Best Slicer for Ender 3 (Pro/V2)

Do you have a Creality Ender 3, Ender 3 V2, or Ender 3 Pro? If so, you can get high quality prints by using the right slicer. Read on to find out the best slicer for Ender 3, Ender 3 V2 and Ender 3 Pro.

Preparing Your Slicer

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The Ender 3 is one of the best 3D printers for beginners. The printer is easy to customize, comes at an affordable price and produces highly-detailed prints.

The Ender line, i.e., Ender 3, Ender 3 V2, and Ender 3 Pro are mostly similar, save for a few upgrades in each printer. All the 3D printers are compatible with different slicers and can be tweaked for the best performance.

A slicer is a software that turns digital designs into actual objects. You have to send the slicer file to the printer with command and coordinates for your object to be printed.

The Ender 3 3D printers use G-code, a machine language that provides instructions on how they should handle the printing. You can customize the settings of your print job in the slicer, depending on what you would want. Some of the things you can customize include infill geometry, infill density, layer height and among others.

Choosing the Best Slicer for Ender 3

You will be using a slicer a lot in your 3D printing projects. Therefore, you have to choose one that is not only compatible with your printer but also easy for you to use.

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First, make sure the slicer you choose can work with your 3D printer in its default configurations and settings. From there, consider the following:

  • Use experience. Is the slicer easy to use?
  • What are the pros and cons of the slicer?
  • Does the slicer produce quality results?
  • How much does the slicer cost?
  • Is there an active user community based around the slicer?

This guide presents an overview of the best slicers for Ender 3, Ender 3 V2, and Ender Pro.

Best Slicers for Ender 3

1. Cura

Cura is one of the best slicers on the market. The software, which is made by 3D manufacturing company Ultimaker, has tons of features for customizing your prints and a great supportive community.

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The software is opensource and therefore, works across all major OS platforms. With Cura, you can also use STL, 3MF and OBJ file formats. The software can also repair files if needed.

Cura is easy to get started with and provides dozens of customization options. For example, you can set it to show only the basic settings or advanced settings, as you prefer. The software has over 200 customization settings. For even more customization options, you can install extra add-ons found in the community and marketplaces.

One of the things that make Cura the best slicer for Ender 3, Ender 3 V2, and Ender 3 Pro is the variety of pre-set slicer profiles available for different materials, including PLA, TPU, PETG and ABS. These presets allow you to get closer to the optimum settings for printing high-quality models.

There are dozens of preconfigured settings for printers, materials, and nozzle size, which can be a time-save when you upgrade your machine.  You can tune the settings of your printer by running some test prints, and then customize them to your settings as you see fit.

However, one disadvantage of Cura is that it only has limited support for OctoPrint and other remote printing programs.  Still, this is not a deal-breaker given all the other convenient features it has.

The ability to customize the settings is critical to fine-tuning your 3D experience. For example, you can change the infill density as well as geometric shapes.

Cura is also regularly updated, which is a big plus.

Best for Beginner-advanced users
Price Free
Platforms Mac, Windows, Linux
Where to download Ultimaker

2. Creality Slicer

Creality Slicer is made by Creality and is compatible with all their FDM 3D printers. This slicer is very basic and looks like a stripped-down version of Cura. The interface looks like Cura’s and all the settings you will see are the same as available on Cura.

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While Creality Slicer has lifted lots of features off Cura, it comes with a pre-made profile for Ender 3, Ender 3 V2, and Ender 3 Pro. Cura doesn’t have a preset profile for Ender 3 V2 but has for Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro.

The community around Creality Slicer is a lot smaller but this shouldn’t be an issue for Ender 3 3D printer users since the machines are compatible with other popular slicers like Cura and Simplify3D. Also, Creality Slicer is only available for Windows. If you are using Mac, the company recommends using Cura.

When it comes to features, Creality Slicer is very basic compared to what we have in Cura. However, if you are new to 3D printing or have an Ender 3 V2, this may be the program for you.

Best for Beginner and intermediate users
Price Free
Platform Windows
Where to download Creality

3. Slic3r

Slic3r is an opensource program that is often regarded as a standard over which most popular slicers were developed from.  This slicer can be quite overwhelming since all the setting options are always visible. Therefore, we recommend it to advanced makers.

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Some of the features of the slicer include sequential printing, multiple extruder support, use of modifiers of custom G-codes to twat print setting, and more. The software features infill techniques that maximize the strength of prints. This software reads OBJ, STL and AMF files and generates G-code quite fast.

Being opensource, Slic3r is free and easy to get started with. The software is also compatible with all OS platforms and nearly all 3D printers.  Moreover, it works well with OctoPrint and is continuously being developed with new features.

Slic3r has quite a small userbase. Therefore, you may not easily find solutions to your problems. Moreover, the software does not show material and print time estimates.

While Sli3r does not have everything, it is a good program to try if you are an advanced user.

Best for Advanced users
Price Free
Platforms Mac, Windows, Linux
Where to download Slic3r

4. Simplify3D

If you are a 3D professional or have lots of experience with 3D printing, you should check out Simplify3D. This slicer uses OBJ, STL and 3MF file and processes them very quickly.

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The slicer has lots of settings that you can customize, for example, multiple extruder settings, printer controls, and more.  The interface is also straight-forward and easy to work with, once you get used to the basics.

Simplify3D is a commercial slicer. Therefore, you need a license to use it. As a result, it is mostly popular with professional makers. Some high-end industrial 3D printers like (dash) also bundle the software license with them.

All in all, Simplify3D will let you have high-quality prints all the time.

However, there is limited support for Simplify3D users that run Linux machines. Therefore, for the best experience, you’ll have to switch to Windows. Some users have also reported occasional problems with blobbing.

While Simplify3D has a supportive community, it is not that large. Therefore, sometimes you may not easily find solutions to your problems.

Best for Advanced and professional users
Price $149 for the full version
Platforms Windows, Mac
Where to download Simplify3D

Verdict: Best Slicer for Ender 3, Ender 3 V2, and Ender 3 Pro

All the above slicers work with Ender 3 3D printers. However, they are suitable for different categories of people.

  • Cura is the best slicer for Ender 3. This software is easy to learn and has a great user interface. We recommend it for beginners.
  • If you want to try something new, the Slic3r is for you. This program comes with a wide variety of options and features.
  • For professional makers, the Simplify3D is the best slicer for Ender 3. This comprehensive package is a commercial program that is recommended for professionals.
  • Finally, if you have Creality machines, you can use the Creality Slicer. The program is a basic version of Cura but has a pre-set profile for Ender 3 V2.

Whichever slicer you go for, it may take some time for you to learn how it works. Do some practice and experiment with various test prints to get first-hand experience with them. The initial test prints may not turn out great but will surely improve over time.

Also, if you get stuck with using any of the slicers, you can get a lot of help by searching online.


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