Read our Creality CP-01 review to find out the features, specs, performance and cost of this 3-in-1 3D printer.
The Creality CP-01 is a modular 3D printer with three capabilities; 3D printing, laser engraving and CNC milling.
This 3D printer is a modular 3-in-1 printer. This means that it has a print head that can be exchanged in just a few simple steps to convert the unit from a 3D printer with filament to a laser engraver and a CNC machine.
More details in the following Creality CP-01 review.
Creality CP-01 3D Printer Review
Unboxing, Scope of delivery and Assembly
Let’s get started with the review.
About 90% of the Creality CP-01 3-in-1 printer arrives already assembled. So, you only need to screw a few screws here and there. For instance, you have to screw on the end stops and plug in the stepper motors.
The assembly process is simple. Simply follow the instructions that come with the 3D printer. The steps are clearly shown in pictorial format. There is also a link to an online video of the assembly process by the manufacturer.
Before you proceed, confirm that everything has been assembled properly. In my case. the four screws of the heating bed had loosened during the transport. Tighten any loose screws with the enclosed Allen key.
If you cannot reach the screw holes for the heatbed, we recommend loosening the lower cover for the electronics on the housing.
After this, you can get to the Y-axis from below and loosen it with a few screws. Then, you will be able to access the heatbed without any problems.
The most important point to keep in mind when assembling the printer are the two Z-axes. The axes must be fixed with four screws on each side. It takes a while to do this because the screws are quite long and the axles also have a certain hold.
Failure to fix the Z axes properly will result in poor effects on your print models.
Below, you can see the three print heads included in the delivery. A print head with 500mW laser, a print head with CNC function, and the normal print head for normal filament printing.
You can see the who assemble process in the video below:
After assembly, it was now time to print our first models.
Unfortunately, there were no files included on the SD card. Also, it looked like the card reader (directly on the mainboard) was not working because no SD card showed anything. I tried getting files from other SD cards but the files did not show.
Therefore, I could only conclude that the card reader was faulty.
I got in touch with Creality and explained the problem to them. The support team send me a new file via email. I opened the file on a MicroSD with an SD adapter and since then, the card reader has been working without any problems.
Of course, none of this prevents me from testing the printer anyway. After all, it is not only possible to read files via SD card, but also to feed the printer directly to the (micro) USB port of the printer via a connected laptop.
Creality CP-01 Technical Specifications
- Brand: Creality3D
- Type: DIY
- Model: CP-01 Modular
- 3D printing technology: FDM
- Motor: 42-40 stepper, 42-34 threaded rod motor, 1.8º step angle
- Hot bed: Yes
- Hot bed temperature: up to 100ºC
- Size of the printing bed: 200 x 200 x 200 mm
- Aluminum thermal base
- CNC milling
- Carving / cutting size: 200 x 200 mm
- Materials: wood, paper, PCB, plastic, etc.
- File format: jpg, jpeg
- Spindle speed: 4,800 rpm max.
- Chuck clamping range: 0-4mm
- Standard gutter size: tungsten alloy cutter
- Range: 0-4 mm
- Laser engraving:
- Engraving size: 200 x 200 mm
- Materials: wood, paper, plastic, etc
- File format: JPG, JPEG
- Laser power: less than 0.5W
- Number of extruders: 1
- Bowden-type extruder
- Melting temperature: 0-250ºC
- Layer thickness: 0.1-0.4mm
- Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm (can be substituted for other sizes)
- Printing precision: ± 0.1 mm
- Printing speed: 10-80mm / s
- Compatible with 1.75mm diameter filament
- 4.3 “touch screen
- Online connection
- Filament detector
- Automatic resume function
- New user interface
- Limit switch
- V-guide rail
- Full belt drive
- Replacement of modular heads in less than 30 seconds
- Printing materials:
- Language: English, Chinese
- Compatible operating systems: Windows XP / Vista / 7/10, MAC and Linux
- Accepted formats: STL, OBZH, AMG
- Cutting software: Cura, Simplify3D
- Input 115-230V
- Output: 24V
- Structure material: aluminum frame
- Colour: Black
- Printer weight: 10 kg
- Package weight: 11 kg
- Size: 200 x 200 x 200mm
- Speed: 10 – 80mm / s
- Display: 4.3 inches
Due to the way the exchangeable print heads were mounted, Creality tried to pack each area of application into a small box. In the case of the filament print head, the (direct) extruder was also integrated. This means that the filament is fed directly into the print head. Therefore, no major problems should arise with TPU and other soft filaments.
However, this has yet to be seen. I don’t have TPU filament in my supply and can only test it later.
The assembly of the individual print heads is very easy.
On the back, there are 3 screws that can be loosened without tools. Before doing this, the serial connector at the top has to be removed, again without the need for any extra tools. From there, the new print head comes on and everything is connected the other way around.
A first test with the included white PLA filament went without any problems. The really accurate Benchy print shows only a slight thread formation, which can be remedied with a little play on the CURA controls.
Incidentally, I simply entered CR-10 as the basic model in CURA and set the work surface to 200 x 200 x 200 mm (filament to 1.75, but that’s already preset anyway) and I could start printing.
The enclosed coated glass plate holds the prints well. When the printed object and the glass plate have cooled down, the print can be removed without any effort. You just have to be very careful not to clean the glass plate with a harsh cleaning agent . I accidentally removed the “rubber layer” by using too much IPA from the cleaned area.
The compact printhead is well thought out. The filament is inserted from above and the appropriate lever is attached to the front to let the filament through. The printhead works great and the motor is very close to it. This makes PLA filament, as well as softer options like TPU, easier to print.
The touch menu reacts very quickly and precisely. You can adjust down the tactility in a few steps using a controller in the menu. At the beginning, the sound is set to the highest volume. The key tones (sounds like an old phone) come across very blatantly.
In general, the menu is super structured and the screen looks much higher quality than I saw on the Geeetech A30 Pro 3D printer.
Everything can be easily adjusted via the interface. Levels, the position, the temperature, the fan, etc. Everything is clearly accessible.
- Size: 100 x 190mm
- Laser power: 500mW
- Laser wavelength: 405nm
- File formats: SVG, BMP, PNG, JPG, DXF
The scope of delivery includes protective goggles for the laser and one for the milling cutter.
The best solution for milling and lasering would generally be a closed housing with exhaust air around the printer. But in the end you have to decide for yourself.
Personally, I simply placed the printer next to a window for the first test of the laser and CNC. I also wore protective goggles until the first results were ready.
I’m not a professional and had never worked with a laser before, but I think the MobiFlip-M lasered into the wood is very good.
A second test on some of the raclette dishes also worked wonderfully.
500mW is not necessarily very strong. However, it is sufficient for engraving (you can feel the laser beam penetrating the wood minimally). As a test, I tried a slate of slate, here you couldn’t see the slightest trace of an engraving.
The procedure is very simple. Basically, you just have to switch to laser in the printer. After that, the focus point of the laser (which is activated after switching to the laser) on the wood has to be set as sharp as possible.
If you have done everything correctly you can already see a black point and probably a little smoke rising from the lasered material.
Then, the SVG, BMP, PNG, JPG or DXF file is loaded into the software (Creality Workshop). In my case, the MobiFlip-M was set as PNG and the size was set.
For a first test, I set the width a little more than 4cm and after 20-30 minutes, the almost silent laser engraving was already finished.
There was some smoke when lasering. Therefore, I would recommend carrying out the activity in well-ventilated rooms. Also, be careful. Depending on the material, the laser can produce unhealthy gases.
The Creality CP-01 uses the Creality Workshop app. I found the software inadequate. For example, I was only able to get it to work on the fourth computer. The software could not be started on a Macbook Pro with Windows booted natively, on the CHUWI, or on my office computer (HP Zbook approx. 2.5 years old).
On the latter, I could at least trick and unzip the Setup.exe with a zip program and then start the software manually. However, this can also mean that drivers or the like may not have installed correctly.
I would have preferred if there was adequate information on installing the software, as well as a detailed tutorial for beginners. I would have preferred more in-depth tutorials on the laser and CNC functions, in particular. I have not yet understood parts of the operation of the app. For example, how one should come to such results is a mystery to me:
Since I can only open a 2D graphic on the app, the milling cutter cannot know where to go deeper and where not.
Overall, you can achieve your goal with the app when working with the laser. For the CNC, let’s find out more below.
- Size: 200 x 200mm
- Speed: 4800rpm / min
- File format: SVG, BMP, PNG, JPG, DXF
- Clamping range: 0.3 – 4mm
- Shank diameter: 3.175mm
- File format: PNG, JPG, BMP, SVG, etc.
The Creality CP-o1’s drill head is clamped with a standard key. The scope of delivery is one milling attachment, which is sufficient for an initial test. If you want to do more with the CNC milling attachment, you have to buy more drills/milling cutters.
So far, I have unfortunately not been able to test the CNC function to my satisfaction. Neither with a source file from the SD card nor via a directly connected PC and the enclosed Creality Workshop app. The latter is really difficult to use.
The laser works quite well, but unfortunately the CNC milling does not work at all!
For me as a layperson, the milling cutter gets going and behaves like a laser. It moves to the first point, turns the motor up as if it’s ready to drill the first point, then moves while the motor is still slowing down to the next point, and then increases the speed there again.
But that would mean that the path would be partially milled, right?
In my tests, nothing happened because the mill cutter did the milling process in the air, regardless of what I set. Even if I dip the milling cutter into the material on the printer via MOVE and set the Z value, it then moved up again after the start process.
This also happened when I lift the platen. I had tried that too, in case I had set something wrong here.
Creality support knows about this as can be seen on Facebook groups.
So far, I can only say that as a layperson, I would have preferred an in-deoth tutorial on using the CNC mill cutters. Someone with some experience with CNC and lasers might see my issue as small, but since I’m testing the 3-in-1 3D printer as a lay person, these are the issues that other novices will encounter.
If someone has a tip for another app, feel free to add it in the comments. When I have gained further experience on the subject of CNC and lasers, you will most certainly read about it.
Creality Workshop App Update
Update: After writing this article, I got my hands on a new version of the Creality Workshop app that could be installed.
Changes in the second Export Setting tab are now also included in the Gcode. In the previous version, the settings were not there and this could be the reason why the milling process went wrong. In the new app, I can also now set how deep the object should be milled. FINALLY!
However, my summary remains almost the same.
The cutter seems to be more of a toy. I tried the enclosed plexiglass and a 3mm craft wood plate. The wood should only be milled 1mm deep.
For the wood, I thought I would mill 3 passes of one millimeter each. So, one round 1mm and the second round identical, only then two millimeters deep, etc. I wanted to pull this through to the actually desired depth of 3mm.
Unfortunately, that didn’t work. You can see very that despite the same starting point, the tracks only stay the same for a short time. In the case of the elk’s antlers, the curves diverge a lot because the cutter simply gets stuck in places or then jumps 1-2 mm, etc.
I tightened and checked all the screws on the router. So that’s not the point. My personal guess is that the cutter just isn’t strong enough. So either it would have to turn faster, or simply the milling head itself would have to be of higher quality/sharper.
So, if you only want to engrave 1mm deep, you could use the CP-01. Everything else is a matter of luck, at least with my version and the materials used. Also, even with a millimeter, it often sounds as if the milling cutter has long since reached the limit of what is feasible.
If you are looking for a modular unit that does CNC milling without any issues, I recommend you check out the Snapmaker 2.0 A350.
Creality CP-01 Review Conclusion
The Creality CP-01 3-in-1 printer costs about $500. For a pure 3D printer, this may be in the higher price range, but of course you shouldn’t forget the flexibility of the 3-in-1 device.
If you want to buy a laser engraver, you usually have to pay another $150 for it and the CNC function would also cost a surcharge. Here, you have everything in one device.
Apart from the CNC function including the associated Windows app, I cannot currently list anything negative. If everything works, the printer is definitely worth a tip for the handicraft shop. This is definitely one of the best 3-in-1 3D printers.