Mainboards are a crucial component of 3D printers, ensuring there is effective control over all digitalized parts. A mainboard’s digital capability allows it to connect and control various mechanical and electrical parts of a 3D printer, such as the heater, stepper motors, and fan. As more complex functions are incorporated into contemporary versions of 3D printers, mainboards are becoming increasingly powerful in order to help support the intricate technological workings of such modern machines.
Creality is a well-known company for its budget 3D printers and now they offer more than just hardware. With the improved V4.2.2 and V4.2.7 mainboards, Creality provides users with even more reliability than their earlier series of mainboards, the V1.
The V4.2.7 is one of the most advanced mainboards available on the market, and we can’t wait to go over it in detail here in this article! It features all kinds of new capabilities that weren’t seen before, even compared to the V1 boards.
The days of basic Creality boards and their simple designs are a thing of the past. The simplicity of the Creality boards made certain external upgrades like a BLTouch sensor incompatible, as they required a 27-pin board to function properly. However, with the introduction of their V4 boards, users can enjoy upgrades more easily than before. These new boards come equipped with a few extra ports that make specific popular upgrades such as the BLTouch and a filament runout sensor not only compatible but also hassle-free.
With the release of V4.2.2, the Ender 3 V2 and Pro have been immensely popular in the world of 3D printing. This board packs a punch, improving print speed, accuracy, and reliability while maintaining its trademark ease of use. As such, it has quickly become the standard on Creality’s printers since April 2020. However, if you don’t feel that it is right for you, then you can opt for the V4.2.7 board as a retail option to get even more out of your printer experience.
Both the V4.2.2 and the V4.2.7 are great choices for those who want a quieter 3D printing experience, as they come with “silent” stepper drivers that make sure your prints will be peaceful and soundproofed from the outside world. However, each board has its own unique features; the V4.2.2 comes with effective TMC2208 drivers whereas the V4.2.7 has TMC2225 drivers instead. Also, both have a good number of ports, helpful safety measures to protect your printer and its components, firmware updating capabilities, and more.
While the Creality V1 mainboard series achieved great reliability in their overall performance, the latest iteration of the Creality board – the V4.2.7 – takes things a step further. This new variant boasts features such as
- Direct ports for BLTouch and filament runout sensor upgrades
- 32-bit processor with more flash storage space
- Micro-SD card slot with pre-installed bootloader
- Micro-USB interface port
- Electrical safety fuse
- Integrated TMC2225 stepper motors
With the V4.2.7 board and these features, you can perform more tasks with your 3D printer. We’ll go over some of the key changes’ significance in more detail below.
Smooth and Easy Modification
The Creality V4.2.7 board is a great upgrade from older versions with plenty of desirable features. As this board features two new ports that are not available on the older V1 boards – a 5-pin port for an auto-bed-levelling Z probe like a BLTouch, and a 3-pin port for adding a filament runout sensor. With these ports, it’s much easier to upgrade your printer without having to buy expensive port extenders like a 27-pin board.
While adding new features is simple to wire in, you’ll also need to update the firmware to enable the printer to see and use the major updates. You no longer need an ISP-to-USB connector or a bootloader like an Arduino Uno to be able to install new features into the 3D printer. They have removed the ISP port but still allow for firmware updating with their pre-installed bootloader that operates via microSD card insertion. This means all you need to do is include a BIN file containing the newest firmware version on the microSD card, insert it into your board, and your printer will then update itself.
Instead of the ATMega2560 8-bit processor found in the V1, the V4.2.7 uses an STM 32-bit processor that enhances its performance and storage capabilities. Not only can it take on larger firmware packages than before, but it can also do so with improved speed and efficiency.
The 8-bit mainboards of the past weren’t able to run Marlin 2.0 firmware with all its features enabled, requiring users to sacrifice certain features, like the Micro-SD card slot, in order to conserve memory. With the improved V4 boards, users don’t have to worry about this anymore – these boards are equipped with a stronger processor and extra storage space which allows them to take full advantage of Marlin 2.0 firmware.
The V4.2.7 board is a great choice for those of us looking to reduce noise in our machines, as it comes equipped with TMC2225 stepper motor drivers. This feature is often overlooked, but it shouldn’t be underestimated! By optimizing the operation of the board and running more quietly, we can keep noise pollution to a minimum and achieve better results for our machines.
The V4.2.7 update by Creality represents a major step forward in 3D printer board safety. This is an upgrade from the V1 boards, which do not have a mainboard safety fuse. While power supplies come with their own integrated fuse that helps prevent issues within the unit, it does not protect the mainboard from any potential electrical problems or fires. The V4.2.7 board has its own fuse, making it better equipped to handle any unforeseen difficulties and providing a safer environment for its user.
When installing a BLTouch, it is important to be careful about which ports the Z probe wires are plugged into. Depending on what firmware you are using, ports can vary and plugging into the wrong ones can end up costing you more than expected. Reports have come in that even with the fuse, burning out the board has occurred when wires were connected to the wrong ports (ie. Z-axis endstop rather than the specified Z probe port). While the fuse helps protect against issues, it doesn’t always do the job – so take extra caution when upgrading your printer.
While the new V2 boards have been met with much excitement due to all the cutting-edge features they offer, it’s good to know that some things haven’t changed.
- Stepper motor driver ports for X-, Y-, Z-, and E-axes
- Power ports (screw-in)
- Hot end and bed heater ports (screw-in)
- Always-on fan port (screw-in)
- Ports for a bed thermistor and hot end thermistor (2 pins)
- Ports for two fans (2 pins)
- Ports for X, Y, Z endstops (2 pin)
- LCD display screen port (2 x 5 pin)
I am Bheema Shankar. I have worked on SLS, CJP, DLP, SLA and FDM technologies at Think3D. Currently working as Process and application engineer at VEER-O-METALS PRIVATE LIMITED. I am always fascinated by the process of creating things layer by layer. This fascination led me to pursue a career in 3D printing technology. I am passionate about how 3D works and enjoy exploring new ways to improve the 3D printing process.