Creality Ender-3 V3 SE Review-Best 3D Printer Under $200?
Ender-3 V3 SE Review Summary
The Ender 3 V3 SE holds a special place in the 3D printing realm, particularly for those just starting out. What truly makes this printer stand out is its affordability, coming in at a wallet-friendly $199. One of its standout features is the redesigned aluminum extrusion profile, a clever innovation that leads to a more compact and efficient design.
Notably, the printer boasts a 26-pin connector, an upgrade from the traditional 24-pin connector, enhancing its connectivity. Another thoughtful design change is the integration of the x-axis limit switch into the print head, simplifying the overall design and reducing wiring complexities.
For those who are new to 3D printing, the Ender 3 V3 SE presents a compelling choice with its affordability, user-friendly features, and impressive print quality. While there’s room for improvement in areas like the hot end and part cooling fan, its value proposition remains strong.
- Exceptionally budget-friendly
- Automatic Bed Leveling
- Increased Printing Speed
- User-Friendly Interface Display
- Efficient “Sprite” Direct Extruder
- Sleek and Compact Design
- Lack of bed leveling knobs
- Filament runout sensor not included
In today’s blog, I’ll walk you through our experience unboxing and setting up the Ender-3 V3 SE by Creality. This printer is known for its affordability, with a price tag of around $199. Let’s dive into the unboxing process and see what’s inside.
Unboxing the Ender-3 V3 SE
Cracking open the box, I found an array of neatly packed components awaiting my eager hands:
- Sticker Sheet: Perfect for customizing your printer and adding a personal touch.
- Blower Fan: Essential for keeping your prints clear of debris during the process.
- Test Filament: A small sample for calibration and testing, a nice touch for beginners.
- Build Plate: The essential platform where your 3D creations come to life.
- SD Card Reader: A handy device for transferring design files to the printer.
- Cutting Pliers: Useful for trimming filament and wires as needed.
- Assorted Screws: A variety of screws and bolts to assist with assembly.
- Power Cord: The lifeline that powers your 3D printing adventures.
- Filament Spool Holder: This holds the filament spool securely in place.
- Tool Set: An indispensable set of tools for assembly and maintenance.
- Instruction Manual: Detailed, step-by-step instructions to guide you through the setup process.
Assembling the Ender-3 V3 SE felt like putting together a piece of furniture from a well-known Swedish store – surprisingly straightforward and hassle-free. Unlike its predecessors, this model streamlines the assembly, allowing you to be up and running in no time. Here’s a quick rundown of the steps:
- Build Plate: Attach the build plate firmly to the base.
- Frame: Connect the frame components seamlessly.
- Wiring: Easily plug in the necessary cables, including the power cord and SD card reader.
- Touchscreen: Set up the user-friendly touchscreen interface.
- Calibration: Follow the provided instructions for calibration, ensuring precise prints.
With the assembly complete, I powered on the printer and was greeted by the intuitive touchscreen interface. Navigation was a breeze, and I felt in control right from the start.
I initiated a test print, and to my delight, it began with ease. The printer appeared to be in perfect working order, leaving me excited for what lay ahead.
Setting up this 3D printer took a mere 10 minutes, and I was already impressed by its robust construction. The injection-molded plastic base and steel bottom cover ensure minimal vibrations, contributing to print stability. The automatic bed leveling feature, made possible by a load cell, eliminates the need for tricky manual Z-offset adjustments – a massive plus for beginners.
The Y-axis has received an upgrade with dual stainless steel rods and linear bearings, replacing the traditional bed leveling knobs. This tweak guarantees a smoother and more dependable printing experience. The printer’s compact design, featuring a neatly tucked-away stepper motor for the X-axis, saves space and reduces packaging size. Although the screen is modest in size, it adds a touch of modernity to the printer’s appearance.
Design and Hotend
Taking a peek inside this 3D printer reveals a design reminiscent of medieval armor – a visually intriguing touch. However, beginners might find some of the small connectors a tad tricky to work with. The hotend, responsible for melting the plastic, comes equipped with a substantial cooling system to prevent overheating. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that this printer has some limitations when it comes to the types of plastic it can handle, excelling primarily with PLA and PETG materials.
The part responsible for cooling your prints also features a fan, ensuring high-quality results. If you ever decide to upgrade this component, know that it’s a common practice in the 3D printing realm. What truly stands out is the Sprite extruder, the workhorse responsible for pushing out the plastic. It’s fast and reliable – a crucial aspect of any 3D printer.
Firmware and UI
Setting up this printer is a breeze – no complicated cloud setups or Wi-Fi connections. Simply select your language, and you’re ready to dive into the world of 3D printing.
To load your print files, the printer uses a full-sized SD card, which can also be used for other connections like adding a USB flash drive or utilizing Octoprint for sending print instructions. What’s particularly fascinating here is the automatic z-axis offset feature, simplifying bed leveling, a typically manual process. The LCD screen, though not touch-enabled, boasts high-quality visuals and easy readability.
Bed Leveling Process
One of the standout features for beginners is the printer’s automatic bed leveling, making the setup hassle-free. It deploys a bed leveling probe, gently touches the bed, and calculates the correct leveling. During setup, the printer performs heating and nozzle cleaning operations, all while maintaining a relatively quiet operation.
Once the setup is complete, it generates a bed leveling mesh to ensure a flat and stable printing surface. The values it displays are related to the flatness of the bed. Overall, this printer’s user-friendly design extends to its firmware, which offers options for configuring motion settings. Beginners should find it relatively straightforward to use, making it an excellent starting point for their 3D printing journey.
Printing Speed and Quality
We kick-started our 3D printing adventure with a print job the PREDATOR ACTION PLIERS to evaluate how well this printer performs. The Ender-3 V3 SE marks a significant upgrade from earlier Creality models, akin to giving your old car a complete makeover.
The streamlined design combines sleek aesthetics with efficiency, transforming your trusty old bicycle into a shiny new racing bike. During setup, I measured the printer’s sound levels, which hovered around 42 to 43 decibels at idle – fairly quiet for a 3D printer.
The initial print layer went down smoothly, and I couldn’t help but notice the vibrant colors and crisp contrast on the LCD screen, even from various angles. The printer’s standard settings yielded impressive print speed and quality. I decided to push the limits by increasing the speed to 150% and then 200%, and the printer handled it commendably. However, for optimal results, it’s advisable not to exceed 200% speed.
While the printer was in action, I monitored the noise levels, which ranged from 50 to 57 decibels, depending on the printer’s movements. Overall, this printer presents a promising option for beginners. It’s easy to set up, delivers good print quality, and operates relatively quietly – an enticing choice for those embarking on their 3D printing journey.
Thanks to the automatic Z offset detection, the initial print layer emerged flawlessly. The print quality remained impressive. This printer delivers on its promise – it’s an affordable option with design enhancements that provide a touch of premium quality.
Notably, it boasts a superior screen compared to some pricier models. User-friendly and capable of maintaining a reasonable print speed, it’s an excellent choice straight out of the box. If you’re contemplating setting up multiple printers for a project or simply seeking an affordable entry into the world of 3D printing, the Ender-3 V3 SE is a solid choice.
In conclusion, the Ender-3 V3 SE stands as an excellent entry point for anyone intrigued by the world of 3D printing. Its simplicity in assembly and use makes it an ideal choice for beginners. So, whether you’re considering your first foray into 3D printing or in need of multiple printers for a project, the Ender-3 V3 SE is undoubtedly a worthy contender.
My overall impression of this printer is highly positive. It offers an accessible introduction to 3D printing while maintaining a level of quality that will satisfy even experienced users. If you’re an aspiring 3D printing enthusiast or someone with a creative project in mind, this budget-friendly printer might just be your ideal companion. Dive in and discover the limitless possibilities of 3D printing with the Ender-3 V3 SE by your side. Happy printing!
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