GUIDE: Silent Noctua Hot End Fan Upgrade for Ender 5

That’s right I jumped onto the Noctua bandwagon! I have decided to upgrade my hot-end fan on one of the Ender 5 in my lab. This particular Ender 5 had some damage to the fan. Therefore I decided to purchase an upgrade. I opted for a taller fan due to some thermal issues in my direct drive heat-break. The guide covers basically any 12v variant fan that will fit your 3D printer. I suggest you have basic knowledge of how to work with electrical components. It’s a very basic task, and even beginners can perform this upgrade with little effort. The routing of the wires may require some creativity, but it’s still simple if you take your time. The Ender 5 is now silent with this upgraded hot-end fan!

NOTE: I am using the HeroMe Gen5 system with TH3D Tough Hot-End! You can still upgrade your fan, but likely not with the stock mounts. Any HeroMe and many other custom mounts will be fine though! Make sure your fan is on the exterior of the mount like in my photo before attempting this upgrade.

What’s needed?

  • Red and Black Wire (I recommend silicone wire as it’s flexible, 22AWG is good.)
  • LM2596 Step-Down Power Converter (To convert to 12v)
  • Noctua Fan (I chose the NF-A4x20 which is 40x20mm instead of stock 40x10mm) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072JK9GX6
  • Zip Ties, and assorted hardware for your hot-end mounting system (add +12mm to your existing hardware for correct length, or attach on inside of the fan as seen in my photo)
  • Digital Multimeter
  • OPTIONAL: 3D Printed fan cover

First you will need to unplug your printer, and move it somewhere you can easily access the bottom panel. You should remove the mains power plug to ensure you are working safely. Then remove the 4 screws from the bottom access panel. Once you have done this, you will find your power supply inside. You will need to strip your red and black wires, and attach them to your PSU as shown below. The red lead will go to the V+ ports. The black lead will go to the V- ports. Obviously most people know that red is usually positive, and black is your ground.

Now you should route your new power wiring out the hole in the frame, and attach the other ends to your LM2596 buck converter. We will then use the screw terminals or solder pads to attach our power leads to the converter. The red lead will go to your positive IN, and the black lead should go to ground IN. I opted for the solder pads, and made my input connections first.

STOP: This is where we check and set the output of your converter, do not attach the fan leads until you have verified the 12v output. 

Ensure that your converter is placed where it will not short out on the metal casing. You will now re-attach your bottom cover, and apply the mains power back. Turn on the power supply with your switch. Then using your digital multimeter in DC voltage mode; check the voltage output. Use your small flat head screwdriver supplied with your printer to adjust the tiny screw on the blue potentiometer. Adjust until you get 12v output, and then remove power once again.

Once you have verified the 12v output on your LM2596, it’s time to attach the fan to the hot-end. Then you will route your wiring down to the location you plan to store the LM2596. Attach your wiring, route it how you like and fire it up! You have successfully upgraded your fan to a Noctua silent version. 3D Print yourself a fan cover, and start printing! If you have more questions or need support, leave a post on the forums over at https://print3d.world/community

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