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Creality Ender-3 (V2) 3D printer — Parallax Forums

Creality Ender-3 (V2) 3D printer

I just purchased the above-named 3D printer:

After getting burned by a crappy MakerBot 3D printer years ago that I paid way too much for, I've been soured on the technology ever since -- until I've noticed people in this forum and elsewhere talking about the Ender-3. For substantially less than $300, I was able to get the printer and two full reels of PLA, including shipping from Los Angeles.

I was impressed as soon as I opened the triple-wall shipping carton. Everything was nested in custom-molded closed-cell foam. One could have dropped the carton from ten feet, and the contents would not have been damaged.

"Some assembly is required." The parts were kitted superbly, and the instructions -- albeit terse -- were clear enough to get the job done. All tools needed for assembly were included. And one extra each of a few screws were included, in case one got lost. A nice touch.

Once assembled, I was impressed again by the design and quality of construction. I relies on aluminum extrusions for rigidity, and the result is solid -- no flexing anywhere.

The only thing that was a bit trying was leveling the bed. This is something you need supreme patience to perform, but it's worth getting right.

Next was a trial print. The included micro-SD card comes with two sample files: a cat and a dog. So I decided to print both. Each came out with superb detail and a smooth finish. The print quality exceeded anything I've ever seen from a 3D printer. And the printing was whisper quiet: zero stepper noise!

The next thing was to get a "slicer" program, so I could print my own 3D designs from STL files. (I use RhinoCAD for 3D design.) A web search indicated that I should steer my attention toward Ultimaker's free Cura program, which has presets for the Ender-3:

This program is very simple to use. To test it, I tried printing the lens snorkel that I designed for the Parallax ColorPAL. This is where things went a little south: it wouldn't stay stuck to the build platform, due to its minuscule Z=0 surface area. A web search suggested adding a "brim" to the slice, which adds more surface area to stay stuck. That worked, and the brim was easily removed post-build.

Here's a photo of the three objects I've printed so far that illustrates the print quality:

In short, I can't say enough good things about this purchase. In fact I'm astonished that such a quality piece of equipment can be had so inexpensively. If you're looking to buy a 3D printer, this one is definitely worth a look -- at even twice the price!



  • Nice Phil !! ... Can it take any PLA (1.75) and can it do ABS also?

    Reason I ask is that I purchased a da Vinci Mini a few years ago for ($300) and at the time didn't realize that the filament needed to have a stupid NFC tag.
    Fortunately the first money making gig I used it for ended up paying for the printer.
    I still use it just fine but I wish I didn't have that filament restriction.

  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 18,066

    My E3 works great, as does my son’s.

    Bed levelling is a little touchy but have read if you make the first layer 0.3 it is less critical.

    I use PrusaSlicer and found best settings from a youtube video, plus setup instructions to make E3 better. And of course there are the extras to print for your printer - the fan cover is important!

    I bought the glass plate from creality and this works great. Just wipe with isopropyl regularly.

    If you start getting problems try other pla as if it gets moisture the results are crappy. Just dry it out and its fine.

  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 23,514
    edited 2021-09-19 17:48


    The filament diameter is 1.75mm. According to the specs, it can take PLA, TPU, and PETG. But I saw a setting in the pre-heat menu for ABS, too. No mention anywhere of an NFC chip. I think that's just a DaVinci thing.


  • Phil-
    I just purchased one of these as well! Im impressed with the accuracy of the machine. Mine however has a clog, and I have not had the chance to take the head apart and clean it. I think we are both going to have fun with these (relatively) inexpensive tools/toys!

    Shawn Lowe

  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 18,066

    @"Shawn Lowe" said:
    I just purchased one of these as well! Im impressed with the accuracy of the machine. Mine however has a clog, and I have not had the chance to take the head apart and clean it. I think we are both going to have fun with these (relatively) inexpensive tools/toys!

    Shawn Lowe

    Mine clogged when I used pla that I had left attached to the printer when it rained. The pla soaked up moisture and became brittle and the prints were awful. Drying out the pla fixed the pla. I ended up replacing the nozzle. You have to ensure when yo reassemble that there is no gap between the nozzle and the silicon tube which also must be absolutely square cut so you may need to trim 1/8” of the end.

  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 18,066

    AFAIK it can use ABS and some of the others too. It’s a matter of setting higher temps and the heated bed (included) is a must too. So it’s really only settings.

  • The one thing I can't figure out is how, with the extrusion feeder so remote from the nozzle, it's able to deposit plastic so accurately. You'd think that slack in the Teflon connecting tube would compromise accuracy, but it doesn't seem to.


  • That works with PLA or similar filament that's firm. It doesn't work with flexible filament, that needs a different type of extruder setup (look up direct drive if you need to print flexible things).

  • I got a direct extruder with mine, amazon was running a really good deal.

  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 18,066

    There are pros and cons of direct drive vs bowden drive on 3d printers. There is a lot of info if you search on google.

    The bowden tube is clamped at both ends, and the filament is rigid, and there is little space between the filament and the ID of the tubing.

    When using a direct drive, such as Wades driver, the motor etc is also on the movable axis, and this causes issues because of the weight.

  • Yes, the whole issue with direct drives being added to a Bowden setup is another rabbit hole to go down...

  • ozzy92ozzy92 Posts: 5
    edited 2023-01-31 09:33

    My brother and I bought a couple of the Ender 3 Pros a few years ago. I heavily modified mine with dual Z drive, direct drive, new hot end, roller bearing spool holder and all the neato blingy stuff like cable covers, tool drawers, over sized bed adjustment knobs, etc. About the only thing I didn't add is the bed leveling sensor. Now the Ender 3 S is almost the same machine as mine at 3 times the price.

    BTW, aside from doing much better with TPU, my brother says he doesn't see much difference between them. He has both of them and several other printers at his place as I don't have room anymore. He's much better at 3D printing than I am anyway.

  • My son recently bought a Creality CR-10 v3. The first few prints were beautiful. Almost perfectly smooth skins and nice infill. Then all of a sudden the prints started coming out terrible with lots of gaps and definite lines of print in the skins and very poor infill. My son changed nozzles and I tried many adjustments in Cura but nothing seemed to help. I decided last week to lie to Cura and tell it that my PLA was only 1.2 mm instead of the actual 1.75 mm. My prints improved greatly. So now I knew that for some reason the extruder was not putting out the proper amount of filament. We found online a procedure for calibrating the extruder. When I went in to the calibration part of the Creality program I found a setting called "E in mm3". And it was turned "on". I didn't at that time know what that meant but decided to try a small gear print with that turned off. To my surprise the small gear came out better than any we had printed before. The gear was nice and solid and the infill again looked great.

    I went back online and found that that setting is for volumetric printing and that many other people had also had problems when that was turned on. Some of the more experienced people said that function should not even be in the firmware of the printer. Others also reported that they had no idea how it got turned on. My son nor I have any idea how that function got turned on on his printer. Does anyone here know how that gets turned on by accident? We suspect it might have happened when he had his laptop connected to the printer but that is only a guess.

  • @Carroll said:

    Thank you for sharing your experience with your 3D printer this will help a lot if I were to run in this issues I will know what to try and what to expect and what it might take to resolve the issue

  • Carroll, make sure to update to the current version of Cura. If you're still using the one that Creality includes with the printer, it's quite old. Cura has improved a lot over time!

  • Hi Jeff, Thanks for the suggestion. I am running Linux so I installed Cura from Flathub which usually has pretty up to date software. I'll check the version I have to your link. Thanks.

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