When the shipment arrived I thought it was part of a multi-box delivery that was missing some pieces. It turns out this is just very compact and well packaged! Everything fits together nicely.
In the box, you get:
- The Ender 3
- SD card
- Various tools for assembly
- Replacement nozzles
- Nozzle cleaner
- Zip ties
- Wire cutters
- Print removal tool
- Sample filament
One nice thing about the Creality Ender 3 is how easy it is to assemble. Most "budget" 3D printer kits take hours to assemble. For example, my Anet A8 kit came in hundreds of pieces and took several hours to assemble.
The Ender 3 took about 30 minutes to assemble. The instructions mirror the "IKEA-style" manual whereby photos are used in lieu of broken English. Honestly, the instructions are only about 75% complete; they don't include information on leveling the print bed screws or loading filament. Even so, accomplishing these tasks were a breeze.
Be sure to set the power supply switch to the proper voltage: V for US or V for Europe.
Leveling is my least favorite part of the 3D printing process. Thankfully, compared to other printers I've used, leveling the Ender 3's bed is a breeze.
No longer will you need to order special nuts and bolts or 3D print your own knobs; the Ender 3 comes with large, built-in leveling knobs that you can turn with your fingers to level your bed quickly and easily.
Fixing Ender 3 bed wobble
If your bed seems a bit wobbly, tighten the eccentric nuts on the bottom of the unit until the bed doesn't wobble anymore. Mine came out of the box with some extreme wobble and I thought it was damaged in shipment. Turns out it was just loose (in my research I found a lot of people experienced this).
For the uninitiated, concentric nuts are basically nuts where the hole is off-center; by rotating the nut, you can move the item that's threaded through the hole (in this case, the wheels that stabilize the Y-axis). Just turn the nut a bit until the bed moves smoothly in the Y direction.
To load filament, select the preheat option in the menu, pinch the springed clamp on the feeder, and then push the filament all the way through the [clear] Bowden tube until a bit comes out of the heated nozzle. This wasn't super apparent since most Bowden extruders I've used can activate the feed mechanism through the printer settings/interface.
One thing I noticed is the "Preheat PLA" option in the menu heats the printer to °C; however, the temperature range for my PLA filament is °C. However, this shouldn't be an issue for loading filament.
The build quality of the Ender 3 surprised the heck out of me. The unit's primary structure is comprised of extruded aluminum channel rather than the cheap acrylic or stamped steel found on many inexpensive 3D printers, providing stable performance.
In fact, the only plastic parts on the machine are the power supply switch cover and a few other nonstructural components. Fitment is very good as well; tolerances line up, meaning that things fit together as they should without difficulty or gaps.
The extruded aluminum channel provides excellent rigidity as well; rigidity is an important factor in getting high quality 3D prints.
Rather than using a rail-on-bearing system, the Ender 3's various axes uses V-Slot aluminum channel and POM wheels. In english: when the printer moves in the X, Y, or Z axis, the movement is supported by small wheels that run in tracks.
This innovative design provides precise positioning and results in quieter, higher quality prints and is normally a feature of higher-end machines. The only downside is tightening the concentric nuts to align the wheels and reduce wobble—this should only need to be done once.
The Ender 3 has a surprisingly compact footprint, especially when compared to a printer like the Anet A8. With a total size of " x " x ", the Ender 3 doesn't take up an enormous amount of table space.
This printer features a rigid base. With many printers the base is flexible and is technically leveled to the surface it's sitting on (e.g. a desk or table). The Ender 3 features a rigid base, meaning that you can move it around without needing to re-level it each time, which is nice.
La Croix for scale.
The Ender 3 comes with a fast heating bed built in—this is a necessity for printing ABS, and (in my opinion) a necessity for printing PLA. A heated bed ensures proper bed adhesion so this is always on my list of requirements for any 3D printer.
Though not strictly necessary, I recommend picking up a glass bed to place over your heated bed. Glass beds make it easier to remove completed prints and are less of a pain than replacing tape or Build-Tak.
If you want to print quickly and easily, buy a glass bed. They run about $20 and are totally worth it. Before printing, just cover it with a thin layer of cheap hair spray and let it dry. This is the glass bed I purchased.
The Ender 3 features a Bowden-style extruder; this means that the filament feeding mechanism is not attached to the extruder. Instead, it sits off to the side and filament is fed into the extruder through a clear tube.
Why is this important?
Well, it makes the extruder much lighter—and a lighter extruder means faster, higher quality prints. Heavy extruders tend to whip around at higher print speeds, ruining your print. Bowden extruders are the standard for avoiding this issue entirely.
I own an Anet A8. I rarely use it because it can be a death trap. Many budget or kit 3D printers forego basic safety features in order to keep the price as low as possible.
Creality didn't skip safety class. This printer features a fused plug to prevent shorts from becoming fires. The firmware installed on later Ender 3 production units includes thermal runaway protection. You can also easily do an Ender 3 firmware update yourself to add this protection to earlier units.
I feel comfortable using the Ender 3 even when I have to step out of the house for a few minutes.
Ender 3 bed size
The ender 3 bed size is xmm and has build height of mm, making the Ender well-suited to print most things you'll want to print. This is a sufficiently large printer compared to a miniature printer like the Geeetech E
A built-in backlit LCD screen gives you access to the normal list of controls like preheating the printer, selecting files to print, and even controlling the X, Y, and X axis movements to aid in leveling your bed.
A single control knob lets you cycle through menu items, selecting items by pressing the knob in. The computer in the Ender 3 is noticeably better than the Anet A8's; the A8 seems to be single-threaded, requiring you to press a button and wait for the machine to respond before pressing another button.
There are three things that I don't like about the control interface in general:
Print speed can be accidentally adjusted
One thing about the Ender 3 interface that you absolutely must know is that turning the knob while on the "main info" screen actually adjusts print speed. You read that right. This is a cryptic feature because the only indication that this is happening is a percentage shown next to an symbol on the screen. I had to search through the manual to figure out what this meant.
I could see this being a neat feature if you wanted to speed up a print quickly in a case where quality doesn't matter. But honestly, this is a terrifying feature because a single bump could majorly screw up your print. I'm hoping I can disable this feature in a firmware setting or something.
Annoying print progress indicator
The print progress indicator is just a bar that fills up. It would be nice if it told me how much time remained on the print or, at the very least, the exact percentage of the print remaining. This seems like a trivial thing to add since the elapsed printing time is already visible on the screen. You sort of need to look at the bar, look at the elapsed time, and then mentally estimate how much time is left on the print.
No time to dwell
My only other gripe with the interface is that it returns to the "main information" too quickly. In other words, if you have a menu open and let the screen sit idle without making a selection, it will return to the main screen in about 10 seconds. This forces you to cycle through the menu again, which is a minor annoyance.
These issues aside, this printer provides a nice interface that's easy to use.
One thing that really blew my mind about this printer is that it can print both PLA and ABS plastics. The ability to print ABS is uncommon for inexpensive printers. ABS is the same plastic commonly found in car parts. This type of filament is far stronger than PLA and has a higher melting point, making it more suited for hot conditions (like things that might sit in the sun or your car).
While PLA is sufficient for most things you'll want to print, it is nice to have the option to print ABS as well. The only downside to printing ABS is that the fumes are toxic so you must print with good ventilation. There are tons of DIY ventilation setups out there you can build yourself. PLA is safe to print indoors but decent ventilation is still recommended.
This printer supports files from any program—I recommend using Cura from Ultimaker to slice your drawings into files.
If you're a beginner, here's a basic software breakdown of how you print 3D models:
- Load a drawing into a program like Cura
- Set your print settings (resolution, filament type, etc.)
- Cura will slice your drawing up and output a file, which is a standardized 3D printing file format.
- You load the file into your printer and it prints.
You can load your files into this printer using either the [included] micro-SD card or via USB. The SD card slot is placed right in the front, as it should be, and not in some far-off stupid place.
Another feature I love is the ability to resume prints in the case of a power outage. If there's a power failure or power cut, you will be given the option to resume the print once power returns.
The resume print feature also works if you want to stop the print manually—which is handy if you need to run to the store or go to bed and don't want to keep an eye on your print.
No more losing hours of work due to a small outage. Awesome.
This photo shows the first print I ran immediately after leveling the bed. I printed the sample print that came on the included SD card, which always seems to be a dog for some reason (c'mon, just give us Benchy).
One very silly thing is that the printer doesn't come with enough test filament to print the entire dog. You'll need your own spool of PLA handy if you want to use the test print—but you should probably have some on hand anyways. :)
Overall, this printer produces excellent quality prints.
This photo shows finer print detail: good extrusion with no stringing or noticeable tags.
Honestly, for the price I don't think a better printer exists. This printer fully exceeded my expectations and destroys the Anet A8 in comparison. I firmly believe that this printer will unseat the A8 as the ultimate $range budget 3D printer. For those of us who can't (or won't) drop $1,+ on a printer, the Ender 3 is a spectacular choice.
There's a new sheriff in town, A8, and your days are numbered. I'll miss you, but not that much.
Where to buy
If you thought my review was helpful, be sure to share it with your 3D printing buddies :) Happy printing!
The Prusa i3 is an open-source, self-replicating printer. There are many great 3D printers on the market that are based on Prusa's designs.
Ender 3 3D Printer
Creality Ender 3 NewsCreality’s Ender 3 3D Printer is Now Fully Open Source
Creality3D, the Chinese manufacturer of 3D printers, has announced the open-sourcing of its most popular 3D printer, the Ender This makes it the first Open Source Hardware Association certified 3D printer in China Learn More
Ender 3' S FAQ:Filament did not stick on the hotbed?
For newcomers, this is the most common problem. Do not worry, you can solve it easily. Generally,the distance between the nozzle and platform is too far or near. So rotary the knob under the platform to adjust the distance between the nozzle and platform again,at a piece of A4 paper distance or less).
Creality Ender 3 Bed Leveling – All You Need to Know
Any structure needs a strong foundation. The same is true for 3D-printed objects. Leveling the bed on your Creality Ender 3 will ensure that that all-important first layer is solid
How to level Creality Creality Ender 3?
Move the nozzle so that it’s positioned over the left corner of the bed. A half-inch or so from both sides is a good location.
Slide the paper between the nozzle and the bed. If it doesn’t fit, drop the corner until it does.
Once the paper is able to slide under the nozzle, very slowly raise the corner with the adjuster. Remember: Clockwise moves the bed up. As you do this, gently slide the paper back and forth. The moment you feel even the slightest resistance to your moving the paper, stop turning the knob. That corner is (almost) ready to go.
Do the same for the other three corners of the build plate. Always advance the hot end to a new corner slowly. This will prevent damage to the build plate in case the nozzle starts to drag. If this occurs, simply lower the next corner (before starting the leveling process) to make some room.
After you’ve adjusted each corner once, go back and check the four corners again. You may have to do further adjustments to get all four correct.
Article: Creality Ender 3 Bed Leveling – All You Need to Know.
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Creality3D Ender 3 3D Printer Kit
The Ender 3 comes with easy-to-follow instructions and user-friendly parts that can be assembled by anyone. With aluminum framing and stainless steel screws, the Ender 3 is made to last once it's put together.
Hackable and Upgradable
The Creality 3D printer line is completely open-source, allowing for add-ons and upgrades of almost every component on the machine. From a BL Touch automatic bed leveling probe, to a Micro-Swiss or E3D all-metal hotend, to a Bondtech extruder - the Creality 3D printers give you an awesome foundation for experimentation.
- Print area: mm x mm x mm
- Nozzle: Brass mm x mm
- can be swapped out for mm or mm
- Max. nozzle temp: °C
- Power input: 24V / W
- Printer weight: kg
- Printer size: mm x mm x mm
What's in the Box
- Extra nozzle
- Hex key
- Pair of wire cutters
- Nozzle cleaner
- Coil of filament
Put simply, MatterHackers is the smart place to shop for all things 3D printing and digital manufacturing. The MatterHackers pros are here to partner with you through every step of your journey turning idea into reality and here are just a few of the perks you’ll receive as a customer:
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No matter how large or small your order is, U.S. customers will always receive free, fast shipping on orders over $ Most orders placed before 4pm ET M-F ship same day.
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We work hard to make sure that we offer the lowest prices available - shop confidently knowing you’re getting the best deals on the items you love. Learn more about our Lowest Price Guarantee here.
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MatterHackers is invested in your success. From our free phone and email support to our easy exchange program, MatterHackers sets you up on the road to success even with just one purchase. Learn more here.
Have a question about this MatterHackers Creality3D Ender 3 3D Printer Kit? Looking for a recommendation? No problem. Feel free to contact us.
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3d printer 3 ender
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