How to Calibrate E Steps Ender 3 (Complete Beginner’s Guide)

Have you ever thought about why your Ender 3 isn’t calibrating correctly? It’s definitely a nail-biter. But, get this; better days will shine brightly upon you once you know how to use and manipulate this high-performing tool correctly.

The rave about all of the Ender 3 family tree is real. The first impressions tend to stick to 3D printing fanatics. And the best part? It can outperform many high-end brands while sticking to its favorably affordable rates. But, more on that later.

Today we will learn how to calibrate E steps Ender 3 edition. I kid you not, fine-tuning these printing devices can blow your mind with outstanding results. So, if you seem to can’t get the proper outcomes with your calibrating 3d printer yet, keep reading and follow our guide.

What is E-step?

While calibrating 3d printers, have you ever wondered how the products squeeze out into perfect miniatures of the prototypes you’re willing to create. Even though the results are tiny, cute, and precise, a lot goes into just measuring and forming the necessary models within the 3D printers.

Extruder steps or E steps are firmware settings used in 3D printers to control the step’s values. As a 3d printer calibration guide, E steps maintain the step’s numbers and values that the extruder’s stepper engine makes to extrude filament worth 1mm.

These E steps ensure that the hot ends have the correct amount of filaments enabled by calculating the step’s number to reach 1mm. These values need to be set in the E steps before printing or preset according to specific needs.

In hindsight, the machine can often overthrow these preset values and settings, which hampers the precision of the E steps and, eventually, the models. This is why knowing how to calibrate a 3d printer is an absolute must for all users. This lets them maintain perfect harmony within the tool and its recreated outcomes.

What Happens When E Steps Calibration Isn’t Maintained Correctly?

Let us give it to you straight. A poorly set 3D printing tool will generate the weakest designs, with improper crevices, edges, and an overall faulty model.

But that’s not it. With poorly calibrated extruder steps, it may also cause damages to the model itself. These issues tend to have root causes, such as having inefficient materials or excessive materials towards the hot ends. Some usual cases are;

  • Stringing
  • Oozing
  • Nozzles remain clogged
  • The first layer lacks adhesion
  • Over-extruding
  • Under-extruding

You must have understood by now that calibrating and its importance is vast. It will generate dimensionally and look-wise appealing results. Thus, calibrating is necessary, but so is calibrating accurately. Hence, keep reading to know how you can calibrate your Ender 3 model precisely to avoid such nightmares.

Related: Ender 3 dual extruder upgrade

What You Will Need to Calibrate Ender 3:

Before elaborating on this 3d printer calibration guide, let us tell you what tools you will require first to calibrate extruder Ender 3.

  • Permanent Marks
  • Calipers or Rulers

How to Calibrate a 3D Printer:

To hit the bullseye with proper 3d printer temperature calibration, you need first to extrude the filament to the required amount.

Afterward, you will have to measure, find the variations, and calculate the extruder and e steps based on the information.

1.    E-steps Settings

First off, you must let the remaining filaments in the machine run out entirely. Afterward, select the control, motion, and E-steps/mm to get the value.

Next, utilize the option M83 to set up your 3D printer. Let it preheat and load the filament.

2.    Connect the 3D Printer

You can send the extruder calibration g-code through a computer using Wi-Fi or USB. Open the slicer software to send the g-code command and move on to the next steps.

3.    Measuring the Extruder

Utilize the ruler or caliper to measure out 100mm precisely along the length of the extruder. Next, mark the position using a sharpie or marker. To be even more precise, mark with the sharpie at the 110mm and 120mm measurements as well.

4.    Extruding

For the 3d printer temperature calibration, at the extruding stage, preheat the hot end at normal temperature. Select the knob on the LCD controlling screen to get the menu on the screen and manipulate as needed. For further clarification; follow these options methodically;

  • Prepare
  • Preheat the PLA
  • Select Temperature
  • Set the nozzle at a fixed value.

You can determine the 3d printer temperature tests by setting the temperature at +5-degree C hotter than you usually would. This should give you smooth results with zero resistance. As the hot end gets preheated, you can select the main menu once again and select the following option;

  • Prepare
  • Move the axis
  • Move it to 1mm
  • Extruder
  • Rotate the knob until it reaches the 100mm mark.

Lastly, at this stage, all you have to do is wait for the extruding to complete.

5.    Checking the Extruder

You can assure yourself that the E-steps have calibrated spot-on once the filament hits the 100mm measurement.

On the other hand, if the extruder shows any other mark than the required 100mm, you’ll have to inspect more. There are two possible reasons why such an error could occur.

To review the tool, measure between the extruder and the mark to examine the amount of filament pushed from the hot ends. In this case, if you notice that the 100mm mark is still apparent, the printer isn’t making the needed amount of plastic even with the extruder set right.

Therefore, now you’ll have to subtract the new distance measurement from the original one.

In retrospect, if you can’t seem to place the 100mm, there’s an occurrence of over-extruding. This is where the additional markings will come in handy. Simply subtract the new distance measures from the additional ones.

These errors during measurement are pretty standard; thus, reviewing multiple times and having a few safety additional measurements usually do the trick.

6.    Calibrate Extrusion Multiplier

To get the correct e steps value, you must know what went wrong first or if you’re on a roll of smooth sailing. To locate the error, press the following buttons;

  • Control
  • Motion
  • E steps/mm

This will reveal the original settings to you. Now, using the multiplying extruder calibration formula, find the existing e steps/mm product with the 100mm. Then divide this number by the filaments. This will reveal the actual value to the user.

7.    Save and Store

After these vigorous 3d printer temperature tests and finding the correct extruder e steps, what to do? You must store it in the device’s ROM. To do so, press the following options.

  • Control
  • Motion
  • E steps/mm

If needed, you can also adjust the numbers to match your e step’s value. Store the values with the help of the options named as store memory, store setting, or save to EEPROM.

These options may be named differently based on the model that you have, however, the purpose for all three are the same. Thus go ahead, and select either of these depending on which one’s available. And voila, your e steps shall now be saved!


  1. What is Cura extruder calibration multiplier?
    This extrusion multiplier calibration is known as the ‘flow,’ which specifies the ratings at which the Cura printer will extrude various materials. Depending on the following setting, Cura will calculate the printer’s speed, printing movements, and diameters of the filaments.
  2. What does the ender 3 calibration cube tell us?
    Calibration cubes are immensely famous for running prints in 3D printers. These are geometrical and cubic shapes that assist in fine-tuning one’s 3D printer’s settings.
    This will further guide the device to acquire unparalleled accuracy and precision in the prints.
  3. Why isn’t the Ender 3 model printing properly?
    To fix issues with Ender 3 printings, you need to re-flash the system’s firmware to eradicate the existing errors. Next, you will have to calibrate the temperature of the hot end in consensus with the PID tuning.
    You can also inspect the filaments and if they have snapped or are currently attached perfectly. Moreover, Ender 3 models tend to refrain from printing when there are underlying issues with the nozzles. If the nozzle is clogged or too close to the printer, your Ender 3 printer will not print correctly.
  4. What does micro all in one 3d printer tests do?
    Micro 3D printers remain true to their name and make prints that are micro in size with petite features.
    These devices are used to recreate prototypes, product models, and much more. Furthermore, micro and generic 3D printers can require manufacturers to make toys, novelty gift items, tools, jewelry, and more as tests.


Phew, wasn’t that comprehensive! But, let’s face it, since you own such a unique, hefty device, maintaining its calibration comes with the deal automatically. It only gets tricky when you don’t know where to begin or accomplish the steps.

Hopefully, with our complete overview on how to calibrate e steps ender 3, you will reach unmatchable expertise levels. To be fair, the whole deal comes at a meager budget, which is a huge plus for users.

You get full-blown, creative, and smooth results with good test runs and fine-tuning. In the long run, you might have to spend a few bucks for refills. However, you still wouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg on the model. And that’s the game-changer with learning how to calibrate Ender 3 using E-steps, as it serves greatly and at an affordable budget for the longest time.

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