Creality K1 3D Printer: Enhancing Its Capabilities with an Upgraded Gearcase

edited October 2023 in 3D Printers

The Creality K1, a recent addition to the 3D printing market, offers a range of features designed to cater to beginners and experienced users. While it provides a solid foundation for 3D printing tasks, there are several upgrades available that can further optimize its performance. This article will overview the K1's core features and discuss critical upgrades, including the extruder gearcase, the ceramic hot end, and the potential benefits of integrating a camera. By understanding these upgrades, users can make informed decisions on which are necessary for their needs.

Core Features

The Creality K1, while relatively new to the market, has garnered attention due to its specific set of features tailored to meet diverse printing needs. Here's a breakdown of its primary attributes:

Print Speed and Quality: One of the standout features of the K1 is its ability to achieve print speeds of up to 600mm/s. This speed doesn't compromise the quality, ensuring users can quickly produce detailed models.

Bed Leveling System: A reliable leveling system is crucial for consistent print quality. The K1's innovative approach ensures that the print bed is always perfectly aligned with the nozzle, reducing the chances of print failures.

Extruder and Hot End: The K1 features a new dual-gear direct extruder, which ensures consistent filament feeding. The ceramic hot end, equipped with a 60W heating element, allows for rapid and even heating.

User Interface and Connectivity: The K1 features an interface designed for ease of use, with a touchscreen that ensures seamless navigation. Additionally, it offers multiple connectivity options, including USB and WiFi, enhancing its versatility.

Understanding these core features provides a foundation for exploring the potential upgrades that can further enhance the K1's performance. In the subsequent sections, we'll explain these upgrades, discussing their benefits and how they can elevate the printing experience.

Addressing Under-Extrusion and Enhancing Precision

The extruder gearcase plays a pivotal role in any 3D printer. It feeds the filament to the hot end and ensures the printer extrudes the correct quantity of material. A consistent and reliable extrusion is crucial for achieving high-quality prints.

The Challenge with the Original Gearcase: While the Creality K1's original gearcase performs efficiently, some users report instances of under-extrusion. Under-extrusion happens when the printer doesn't feed the filament consistently, causing gaps or thin layers in the printed object. This can compromise the structural integrity and aesthetics of the print. The primary cause of this issue is filament slippage within the gearcase, which means the filament doesn't get a firm grip, leading to inconsistent feeding.

The Solution: Upgraded Gearcase: An upgraded gearcase addresses the filament slippage issue head-on. Designed with tighter tolerances, it ensures a firmer grip on the filament, preventing slippage. This results in a consistent filament feed, eliminating the chances of under-extrusion.

Benefits of the Upgraded Gearcase:

Consistent Prints: With a reliable filament feed, users can expect even layering in their prints, leading to smoother surfaces and accurate details.

Reduced Print Failures: Inconsistent filament feeding can lead to print failures, especially in complex models. The upgraded gearcase minimizes this risk, ensuring successful prints more often.

Extended Filament Compatibility: A firmer grip on the filament means that the printer can handle a broader range of filament types, including those that might be slightly more challenging to feed consistently.

We've unpacked the reasons behind the extruder gearcase upgrade, and now it's time to roll up our sleeves. Equipped with knowledge, let's transition from the 'why' to the 'how' and dive into a hands-on, step-by-step guide to make this upgrade a reality.

Removing and Installing the Extruder Gearcase

Upgrading the extruder gearcase of your Creality K1 can significantly enhance the printer's performance, ensuring consistent filament feeding and reducing the chances of under-extrusion. This guide will walk you through removing the old gearcase and installing a new one.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • K1 tool kit
  • Replacement extruder gearcase
  • Gearcase shim
  • Tweezers or needle-nose pliers

Safety Precautions:

  • Ensure the printer is turned off and unplugged before starting.
  • Work in a well-lit area to see all components.


Step 1: Turn off and unplug the Creality K1 printer.

Step 2: Access the extruder assembly by gently moving the print head to a position where you can comfortably work.

Step 3: Remove the blue clip securing the PTFE tube using the pliers. Depress the black collar and remove the PTFE tube.

Step 4: Gently remove the black extruder cover. Using the hex key provided in the tool kit, remove the screws holding the extruder gearcase in place. Keep these screws safe; you'll need them to secure the new gearcase.

Step 5: Carefully pull upward on the extruder to detach it from the print head (be mindful of the wires; they do not have much slack). Detach the old gearcase from the stepper motor assembly by loosening the two hex screws.

Step 6: Place the yellow shim on the stepper motor and align the new extruder gearcase with the stepper motor. Secure the new gearcase with two hex screws. Install the blue PTFE tube between the extruder output and the print head.

Step 7: Slide the extruder assembly back down into the print head. Tighten the three hex screws removed during disassembly.

Step 8: Insert the new PTFE collar into the top of the extruder. Insert the PTFE tube into the collar and secure it with the blue clip. Install the black cover onto the print head.


  • If you notice inconsistent filament feeding after the upgrade, double-check the gearcase's alignment and ensure all screws are securely tightened.
  • Ensure no wires or connectors are pinched or obstructed, which could affect the gearcase's performance.

Upgrading the extruder gearcase is a straightforward process that can yield significant print quality and consistency improvements. With the right tools and patience, you can enhance your Creality K1's performance and ensure optimal filament feeding.

Elevating the Creality K1 Experience

The Creality K1, while a formidable machine out of the box, offers ample opportunities for enhancement. By understanding its core features and the potential benefits of targeted upgrades, users can truly optimize their 3D printing experience. Upgrading the extruder gearcase can address under-extrusion issues, ensuring consistent, high-quality prints. With its superior heat insulation and increased temperature range, the copper alloy heat break expands the printer's filament compatibility, opening up new possibilities for creative projects. With the integration of a camera, users gain a window into the printing process, allowing for real-time monitoring, captivating time-lapses, and a deeper connection to the 3D printing community.

3D printing is as much about the journey as the final product. Each upgrade, modification, and tweak is a step towards perfecting the craft. And in this journey, sharing experiences and learning from others can be invaluable.

Have you made any upgrades to your Creality K1? Or you've experimented with different filaments or captured some mesmerizing time-lapses. We invite you to share your experiences and insights. Join the conversation and engage with fellow 3D printing enthusiasts on our forum.


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