Can't beat the price of an Ender3. It really does produce wonderful prints, a few upgrades are more or less required out of the box like filament guides or you will wear our your filament feed hole very quickly. I printed a lower filament guide too late and ended up upgrading to a metal extruder top which works good.
+ Fantastic prints
+ Quick print times
+ Open hardware
+ Fairly simple to install Marlin and setup to work with a Pi for network printing
+ Readily available and cheap replacement parts
- Loading filament can be a bit of a pain
- As the hotend is not all-metal you should not push the temps too high
- The stock power supply sounds like a jet taking off as soon as you turn the printer on. The power supply I got never turns off its fan. Some of them apparently have temp sensors and only turn the fan on as-needed.
- Part fan and heatsink fan are both noisy
- X, Y and Z steppers are all noisy with X and Y being the most noisy. I unfortunately got one with Press-fit gears which makes installing dampers much more painful.
- Bed leveling, its all manual and can be a pain.
Overall: Recommended for anyone who wants great value and does not mind doing some tinkering. But to be fair it printed some great parts fully stock out of the box, it just went through some of the stock parts fairly quickly and needed replacement/upgrades.
This is a great entry level printer with is a massive community online across various social media sites. The value of the printer is great because of its relatively low cost; however, as a stock setup this is not print and forget. I have spent a lot of time upgrading and tuning my machine and I am blown away by what it is capable of. If you give it give it time and patience you will be rewarded.
The Ender 3 is a low-cost printer that prints exceedingly well for the price. It can be a little unreliable, the support from the company is almost non-existent, and the firmware on the printer is only okay (generally does not have thermal runaway protection enabled). Once you get it dialed in, though, the quality of prints you can get off of an Ender 3 in PLA rival nearly any printer on the market. Since it is very popular, it also has an extensive and helpful community. If you're not afraid of initial failure and willing to continue tweaking the hardware until it is perfect, you can have a very good experience at a fraction of the cost of other printers.
Creality Ender 3 can be called a little version of the Creality CR-10, it provides the same quality, but has a smaller print area - 220 x 220 x 250 mm. The manufacturer claims that it will take only 10 minutes and 20 screws before the first 3D print. Creality also released an improved version of this 3D printer called Ender 3 Pro. It is more expensive but has some improvements like a detachable magnetic heat bed and a sturdier Y-axis.
Printing resume function;
Self-adhesive build plate;
SD card and USB connectivity;
Tight filament pathway;
Larger bed leveling knobs;
The way Creality Ender 3 is designed provides a room for upgrades and modifications without decreasing the print quality. Thanks to the affordable price tag of the machine, there are many Ender 3 owners and a wide range of community-driven mods.
Popular Creality Ender 3 upgrades
BLTouch sensor for Auto-Leveling - a handy modification to reduce calibration and bed leveling time. It will also require a microcontroller and some installation but the result is worth it as the printer typically requires re-calibration every 3-5 runs. Check the guide from dannyw281 for more information.
Glass/Mirror/PP/Magnet built plate. Despite Ender-3 features buildtak alike plate, users are still having adhesion issues with some materials. Upgrading to a different build plate can increase the printing quality and material possibilities allowing a better grip for tougher plastics. Glass and mirror plates will also make bottom layers of prints shiny if you are into that.
Different printing bed springs are mentioned by quite a few owners or Ender-3 as well. The original springs work fine but tend to require recalibration more than the tougher third-party springs. Replacements help reduce wobbling of the build plate along with longer life.
Better fan duct for uniform cooling like the one from dpetsel. Reviews of the original cooling system of Ender-3 tend to mention that airflow isn’t always enough to cool down prints, especially from filaments like ABS.
A more comfortable extruder arm to reduce pain during filament replacement. This model from Coolcrawler helps to deal with the tough spring that Ender-3 extruder has.