The Creality Ender 3 is an amazing printer that has raised many eyebrows in the 3D printing community, and for a good reason. It has a budget price tag but boasts a slew of quality specs that you won’t even find in higher-priced models.
The Ender 3 comes with a variety of features that allow for hassle-free use by beginners yet still proves to be a little more in-depth for an entry-level printer.
Its general ease of operation makes it the perfect gift to toss your school-going child into the world of 3D printing and spark a lifelong love for engineering and understanding of robotics.
The Creality Ender 3 is delivered partially assembled and will require a fair amount of tinkering to get it up and running. It actually takes longer to put together compared to its sibling the Creality CR-10, which is also considered to be pre-assembled.
The assembly process is laid out in a tiny pamphlet delivered inside the package, which makes the task easier for you with 12 steps. All the tools have been provided to make for a great project for school kids.
However, some steps aren’t very clear and this may eat into your time. For a novice, the whole procedure can be completed in about 1 hour. Your biggest obstacle during the assembly might be caused by the length of the belt.
Nevertheless, the manual provided is good enough to complete the assembly but you can still access tutorials on YouTube to speed up the process.
The printer runs on a Cura 3.0.2 slicing application, although you can download a more current version, Cura 3.4.1 for free online. This software can interface with the printer via USB or be used to output G-code to a microSD card when you want to print without a computer.
However, if you’re looking for the ultimate configuration, the Raspberry Pi model 3+ with OctoPrint allows you to connect via a USB port in place of a PC. This can run the printer and be accessed over Wi-Fi. You can even go ahead and hook a USB camera for a closer look at the printing process.
This is a compact printer with an open frame that features a heated bed measuring 220 by 220 by 250mm. The print bed can reach 110 degrees in just about 5 minutes, which makes it suitable for printing with an ABS filament. Above the heated platform is a BuildTak-like print bed sticker that prevents models from sticking to the bed.
An interesting feature about the Ender 3 is that it can fully recover after a blackout or erroneous disconnection to continue printing, ensuring that your print models don’t come out incomplete.
An LCD display on the right side of the frame allows you to determine the settings easily for your print. This control panel is also attached to the 3D printer, which helps to deliver a more compact and portable unit.
What I Didn’t Like
The base of the 3D printer is relatively uneven and slightly wobbly, which posed quite a challenge when it came to leveling the base. Not to mention that the flimsy bed will need to be re-leveled constantly for the perfect prints.
The Ender 3 requires some assembly before you can start to print and may take some time if you have no prior experience. Additionally, the calibration has to be done manually.
|PRINTING SPEED||100 microns|
|RECOMMENDED AGE||10 -15|
Generally, the Ender 3 3D printer is a great choice for school kids who are developing a liking for machines and robotics. It is conveniently compact and incredibly affordable, yet still offers in-depth performance with a decent quality of prints.
It is an excellent choice to get your boy started on an exciting 3D printing adventure!