Review: The Creality Ender 3 (3D Printer Kit)

When the Ender 3 was announced at the end of March, it quickly became the most anticipated 3D Printer of 2018. After dominating the mid-range budget market with their flagship CR-10, Creality focused their attention on the low-end sector and raised the bar once again. Similar in many regards to its big brother, the Ender 3 is the smaller, wallet friendly option with a price tag just under $200.

While there are plenty of 3D Printers to choose from at this cost bracket, none have managed to check all of the boxes until now. Shoppers often had to sacrifice one feature in exchange for another, such as build volume for build quality or vice versa. No longer is this the case with the Ender 3, which manages to provide a safe, well built machine that is capable of producing large, magnificent prints right out of the box.

It’s not a perfect 3D printer by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s probably the closest we will see at this price for quite some time. Over the course of this review, we will take an in-depth look at what’s included with the package, the assembly process and the overall build quality of the machine.

Resolution 100 Microns
Dimensions 440x410x465mm
Build Volume 220x220x250mm
Platform Build Tak
Filament 1.75mm
Material PLA/ABS
Weight 19 Lbs
Connect USB/SD Card

Included Parts

While the Ender 3 is in fact a 3D Printer Kit, it comes partially assembled from the factory and takes minimal effort to build. The individual components are packaged into a styrofoam tray, with the nuts and bolts separated into bags with labels for easy identification.

While no damaged parts have yet been reported, some owners have found several loose bolts in the box. These are for the Z motor mount and tend to fall out during shipment.

Everything you will need to get started is included in the box, meaning no additional tools or hardware are needed. Nonetheless, new owners should consider buying extra filament alongside the machine. The small 50G sample pack is barely enough for the demo print, let alone continuous printing after the machine is ready to use.

  • Frame Base (Heated Bed)
  • (2) 2040 V-Slot Extrusion
  • (2) 2020 V-Slot Extrusion
  • 24V Switching Power Supply
  • LCD Screen & Mount
  • Bowden Extruder System
    • (1) GT2 Belt
    • Spool Holder
    • (4) Hex Wrenches
    • Putty Knife
    • Nippers
    • SD Card & USB Reader
 Guide: How to Assemble the Creality Ender-3

Those familiar with how a 3D printer works can likely complete the entire setup in less than an hour, but the Ender 3 is ultimately geared towards a novice. For those buying this as a first machine, the assembly should take no more than a couple hours at most. 75% of the work has been done for you and the remaining steps involve just bolting the pieces together. The printed instructions you will find in the box aren’t great, but the 2 minute assembly video helps to explain how each of the pieces fit.

Above all else, the most important piece of advise I can offer is, make sure to triple check everything before using it. Nothing feels worse than breaking your brand new machine, but small mistakes can do just that. Make sure the Power Supply switch is correctly set (115V for US, 230V for Europe). Check each and every bolt to make sure it is tight. If something goes wrong and your not sure, turn the machine off and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

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