The greater build volume on the Ender 5 is the main reason one would purchase the machine. That said, the CoreXY frame offers increased stability, which removes artifacts like “salmon skin”.
Hot End & Heated Bed
The hot end on the Ender 3 is a Creality MK8, whereas the Ender 5 offers a MK10, which is supposed to reduce clogging and filament jams.
The heated bed on the Ender 5 is the same as that on the Ender 3. The magnetic PEI sheet is present on both the Ender 3 Pro and the Ender 5, but on the latter, it doesn’t bump into the power supply, which is a problem on the former. (The stock Ender 3 doesn’t come with the PEI sheet but can be retrofitted accordingly.)
The bed springs on the Ender 5 have been upgraded to Uxcell springs, which hold tension better, requiring less frequent leveling.
The Ender 5 has an assembly experience that’s almost joyful. After screwing 20 screws into place, which is doable in about 20–30 minutes, you’re ready to print.
Meanwhile, the Ender 3 can take almost 2.5 hours to do the same. And compared to the Ender 5’s manual, Creality’s best yet, the Ender 3’s is unnecessarily complicated, with poor English and missing steps.
A major problem with the Ender 5 is that there’s no working thermal runaway protection. Thankfully, on the newer Ender 3s, this protection is enabled, stopping the machine in under 20 seconds after a temperature fault is noticeable (i.e. the temperature doesn’t rise properly).
The current Ender 3 mainboard is the v1.1.4 board, which includes thermal runaway protection and a bootloader. Unfortunately, the Ender 5 still has the old v1.1.3 mainboard.
The power supply on the Ender 5 is a certified Meanwell. In contrast, the Ender 3 has a generic Chinese power supply, which means a potential risk of fire or electric shock.
The screen is the same on both machines, however, Creality still hasn’t covered the screen back with a case, which could cause damage to the circuit or an operator.