5 Reasons Your Ender 3 is Not Turning On

It is incredibly convenient and fun to create almost any plastic item you desire in the comfort of your own home, especially when you consider how almost entirely automated and labor-free the procedure is. But imagine this: You just excitedly bought your new 3D printer. You bring it home and turn it on to check it out. It won’t turn on. You keep trying, but it all goes in vain.

The Ender 3 is known for not turning on due to various issues such as 

  • Incompatible voltage settings
  • Wiring issues
  • Defective power supply
  • Defected mainboard
  • Firmware issue

The point is – there is no need to worry. However, these issues are pretty standard. To help you understand why they occur and what you can do about them, we’ve created a list of reasons.

Why is Your Ender 3 Not Turning On?

Since various mechanical and electronic parts must work together to create the magic of 3D printing, there is a bigger chance of issues than with a typical electronic gadget, which may result in a few bumps on the road. 

Many users of the Ender 3 have complained that their printers either did not start at all or just turned off and never turned on again. Others complained that their printer wouldn’t print anything.

A 3D printer is no different from any other electronic equipment. Instead, it should ideally respond with indicators showing it is powered on, such as a bright screen or an LED light, and the Ender 3 not turning on at all could indicate a problem.

We’ve compiled some of the most common reasons why your Ender 3 may not be turning on:

PSU Voltage Settings

You can use the physical switch to move between 230 volts and 115 volts of input in the Ender 3 PSU, which should match the output voltages of your outlets.

Your Ender 3 won’t turn on because of undervoltage if the PSU voltage setting is greater than the voltage output of the outlet, and it will typically fry the PSU and numerous other parts of your Ender 3 because of voltage spikes if the PSU voltage setting is below than the voltage output of the outlet.

If any of the above is the case, the PSU fan won’t turn on because it isn’t getting any electricity, which is an indicator you may use to determine if this is the problem.

Generally, people who reside in the United States must change the setting to 115 volts, whereas those who live in Europe must select 230 volts.

Wiring Issues

Many wires could be broken or attached incorrectly, which could be why your Ender 3 is not turning on.

In short, we can conclude that there is an issue either with the PSU itself or the connections of the PSU if the power supply fan is not operating when you try to turn on your Ender 3.

On the contrary, if your Ender 3’s power supply fan is running, but none of the other parts are responding, we advise you to examine the connections between the mainboard and the power supply.

We strongly advise checking all the connections to ensure they are connected properly because loose wires are relatively common, particularly if you are connecting your Ender 3 for the first time.

Defective Power Supply

The possibility that your Ender 3 cannot receive any electricity due to a broken or faulty power supply is sufficient to cause your 3D printer not to turn on.

The PSU fan is the first item we advise checking for if a power supply is broken or faulty because it is the best indication that anything is wrong with the PSU.

You can quickly assess the power source by opening it up and getting voltage readings to see if the power supply itself is broken. We only recommend you do this if you are experienced with electronics and have a voltmeter on hand.

Defective Mainboard

Your Ender 3 won’t switch on if the mainboard isn’t functioning because the engine drives all the other parts and distributes power to them.

If your Ender 3’s PSU is working properly, a damaged mainboard could result in the power supply fan spinning without any issues, but the 3D printer and other parts (such as the screen) would not switch on.

Similar to assessing the PSU, you may use a voltmeter to examine the condition of your mainboard and determine precisely where the issue is.


Another tricky situation where the Ender 3 can malfunction is when it becomes persistently stuck on the boot screen. In this case, we know that power is being supplied to the 3D printer, but it cannot complete the activation process for some reason.

The Ender 3 stuck on the boot screen typically indicates a firmware problem. This could be:

  • A corrupted firmware file you have flashed
  •  An error during the flashing process
  • An outdated firmware
  •  An incompatible firmware

Why is Your Ender 3 Not Printing?

This is a separate problem from the Ender 3 not turning on, with a new set of likely causes. It is unquestionably a better scenario because at least it is possible to receive some response from the device.

Below, we’ve listed some potential reasons why your Ender 3 may not be going forward with the printing process.

Corrupted G-code File

A faulty G-code file is the most frequent and straightforward issue that might prohibit your Ender 3 from continuing with the print job.

In essence, your Ender 3 has to scan the G-code file to understand which orders to carry out; thus, if the file is corrupt, there will be no operations for the 3D printer to perform, and as a consequence, the print job is unable to proceed.

Since the G-code frequently becomes corrupted during the slicing process for various reasons, we advise re-slicing the model first and testing using a G-code file you haven’t created if that doesn’t work. This will help you identify the cause.

Defective SD Card

Your Ender 3 must be able to interact with the SD card you are working with to acquire the necessary information.

The G-code data on the SD card won’t be accessible to your Ender 3 or will be corrupted, which will stop your Ender 3 from carrying out the print job, just as a faulty G-code file would.

Although it’s not quite a glitch or flaw, it’s important to note that SD cards that are too big are reported to not work well with the Ender 3. For this reason, we would advise using an SD card of less than 8 GB in capacity.

Incorrectly Formatted SD Card

Even though improper formatting does not necessarily indicate a faulty SD card, it would hinder your Ender 3 from opening a line of communication with it.

The Ender 3 requires a particular filesystem and partition table for the SD card to work with, which is common in the computing world. One example is Windows’ lack of direct compatibility for Linux ext (extended file system) partitions.

If this seems to be the problem, it’s essential to configure the SD card’s partition table to MBR (Master Boot Record). After that, format it with the FAT32 file system for it to work with your Ender 3.

Corrupted Firmware

A defective firmware can stop the print job from proceeding because the firmware is the software that runs whenever you perform any activity on your Ender 3, including beginning the print job.

The likelihood that this problem may arise is greatest after upgrading or replacing the firmware on your Ender 3, as it’s pretty uncommon that the firmware spontaneously gets corrupted.

As discussed above, the best action in this situation is to flash an updated version of Marlin firmware to your Ender 3. This is the official Ender 3 firmware that will guarantee you don’t experience any firmware-related issues.

Final Words

As with any electronic equipment, if your Ender 3 won’t switch on after being plugged in, there is likely an issue with one or more of its electrical parts that prohibits it from successfully taking power and transferring it to the required components.

In a nutshell, hardware-related difficulties are the main reasons your Ender 3 won’t power on.

However, the issues that will prohibit your Ender 3 from starting the printing process while it is powered on typically have more to do with the software side of it.

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