Although lauded for its massive print volume, superb print quality, and budget-friendly price tag, the Ender 5 Plus has some serious flaws. Mention the plastic extruder, stock Bowden tubing, or the noisy stock mainboard in owner circles, and you’ll likely be bombarded with complaints.

Based on a couple of years with the printer, I’ve gathered the best Ender 5 Plus upgrades to improve your experience.

The Ender 5 Plus upgrade I’d recommend for most owners to pick up first is a metal extruder. Creality’s MK8 all-metal will help keep your machine running smoothly and prevent filament jams for just $20.

Beyond that, I’ve found the Ender 5 Plus enclosure to be super useful for printing with temperature-sensitive materials, muffling the sound of the machine as it’s working.

There are also plenty of 3D printable DIY upgrades that will help you improve your performance for free – including fan upgrades and strain relief to protect your cables.

This guide covers all of the community favorite Ender 5 Plus upgrades designed to unlock the printer’s full potential and up your chances of print success.

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Ender 5 Plus Extruder Upgrade

Although perfectly serviceable, the Ender 5 Plus’ extruder plastic is prone to wear and tear with prolonged use.

The design often causes filament to eat away at the feeder entry point, leading to purchase issues.

In essence, filament coming in contact with the extruder can cause it to degrade, which if left unchecked can cause jams, clogs, and even see the filament wrap around the extruder gears.

By upgrading to a tougher and more durable all-metal extruder, you reduce potential maintenance down the line. Doing so also increases print success with flexible materials thanks to a smoother filament path that reduces scraping, breaking, and jamming issues.

Creality’s MK8 all-metal is a low-cost and straightforward option designed for easy installation on the Ender 5 Plus.

Creality's MK8 all-metal kit

It features all the necessary parts along with a Capricorn PTFE tube, another one of the most highly recommended Ender 5 Plus upgrades.

Direct Drive

The Ender 5 Plus Bowden system works well for standard filaments like PLA and ABS but tends to cause issues for flexible filaments like TPU.

A direct drive system allows finer control over filament extrusion and better retraction performance. It also removes the Bowden tubing, which often causes filament slips and clogs.

We recommend the Micro Swiss Direct Drive Extruder.

The Micro Swiss Direct Drive Extruder for the Ender 5

It recycles the existing extruder motor on the Ender 5 Plus and requires no modifications to the printer. The tight filament path, light aluminum body, and adjustable filament grip are also highlights.

Ender 5 Plus Enclosure Upgrade

The Ender 5 Plus open-chamber design can hamper your material printing options.

If you plan on using ABS or other heat-sensitive materials like ASA, an enclosure counts among some of the must-have Ender 5 Plus upgrades to avoid issues like warping. 

The best Ender 5 enclosures provide a high and stable thermal environment protected from drafts and temperature fluctuations, precisely what these filament types require to thrive.

Another benefit is that an enclosure protects the Ender 5 Plus from dust and debris while also acting as a noise barrier.

The Creality enclosure for Ender 5

It’s easily assembled, folds down for storage, and features a fire-retardant lining. Be sure to buy the large version to accommodate the printer and any other Ender 5 Plus upgrades you may have in mind.

Ender 5 Plus Hot End Upgrade

If you plan to chiefly use your Ender 5 Plus to print high-temperature filaments such as PC, Nylon, and PETG, upgrading to an all-metal hot end is a popular upgrade.

These are designed to sustain the required temperatures and do away with the PTFE tubing found inside the stock Ender 5 Plus hot end, which is prone to degradation at high temperatures.

There are many great options out there, but for convenience, we recommend Micro Swiss’ All-Metal Hot End kit for Creality printers. Installation requires no modifications as it matches the dimensions and mounting system as the stock hot end.

The E3D V6 all-metal hot end is a popular alternative.

Ender 5 Plus Nozzle Upgrade

While a standard feature on most consumer-level printers, the Ender 5 Plus’ stock brass nozzle tends to wear, especially under heavy use, which can affect print quality.

Shifting to a hardened steel nozzle or other tougher material improves durability while also extending the spread of compatible materials to include composite fill materials like wood-fill and abrasive filaments like metal-fill, carbon fiber-fill, and NylonX.

The Ender 5 Plus uses the MK8 nozzle standard size, so your options are pretty broad, and it’s hard to go wrong.

E3D’s V6 nozzles are well worth considering.

The e3d's v6 nozzle upgrade for Ender 5 plus

They are available in various configurations, including hardened steel, plated copper, and stainless steel to suit multiple filament types.

Ender 5 Plus Bowden Tubing Upgrade

Capricorn tubing has a smaller inner diameter, which improves retraction by reducing the space available for the filament to shift and move compared to the stock Ender 5 Plus Bowden tube.

This results in less strain on the filament, lowering the likelihood of clogs and jams. 

Additionally, Capricorn tubing boasts a higher temperature resistance than the stock tube, allowing you to work with higher hot end temperatures up to 275°C with no degradation.

It’s one of the most versatile and low-cost Ender 5 Plus upgrades out there.

While upgrading the tubing, we also recommend swapping out the stock Bowden couplers as they’re prone to loosening and don’t provide as tight a connection to the extruder and hot end as third-party options.

Capricorn’s Creality bundle is a good choice here. 

The tubing and fittings are also available as part of an all-metal extruder bundle from Creality, as we mentioned above, a cost-effective two-birds-one-stone upgrade.

Ender 5 Plus Mainboard Upgrade

The Ender 5 Plus can produce quite a din when working away on a print job, the blame landing firmly on the mainboard’s non-silent stepper motor drivers.

While this oversight on Creality’s part in this day and age is perplexing, you can turn the Ender 5 Plus’ motors whisper-quiet with a mainboard upgrade.

Creality offers a quick and easy solution with an Ender 5 Plus-specific ultra-silent board with TMC 2208 drivers. In dimensions and layout, it’s a one-for-one replacement for the Ender 5 Plus stock board.

It uses the same screws, mounting locations, and wiring, making installation very straightforward.

If you want an option with a bit more power for features like linear advance, Creality’s 32-bit 4.2.7 silent mainboard is a good option. However, installation is a bit trickier, and some Ender firmware tweaking gymnastics is needed.

You can also shift to a third-party option for roughly the same price, namely the excellent Big Tree Tech SKR 1.4 Turbo or SKR 2, and pair them with silent TMC2209 drivers.

They are vastly more powerful than Creality’s Ender 5 Plus ultra-silent board upgrade and more connectivity options.

Ender 5 Plus Build Plate Upgrade

Though the stock Ender 5 Plus’ glass bed is excellent thanks to its double-sided design, one smooth and the other textured, you may want to consider a textured PEI-coated build plate if you’re struggling with first-layer adhesion issues.

PEI is also a good option if you prefer the easy removal offered by a flexible plate and want to do away with clips with a magnetic plate. 

We recommend Creality’s Flexible PEI Build Plate.

Creality's Flexible PEI Build Plate

Otherwise, TH3D’s EZFLEX2 Flexible Print System is another stellar option, though pricier.

It offers superb adhesion for most material types and features a high-quality steel base. You can choose from both a textured or smooth PEI surface, too, when looking at Ender 5 Plus upgrades to the build plate.

Ender 5 Plus Raspberry Pi Upgrade

Pairing your Ender 5 Plus with a Raspberry Pi SBC allows you to integrate remote monitoring and control of your printer via a program like OctoPrint.

Functions include sending files to the printer wirelessly, on-the-fly settings adjustments, the ability to send advanced G-Code commands, and tracking of print progress via webcam.

Free 3D Printed Ender 5 Plus Upgrades

Bed Cable Strain Relief

Due to some questionable design choices on Creality’s part, the Ender 5 Plus bed cabling has no support allowing it to dangle and rub against the bed frame freely.

Over time, this can cause the cabling to fray, malfunction, and become a fire hazard. A bed cable strain relief mod is a simple, but vital tweak to the Ender 5 Plus.

It’s one of the easiest-to-install printable Ender 5 Plus upgrades.

While there are a host of options out there, we particularly like Thingiverse contributor BGDog’s cable support bracket.

You’ll need to source a pair of M4 nuts and M4X25 socket head cap screws for installation, but otherwise, the installation requires no modification to the Ender 5 Plus itself.

Bowden Strain Relief

Similar to the bed cabling on the Ender 5 Plus, the hot end cabling and Bowden tubing are unsupported as they feed into the print head.

This can lead to fraying and filament snapping issues. With a Bowden Strain Relief mount installed, you can easily avoid these problems.

Thingiverse user kawi63603’s Extruder Strain Relief model is a strong pick in our book, requiring a few screws and zip ties to work wonders for the cabling’s lifespan.

Light on filament and quick to print, it’s a highly recommended upgrade that even the most inexperienced maker can install relatively easily.

Fan Upgrade

Though the stock Ender 5 Plus fan setup is suitable for PLA and ABS at slow-ish speeds, it’s by no means ideal. There are two options to fix this.

Firstly, you can print a simple fan duct that mounts onto the existing print head assembly.

Gabriel3DCaster’s model works well, directing cool air to the tip of the nozzle. fpikus’ version works equally well and is installed using existing parts on the Ender 5 Plus, ideal if you don’t fancy a trip to the local hardware store.

Gabriel3DCaster's model from Thingiverse

The other, more drastic option is to replace the print head cooling system completely. This is a fairly major upgrade, so we recommend this only to seasoned tinkerers. 

Among the options out there, medianman’s Hero Me Gen6 is one of the most popular and arguably one of the best DIY cooling solutions for the Ender 5 Plus.

The chief benefit is that the mod directs cool air to both sides of the nozzle for superb cooling performance. It also supports a host of direct drive extruders and other upgrades, with a version suited to housing the BL Touch sensor found on the Ender 5 Plus.

SD Card Holder

An Ender 5 Plus SD Card adapter housing allows you to shift the micro SD Card slot to the front of the printer for easier access while also converting it to a more manageable and larger SD Card input.

It’s useful if not one of the 100% necessary Ender 5 Plus upgrades.

It’s also a must-have upgrade if you pivot to a non-Creality main board where the SD card is in a different location. With an SD card extension cable, you easily route it through the casing and housing to the front of the printer. 

We recommend Blueprinted Bulletproof’s version from Thingiverse. It runs from the micro SD Card slot to the frame on the front with M3 nuts bolts and T-nuts holding it in place on the printer’s V-slot.

Extruder Knob

If you want to feed and remove filament manually through the stock extruder and Bowden system, we highly recommend a chunky extruder knob.

Eak40’s version on Thingiverse works well with the Ender 5 Plus stock extruder and sits perfectly atop the drive gear. The valve-like design rotates smoothly and responsively.


If you enjoyed this article, check our other Ender 5 guides to get some more inspiration:

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