Finding the best Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus upgrades can turn this already very competent 3D printer into a great machine.
The Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus is a slightly different model than the Wanhao i3 that we have reviewed before.
We’ll go over what the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus is, why adding upgrades can drastically improve its performance and finally, we’ll show you the best upgrades that you can buy.
What is the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus?
Manufactured by Wanhao which is a Chinese company, the Duplicator i3 Plus comes in at the budget end of the pricing scale. That being said, 3D printers have come away down in price in recent years so even though it is a cheaper printer, that doesn’t necessarily mean it has poor performance.
In fact, the Duplicator i3 Plus provides better print quality than many 3D printers that cost much more money.
The printer comes with a decent build volume of 200 X 200 X 180 mm so it is ideal for home use as well as small businesses. With an extruder temperature of 240°C to 260°C it can handle various types of filament and the print speed is good on this machine as well.
Overall the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus is a budget printer that offers a high quality experience. You can pay a lot more money for a 3D printer that won’t produce the same results however that isn’t to say that it can’t be improved upon.
Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus specifications
- Build Volume: 200 x 200 x 180 mm
- Connectivity: USB, SD Card
- Filament Size: 1.75mm
- Hotend Temperature: 240°C – 260°C
- Print Speed: 10-100mm/s
- Materials Supported: PLA, ABS, PVA, Stainless Steel, NinjaFlex, Nylon, HIPS, Woodfill, LayBrick, CopperFILL, BronzeFILL, MOLDLAY, Conductive, Carbon Fiber, Polyurethane
Why do you need to add upgrades?
It isn’t that the i3 Plus is a bad printer at all but some choice upgrades can really make the difference in how your prints turn out.
You can certainly use the Duplicator i3 Plus straight out of the box and you will be able to print off high quality objects. Many people don’t upgrade or modify this 3D printer and have never had any problems.
That being said, there are some reasons why it is a good idea to buy some additional parts or upgrade existing components on this printer.
Better 3D printing
As we said, the print quality on this 3D printer is very good but it can always be improved.
By adding in some small upgrades to the i3 plus you will be able to get better and higher quality prints. Some owners will happily keep the stock components on this printer and that’s completely fine however a few upgrades can really take this printer to the next level.
Aside from simply improving on the existing parts of the i3 plus, some upgrades can actually add to the overall functionality. This includes adding in additional features to your printer.
For example, adding a camera to keep an eye on your prints or even upgrading the machine so that it is able to connect via WiFi. Out of the box the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus has USB and SD card connectivity so adding to this is a good idea.
Getting reliable and consistent prints is important as a print coming out in high quality. The i3 Plus does a good job at printing reliably however it can be improved upon.
With upgrades to the bed leveling system and the glass bed which we will have a look at later one, the overall performance of your printer will be much better. It means not only will you have high quality prints but you will have these prints on a consistent basis.
What parts of the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus can you upgrade?
The vast majority of components in a 3D printer can be upgraded or modified and this includes the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus.
Some are easier than others. The upgrades we have listed below are all fairly straightforward even if you happen to be new to 3D printers. While there are perhaps more complicated upgrades out there, we want to show you the best ones to get you off to a good start with this printer.
These are the main parts of the i3 Plus that most people tend to upgrade to improve print reliability, quality, and overall performance.
Adding a Z brace to the i3 Plus will improve its stability and make the printer more rigid.
What this means is that you should get more reliable prints on a frequent basis. Because there are several moving parts on the 3D printer, a Z brace stabilizes everything to ensure better quality prints. While this isn’t such a big problem on more recent versions of the Di3, it will ensure better stability to your printer overall.
Adding a glass bed to the print surface is something that a lot of people do to their 3D printer and it isn’t just an upgrade that is limited to the i3+. Most 3D printer owners end up adding on a glass bed at some point if their printer doesn’t have one.
It has several benefits including providing a smooth finish to your prints and an easy removal process of your models from the printer. The advantage glass has over other surfaces such as plastic is that it can withstand high temperatures. This means that it won’t warp or peel so it will rarely need to be replaced. Glass is also easier to clean before and after printing too.
Another common upgrade on the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus is the on-board computer.
There isn’t a ton wrong with what is provided with this 3D printer however adding something like a Raspberry Pi can improve its overall performance. It will also ensure that you get increased functionality as well with the 3D printer and can include things like WiFi and adding an on-board camera.
The springs wirth the i3 Plus are known as having a few problems. This can cause issues with the print quality and a common upgrade is to increase the belt tension.
Doing this will mean that the X and Y belts are more secured which cuts down on movement and will mean better printed models and objects.
While there isn’t too much wrong with the stock fan provided, upgrading to a better one will improve this 3D printer overall.
With a better fan, you will notice improved bridges, overhangs, and needle points if you are printing with PLA and other materials. It is a fairly easy modification but one that will bring a lot of advantages.
Buying upgrades v printing upgrades
I’m going to show you the best upgrades you can get for the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus but before I do, I need to tell you about buying an upgraded part or printing an upgrading part.
The beauty of already having a 3D printer is that some parts you can actually print off yourself! While this isn’t true for everything – a new motherboard for example – some smaller parts can actually be made yourself.
On our list of best upgrades for the Duplicator i3+, there is a combination of parts that can be bought and parts that can also be printed.
Best upgrades for the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus
So, let’s find out the best upgrades you can get for your Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus.
#1 Z Braces
Adding Z braces to your Duplicator i3 Plus will improve its stability and add much-needed rigidity to the printer.
This is actually one of the upgrades for the Duplicator i3 Plus that you can print off and attach yourself if you wish. In actual fact it is a fairly easy upgrade and you don’t need to drill any new holes although you do need to replace some short 3mm screws with 10mm screws.
#2 Wisamic Borosilicate Glass Plate Bed
Upgrading the print bed on the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus can make a world of difference to how your prints turn out. It can also make the whole process a bit easier as glass is a lot easier to clean prior to printing and also once your objects have been completed.
The Wisamic Borosilicate Glass Plate Bed is an ideal upgrade for your i3 Plus. It is made from 100% borosilicate glass which means it can cope with high temperatures that this 3D printer needs to reach its potential. You also won’t need to replace this anytime soon due to its durability while you’ll get a consistent heat across the build surface.
Getting your completed prints off the glass bed is a lot easier as well. Given its inexpensive cost and the advantages it brings to your Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus, this upgrade really is a no brainer.
#3 Belt Tensioners
This is another upgrade that you can print off yourself and it can have a positive impact on how your prints turn out.
The springs on the i3 Plus are known for not being particularly stable but some belt tensioners for the X Belt and the Y Belt will mean that everything is a bit more secure.
It is quite a simple fix for a problem that can plague this 3D printer. Even if you are a beginner with 3D printers, printing and installing belt tensioners is fairly straightforward and all the instructions are there to make sure you get it right.
#4 Raspberry Pi with Octoprint
Enhancing the power of your 3D printer while also adding in additional functionality is something that can be achieved with a Raspberry Pi upgrade. Especially when it comes to fairly budget 3D printers, upgrading its processing power and on-board computer can really allow it to reach its potential
By installing this onto your 3D printer and also using Octoprint which creates a web interface for your printer, you will find the i3 Plus easier to use too. With these additions, you can add WiFi functionality and control your 3D printer from another computer as well.
It is another modification that isn’t massively difficult either but will make a ton of difference to how your 3D printer functions.
#5 Raspberry Pi Camera Module
Adding in a camera will let you keep an eye on your prints as they are progressing and the Raspberry Pi Camera Module is a very useful addition.
This is another fairly inexpensive upgrade but something that will really add a big functionality boost to your 3D printer. You can also get a mounting arm for the camera as well which you are able to print off yourself.
Combined with the Raspberry Pi with Octoprint, this will greatly extend how your Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus operates and make things a lot easier when printing high quality objects,
#6 DC Brushless Sleeve-Bearing Cooling Blower Fan
The fan with the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus certainly isn’t the worst on the market but there are issues around the noise it makes. The stock fan shroud doesn’t work too well either so it is certainly worth looking into a new part.
This is why the DC Brushless Sleeve-Bearing Cooling Blower Fan is a recommended upgrade to provide better noise control and it will also help with improving bridges, overhangs, and needle points. You can also get a cooler mod for the i3 Plus which can make a huge difference too.
Installing a new fan onto this 3D printer isn’t a difficult job so you should be able to do this with ease.
#7 Filament Guide
The last upgrade that you should get for your Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus is a filament guide.
This will help with feeding the filament into the 3D printer and should help towards higher quality and more consistent prints. This is an upgrade that you will be able to print off yourself too which is a bonus. Quite a small modification to your i3 Plus 3D printer but it is one that can make a world of difference to print quality and reliability.
Frequently Asked Questions and Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus Upgrades
It is something you should seriously think about. The i3 Plus is a perfectly good printer out of the box and you will be able to print off good quality models. However, with the upgrades that we have listed here, you can take this 3D printer from being a good one to a great machine with new possibilities and potential.
It should do. Even though the print quality is pretty good as standard you can increase the quality and reliability with these upgrades. For example, the Z braces, glass plate and filament guide will all help with more reliable outputs.
This Chinese based company is known for producing good quality 3D printers for an affordable price. We have reviewed several of Wanhao’s 3D printers recently including the i3 and the D7.
Yes, you should be able to. None of these upgrades are particularly hard to install. Some will take a bit more work than others and if you are new to 3D printers it might take more time. However, you should be able to put these modifications onto your 3D printer on your own.
Not necessarily. Most of these upgraded parts are all very inexpensive and some you can even print off yourself. Because the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus is a reasonably inexpensive 3D printer you can buy some of these upgraded parts and it will still be cheaper than many other models on the market for the same quality.
Yes. Some of the upgrades we have listed can be printed on your 3D printer and then installed. There are also guides as well as printing and installation instructions which will help you to get started.
For the most part, you should be able to print off high-quality objects on your Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus. If you are totally new to 3D printing or just a beginner, it can take a while to learn the basics and get consistently good prints.
The Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus is a very good printer as it is and for the price, it really isn’t that expensive when you consider the quality you get. However, extending its functionality and ensuring that you get reliable prints on a consistent basis will actually save you time and money.
This is why these upgrades are important. They not only provide better-printed objects and models but they also improve the features of your printer as well.
The best upgrades for the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus are:
- Z braces – to help improve stability
- Wisamic Borosilicate Glass Plate Bed – for better prints and easier cleaning
- X Belt and the Y Belt tensioners – to reduce the movement of the 3D printer
- Raspberry Pi with Octoprint – to increase the overall functionality of the printer
- Raspberry Pi Camera Module – so you can keep an eye as your prints progress
- DC Brushless Sleeve-Bearing Cooling Blower Fan – to improve fan performance and noise
- Filament Guide – to help with more reliable prints and better filament feeding
These upgrades for the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus Upgrades can turn your already well functioning printer into a powerful one without the huge cost.