Introduction

Another blog post about the Ender 3 3D printer? Aren't there already plenty of those written? Isn't that an 'old' 3D printer? Yes, yes and yes. However not in Dutch, the main reason for this article. Even though the Ender 3 was designed in 2018 it is still a very popular 3D printer and it development is still going on and new features are still added or made possible. That's why this is still one of the best 3D printers in this price segment and 2 years after it's launch, still worthy of a blog post!

What is the Ender 3?

The Ender 3 is a 3D printer made by the Chinese company Creality. It is not their first 3D printer. Other ver successful 3D printers they've made are the CR-10, CR-10S, Ender 3 pro and the Ender 5. The Ender 3 was and still is a very popular 3D printer because of its low price and good quality 3D prints. Because the Ender 3 is being used so much, there is also a huge community of Ender 3 users and owners helping each other with problems they encounter and making modifications to make it an even better 3D printer.

Creality

Creality is a remarkable, Chinese manufacturer of 3D printers. Creality distinguishes themselves from other Chinese companies by designing themselves, not just copying a proven successful design. The Ender 3 looks a bit like the often copied Prusa i3 3D printer, but it is not a copy. Another thing that sets Creality apart is that their designs are open source. All designs are freely available online.

Pros

The Ender 3 is a very good 3D printer for people wanting to start with 3D printing. It is very affordable (available for less than € 200,-), there are very clear instructions available on how to build it and there is a big online community for support. Despite the Ender 3 is a cheap 3D printer. Its print quality is very good. It has a very rigid construction and, when properly built, can be very reliable. Also, both Creality and the community are very active in improving the Ender 3 and making sure it can work with new features like Creality's silent motherboard and a bed levelling sensor. The community created improved fan ducts, extruders, enclosures and much more. Other companies also designed electronics and extruders that work really well with the Ender 3.

Cons

Of course the Ender 3 has some cons, and some are serious ones. The first one is the fact that Thermal runaway protection is disabled in the firmware. Thermal runaway protection turns off the heaters when it detects an issue with the temperature sensors and is meant to prevent the 3D printer from catching fire or setting something in close by on fire. This is an essential protection routine that needs to work on any 3D printer.

Second, are the XT60 connectors. There have been issues with those connectors being improperly installed causing these to get warm and in some cases even catch fire.

Last con of the Ender 3 is that its electronics are absolute budget electronics. To keep the 3D printer so affordable, Creality couldn't afford to spend much on this. The electronics perform well but is very, very basic.

Conclusion

De Ender 3 is, even 2 years after it was launched, still, a great 3D printer in it's price range. It has a good print quality and is definitely suited for a first 3D printer. Its cons can be reasonably easily solved.

Creality, and other manufacturers, have made improved electronics for the Ender 3 with more memory and/or a faster processor that are drop-in replacements. Those easily support the latest firmware that has all the new features and Thermal runaway protection.

The XT60 connectors are assembled correctly on printers that left the factory after the faulty batch, but if in doubt, they can be easily replaced or simply taken out by making a direct connection between the power supply and the electronics.

Because of the huge community and the fact that there is also still development done for the Ender 3 by Creality themselves, the Ender 3 is also a 3D printer that can grow along with its owner. This all makes the Ender 3 a good, very affordable 3D printer with a huge community and many Youtube videos to help with any problems an owner might run into or has when wanting to upgrade his 3D printer. As far as we are concerned, this is a great 3D printer!