If your Ender 3 Pro displays a blank screen when you switch it on, you might think you have a faulty printer.

Luckily, if you bought your Ender recently, it’s probably not that bad.

Maybe you accidentally flashed the firmware

I had a blank screen on my Ender 3 Pro, and the problem turned out to be the firmware. I had flashed it without realizing. If something goes wrong with the firmware, the Ender doesn’t do much to let you know what is going on. The main fan spins up as normal, but the screen is blank.

I checked that all of the cables were firmly installed in the correct slots. I had gotten a few successful prints out of the machine so I knew I hadn’t set anything up backwards.

How to temporarily brick your Ender 3

In the moments before I semi-bricked my Ender, I had a couple of micro SD cards out on the desk. I put the wrong card into the Ender 3 to load my next print, and when I turned it on I got the blank screen.

At the time, I didn’t understand what had happened, but I had just booted up the Ender with the wrong SD card, one I had flashed with Octopi. The Ender figured I must be loading some new firmware, so it grabbed a Octopi .bin file and promptly forgot it was a 3D printer.

I asked a computer to create a picture of a dead 3D printer and this is what it came up with. The red plastic skull must have been the final print. How poetic.

Since I had no idea what was going on with this blue screen, I took to Google and binged on some obscure threads. I was hoping I hadn’t inadvertently fried some component. Had I moved the tray too quickly and caused a voltage spike? How delicate are these things?

The dreaded blue screen of death – Ender style.

I kept blitzing through threads on forums until it slowly dawned on me that I was looking at a problem with the printer’s firmware.

Since the arrival of the Ender V-2, the Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro models have started shipping with a new, 32-bit motherboard. These newer motherboards can flash their firmware via SD, and this is something the original Ender 3 could not do. With the older models, you’ve have to break out the arduino and a couple of jumper wires.

Easy fix for the blue screen of death

The fix is easy.

Simply download the Ender 3 Pro firmware, put this .bin file onto the root level of an SD card, put it into your Ender when it’s switched off, and then power it up.

The screen will remain blank for a few seconds but then will boot up as normal.

The firmware that worked for me was the

Ender-3 Pro_4.2.2_Firmware_Marlin2.0.1 - V1.0.1.bin

which I found here.

The nice thing about this is if you have one of these newer Ender 3’s, you won’t need to use an Arduino to flash the firmware. Your fancy 32-bit board will let you flash the firmware from an SD card. It also does it automatically, you don’t have to press anything to get it going, just switch the printer on. This must be very handy in the factory but it’s not the most end-user friendly way to do it.

I hope that helped

It took some Googling to figure this out, so I thought I’d write it up and save someone some time. Let me know how you get on. If you’d like, you could even buy me a coffee.

Happy printing.