When it comes to inexpensive 3D printers, the Ender 3 from Creality has long been one of our absolute favorites. Sure, he’s not perfect. But despite its low price of just under $300, it offers plenty of space and a simple structure. It can also be easily modified and delivers high-quality printing results.
But it is well known that the inner values are also important. So the question arises: How well does the printer work?
In our test report you can find out what impression we made after our one-week test.
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With the Ender 3 V2, you will look in vain for the box-shaped metal covers that were omnipresent on previous models. Instead, we found new, neat-looking plastic covers all over the printer, giving the impression that this is more than just a hobby device.
The new look ensures that the Ender 3 V2 looks much more professional and optimized. And even if this does not exactly affect the performance, it is still nice to look at – especially when you don’t have a dedicated area for the printer in the workshop. In addition, the power supply has been moved from the side into the compartment under the printer, which also looks much tidier and more professional.
After the manual leveling of the print bed, the Ender 3 V2 seems to cope very well with a large number of objects. And it didn’t stop at the various materials that we threw at the Ender 3 V2; none of the prints failed.
Even with different sizes and differently complex models, the printer did not reveal any weaknesses. Prints that required supports performed just as well as those that did not. The adhesion to the textured glass print bed is excellent and the prints could be removed without any problems after they had cooled down a bit.
Our only criticism is the filament feed. We have just tested the CR-6 SE , and the Ender 3 V2 cannot differ any more from this printer on this point. The community has vented its displeasure in this regard; Creality has responded and eliminated the problem with the Ender 3 Pro. Precisely because of this, we cannot in any way understand why the company has switched over to placing the opening for the filament feed directly next to the lead spool for the Ender 3 V2. That was already terrible with the Ender 3. And that’s it with the Ender 3 V2.
And while the enlarged feed wheel, with which the extruder can be rotated manually, is well suited for cleaning the hot end, it was of no help in inserting a new filament.
Aside from the extruder, Creality seems to have taken the community’s suggestions to heart with a few other improvements. The Ender 3 V2 has tension clamps on both axles. These tensioners allow the belts, which stretch and wear out over time, to be tightened again, which increases the longevity of the printer enormously.
What is also noticeable with the V2 is the small drawer for storing tools. Excess Allen keys and side cutters can be stored here, which is very practical as they would otherwise take up unnecessary space on the shelf next to the printer.
Another nice addition is the display, which can now be removed by simply sliding it up. To do this, two metal pins must be pulled out of the plastic holder that is attached to the frame. Even if we did not find any use for this function in our test, we can imagine that it would be very helpful for anyone who would like to set up the printer in a slightly higher place and then can no longer see the display. Such well-thought-out functions have made previous Creality devices so great, which is why we are very pleased that this tradition is being continued with new printers.
We think the Ender 3 V2 has the potential to become one of the best 3D printers in 2020 – provided Creality improves the printer to the same extent as it did with the Ender 3. We sincerely hope that some of the features of the CR-6 SE will be adopted in the future, because this printer is without a doubt the premium version of the Ender 3 V2 in many ways.
Until then, however, we can state that the Ender 3 V2 is an absolutely promising device with its features, design and functions, which are on par with the Ender 3 Pro (and sometimes even better). All those who like to tweak something on their printer will find that this 3D printer is ideal for this. And everyone who is satisfied even without such handicrafts will not be disappointed either. The new display, greatly improved user interface, 32-bit motherboard and a handful of other enhancements make the V2 an excellent printer. His performance meets all the expectations one could have had in good conscience based on his predecessors, and in some ways even surpasses our own.
Tempered glass print bed
The most notable new feature on the V2 is the hardened glass print bed coated with “carborundum” (silicon carbide). This is a welcome change from the removable, magnetic and heated print bed of the Ender 3 Pro, which often left residues over time, which in turn often led to unclean first layers.
The glass print bed is attached to the aluminum plate. This should generally ensure greater adhesion, make the surface smoother and make it much easier to remove the finished prints.
Creality is proud of its new feature: a self-developed, “quiet” 32-bit motherboard with a 2560 chipset, with which the noise level of the printer is reduced to an astonishing 50 decibels. This is roughly comparable to the noise level in a quiet suburb, a normal conversation at home or a large electrical transformer 30 meters away. We can confirm that the engines are much quieter. The problem is and remains the ventilation of the power supply unit or ventilation in general.
Most budget 3D printers have a cheap LCD display built in. However, Creality convinces with a newly developed color display and a new user interface. However, the navigation still works with a click wheel, which caused confusion in our test every time we forgot that the display is not a touchscreen.
Further equipment features
- Tensioner on the X and Y axes: A new feature of the Ender series are two rotary knobs with which the belts can be tensioned again. This is particularly useful in the long term, as it allows the straps to be adjusted if they lose tension after a long period of use.
- Meanwell power supply: Like the Ender 3 Pro, the Ender 3 V2 is equipped with a Meanwell power supply.
- Manual filament feed : Creality has attached a rotary knob to the filament feed on the Bowden extruder, with which the filament can be fed in by hand and the nozzle can be cleaned more easily. Alternatively, you can watch the button while it is being pressed while it is being turned.
- Tool drawer : In the base unit there is a small drawer in which nozzles, needles, pliers and other tools can be stored. An absolutely brilliant part.
- Print continuation function : This function is mainly known from the Prusa i3 MK3. Power failures or disconnections should not be a problem for the Ender 3 V2, as it can simply resume printing at the point where it was interrupted.
GENERAL TECHNICAL DATA
|Mechanical design||Cartesian XZ print head|
|Compatible materials||PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU|
|Third party filaments||Yes|
|Filament diameter||1.75 mm|
|Print continuation function||Yes|
|Data exchange||microSD, USB|
|Display||LCD color display|
|Closed pressure chamber||No.|
|Max. Printing speed||180 mm / s|
|Max. Bed temperature||100 ℃|
|Max. Extruder temperature||255 ºC|
|Max. Installation space||220 x 220 x 250 mm|
|Nozzle size||0.4 mm|
|Extruder type||Single extruder nozzle|
|Layer height||0.1 mm|
|File formats||STL, OBJ|
|Operating system||Windows, Mac|
|Recommended slicers||Cura, Simplify3D|
MEASURES AND WEIGHT
|Printer frame dimensions||475 x 470 x 620 mm|
Similar 3D printers
For more information, check out our guide to the best budget 3D printers .
Creality Ender 3 Pro
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The Creality Ender 3 Pro was our best 3D printer under $300. With a few modifications, it can certainly deliver respectable print results, but its equipment features do a little worse than the Ender 3 V2.
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The Artillery Genius costs around $ 30 more, but has a direct drive extruder and a print bed that can be quickly heated with alternating current.
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The Creality CR-6 SE is somewhat reminiscent of the Ender 3 V2, with which it shares a number of features. However, its installation space is slightly larger at 235 x 235 x 250 mm and it has automatic bed leveling.