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The Ender 3 Pro Printer – Officially the Best Budget 3D Printer

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Price excl. shipping / Last update on 2020-11-08 at 18:19 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Creality Ender 3 Pro

Dylan Miller @io3dprint

Easy to Setup
Easy to Use
Print Quality
Value For Money
Features

Summary

There is no arguing that the Ender 3 Pro is by far one of the best budget 3D printers in the market. Its sturdy metal construction, relatively large build volume, and better print quality set the unit apart from almost all 3D printers in its category.

4.2

Introduction

Most of us don’t have the large budgets needed to get a high-quality 3D printer. However, the great news is that thanks to the Ender 3, we no longer have to break the bank to get a reliable, quality 3D printer.

In recent decades, 3D printing technology has reduced in cost. Still, budget 3D printers often come with several compromises that can make them unreliable and a hassle to use. The Ender 3 has changed all that!

Featuring sturdy aluminum construction, a great price, and an array of top of the line features, the unit is designed to deliver excellent print quality for all creators.

We will be looking at some of the features it has to offer, its technical specs, and all the info you need to ultimately help you decide whether to buy it or not.

Specifications

  • Printing Technology: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
  • Build volume: 220 mm x 220 mm x 250 mm
  • Filament size: 1.75 mm
  • Printing Speed: 180 mm/ sec
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi and SD card
  • Slicer Software: Cura, Repetier – Host, Simplify3D
  • Filament types: ABS, PLA, Carbon fiber, Wood
  • Layer Thickness: 0.1 – 0.4 mm
  • Max Nozzle Temperature: 255 Degrees Celsius
  • Maximum Hotbed temperature: 110 Degrees Celsius
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  • Net Printer Weight: 8.9 kgs
  • Printer Size: 440 mm x 440 mm x 465 mm

Features

The Ender 3 is endowed with some amazing top of the line features too, some of which are typically only found on the more expensive higher-end models. Here is a full breakdown of each of them:

  • The Ender 3 offers rapid heating technology, allowing the hotbed to reach maximum temperature in less than 5 minutes. This ensures that you can commence printing a wide variety of filament faster.
  • The printer is also equipped with a CNC machining Y-Axis mounting groove and additional precise positioning features that enable quality and precise printing.
  • The chassis is constructed from a sturdy aluminum frame that enhances its longevity. The frame also adds extra stability to the printer, enhancing print precision in the process.
  • The Ender 3 also features a resume printing feature that guards against interruptions in the power supply. This makes the unit an ideal choice for long-hour printing projects.
  • The printer also comes already semi-assembled. Instructions on how to put together the other components are also clear and concise, making it easier and faster to set it up for first-time use.
  • The Ender 3 also has a better, more improved extruder, featuring new advanced technology designed to reduce the risk of poor extraction and clogging.
  • The printer also features a relatively large build volume, something that makes it quite versatile in printing larger objects.
  • The Ender 3 is also fitted with an all-new viscous platform sticker that is more effective than glue and reprinting tape in preventing warping.
  • The unit also uses a reputable Mean Well, UL Certified, power supply system. This PSU is not only safe but also protects your printer from any unexpected surges in voltage.
  • The manufacturer of this unit also promises customers lifetime technical support after purchase, a 12 months warranty, and 24-hour professional customer service.

Pros

  • The printer is semi-assembled and would need not more than 2 hours to set up for first time use
  • Features a sturdy aluminum construction that enhances printer stability and longevity
  • State of the art power supply system that heats the bed swiftly and protects the unit from unexpected voltage surges
  • Versatile unit thanks to its relatively large build volume and a wide variety of compatible filament
  • Fantastic value for money compared to other entry-level printers in the market

Cons

  • The Hotend fan may start to lose its efficiency over time as you continue to use the printer
  • Some users have complained that you have to keep adjusting the bed to achieve perfect level every time you print
  • Some people have also found the instructions (which are just pictures with no words) provided in the manual to be very complicated for beginners
  • The final print quality looks inconsistent in terms of quality and accuracy.

Unboxing and Box Contents

The Ender 3 ships in a sturdy box that should be easy to open. You will also notice that the manufacturer has included several accessories in there, too. All of which are essential in the smooth operation of this unit. First, you will get several pneumatic fittings that will be required for first time assembly.

An extra nozzle is also included in the box, plus you also get a pair of pliers, some Allen Keys, a screwdriver, a cable tie, and two wrenches. The manufacturer also offers you one PTFE tube, a needle to clean up the nozzle, a blade, and a rack. You will also get an SD Card and its reader for offline printing and a detailed user manual to help with setting up and printer operation.

Setup

So, the Ender 3 comes semi-assembled from the factory. The printer’s base, which contains the print bed, the Y-axis, and most of the controls you need to operate this unit, are already put together. However, to use the printer for the first time, you will need to attach the uprights that ship inside the box and plug in various motors. Attaching the upright frames is pretty easy, and you will have about a dozen bolts to fix the frames on the printer’s base.

Once the uprights are attached, it’s time to level the bed. You will notice that the Ender 3 has 4 knobs, each attached on the four corners of the print bed. Each knob is designed to raise or lower the specific corner it is attached to. To raise the bed, turn the knobs left. Turn right to lower it. You want to turn these knobs equally in the same direction until the bed is fully leveled. While the instructions provided by the manufacturer should help you level the bed in just a few minutes, if you run into any issues, you can always check out some beneficial DIY YouTube videos.

Finally, you will also need to load the filament before you start printing. The Ender comes with a filament mounting bracket that is fitted on one end of the top aluminum bar. The mount helps to create a gradual curve on the filament as it enters the feeder for smooth filament loading. To get the filament into the feeder, cut it into a 45-degree angle, and feed it in.

Software

Ender 3 uses a wide variety of third-party slicer software, so you are free to choose whichever you want. The unit is compatible with Repetier Host, Simplify3D, and Cura. These are all very popular slicers in the 3D printing community, but if you are new to all this, familiarize yourself with the slicer you intend to use through online forums and other helpful guides.

In Use

Overall, the precision and print quality of the Ender 3 is quite commendable, especially when you consider its price. However, from the reviews we saw, it seems like different users have had different experiences in print quality. While more often than not, the Ender 3 would deliver satisfactory quality in printing, there are some inconsistencies based on the reviews we have seen. Please note that several factors may affect the final quality of the printed object, including the slicer you are using or the filament. However, generally, it looks like Ender 3 does a great job compared to most entry-level printers out there.

Customer Service

The manufacturer of the Ender 3 offers lifetime support for customers and 24-hour professional support services. However, we did not find any reviews that corroborated these claims. It seems, though, like a lot of people who run into issues with this printer relied entirely on YouTube and other readily available support materials without necessarily contacting the manufacturer. It’s a good thing, therefore that there are so many Ender 3 guides that you can use in case you have trouble using the unit.

Conclusion

There is no arguing that the Ender 3 is by far one of the best budget 3D printers in the market. Its sturdy metal construction, relatively large build volume, and better print quality set the unit apart from most printers in its category.

The Ender 3 is also fitted with a reputable power supply system and comes with a “resume printing” feature to guard against any sudden losses in power. The printer is mostly ideal for both individuals and institutional creators. It should offer excellent value for money.

But the unit also has a few issues that you may want to know. First of all, we noted that the user manual offered by the manufacturer has no words, just pictures. For someone new to 3D printing, this can be very hard to follow. You will be much better off watching one of the many YouTube videos available that show you how to assemble the printer.

There are also some small issues with the consistency of print quality. Fortunately, almost all of the potential problems are easily fixed, and the Ender 3 benefits from a huge following online with communities dedicated to this specific printer able to offer endless help and support.

Nonetheless, what makes the Ender 3 a highly recommended product is the fantastic features it offers for its price. The unit is extremely versatile, and even with its minor shortcomings, it should be an excellent purchase for any creator out there.

Happy Printing!

Dylan

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