Some of you will probably wonder why we have a 3D printer in the test again? That’s easy to answer. I look for the delicacies for you, which are something special at the latest in the details.
In the case of the Creality CP-01 3in1 Printer, this is immediately apparent. This 3D printer comes off the production line as a 3in1 printer. In this case, this means that the printer has a print head that can be exchanged in just a few simple steps and can thus be easily converted from a 3D printer with filament to a laser engraver and a CNC machine.
More on that in the following review.
Unboxing, scope of delivery and assembly
First of all, I would like to point out that I have also recorded my impressions of the Creality CP-01 3in1 Printer in moving images for you. So if you prefer to see a video, watch the following film on Youtube:
For everyone else, as always, the full test report is still available in text form. Have fun reading my impressions of the brand new 3in1 printer from Creality!
About 90% of the Creality CP-01 3in1 printer arrives at the buyer already assembled by parcel service. What is next? A few screws screwed in here and there, the end stops screwed on and the plugs for the stepper motors plugged in.
That was it already. Everything is nicely shown in step-by-step instructions including pictures and below there is even a video about assembly directly from the manufacturer.
Mentioned about the assembly: In my case the four screws for the heating bed had loosened during the transport and the same was only hanging on one screw. You should take another look at it . If you don’t have as big a mess as I did, the screws can easily be tightened again with the enclosed Allen key.
If, on the other hand, you cannot reach the screw holes for the heatbed, we recommend loosening the lower cover for the electronics on the housing.
Then you can get to the Y-axis from below and loosen it with a few screws. Then access to the heatbed works without any problems.
The most important point when assembling the printer are the two Z-axes, which must be fixed with four screws on each side. It takes a while because the screws are a decent length and the axles also have a certain hold later
shouldhave to. Otherwise, ugly effects will occur when printing.
In the following photo you can see the three print heads that were 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.
As already mentioned a little further above, there is a super chic video of the assembly of the printer directly from Banggood. I would suggest this as a little required reading before the actual assembly. You can do this almost without instructions, but a little inspiration has never hurt.
As it turned out, there was unfortunately no content on the included SD card with my device and I had to get it indirectly (a YouTube colleague had uploaded the SD card for me to Google Drive). The Creality Support Let me down badly via chat . After several lines of explanation, there was only a hint that the necessary files must be on the SD card. As already mentioned, this is not the case.
It actually looks very much like the card reader (directly on the mainboard) is not working because no SD card at all showed anything. I’ve tried all of my SD cards from other printers – but unfortunately the table of contents remained empty.
That’s why I got in touch with Banggood and hoped to get a new mainboard sent quickly.
While I was still typing this test report, I received a new file via email from Banggood, which I had played on a MicroSD with an SD adapter and since then the card reader has been working again without any problems. Dubious! I can’t explain it in the slightest, but now reading GCODE files I created myself works again 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.
3D printer function
- 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 print head for the filament, the (direct) extruder was also integrated, which means that the filament is fed directly into the print head and therefore no major problems should arise with TPU and such very 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 we find 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. Then the new print head comes on and everything is connected the other way around. Finished.
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 should be remedied with a little play on the CURA controls.
Incidentally, I simply entered a CR-10 as the basic model in CURA and set the work surface to 20x20x20cm (filament to 1.75, but that’s already preset anyway) and I could start printing.
The enclosed coated glass plate currently holds all prints bombproof. As soon as 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 too 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. Works great and, as already mentioned, the motor is very close to the print head, which also makes TPU etc. easier to print.
Maybe a word about the operation. The touch menu reacts very quickly and precisely. The tone can be adjusted down 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 have already seen on a Geeetech 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.
NoteIn terms of safety , it is advisable to buy expensive and good protective goggles, as there are many horror reports on the net in which it is described that some cheap lasers like to scatter and can damage the eyes, etc.
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 banished the printer to the terrace for a first test of the laser and CNC and stayed there with protective goggles until the first results were ready.
For the fact that I’m not a professional and had never worked with a laser before, I think the MobiFlip-M lasered into the wood is very good. A second test on some of the raclette dishes also worked wonderfully.
The 500mW are not necessarily very strong and are 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 and then 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 is set as PNG and the size is 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, so I would recommend the process in well-ventilated rooms. Please be careful, depending on the material, this can even produce unhealthy gases.
The Creality Workshop app is, in my opinion, absolutely inadequate . For one thing, 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 been installed correctly.
For my taste, the software could go a little deeper into the matter and also offer a long and detailed tutorial for beginners. With lasers and CNC in particular, this could not do any harm! 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 there, the milling cutter cannot know where to go deeper and where not. But basically you can achieve your goal with the app, at least in the case of the laser. What it looks like with CNC – more about that 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 drill head is clamped with a standard key. The scope of delivery includes exactly one milling attachment, which is sufficient for an initial test. If you want to do more with it, 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.
Nevertheless, the laser now 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. He drives to the first point, turns the motor up as if he wanted 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 also be partially milled !?
In my tests, however, nothing happened because he did the entire milling process in the air, regardless of what I set. Even if I dip the milling cutter into the material on the printer itself via MOVE and set the Z value, it then starts up again after the start process. This also happens when I lift the platen. I had tried that too, in case I had set something wrong here.
Bangood knows about this and tries to connect with Creality Support. So far, however, I can only say that as a layperson, significantly more extensive software and, above all, appropriate instructions would have been necessary. Someone who may already have some experience with CNC and lasers might laugh at me here, but at least so far I can’t say more about these points.
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.
UpdateThis article has been on hold for a few days before it should be published. This time was enough to be able to research a little further. I have now got 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, not adopting the settings made there seems to have been the reason why the milling process went wrong. Here I can also 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 in my eyes. I tried the enclosed plexiglass and also a 3mm craft wood plate. It should only be milled 1mm deep. In the case of the wood, I thought to myself that I would mill 3 passes with 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 either. You can see very nicely 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, and even with a millimeter it often sounds as if the milling cutter has long since reached the limit of what is feasible.
Conclusion on the Creality CP-01
We got our test device from Gearbest. There the Creality CP-01 3-in-1 printer is currently being sold for around $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.