Burning the Bootloader - The Easy Way and the Hard Way

As most of you have discovered, Creality has been shipping the Ender 3 without a bootloader.

We are going to show you the easy way and the hard way to burn a bootloader. First, we will show you the hard way. This involves re-purposing an Arduino Uno to get the job done. Then, we will show you the easy way. If you don't have an Uno yet, before you buy one, consider our USBasp Programmer Kit (The easy way). It will burn a new bootloader and it also has the ability to take a snapshot of your existing firmware and restore from a snapshot. If you are considering our Ender 3 Auto Bed Levelling Kit, this is already included.

Steps - Hard Way With Arduino Uno

Wiring Diagram

Parts Needed

  1. Download a copy of Arduino IDE and Install it here. This will get the Arduino IDE installed. If you already have IDE installed, you can skip that step. Now you will need to add the "Sanguino" board type that the Ender 3 uses. Open Arduino IDE then click file/preferences.

  2. Within the Additional Boards Manager URL text box, past in this URL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Lauszus/Sanguino/master/package_lauszus_sanguino_index.json

  3. Plug your Arduino Uno into your PC with a USB cable.
  4. Open Arduino IDE and make the following selections below in blue. This will upload the sketch to your Uno and allow it to act like a programmer. No changes to the script are needed.

  5. Once the sketch is loaded, make the selections in blue below then compile and upload using the yellow highlighted button.

  6. Now, make the cable connections as shown in the wiring diagram at the top of the page. You can leave your printer powered off and the Uno will power the Ender 3 or you can remove the 5V red wire and have the printer supply power. Either way works but the latter is recommended. Then, power up your printer or plug in the Arduino to your PC with the USB cable connecting the two.
  7. Select the appropriate Board from the Tools-> Boards menu - Sanguino This time it's Sanguino NOT Arduino/Genuino Uno. Compare the image below with one above.
  8. Select the appropriate Programmer from the Tools->Programmer menu. This time it's Arduino as ISP NOT ArduinoISP.

  9. Click Tools -> Burn Bootloader.
  10. The board will reset when complete, and the LCD display will be blank. YOUR EXISTING FIRMWARE WILL BE ERASED. Check out our USBasp Programmer Kit if you want to save a backup of your firmware AND burn a bootloader.
  11. Done. You can now disconnect the Uno and directly connect a USB cable from your PC into your printer and upload sketches again.

  12. Steps - Easy Way With USBasp Programmer

    Parts Needed

    1. Make sure you have Arduino IDE installed with the Ender 3 Sanguino board as described above. If you have our USBasp Programmer Kit just open the supplied USB and launch the standalone Arduino IDE. (Already has Ender 3 (Sanguino) board installed)
    2. Plug in the USBasp Programmers 6-10 pin adapter into the Ender 3 motherboards as shown below and plug the programmer into a USB port on your PC. Make sure the 6-10 pin adapter is facing the correct way as seen below.

    3. Open Arduino IDE and make the following selections below in blue. Then click Burn Bootloader.

    4. Burn Bootloader

    5. Done. But wait! There's more!

    6. Bonus Round!

        Since you already have the USBasp Programmer plugged in, you can select your Marlin.ino and compile/upload. Just make the following selections below and make sure to select Sketch - > Programer type USBasp then Sketch - > Upload using Programmer. This will compile your sketch and upload. Doesn't get much easier.

        Learn more here