If you know anything about 3D printers, you’ll probably know the name Creality.
While 3D printers once cost a small fortune to buy, you no longer have to be a professional to afford one.
Creality’s Ender 3 Pro is renowned for its combination of high-quality output yet affordable price.
Costing less than $300, the Ender 3 Pro is arguably one of the best 3D printers on the market - and that’s for beginners and professionals alike.
The Ender 3 Pro is an upgrade of the previous Ender 3, offering a sturdier frame design, improved mechanical properties, and a magnetic printing surface that offers consistent and even heating throughout the hotbed.
The Ender 3 Pro is ideal for anyone looking to get into 3D printing, and, seeing as you have to manually build the printer yourself, it’s perfect for adults and children alike who want to learn more about 3D printers and their parts.
This isn’t just a printer for beginners though - even experienced printers have good things to say about the Ender 3 Pro.
If you’d like to find out more about the Ender 3 Pro, including the key features and pros and cons, keep reading, as we’ve put together this simple review to decide whether or not it’s worth buying.
- Print Volume: 220 x 220 x 250mm
- Extrusion Type: Single nozzle, 0.4mm diameter
- Filament Diameter: 1.75mm
- Max. Heated Bed Temperature: 110℃
- Max. Nozzle Temperature: 255℃
- Max. Printing Speed: 180 mm/s
- Layer Resolution: 0.01mm / 100 microns
- Connectivity: SD card
- Printer Weight: 8.6 Kg
- Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer
- Toolkit including pliers, a wrench, screwdriver, and Allen keys
- SD card
- 8GB spatula
- Nozzle cleaning needle
- Instruction manual
Magnetic Printing Bed - The Cmagnet surface plate provides all-round protection to your 3D printer build plate and ensures a consistent temperature throughout the build surface. This plate is easy to remove and is flexible and ensures you can efficiently remove your prints from the plate after cooling.
Aluminum Extrusion for Y-axis - The newly designed structure has a 40 x 40mm aluminum extrusion for the Y-axis which increases the printer’s stability and provides a more sturdy foundation.
This allows for greater precision and more accurate positioning when printing. The axis and foundation also have upgraded bearings that reduce friction between axis movements and ensure greater steadiness.
Resume Print Function - Ever had a power cut while printing? Don’t worry, with the Ender Pro 3’s ‘resume print’ function you can resume printing your design even if the power has cut out.
This enables you to recover your progress with no hassle on your behalf. This is also a handy feature for those larger jobs where you want to save power and continue printing at a later stage.
Upgraded Print Head Extrusion - The extruder print head is upgraded to MK10, which reduces the risk of clogging and uneven extrusion.
LCD Touchscreen - Fitted with an LCD and accompanied by a clickable control wheel, the Ender 3 Pro is easy to use even for children.
Creality has kept their interface consistent so it’s the same as previous models, though it does offer a greater variety of settings.
Meanwell Power Supply - The Ender 3 Pro is fitted with a branded Meanwell power supply which ensures stable and sufficient power, and quickly heats up the hotbed so you can get down to work as quickly as possible.
A trusted power supply like this one is essential as it largely dictates the lifespan of a 3D printer. Not only this, but the Ender 3 Pro features a more compact and sleek version of the Meanwell - oh, and it’s meant to be even more reliable than the Ender 3.
Fully Open-source - The great thing about the Ender 3 Pro is that it’s fully open-source, meaning users can improve their printer through the source code and share the changes within the wider Ender 3 Pro community so that everyone enjoys a better printing experience.
The Ender 3 Pro isn’t completely assembled so you get to enjoy some DIY set-up.
It’s not too complex but you should definitely take your time whilst putting it together, and there are instructions and video tutorials available to help you.
As Creality mentions on their website, the manual assembly of this 3D printer is a great opportunity to get acquainted with the upgraded features and get a better understanding of how the printer works.
It’s quite loud
This is one of the most prevalent complaints you’ll read online regarding the Ender 3 Pro, however, while it is quite noisy, this is not limited to the Ender 3 Pro, and is a common issue with 3D printers.
There are actually plenty of articles and tutorials online which explain how to reduce the noise level of your 3D printer, but you can also consider some upgrades which will also allow you to operate the printer quietly - ideal if you tend to use the printer at home and don’t want to disturb others!
The wiring is a little annoying
There’s a lot of wires to deal with, and these tend to be quite messy, however, they are limited to the back and underside of the printer which makes them easier to deal with.
No USB connection
The Ender 3 Pro doesn't have a USB port, but this is only an issue if you really require one.
It handles a standard micro SD, however, if you really require a USB you can always upgrade your motherboard to facilitate one if necessary.
The interface can be frustrating
This isn’t an issue encountered by every user, but some have found the interface to jump about, especially since the manual dial can get stuck and cause you to click the wrong option.
However, as I said, this is a minor issue and not one experienced by everyone.
It’s also worth considering the size of the interface, as it’s quite small, although the interface doesn’t need to display a great deal of information, so it’s easy to understand why this is the case.
Benefits of the Ender 3 Pro
- You’re buying from a renowned manufacturer, and it’s an upgraded version of the successful Ender 3.
- Updated structure and bearings ensure improved stability and precision.
- Consistently and evenly heats the hotbed to 110°C in just 5 minutes
- Slimmer and sleeker version of the Meanwell Power Supply - plus greater reliability than previous versions
- Easily upgrade parts of the Ender Pro to optimize its performance
- Comparable to premium printers yet available at a fraction of the price
- Good filament compatibility – the Ender 3 Pro is capable of 3D printing flexible filaments due to the tight filament path
- The magnetic print bed allows easy removal of prints
- ‘Resume printing’ feature allows you to resume printing even after a power cut.
- Open-source software so you have more freedom and the ability to improve your printing experience and share your findings with others.
- Lifetime technical assistance and 24-hour professional customer service
- LCD touchscreen and clickable control wheel ensure easy operation of the interface.
- Plenty of bang for your buck!
Downsides of the Ender 3 Pro
- Manual assembly required, however, there are plenty of resources available to assist with this
- The operation can be quite loud, though upgrades are available for reducing the noise level.
- Quite a lot of wires which can get a little frustrating.
- Some users had issues with the interface, which can sometimes jump around/freeze a little.
What other customers think
The Ender 3 has a pretty impressive rating on Amazon, boasting 78% five-star reviews and an average rating of 4.6 based on 4,239 global ratings at the time of writing.
Many people praise the high performance of the Ender 3 Pro and the affordable price point.
They also comment on the sturdiness of the upgraded ‘pro’ design and the print precision and quality of the printer, which one customer says “rivals much more expensive printers.”
Generally, people mention the ease of use and how it is ideal for beginners. They also praise the open source community that allows you to share knowledge and tips to optimize and upgrade your Ender Pro 3.
There aren’t too many downsides mentioned in reviews but one slight negative people mention is the need to level the bed every so often and as well as adjusting the belt from time to time.
However, as we mentioned previously, there are plenty of upgrades available which counter this, and once you get used to the printer you’ll find these frustrations tend to dissipate.
This is where the friendly Creality printing community can really come in handy - as it’s highly likely others have encountered the same issues, and usually, with some shared knowledge and a bit of tinkering, the vast majority of users found the Ender 3 Pro to perform to an extremely high standard and operate smoothly.
In fact, most people mention how it exceeded their expectations due to the low price, and many were surprised by how flawlessly it worked “straight out of the box.”
I think it’s safe to say that most people were extremely pleased with the Ender 3 Pro, and there is a limitless range of upgrades and modifications available to counter those ever so slightly annoying qualities.
Popular Ender 3 Pro Upgrades
- Capricorn PTFE tubing
- Silent motherboard
- Leveling silicone foam
- BL-Touch auto-leveling
- Touchscreen LCD
- All-metal extruder
- Upgraded quiet, powerful fans
Upgrading your Ender 3 Pro with the Capricorn PTFE tubing is a wise move, as it is a consumable part that usually deteriorates over time due to temperature issues.
To reduce the impact of this, the Capricorn PTFE tubing is able to tolerate higher temperatures and has great slip, so the filament smoothly moves through the extrusion path.
As we said earlier, some people complain about the noise level of their Ender 3 Pro, and this is a common issue with 3D printers in general.
Upgrading your Ender with a silent motherboard should counter this somewhat.
There’s also the question of the fans, which are usually the second loudest operation. You can purchase premium fans to replace these for quite an affordable price, and they’ll not only be more effective but far quieter, too.
It’s also worth noting that with the standard bed you need to relevel it quite often, however some upgrades, such as leveling silicone foam, reduce the need to do this frequently.
If you’re into automation, a BL-Touch ensures that your first layers are successful every time.
Even if your bed isn’t perfectly level, you’ll still get high-quality prints. This allows you to achieve more consistent results, and become more confident in using your printer.
While it’s by no means essential, an upgraded touch screen makes your settings more readily available and accessible, and it’s a lot more responsive than relying on the clicker wheel all the time.
On the whole, the Ender 3 Pro is pretty durable and solid, but there have been a few reports of plastic extruders breaking or not extruding certain materials effectively.
If this is an issue you encounter, you can correct this with an all-metal extruder, ideally one with dual-gears. This will also make 3D printing with flexible filament easier.
The great thing about the Ender 3 Pro is that it offers high-quality 3D printing but for an affordable price point. It also features an upgraded design so it’s even more reliable and sturdy than the popular Ender 3.
The removable build surface plate offers all-round protection and consistent temperature while ensuring that it’s easy to remove your creations once they’ve cooled.
The UL Certified power supply protects your printer from unexpected power surges and offers super quick heat-up - heating the hotbed to 110℃ in just 5 minutes.
The handy “resume print” function of the Ender 3 Pro allows you to resume printing from the last recorded extruder position, so you don’t have to start from scratch again, even if there’s a power cut.
While there are a few drawbacks to the Ender 3 Pro, such as the requirement to level the bed frequently and the high noise level, the great thing about this printer is that it’s open-source, so you easily find ways to improve your machine and share them with the wider printing community.
Not only this, but there’s a myriad of affordable upgrades that can enhance your printer and fix any issues or annoyances you experience.
These are the main reasons why we think the Ender 3 Pro is definitely worth buying.
It has a sturdy frame, a reliable power supply, a “resume print” function, and it achieves consistent prints time after time - all for a very reasonable price. What’s not to love?