The best 3D printers aren’t the simplest gadgets, but they rank among the coolest. The best printers can produce outrageously complex objects and are getting more impressive by the year. But to ensure your printer is operating as well as it possibly can, you must keep it up to date. Below, we’ll explain all you need to know about how to update 3D printer firmware.
- Firmware is specific software that controls a 3D printer’s mechanical movements and other critical functions like temperature control.
- There are a handful of firmware types, each with unique advantages, such as faster printing speeds.
- Updating the Firmware requires a user to download the file from the provider, upload it to the 3D printer software program, and then transfer it to the 3D printer.
For more great 3D printer knowledge, tap into your other resources. We have guides on everything from how to unclog a printer nozzle to tips on uploading 3D printer files. We even have a guide on how to set up a way to monitor your 3D printer remotely.
Different firmware types come with their specific benefits. For example, Klipper firmware helps to achieve faster print speed.
How to Update Firmware on a 3D Printer
To put it simply, firmware is a specific program that controls the printer’s mechanical movements. And if you’ve ever seen 3D printers at work, you know a lot of activity is going on.
Therefore, keeping the Firmware up to date helps the motors function at peak capacity and ultimately helps lower the print time and increase print precision.
If you run into any issues, we also have a guide on how to factory reset your 3D printer if needed.
There are a handful of 3D firmware types, the most common being Marlin, Klipper, RepRap, and Repetier. Each type has its unique properties and methods for updating, but there are some general guidelines across all types that we’ve outlined below.
STAT: About 80% of printers use marlin firmware. (source)
If you finish this and feel the need to tech out a bit more, feel free to continue your reading with our guide on how to program a 3D printer.
STEP 1 Download the Latest Firmware
Go to your firmware service provider’s website and download the latest version. Sometimes, the service providers will have the version stored in GitHub.
STEP 2 Upload Firmware to Printer Software
Go into your 3D printer’s software platform and upload the new firmware file to your computer. This usually requires some form of verification process to compile the latest Firmware version.
STEP 3 Backup Your Settings
If your printer allows, it is always good to back up your settings before updating. Firmware updates may reset configurations; as such, having a a backup can make it easier to restore your settings.
Some of your customized settings, like bed leveling and calibration, may reset when updating the printer firmware. Always check the settings to verify before running your next print.
STEP 4 Upload Firmware Update to Printer and Verify
Connect your 3D printer to your computer via a USB cable or wireless connection. Then, navigate to the option that uploads the new file. Wait for the file to upload, then restart your printer.
STEP 5 Test the Printer
After the update, it is smart to test to make sure everything is working properly. If you were updating for a specific bug issue, see if the issue has been fixed.