The Wanhao Duplicator i3 is a great machine for beginners and experts alike. It’s an affordable 3D printer that features a heated build plate, full LCD screen, dual extruders, any type of filament imaginable and a vast knowledge base.
- 1. Upgrade to Wi-Fi connection
- 2. Upgrade the microdermal with an LCD screen
- 3. Upgrade to dual extruders
- 4. Upgrade to heated build plate (Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus)
- 5. Upgrade to dual Z-axis for dual extruders
- 6. Upgrade to Bluetooth
- 7. Upgrade to one-piece build plate (Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus)
- 8. Upgrade to one-touch calibration
- 9. Upgrade to auto-leveling (Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus)
The Wanhao Duplicator i3 was designed to be the best 3D printer for the price when it was first released in 2014. It’s been regularly improved on since then with new third-party developments and upgrades for people who want to enhance their printing experience further.
1. Upgrade to Wi-Fi connection
The Wanhao Duplicator i3 features a micro SD card slot which allows you to print directly from an SD card. One of the simplest but most useful 3D printer upgrades you can make is to a Wi-Fi connection.
Here, we’ll show you how to convert your Wanhao Duplicator i3 into a fully Wi-Fi enabled 3D printer. You’ll need to buy, from an online 3D printer store or on eBay, an SD card adapter that will let you connect directly to your 3D printer using Wi-Fi. You only need one adapter per Wanhao Duplicator i3 so if you have two printers, just buy the same kind.
Note: If you do upgrade to Wi-Fi connection, be sure to update the printer software. This is easy to do and if you’re unsure of how to do this, a quick Google search should bring you the support that you need.
2. Upgrade the microdermal with an LCD screen
The Wanhao Duplicator i3 features a small LCD screen that is removable. This can be very useful for accessing the printer functions or for troubleshooting purposes. You can replace the original screen with a much larger and more detailed one, just like many other people have done before you. The team at Wanhao have also added backlit support to the screen which is great for printing in darker conditions.
To install an LCD screen on your Wanhao Duplicator i3, you’ll need a spare micro SD card slot and a 3D printed LCD frame. Here’s how to do it:
- Remove the original acrylic screen from your 3D printer. You can do this by removing two screws from the bottom of the case and pull out the screen. Place it aside for later use.
- Download the Wanhao Duplicator i3 LCD screen converter.
- Print the Wanhao Duplicator i3 LCD screen frame. Place it on the SD card adapter and remove it from your 3D printer to see how it fits around the original SD card slot. You can check out our guide to downloading, installing and using your SD card adapter to print your own adapters in case you don’t have a 3D printer or want to create new ones yourself.
- Use a ruler to extend the x axis for your LCD screen frame file (Extend_x_axis.stl) by 3 mm on the right side. Cut off the excess at an angle so it fits the shape of the original SD card slot.
- Gently put your frame into place and secure it with four small screws (two on each side).
- Adhere your new touchscreen overlay onto your LCD screen using double-sided tape or a hot glue gun.
- Slide the new screen into place and secure it with four small screws.
- Test out the new screen by using an SD card adapter to print a few objects from Thingiverse.
- Upgrade your hotend with dual extruders
The upgrade that you make here really depends on what you’re looking to accomplish when it comes to your 3D printing skills.
3. Upgrade to dual extruders
The dual extruder upgrade allows you to print two different types of filament at the same time. This is great for experimenting with different materials, or even a specialized filament that you won’t be able to find in local stores.
There are many ways to go about swapping out your hotend for a dual extruder. Your options include buying an existing modification or simply printing one yourself using a 3D printer like our Wanhao Duplicator i3 Dual-Extruder Upgrade V2.
4. Upgrade to heated build plate (Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus)
The Wanhao Duplicator i3 has a heated build plate that can help keep your print stable and maintain your 3D printer’s temperature. Once this is upgraded, you’ll be able to print at any temperature. This is useful if you’re printing large objects with many layers or want to test out your settings on a spare part before printing on a full-sized object.
5. Upgrade to dual Z-axis for dual extruders
This option allows you to print with dual extruders and prints two different objects at the same time. This can come in handy if you want to print two similar objects at the same time, but don’t have enough filament.
You can do this easily by using a Z-axis spacer that is designed for dual extruder 3D printers. You’ll need to buy a new Z-axis spacer, or print your own using the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Dual Z-axis Spacer 3D model.
6. Upgrade to Bluetooth
With the new Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus, you can upgrade your 3D printer to Bluetooth and wirelessly connect to it from a compatible Bluetooth device like your phone or laptop. This will allow you to easily print objects without needing a USB cable or SD card adapter.
7. Upgrade to one-piece build plate (Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus)
You can replace the stock build plate on your Duplicator i3 with a one-piece build plate that includes an extra heat sensor. This will allow you to print larger objects on your printer, or set it and forget it without having to worry about how the plate is heating up.
8. Upgrade to one-touch calibration
The new Duplicator i3 Plus has a calibration tool that allows you to fine-tune your extruders using curves and measurements from our software. You can easily set things like nozzle temperature, extruder temperature, and fan speed with a single touch.
You can use this tool to learn how to print better, or adjust your settings for the perfect 3D printing experience.
9. Upgrade to auto-leveling (Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus)
The Wanhao Duplicator i3 has been regularly improved on since then with new third-party developments and upgrades for people who want to enhance their 3D printing experience further. Some of these upgrades include upgraded microdermal screens, new heated plate, dual extruders, and many more.