Creality Ender 3 is the best 3D printer in the price range up to $ 200. Ender 3 is a phenomenon: so many people have never shown interest in inexpensive 3D printers. As of the end of 2019, this is the most popular cheapest 3D printer to date. In this review you will understand why Ender 3 is so popular.
Pros of Ender 3
• Decent print volume
• High quality prints
• Open code
• Easy assembly
• Compact design
• A lot of updates to improve 3D printing
Cons Ender 3
• Vibration of the base, making alignment difficult
• Manual calibration required
There are a number of features that make Creality Ender 3 one of the most popular machines on the market. It has a build volume of 220 x 220 x 250 mm, BuildTak, power recovery mode and a dense filament, which facilitates printing using flexible materials. These are attributes that are difficult to find even in more expensive printers.
Creality Ender 3 is a great option for beginners or budget users. Although this 3D printer has its drawbacks, accessibility makes it a profitable investment. Unlike other budget options in this price range, such as Anet A8, Creality Ender 3 is prepared for high-quality 3D printing right out of the box. On top of that, the growing community interested in this 3D printer has led to more and more updates.
All parts and tools are neatly hidden in the packaging foam. In addition to the details of the 3D printer, the box contains:
• Flash drive (equipped with instructions, test models and much more)
• Various tools such as wrenches, hex wrenches and a small screwdriver
• Sample white thread PLA
• Nozzle cleaner
• Putty knife
Creality Ender 3 is considered a pre-assembled 3D printer, and the machine requires a significant number of assembly steps before you start it. The entire assembly process will take about 2-3 hours for a novice 3D printing specialist.
The Creality Ender 3 tutorial is enough to complete the build process, but finding a good video on YouTube will also speed up the process and reduce errors.
First of all, after assembly, you will need to manually align the Ender 3 print bed with four large-sized wheels located on the underside of each corner. Alignment is simple enough: you just lay a sheet of A4 paper on the bed and turn each wheel so that the nozzle scratches the paper slightly.
Further, some testing will be required to make sure that everything is OK with the print itself. There is a test dog in the G-Code on the microSD card that comes with the printer.
Beginners should know that you don’t need to know how to create 3D models to get started with 3D printing at home. Sites such as Thingiverse have huge databases of 3D models that you can download for free, and many of them can be customized without violating the Creative Commons license terms under which they are provided.
Thingiverse offers model files in STL format, and then you use free software such as Cura to scale them, set the quality and cut them, converting STL into print instructions that Ender 3 can process. A copy of Cura is included on the microSD card that comes with Ender 3, but it’s better to download the latest version directly from the website instead (it's free).
The 3D printer menu system is very easy to navigate, and is carried out using a single wheel, which you use to scroll through the menus and select the desired option by pressing the wheel. During printing, the information screen displays various information, such as the temperature of the nozzle and heating table, and the print coordinates. You can also see the progress indicator and print time here, but you can also get information from Cura on how much time and how many meters of filament it takes to print.
Once you calibrate and set up Creality Ender 3, you will be very surprised at how good your prints will be.
You will definitely continue to experiment with more specialized materials such as wood filament, ABS, TPU and PETG, as you will have more experience gained with PLA.
Although Creality Ender 3 is a reliable and relatively powerful 3D printer, its retail price is less than $200. Although the 3D printer certainly has its drawbacks, this bargain price makes us overlook them a bit more for the sake of economy.
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