Ever since the Cr-10, I have had my eyes on Creality. I would have picked up a Cr-10 but I really had nowhere to put it and with my typical printing I do not have much use for a printer with such a large build plate. My neighbor ended up getting a Cr-10 as his second 3D printer and he loves it. The printer has been a workhouse and produced quality print after print with just a few small modifications. Then I had my eyes on the Ender 2, a much smaller cantilever style 3D printer for under $200 dollars that was loved by many. There is a huge community that have created awesome upgrades for that machine and a buddy of mine owns one that has printed great prints. I was extremely close to picking up one of those 3D printers, but once again I decided to hold off.
Then a couple of months ago, the Ender 3 was announced and I decided I had to get one. I preordered the 3D printer to make sure I got in on one of the first batched and one month later it showed up. I was almost mind blown that they were able to fit the printer in such a small box, but everything was indeed there. This 3D printer like the Cr-10 or Ender 2 is semi assembled. Although, I have heard that this requires a bit more assemble than the other two machines. The printer came with instructions that were not terrible but also not great. There were a few parts were the screws in the manual did not tell you their size so you had to guess or move on and come backwards.
Even with that, the total build took me less than an hour to have everything setup and ready. As far as specs go the Creality Ender 3 has a build volume of 220*220*250mm and includes a heated bed with some knock off BuildTak on it. It comes preinstalled with a .4mm nozzle with a max temperature of 255C and the bed has a max temperature of 110C. This means you will be able to print PLA, TPU, ABS, and PET-G out of the box. The machine has a very similar design to the popular Cr-10 and I believe you can even swap out the hotend on this printer with an all metal Micro Swiss without much effort.
This printer also has an LCD screen and a micro SD card slot for untethered printing. I do like to that the PSU is mounted out of the way with a cover on the mains that has an on and off switch and takes a standard desktop pc power cable. The board is a sanguino style board and is located under the machine enclosed with a fan on the board to keep it cool. The cables are mounted quite nicely and the all aluminum frame makes this machine quite rigid.
Since getting this machine over a month ago, I have printed a ton of PLA, PET-G and even a little bit of TPU at a very slow speed. The quality on this printer completely stock was as good as any printer I have ever owned, even ones that I have upgraded heavily. Without any mods, I have quickly made this my main workhorse machine that I print and send out orders from. With PET-G I was prototyping pretty large parts for my mini arcade that took up almost the entire X build volume but it had no problems.
Of course, if you want to upgrade this printer, it is extremely open framed and will not be difficult to do. I am sure it is only a matter of time for a abundance of mods to transition from the Cr-10 over to this Ender 3. After my time with this printer, I strongly recommend this printer to anyone from beginner to some who just needs to add another printer to their lineup. This machine performs and you will not be disappointed. I convinced a buddy of mine to pick one of these up and he has been loving it. He even threw some motor dampeners on the machine and said the machine is insanely quiet now.
Last year I recommended the Monoprice Maker Select Mini and this year it is the Creality Ender 3. Whether you are getting your first 3D printer or looking to add one to your arsenal you cannot go wrong with this beast of a printer.
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