because I use the MK8 Metal extruder which has slightly other dimensions, causing friction. Ill try fitting the original ender 3 Extruder later today, and will provide feedback.

I'd love if I could use this with the EZR extruder. It has a fully contained filament path, stronger spring, and a nice hobbed roller set. The only issue is it need an additional 32-33mm of clearance between the motor and the hotend than the stock setup. Any chance of a design for that?


I'll check it out, but can't make any promises as I don't have one.

Nice design! Did you have to extend the able going to the extruder? Or did you just run it through the cable sleeve?

I needed to splice about 50-60 cm of an old USB cable into the extruder cable. see the directions for more details

Apologies, in all my enthousiasm I forgot to scroll down ^^

Comments deleted.

Hi, how do you get top rollers off? I can't get them off because of the locknuts.

you have to hold the nut with one of the provided wrenched while you loosen the screw from the other side

Yeah, I've done that, but the screws block at the very end before unscrewing. Is it some sort of factory defect?

maybe; is it just one giving you trouble or both of the top ones?

Both of them

Not a huge fan of the bullseye, any chance this would work with the Hero Me Gen2 (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3182917)?

From the pictures, it looks like there is enough clearance. If no one is quite sure, I'll go ahead and print it up and try :)

Hero Me Gen3 - CR-10/S Ender 3/Pro/5 OEM Hot-end

In case you haven't found it yet, this is compatible with hero me.


Ender 3 Direct Drive Mount Hero Me Edition

I added extra clearance to the design to accommodate, but have not tried it myself. If you do try, please let me know how it goes. Thanks!

Works fine, but the install was a huge pain. Had to take off the hot end, bend things back and forth, etc., so I don't think I'd recommend it. Once I'm done tinkering with it I'll probably take a bunch of measurements and figure out way to adjust for clearance and reprint, but it's working fine for now.

I use the hero me and just printed your direct drive adapter out. With a quick look of just placing it in the right area, it looks like the cable management tower on the Hero Me gets in the way.

I had to cut down the cable management to make it work

Good point... I had to trim the cable management on the bullseye as well.

Will do - printing everything tonight and should be able to test fit tomrrow.

Do you lose any of your usable z-height with this mod?

the z-height is unaffected. the stepper clears the top bar even with extruder knob added.

Thank you, I'm going to try this out

What are your retraction settings after the mod?


I'm using 2mm with good results. I still need to do a good comparative test with other values.

Printing with 2mm, 25mm/s retraction speed, no Z-hop now and looks like working even at 100mm/s printing speed (Klipper) .
One thing which I still don't understand: Why do you need to put the spacer between the stepper and the new bracket? Is it to keep heat away from extruderbody?

It was just so that the original mount screws did not bottom out in the stepper, no other purpose.

would you be able to upload your x end mount for the cable chain please? as it would be great for me as mine pulls to the side for some reason!

I just added the cable chain terminator. It was designed to work with johnniewhiskey's Ender 3 Cable Chain. I was not planning on releasing this, as it was one of the first things I patched together, but if it helps, I'll post it. If I have some time, I'll try to circle back and tighten it up some.

Ender 3 Cable Chain
Comments deleted.

Liking the design and thank you for the hard work, however I upgraded the Ender3 hotend to a Micro Swiss would this fit or would minor tweaks be required.

Yes it works with MicoSwiss. https://www.thingiverse.com/make:609713

Ender 3 - Direct Drive Adapter

Perfect. Thanks for posting your findings. I'll update the description accordingly.

I honestly couldn't say for sure... However, I suspect it would work with the Mico Swiss as it mount in the same place and because the extruder has a short Bowden tube connecting it to the hot end, providing a little wiggle room.

If you decide to give it a try, please let me know so I can update the description.

  • Ben

Many thanks for the reply Ben, as soon as I print this and fit it, I'll upload a picture an advise.

Does this work with the stock hotend enclosure?

yes, it works great with the stock ender hot end enclosure

Thanks! Printing right now

I'm a noob. What purpose does this serve? Looks awesome.

to quote from a quick google search :)

"One of the main benefits of a direct extruder is the very short distance between the drive mechanism (hobbed pulley or gear) and the hot end. A shorter distance gives better responsiveness to extrusion and retractions. ... Direct extruders generally have less/lower hysteresis than bowden extruders."

One other minor benefit is the ability to top feed filament into the extruder...
A simpler and more direct path for the filament removes the need for extra filament guides and whatnot.

Direct drive extruders work better with flexibles, and require less retraction