The Best Ender 3 Auto Bed Leveling Upgrades

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There’s a lot to like about Creality’s flagship budget printer, but as most models can’t auto-level, we can’t blame you for considering an Ender 3 auto bed leveling upgrade.

Automatic bed leveling is nothing short of a boon for makers; it saves you countless hours of tedious manual bed honing to achieve the best possible prints. For our money, it’s one of the best ways to level up the Ender 3 experience.

This page provides a breakdown of all your options if you want to take the plunge and install an Ender 3 bed leveling upgrade.

From the trusty BLTouch to an ultra thrifty Ender 3 auto bed leveling DIY upgrade, we’ve covered all the bases whether you’re running an original Ender 3 or any of Creality’s successor models.

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Ender 3 Auto Bed Leveling Breakdown

Here, we’ll break down what bed leveling provisions each version of the Ender 3 offers:

Ender 3 ModelAuto Leveling or Manual
Ender 3Manual leveling
Ender 3 V2Manual leveling
Ender 3 ProManual leveling
Ender 3 MaxManual leveling
Ender 3 S1Automatic bed leveling, CRTouch
Ender 3 S1 ProAutomatic bed leveling, CRTouch
Each Ender 3 3D printer, and whether it has manual or automatic leveling.

With this in mind, an automatic bed leveling upgrade only really applies to the Ender 3, Ender 3 V2, Ender 3 Pro, and Ender 3 Max. 

That said, you can swap out the CR Touch on the Ender S1 models for a BLTouch if you aren’t completely happy with it.

Read more: the best 3D printers with auto leveling

Best Ender 3 Auto Bed Leveling Options

BLTouch Ender 3 Auto Bed Leveling Sensor

  • Price: $50 for an Ender 3 auto bed leveling kit with wiring, brackets, extender board, and accessories — Check on Amazon here
  • Ender 3 compatibility: Ender 3, Ender 3 V2, Ender 3 Pro, Ender 3 Max, Ender 3 S1, Ender S1 Pro
Antclabs’ BLTouch Auto Bed Leveling Sensor for Ender 3

Antclabs’ BLTouch Auto Bed Leveling Sensor is by far the most popular Ender 3 bed leveling upgrade.

The BLTouch uses a contact-triggered push-pin sensor and hall sensor to measure the tilt of the bed surface and distance to the nozzle.

The printer saves the collected data, which it uses to make minor adjustments during printing to counteract any level discrepancies between parts of the bed.

Part of its appeal is broad compatibility with a vast cross-section of FDM printers, including the Ender 3 in all its incarnations, and build plate types, including metal, PEI, and glass.

And, more importantly, the accuracy of the bed leveling the BLTouch provides is excellent.

Note that if you’re installing the BLTouch on the Ender 3 or Ender 3 Pro, you’ll need to source an adapter board to cater to the extra ports required by the sensor.

Creality sells a complete kit – board, brackets, and all included – for around $50, though we’ve seen it drop to as low as $29.


Creality CR Touch Ender 3 Auto Bed Leveling

  • Price: $40 — Check on Amazon here
  • Ender 3 compatibility: Ender 3, Ender 3 V2, Ender 3 Pro, Ender 3 Max – newer 32-bit mainboard only, won’t work with 8-bit versions
The Creality CR Touch Ender 3 Auto Bed Leveling kit

It’s said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and the Creality CR Touch embodies the saying by borrowing the same push-pin probing technology and design as the market-leading BLTouch.

This being Creality, the CR Touch is priced lower than the BLTouch, making it a solid option for those looking for a slightly thriftier path to Ender 3 auto bed leveling.

As the CR Touch is designed specifically to pair with Creality printers, including the full Ender line-up, installing it on the Ender 3, whether that’s the V2, Pro, or any other model, is a walk in the park.

Creality provides three mounting brackets suited to the different Ender 3 printers and accompanying firmware to help get the probe up and running quickly.

Like the BLTouch, the CR Touch’s contact-triggered and Hall sensor combo ensures compatibility with all build plate types. Creality says the CR Touch delivers a positional accuracy of 0.04 mm.

While a great option for most Ender 3 owners, it is only compatible with newer 32-bit mainboards, specifically printers with 4.2.2 and 4.2.7 boards, and won’t work with the older 8-bit machines, such as older original Ender 3s.


SuperPINDA

The SuperPinda Prusa probe

If you’re looking for something different from the push-pin style sensors, Prusa Research’s inductive leveling SuperPINDA probe costs considerably less than the BLTouch and other copycat Ender 3 auto bed leveling products.

Aside from being more cost-effective, inductive sensors provide excellent accuracy and reliable Ender 3 auto bed leveling results.

However, due to the underpinning technology, which employs an electrical conductor inside the probe to detect magnetic fields on the build plate to determine the distance between the bed and nozzle, the SuperPINDA only works with a metal build surface. 

As such, it’s only compatible with the Ender 3 Pro, though you can upgrade the build plate on the Ender 3, Pro, and Max to make the SuperPINDA a viable automatic bed leveling upgrade.

Installation and firmware are also sticking points that may deter Ender 3 owners.

As the SuperPINDA is chiefly designed for Prusa printers, installing one on an Ender 3 generally requires 3D printing an adapted mount, creative wiring, and a deep dive into Marlin firmware to tune sensitivity and other parameters.

Check out this excellent YouTube tutorial for more details.


EZBL Pro

  • Price: $63
  • Ender 3 compatibility: Ender 3, Ender 3 V2, Ender 3 Pro, Ender 3 Max, Ender 3 S1, Ender S1 Pro
The EZBL Pro auto leveling sensor

The EZABL Pro is a capacitive auto bed leveling sensor developed by TH3D, a company known for offering all manner of premium add-ons and upgrades.

It doesn’t boast the same popularity as the BLTouch but is among the best Ender 3 ABL add-ons currently on the market.

It’s priced higher than competing ABL sensors but offers market-leading 0.01 mm accuracy and compatibility with all Ender 3s along with all build plate surfaces. Both the hardware and firmware are tuned and tested by TH3D to guarantee compatibility with all Ender 3 printers.

The EAZABL Pro also ships with its own control box, which, when paired with an optional power adapter, removes the need to dive into the Ender 3’s guts and tinker with the mainboard to install the sensor.

This makes it one of the easiest Ender 3 auto bed leveling installs out there, catering to makers put off by the soldering and wiring required to install alternatives like the BLTouch and CR Touch.

For a few extra dollars, TH3D will even 3D print the mounts for you with options for all the Ender 3 models available. 

Alongside, you can also buy an accompanying bootloader flashing kit that comes pre-loaded with the TH3D Unified Firmware package, an excellent Marlin-based firmware that’s rated among the best for those looking to move beyond the stock Ender 3 firmware.


DIY Auto Bed Leveling for the Ender 3

  • Price: $15-$20
brunoofporto's BFPTouch design from thingiverse

Though the relative affordability of even the most premium Ender 3 auto bed leveling kits makes the savings you’d get from a DIY upgrade not all that attractive, it is an option.

Like many DIY Ender 3 projects, a DIY ABL upgrade regroups 3D printed parts with a few choice low-cost manufactured parts. 

Thingiverse has several viable options, but we’re partial to contributor brunoofporto’s BFPTouch design, also known as the Poor Man’s BLTouch.

You’ll need a mini servo, pen spring, optical end stop, hardware, and 3D printed bracket mount. It functions like a Z end stop, using a springed contact trigger to determine the distance between the bed and nozzle.

We like the BFPTouch because it’s compatible with all bed surface types, highly moddable to suit your needs and specific Ender 3 model, and you can easily swap out parts as required if anything breaks or malfunctions. 

Depending on what parts you may have lying around, you can piece a DIY Ender 3 auto bed leveling sensor together for as cheap as $15, a world away from the $60+ asking price of the premium EZBL Pro and even the more affordable $26 SuperPINDA.

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