If you are looking to buy a new SD card and have your own Android phone or tablet then there’s no reason not to get one. They can be used with almost every electronic device that has a slot including computers, digital cameras, video game consoles, e-readers, etc., so it makes sense to try them out on your 3D printer before buying.
This guide aims at helping you choose the right SD card for your Ender 3 3D Printer. We’ll also talk about what kind of SD card works well in the 3D printer and how to find out if it fits into your model.
What is an SD Card?
SD stands for Secure Digital which was developed by SanDisk Corporation back in 1996. It started off as a flash memory card but soon evolved into a storage medium capable of storing files larger than 4 GB (gigabytes).
Today, most smartphones use microSDs because they offer higher capacity and faster transfer rates compared to their smaller counterparts such as miniSDs & microSDHCs. On the other hand, tablets usually come equipped with either standard SDs or microSDs. The latter ones tend to work better when running apps due to their increased performance capabilities.
So basically, both these types of removable media stores data in exactly the same way—they store binary code patterns representing images/videos into blocks called sectors. Each sector has its own physical location on the disk where it can be accessed via read-write heads. When writing data, the head moves down until it reaches the target block and writes the information in a single direction. In contrast, reading occurs through moving up while scanning across each sector.
Although technically speaking, all SD cards support FAT file system format just like USB sticks, some manufacturers prefer using proprietary formats during production. These include Sandisk, Kingston, Panasonic, Samsung, Toshiba, Transcend, Sony, etc. Most of them don’t affect the usability of the devices since the operating systems still recognize them as external drives. But occasionally, this may cause problems ranging from corrupted files to crashes upon insertion.
In addition to being able to hold photos, videos, music, documents, and more, SD cards can be made compatible with portable electronics, too. If you’re planning to buy one for your smartphone, make sure to check whether it supports Qi wireless charging compatibility, otherwise you might run into issues trying to charge your gadget.
On top of having extra features, SD cards cost less than half of their bigger counterparts, namely microSDs. Hence, even though they aren’t as reliable, they still provide enough space for holding everything you want without breaking the bank.
As mentioned earlier, the card itself doesn’t contain any additional circuitry. Instead, the host device uses special software to communicate with the card. This happens between the controller chip embedded within the SD card and the hardware interface located inside the mainboard of the computer.
It should go without saying that the SD card must be inserted correctly for proper functionality. However, inserting the wrong type of SD card won’t necessarily result in errors. Rather, it could lead to unexpected behavior and possibly damage the whole system. As a general rule of thumb, always double-check the dimensions of the SD card first before putting it into the slot.
What SD card does Ender 3 use?
When choosing an SD card for your Ender 3, you shouldn’t worry much about the brand name. What matters here is the UHS Speed class rating, which indicates the maximum speed at which data transfers occur.
The current version of the Ender 3 ships with a Class 10 UHS-II rated SD card by default, which means it can handle speeds up to 100 MB per second. You can upgrade to Class 20 if necessary.
However, depending on your needs, you may opt to install another SD card instead. For example, if you plan to take pictures with your mobile phone, getting a high-end Class 12 SD card would allow you to capture fast-paced shots. Or maybe you’d rather print large models quickly. Then perhaps you should consider upgrading to Class 15 in order to increase the overall throughput rate.