Creality3D CR-10 V2 3D printer

If you want to bring up the big guns, you can’t go wrong with the Creality3D CR-10 V2. 300 x 300 x 400 mm print space, filament sensor, two Z-axes, auto level sensor and more.

Aaaach the Creality CR-10! A good 32 months ago, Creality3D showed me something new with the CR-10 : 3D printers from China can also be really reliable machines. At that time the Anet A8 was a highly dangerous (bada-bum-tss) DIY printer kit and z. B. TEVO only presented interesting models months later. Now Creality3D has presented the “direct” successor with the CR-10 V2 . Only: In the meantime, the competition has not slept and even Creality3D has released some interesting models. Does the old “foundation” CR-10 still have a chance, or is the name trying to squeeze the last euros out of the series?

  • Creality CR-10 V2 3D Printer – A Really Worthy Successor?
    • Build space: 300 x 300 x 400 mm
    • 1.75 mm filament for 0.4 mm nozzle
    • 95% pre-assembled. Setup time: 20-40 minutes
    • Extras:
      • Filament sensor, TMC2208 stepper driver, 24V / 350W power supply
      • two Z-axes, “BLTouch” car level sensor, good component cooling

The two most obvious innovations are, on the one hand, the cross struts, which are supposed to provide improved rigidity. On the other hand, the CR-10 V2 has been given a baby blue paint ;-). Joking aside: Of course, a lot has happened under the hood – but let’s start at the beginning, as always.

Shipping, packaging and accessories

We received the 3D printer directly from Creality3D and after 18 days the larger package arrived from China. It was sent to us from the new factory that we visited together with Naomi Wu last year . The packaging can also be processed quickly, because with the exception of Tronxy (and sometimes Anet) all Chinese manufacturers are now able to pack their 3D printers safely for long transport.

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We received the CR-10 V2 directly from Creality3D, i.e. without going through a reseller (GearBest, Banggood, etc.).

The base, the structure, the power supply unit and the accessories are distributed over the usual two levels. All parts are protected by a thick layer of foam so that the DHL courier can have a bad day ;-).

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Safely packaged. Level 1 houses the base – with the V2 still without a power supply / mainboard.
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Level 2: The structure and the external power supply unit are securely packed here.

The accessories are not exaggerated, but overall above average. In addition to the classics, such as the (“disposable”) tool for assembly, the filament pliers and filament spatula, there are also replacement nozzles and a PTFE tube. The highlight is not the included 250g filament roll, but maybe (?) The BLTouch for car leveling, which I will go into later.

In addition to the test print files (more on this later), the USB stick also contains the assembly instructions, which are actually only the digital version of the enclosed, good, printed assembly instructions.

The structure and the processing quality

The assembly is done quickly. The assembly instructions are self-explanatory, even if the installation of the four rubber feet is concealed ;-). Ultimately, as is now very common, only the assembly has to be attached to the base with four screws and the cables plugged in. With the CR-10 V2, the two cross struts have to be screwed on, which is the little special feature. Time: 20-40 minutes – depending on experience and skill.

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One cross brace is attached, the other is still missing.
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That lasts. The cross braces sit well.

In the case of the cross struts, it is important to ensure that they are of course bomb-proof – that’s the purpose. This is the only way to effectively reduce the vibrations – especially at higher pressure levels. The aluminum profile covers must be removed in order to attach them to the frame below. So much in advance: You do a good job, but I don’t want to rate you too high: In principle, almost every Prusa i3 printer can be retrofitted with these cross braces.

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Remove the cover and screw on the cross brace properly. Finished.

As a small note: I have meanwhile used the M5x30 Allen screws for the assembly, the M5x25 Allen screws for the rubber feet – unlike the instructions. It seems to me as if Creality3D quietly lets a small update or revision flow in from time to time.

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The assembly instructions: Good description and almost complete. This means that the assembly works quickly.

As long as they are on the frame, the cables disappear in a relatively charming and inconspicuous manner in the aluminum profiles. Similar to the Artillery Sidewinder X1 . That pleases and in the end it is still easy to come by if the worst comes to the worst.

I find the decision to stay with the external power supply box interesting. While many 3D printer manufacturers tend to permanently install the power supply and mainboard under the 3D printer (even Creality3D with e.g. the CR-10S Pro or the CR-X ), the CR-10 V2 remains true to its predecessor. Even then, I rated it as “neutral”. Advantage: You can position the power supply unit including the display better / more comfortably and you have better access to the electronics. Disadvantage: You don’t have the “one” block. Overall, however, I find the solution installed internally or under the 3D printer to be a bit more “charming”.

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An external power supply is still used.

There is another advantage with the external power supply solution: You also have a stable filament roll holder! With other 3D printers this is often missing or is made of wobbly acrylic. Or it is attached to the aluminum profiles above the 3D printer and so the filament rubs too much when the extruder is drawn in – just like with the CR-10 S Pro or CR-X. A guide pulley in a self-printed bracket had to provide a remedy for this 3D printer .

We ordered the kit for the BLTouch and so a bracket was included in addition to the sensor. The screws are a bit long for this (Deja vu? Yes, I pay attention to such small discrepancies) and I find the positioning directly in front of the radial fan a bit clumsy. However, the actual installation of the hardware is easy: screw it on, plug the cable into the sensor, plug in the other end of the cable at the extruder stepper (there is a small distributor board under the cover). Afterwards you can lay the cable properly with the other cables and PTFE hose – unfortunately the cable does not fit into the mesh hose.

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The BLTouch on the CR-10 V2.

Explanation: BLTouch, Autoleveling, WTF? In 3D printing, 0. X millimeters are important. Especially on the first shift. If the distance from the printhead to the heating bed is too great, you print in the air – the 3D printing does not hold up. If the distance is too small, no or not enough flows out of the nozzle. In the worst case, you will also scratch your heating bed. This is why the heating bed has to be “leveled” so that only a piece of thin paper fits anywhere between the heating bed and the nozzle. This can be automated by sensors and, in the event of unevenness in the heating bed, compensated for in real time by means of a previously measured 4 × 4 grid during printing.

What is noticeable when you screw the metal cover on or off: You have also thought about this here too. The positioning is correct, everything sits very firmly, cables have been properly fixed – that’s how it should be.

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The BLTouch only needs to be plugged onto the distributor board. Finished.

Cable management is good. The cables were neatly laid and fixed, cable end sleeves are at the start, here and there (somewhat unclean) hot glue was used to help.

Let’s briefly come to the inner values: The 350W power supply (LRS-350-24) from Meanwell (not the very best power supply manufacturer, but definitely better than many a € 9 power supply in other 3D printers) can 220-230V (relevant to us) or 115V. We get 24V as output, so that our hotend reaches the required printing temperature much faster than with 12V circuits. In the meantime, however, I always expect that, with 3D printers that cost more than € 200. This is also relatively important for the modders, because B. must be on the lookout for 24V fans.

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The Meanwell power supply of the CR-10 V2

The mainboard is again an in-house creation by Creality3D in version 2.5.2. The stepper drivers are also permanently installed on the board – they cannot be exchanged.

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The mainboard of the CR-10 v2 – an own creation.

Since the stepper drivers get relatively warm, they (and the board) are cooled by an extra fan – for the Artillery Sidewinder X1 there is a subsequent cooling solution for the stepper drivers for a reason . The feeder stepper makes a good impression, it is completely made of metal and it works perfectly even after several kilometers of filament used.

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Stable feeder and the filament sensor. They both do a good job.

Introducing new filament is also easy – with some other solutions this can be quite “fiddly”.

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And this is how Creality3D visualizes the feeder construction 😉

Creality3D is still holding on to the Bowden extruder. I still remember how I was turned on ~ 3 years ago when I prophesied that: “Kristian Bowdens will NEVER enforce them” ;-). There are a lot of advantages of the structure, but also disadvantages. B. Flexible filament, due to the long distance between feeder and nozzle, does not print properly. So I’m curious to see whether we will see more direct drive extruders such as the Artillery Sidewinder X1 (SWX1) in 2020 . This is still rather exotic (with Prusa i3 construction methods).

I’ll go into the heated bed again later – just this much: It’s great again. The adhesion when printing is excellent, after cooling down the prints almost jump towards you. The cable was fixed accordingly.

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Cable drag or fixation. We have known this proven solution since the CR-10 Mini.
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The cable was soldered directly to the heating bed. The insulation should have been a bit bigger (see edges).

Interestingly, Creality3D has broken away from the ribbon cables again. If these were still installed in the Creality3D CR-X or the CR-10S Pro, we find the “good old” mesh hoses in the CR-10 V2. Overall, I think this decision is good because the cables are a bit more flexible. In addition, there are no clamps used, as with the SWX1 , which can be problematic with thousands of movements.

These were selected impressions: the CR-10 V2 simply comes off really well. But now we come to the most important part: the print quality.

Quality of 3D prints and reliability

The packaging, the structure and the processing quality are certainly important, but in the end it comes down to the print quality and the reliability. Only if both fit you will have long-term fun with a 3D printer, as you don’t have to repair, readjust or improve something every time.

That’s why we’ve been testing our 3D printers for more than a month, printing the standard parts (calibration cubes, benchies, etc.), but also parts that the editorial team would like – so (hopefully) have a real benefit. Let’s start at the very beginning – with the start-up of the 3D printer.

Operation of the CR-10 V2

No color display, no touchscreen, no welcome melody – instead the good old familiar rotary knob. If that isn’t – let’s call it – “retro”! The 12864 display or the board is a real classic, very reliable, but somehow got stuck in time. Somehow this whole external unit “feels” like an homage to the old CR-10 ;-).

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CR-10 V2 controls and display: Quite dusty.

Of course, the display is easily enough to start printing, in percentage terms compared to the actual print it takes very little time, you may use an external print server anyway, such as Octoprint – but still: A well (!) Thought-out touchscreen menu would have, to be honest, also had something. So if you want more here – more than any touchscreen menu currently offers, you should get the Raspberry and a small display.

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The display board of the CR-10 v2

Otherwise, there is not much to say about the actual operation: turning / pushing works reliably, the English is understandable, the usual functions (homing, deactivating stepper, preheating, etc.) work wonderfully. What I think is good: You continue to hold onto an SD card (instead of microSD). That saves you the annoying fiddling. With many a 3D printer, a microSD has disappeared between the slot and the housing in the housing ;-).

But how does the special feature, the BLTouch sensor, fit in?

Autoleveling with the BLTouch sensor

First of all: Depending on the shop, the auto level sensor may or may not be included. And to be honest: I can really do without him. Why is that? First: Because over time I’ve learned how to properly level the heating bed and which parameters in the slicer are responsible for a good start to printing. Second: Because the Creality3D print bed is top notch. Third: The meshbed leveling (grid creation by Marlin) works quite well in theory, but the BLTouch or its clone are often really more of a “treasure trove”.

Creality3D CR-10 V2 3D printer 19
As is often the case in the meantime, the coated glass plate has excellent adhesion. The first layer looks 1A!

I have (still) connected the BLTouch, but no longer take it into account in the GCODE. The heating bed was properly leveled once and the printer has now been running constantly for months. There is simply no need. Don’t get me wrong: If the firmware is sensible, you know your trade (Z-Offset etc.) and the printing area is very large (400 x 400 mm and larger), a BLTouch or similar, especially for curved heating beds, can be used Be a blessing – I would honestly save it here.

If you still want it and it is not included: It is available separately. The L-metal bracket is screwed on, the cable plugged in – done.

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3D prints

You already know: My first 3D prints, if included, are the manufacturer’s GCODES. Often these are on the (micro) SD or USB stick and hopefully have been optimally adapted to the delivered 3D printer with the slicer of choice. There were also three GCODES with the CR-10 V2: the well-known waving cat, the even better-known dog (greetings to Geeetech ;-)) and a small piggy bank.

volume

So started the first print and … wow. The volume sets a new record. The built-in TMC2208 drivers and hotend fans ensure very quiet printing . So quiet that the Creality3D CR-10 V2 is the second 3D printer (next to the Artillery Sidewinder X1 ) that could print unmodified in our office without annoying people. Very cool.

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Between 52 and 60 dB – very pleasant!

Too often, 3D printers have now installed stepper drivers, which also benefits the print image, but savings are made on the fans. The result: 10 cents less spent – 5-10 dB more. I would give Creality3D a small point of criticism at this point: The power supply / mainboard fan could be even quieter – it is about 3 dB louder than the hotend / stepper. If you want to get the best out of it, you can get a really good 24V (!) Fan and have an extremely quiet 3D printer without much effort.

Overall, the Artillery Sidewinder X1 is usually even slightly quieter, but as soon as it moves the X-axis it is louder or the noise is not as pleasantly monotonous as with the CR-10 V2.

Heating bed

I would like to deal with the heating bed in a separate section. With the old CR-10, “back then” you still worked with glass panes, masking tape, pritt pen and / or hairspray. In the meantime, many Buildtak-like (magnetic) foils came onto the market and Anycubic has the I3 MEGAfor the first time sold their “Ultrabase” in large numbers. This is a pane of glass with a special coating – ie a “mix” of the various solutions. This is still my favorite surface and the CR-10 V2 has now also received it <3. The adhesion is very good, objects “jump” off the plate by themselves after cooling and it can be treated a little more roughly in an emergency. I can hardly believe it myself, but after more than 400 printing hours (!!!) I still didn’t have to use the enclosed spatula to remove prints or residues. Accordingly, the surface still looks like new. Top! Creality3D CR-10 V2 3D printer 21The surface is awesome: after more than 400 printing hours it is “like new”. (Here: Raft for Alexa mount) [/ caption]

Another evolution that 3D printing has gone through has also been recognized and installed: reasonable insulation under the heating plate. This not only ensures a constant heating bed temperature, but also less energy consumption and that saves money in terms of wattage and printing times.

I don’t have to say a word about reasonably large level wheels and a strain relief for the heating bed cable connection (otherwise there is a risk of short circuit) with Creality3D: I’ve liked this since the last ~ 5 models.

Print quality

The most important part: the print quality. Let’s get to the point: The Creality3D CR-10 V2 delivers, out of the box, the best print quality of all previously tested 3D printers from China (which is ~ 70 copies).

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Test file from the SD card: A pig
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For our smartphone tester Alex: A Chromecast holder (with (nasty) raft)
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The Notre Dame – 49 hour pressure? No problem. (Pay attention to the tips on the top left)

Here the good heating bed, the stepper driver, but also the two-sided component cooling interlock really well.

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Component diagram from Creality3D – a bit too “fancy”? 😉

Component cooling does a really good job, especially with bridges – you don’t need a lot of support anymore.

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Ignore the bottom – it had to be done quickly. Bridging (60mm!) Is interesting here!

Those who value the underside will also have it very easy with the CR-10 V2.

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Bottom of a print with the CR-10 v2
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For me the best print quality (without hardware modifications) of a China 3D printer.

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Conclusion: buy Creality CR-10 V2?

Yes! Normally I first rule out who the respective 3D printer is not for. I want to start differently here, because the Creality3D CR-10 V2 is really, really good. If you like the printing space of 300 x 300 x 400mm, you want a quiet 3D printer, a reliable work machine and you have the necessary money – take the Creality3D CR-10 V2! If you can live with the external power / mainboard box. If so, it knocks the Creality CR-10S Pro , which costs similarly much, quite easily from the throne in this price range.

However, if you want to print with flexible filaments (e.g. TPU), you would have to retrofit a direct extruder, or get the Artillery Sidewinder X1 directly – that would be my recommendation . If you need even more precise prints, you should take a look at SLA 3D printers. The Elegoo Mars and the Anycubic Photon S  do their job well – but 3D printing with resin also brings other problems.

If you just want to get a taste of the 3D printing hobby cheaply, the Ender-3 for a small 150 €, but also a very large community, is my recommendation. Of course, there are currently 5-10 other recommended 3D printers from China, but their extras / features make them a bit “sniffier” or more suitable for more specific requirements. There is enough space for that in the comments ;-).

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My two favorites: Artillery Sidewinder X1 (left) and Creality3D CR-10 V2 (right)

The Creality CR-10 V2 delivered the best printing results for me, out of the box (even before the Artillery Sidewinder X1). If you want a workhorse that shoots filaments that are easy to care for – the Creality CR-10 V2 is your choice!

Finally, maybe a general impression: I am pleased that Creality3D has finally brought a really good, simply solid, 3D printer onto the market again. Without new (and only half implemented) features or even gimmicks (such as with the Creality3D CR-X ). Creality3D does without buzzwords or alleged revolutions. You build on a good foundation and complement it with really well thought-out innovations / features. That’s how it should be, in my opinion.

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