Creality has established its name as one of the best companies that produce affordable and easy-to-use 3D printers for hobbyists and tinkerers. With each new edition, it gives its users tons of worthy upgrades and opens the doors for users to install self-designed upgrades on their own.
Earlier in 2018, Ender 3 was a hit in the world of 3D printers. It came out as a robust printer that offers incredible print quality at a much lower price than its competitors.
By the end of the same year, Creality released a new edition that cost a bit more but featured a few improvements to add extra value to the package. However, the higher price took away from the older version’s appeal. So between Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro, which is more worthy? Continue reading for our in-depth comparison of the two printers!
Ender 3 vs. Ender 3 Pro – Short Answer
The Ender 3 Pro is a pumped-up edition of Ender 3. Both versions share almost all features, especially the smashing print quality. However, with a few tweaks in the hardware and the addition of Meanwell power supply, detachable magnetic bed, and improved aluminum extrusion, Ender 3 Pro provides even better stability and print quality for the price.
|Model||Ender 3||Ender 3 Pro|
|Print area||220 x 220 x 250 mm||220 x 220 x 250 mm|
|Nozzle size||0.4 mm||0.4 mm|
|Filaments||1.75 mm PLA, ABS, TPU||1.75mm PLA, TPU, ABS, wood, carbon fiber, gradientcolor, etc.|
|Maximum print speed||200 mm/s||180 mm/s|
|Layer resolution||0.1-0.4 mm||0.1-0.4 mm|
|Connectivity||SD Card, USB||SD Card|
Ender 3 vs. Ender 3 Pro – Full Comparison
After giving our short answer, let’s explore the differences between both versions in detail and decide whether they are worth it or not.
Both versions share the same minimalistic open-frame design with the same materials used in their construction. This is a good thing since the whole design is solid, easy to deal with, and open for creative users to attach extras and upgrades to customize the model to their needs.
We’re happy to find that Creality has passed the tight filament pathway to the new version as well, which enhances its compatibility with flexible filaments. The power recovery mode is also there to resume printing from where it last stopped, sparing you the trouble of starting your projects from scratch in case of unexpected power outages.
The only change in design appears in the position of the fan. While Ender 3 had its fan over the printer’s base, Ender 3 Pro’s fan is placed at the bottom of the printer. The change in design was made to stop the melted filaments from falling on the fan’s blades, which eventually led to its malfunction.
Here is where most of the changes are!
A notable feature that makes Ender 3 a phenomenon in the world of budget 3D printers is the 220 x 220 x 250-millimeter build plate. It’s not easy to find such a big print volume at this price range, and it makes the model a viable option for a large customer base.
However, it comes with a few issues. One of them is the uneven base that makes it hard to print your object with accurate dimensions unless you do a lot of bed leveling in the process.
Another problem is the wobbly surface, which requires that you keep the machine still as much as possible to avoid any error in the final product. Finally, it causes some materials to stick to the surface, making it hard to collect your object without scraping it from the surface with a skillet.
The Ender 3 Pro inherits the same print volume but with some improvements to correct the previous version’s flaws. For starters, it comes with an even build surface that uses removable C-Mag magnetic platform sheets. These sticky sheets help the objects stick to the surface during the printing process and peel off quickly when it’s time to pick them up.
The Y-axis was redesigned with 40 x 40 aluminum extrusion to improve the overall stability and, in turn, enhance the print quality. On top of that, Creality equipped the new version with larger bearings to reduce vibrations and provide a stiffer print surface.
The print quality is awesome for the price in both versions. However, the problem is precision. Ender 3 needs some tweaks and lots of patience for the print quality to be above average. However, with the changes in Ender 3 Pro, you can get outstanding prints that rival those of higher-end printers without much effort from your side.
Ender 3 works well with PLA, PETG, and some flexible filaments. But due to its adhesion issues, it’s not the best for ABS projects.
On the other hand, Ender 3 Pro provides incredible results with any 1.75-millimeter filament, meaning that it supports PLA, TPU, ABS, wood, carbon fiber, and color gradient filaments. This makes it a better option for those who like to experiment with various materials.
Ease of Use
Both editions come semi-assembled and require manual bed calibration, making them tricky choices for novice creators. Yet, the assembly is made easy in the Ender 3 Pro with the pre-built X- and Y-axis as well as the intuitive setup manual.
It’s also equipped with ergonomic, large leveling knobs to make the bed leveling easier. However, like its predecessor, it still requires lots of fine-tuning to guarantee accurate results.
While Creality equipped Ender 3 with a reliable power supply that can heat the plate to 90°C in mere five minutes, they thought they could do even better with the new edition. Ender 3 Pro features a Meanwell power supply unit, which is UL certified as a safer, quieter, and more efficient power source.
The unit provides better protection against unexpected voltage spikes than that of the Enders 3. Moreover, it can heat the print bed to 110℃ in just 5 minutes, which ensures faster heating and quicker operation.
Pros and Cons of Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro
- Highly affordable
- Large print volume
- Decent print quality
- Incompatible with some filaments
- Wobbly print surface
- Sometimes prints stick to the bed
- Stability issues
Ender 3 Pro
- High print quality for the price
- Easy assembly
- Improved adhesion and stability
- More robust and safer power supply
- Better fan placement
- Works with various filament types
- Requires lots of adjustments
- Tricky bed leveling despite the larger knobs
So the bottom line is, although the Ender 3 Pro costs a few extra bucks, the upgrades correct mostly all of the previous model’s flaws, and on this note, it’s worth every penny.
As for which model is the best for you, it depends on your level of experience and willingness to spend some time perfecting the machine.
If you’re the type who likes to add your unique touches to the printer, the Ender 3 will be your dream choice. We’ve never seen an upgradeable unit as much as this one, and you can use the extra bucks you save by purchasing it to customize the hardware however you wish.
Nevertheless, if you choose to get Ender 3 Pro, you get better stability, higher precision, and overall better print quality in exchange for a slight increase in the price. That’s why although both models aren’t the best choice for beginners, between the two of them, Ender 3 Pro makes a better choice for the inexperienced hands.
Fascinated by science from an early age, Jason has always been drawn to learning and experiencing technology. From learning about light through his passion for photography, building out PCs, and printing 3D models life couldn’t be better. When he isn’t writing about all things 3D printing related he enjoys reading, watch soccer and enjoy with his family.