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  1. #1

    Has anyone had a good experience with the Ender series?

    I am a total noob to this universe and I just purchased the Ender 3X. It hasn't been delivered yet. I thought I did enough research but after searching here for recommended upgrades (i.e. BLtouch, all metal feeder, Raspberry pi, or TL Smoother) I have run into many, many posts stating that the Ender 3 (the original) was basically not worth the box it is shipped in. I plan to give it my best try and learn for myself if it's for me or not. But I just wanted to know if anyone more experienced than myself had any good things to say about the Ender. Any comments would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    lol - yeah unfortunately most of the 'research' people do is watching youtube videos sponsored by creality.

    One of the things that annoys and amuses me in equal parts is that most people who have working ender 3's - get to that point by virtually rebuilding them
    And the money spent on that - if added to their original purchase amount qwould ghave bought them a decent machine in the first place.

    But they can be made to work.

    I would point out that the original ender 3 design actually has a BETTER frame than any of the recent variants.
    Creality keep cutting manufacturing costs and mainly these days they do it by chipping bits of the frame off and using less aluminium extrusion.

    So - yes you can most likely get your printer working - just don't expect it to ever print at a decent speed.
    Hell it might even work out of the box - starnger things have happened.

    But basically the entire ender 3 range are really bad engineering.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    But basically the entire ender 3 range are really bad engineering.
    So what is a good printer in this price range? I'm not afraid of a chalange when it comes to putting it together. I just want something that will complete good looking prints. Speed is not an issue for me as much as quality of print.

    **Update**
    I have since canceled my order of the Ender 3+, even before any replies to my question here.

    **Update 2**
    I noticed one of your posts mentioning the HE3D Delta. Are their products good for starter printers?
    Last edited by TreeTolber; 08-05-2020 at 03:07 PM.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Hmm tricky opne.
    The he3d k200 was my 3rd printer, and while after three years it's still factory spec hardware, electronics and firmware - I did make some mods to improve things.

    I wouldn't necessarily recommend a delta as a first machine. But that said it's had over 7km ! of filament through it in the last three years and never put a foot wrong that wasn't my fault.
    Without my mods and the sheet of Printbite I print on - it might be a bit trickier.
    My first machine - flashforge creator was a real hit or miss affair until I stuck the Printbite sheet to it. And once your first layer and removing finished print issues go away - life is so much more fun :-)

    So with the delta I ordered the printbite at the same time as the printer. So I've never had any adhesion issues with it.

    And all the mods can be printed by the machine.
    https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2386628
    for the flexible cable manager you'd need to go down to about 10mm/s with a fairly stiff flexible filament - but I believe I printed the one I'm using with the delta.

    On the up side - I can help :-)

    I guess it depends what you think you're mainly going to print ?

    Other than that, my best advice when looking at I3 style printers is to stick with josef prusa's original design.

    Direct drive extruder
    Dual z-axis motors
    Print bed side support rails.

    That way you at least start with a machine that has very sound engineering.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    Hmm tricky opne.
    The he3d k200 was my 3rd printer, and while after three years it's still factory spec hardware, electronics and firmware - I did make some mods to improve things.

    I wouldn't necessarily recommend a delta as a first machine. But that said it's had over 7km ! of filament through it in the last three years and never put a foot wrong that wasn't my fault.
    Without my mods and the sheet of Printbite I print on - it might be a bit trickier.
    My first machine - flashforge creator was a real hit or miss affair until I stuck the Printbite sheet to it. And once your first layer and removing finished print issues go away - life is so much more fun :-)

    So with the delta I ordered the printbite at the same time as the printer. So I've never had any adhesion issues with it.

    And all the mods can be printed by the machine.
    https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2386628
    for the flexible cable manager you'd need to go down to about 10mm/s with a fairly stiff flexible filament - but I believe I printed the one I'm using with the delta.

    On the up side - I can help :-)

    I guess it depends what you think you're mainly going to print ?

    Other than that, my best advice when looking at I3 style printers is to stick with josef prusa's original design.

    Direct drive extruder
    Dual z-axis motors
    Print bed side support rails.

    That way you at least start with a machine that has very sound engineering.
    Thanks so much for helping me out!!

    I have begun to research machines based on your advise. In doing so I have realized that I probably need to up my budget a bit. So I ran across the Anycubic i3 Mega S. They appear to have all 3 of the qualities you point out above. Also the Mega Pro is a 2 in 1 with a laser engraving attachment, which I really like but it's not crucial. Would you mind giving your thoughts on the Anycubics and are the 2 in 1 devices in this price range worth it or is it just a gimick?

  6. #6
    Technician xayoz's Avatar
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    For me, the big issue is going to be price point. I had a Monoprice Mini Delta, and currently have Ender 3 Pro, Artillery Sidewinder X1 and Prusa MK3S.

    The Monoprice was great when it worked, but one day, it would heat up, and then just sit there at temp, doing nothing. I tried to contact support and got no answer for 3 weeks. Fortunately Amazon made an exception and took the printer back and refunded. This was after only 5 months of use.

    The Ender 3 Pro, for me, was great out of the box. I could get solid, good looking prints, but yes, as Aardvark says, it is slower. But for me, speed isn't an issue as I'm printing for fun, not for mass production. I did find that I had to relevel the bed frequently, so I added a BLTouch. And that was great for a while. Again, Aardvark is correct to say that you CAN put a lot of money into upgrades, which I have, but many people still run their Ender stock and are happy with it. I happen to enjoy upgrading, and this is my printer to do it on. My next upgrade was a BTT SKR Mini E3 1.2 board with silent steppers. This made it so the only noise was the fans, and gave me a 32 bit board to play with. I later wanted to go to a direct drive so added a MicroSwiss direct drive kit with all metal hotend. Then my BLTouch stopped working properly, so I got a spring steel build plate and an inductive sensor. That worked great for a while, but as of last night I'm under extruding. I'll check for clogs later today, then if that doesn't do it, I'll dismantle the hotend and check again, then if needed I'll have to learn about how to calibrate esteps (haven't had to do on any machine yet). So if you're ok with frequent leveling, slow speed, and the POSSIBILITY of some tinkering and/or upgrades, it's a decent printer for the price point. And before Aardvark attacks Ender again, OF COURSE you'll get a better printer for MORE MONEY.

    My Sidewinder X1 has needed relatively little maintenance. The bed gets leveled about every 15-20 prints. I haven't done any upgrades, other that a printed drag chain. And as far as maintenance, the heater block is a little awkward, so if you're not careful changing your nozzle, you can easily get a gap between it and you heat break, which will cause a clog. The when you take off the heat block to get at the heat break, it can be easy to damage the thermistor or heater core wires, so having spares isn't a bad idea. But again, relatively maintenance free, and has been very reliable. Also the large build plate is nice.

    Finally the Prusa MK3S. This thing has been a workhorse. Yes, at one point the bed theristor failed, but Prusa was quick to send a replacement. Also, I had a bad squeaking, but I just had to dismantle and lube the bearings (Prusa says in the build manual that it isn't needed when building, but they're wrong, I should have greased right away). Other than that, has been very reliable, and there are no leveling screws, only the PINDA probe, so never have to level, and my Z height has been untouched since building the machine. An excellent machine, and worth the money for being pretty much maintenance free.

    However, there is always the consideration of budget. Yes, the Ender cost me near as much as the Prusa after all my upgrades, but that is spread over time, not all at once, so easier to afford. Also, my upgrades were to solve issues you may not perceive. If you're fine with manually leveling the bed all the time, you don't need the probe. If you're fine with the machine singing to you while it prints, you don't need silent drivers, etc. Again, it was fine stock until I decided I wanted to do upgrades. That being said, if you can afford the hefty price tag of the Prusa, it is well worth it. The sidewinder is priced between the 2, but you may find upgrades you want that I didn't. In fact, I like the spring steel on my other printers so much, I may add it to the sidewinder, rather than the OE glass bed.

    Haven't looked at the 2 in 1 myself at all, but for multi colours, if it's in the budget, check out Prusa MMU2S (5 colours) if you go with a Prusa MK3S. Or with any printer, you could check out Mosaic Pallette 2S (4 colours). I've ordered a 2nd Prusa and with it a MMU2S to try multi colour prints.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by xayoz View Post
    For me, the big issue is going to be price point. I had a Monoprice Mini Delta, and currently have Ender 3 Pro, Artillery Sidewinder X1 and Prusa MK3S.The Monoprice was great when it worked, but one day, it would heat up, and then just sit there at temp, doing nothing. I tried to contact support and got no answer for 3 weeks. Fortunately Amazon made an exception and took the printer back and refunded. This was after only 5 months of use.The Ender 3 Pro, for me, was great out of the box. I could get solid, good looking prints, but yes, as Aardvark says, it is slower. But for me, speed isn't an issue as I'm printing for fun, not for mass production. I did find that I had to relevel the bed frequently, so I added a BLTouch. And that was great for a while. Again, Aardvark is correct to say that you CAN put a lot of money into upgrades, which I have, but many people still run their Ender stock and are happy with it. I happen to enjoy upgrading, and this is my printer to do it on. My next upgrade was a BTT SKR Mini E3 1.2 board with silent steppers. This made it so the only noise was the fans, and gave me a 32 bit board to play with. I later wanted to go to a direct drive so added a MicroSwiss direct drive kit with all metal hotend. Then my BLTouch stopped working properly, so I got a spring steel build plate and an inductive sensor. That worked great for a while, but as of last night I'm under extruding. I'll check for clogs later today, then if that doesn't do it, I'll dismantle the hotend and check again, then if needed I'll have to learn about how to calibrate esteps (haven't had to do on any machine yet). So if you're ok with frequent leveling, slow speed, and the POSSIBILITY of some tinkering and/or upgrades, it's a decent printer for the price point. And before Aardvark attacks Ender again, OF COURSE you'll get a better printer for MORE MONEY.My Sidewinder X1 has needed relatively little maintenance. The bed gets leveled about every 15-20 prints. I haven't done any upgrades, other that a printed drag chain. And as far as maintenance, the heater block is a little awkward, so if you're not careful changing your nozzle, you can easily get a gap between it and you heat break, which will cause a clog. The when you take off the heat block to get at the heat break, it can be easy to damage the thermistor or heater core wires, so having spares isn't a bad idea. But again, relatively maintenance free, and has been very reliable. Also the large build plate is nice.Finally the Prusa MK3S. This thing has been a workhorse. Yes, at one point the bed theristor failed, but Prusa was quick to send a replacement. Also, I had a bad squeaking, but I just had to dismantle and lube the bearings (Prusa says in the build manual that it isn't needed when building, but they're wrong, I should have greased right away). Other than that, has been very reliable, and there are no leveling screws, only the PINDA probe, so never have to level, and my Z height has been untouched since building the machine. An excellent machine, and worth the money for being pretty much maintenance free.However, there is always the consideration of budget. Yes, the Ender cost me near as much as the Prusa after all my upgrades, but that is spread over time, not all at once, so easier to afford. Also, my upgrades were to solve issues you may not perceive. If you're fine with manually leveling the bed all the time, you don't need the probe. If you're fine with the machine singing to you while it prints, you don't need silent drivers, etc. Again, it was fine stock until I decided I wanted to do upgrades. That being said, if you can afford the hefty price tag of the Prusa, it is well worth it. The sidewinder is priced between the 2, but you may find upgrades you want that I didn't. In fact, I like the spring steel on my other printers so much, I may add it to the sidewinder, rather than the OE glass bed.Haven't looked at the 2 in 1 myself at all, but for multi colours, if it's in the budget, check out Prusa MMU2S (5 colours) if you go with a Prusa MK3S. Or with any printer, you could check out Mosaic Pallette 2S (4 colours). I've ordered a 2nd Prusa and with it a MMU2S to try multi colour prints.
    Thanks so much for taking the time out of your day to share some knowledge!!! I will look into the devices you mentioned.

  8. #8
    I bought an Ender3 pro and it printed fine out of the box, just had to search youtube on how to properly install the x gantry because the directions tell you to do it the wrong way. I've spent several hundred in upgrades, but most of those were not required for PLA, I just wanted to print more functional parts. You can put just a few upgrades on for minimal $$, but if you want to print more exotic materials you need to upgrade the extruder, hotend, and bed. You also need a decent filament dryer regardless of the printer.

    If you are just printing small parts, go with a Prusa Mini. It's not direct drive but that's probably the only upgrade you would need. Prusa slicer also has all the settings optimized for different materials. I use Cura for my Ender and have to set everything up myself but it is definitely a good learning experience.

    Upgrades on my Ender3 Pro:
    - microswiss all metal hotend
    - microswiss direct drive extruder
    - glass bed and garolite
    - 3 point leveling build plate
    - silicon heated mat for bed heating(heats bed.
    up very fast)
    - skr mini e3 v1.2 and now v2
    - meanwell 500w power supply
    - BLTouch
    - metal thermistor with threads
    - aluminum belt tensioners
    - LED strip
    - dehydrator style filament dryer
    - inline filament dryer
    - raspberry pi for remote printing
    - still need to buy linear rails

    Again, it all depends on what kind of parts and materials you want to print, but i think it's worth it to spend a little more for a Prusa

  9. #9
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    The answer to the original question was has anybody had a good experience with the ender 3 Pro to which I would answer yes I Have. I bought an Ender 3 Pro for a project to see whether it was possible to bring 3d prototyping in house for the Scientific Consultancy for which I work. We wanted a very basic machine to do a very basic job it must print reliably and consistently in ABS and Nylon. That was in early March and the machine has been running several hours each day. I will say that in purchasing the creality ender 3 pro I was suckered by internet site into thinking I was buy an CREALITY Ender 3 pro but was sold a rip-off copy which was so poorly made it was beyond belief!!!! and I never got my money back. The genuine Creality ender 3 pro I subsequently got i would say as an engineer of more than 50 years that it was of adequate to good quality for a simple basic machine built down to a reasonable price. Mine came from Crafargo's German warehouse at £177 inc carriage. Whats to complain about?

  10. #10
    I'm in the same boat... no printer yet, doing my research and it's tricky to know what info is good and which is bad. Someone might say the Ender is junk and not worth the price, but you never know what their opinion is based on. Other printers the same price? or it's garbage because no where near as good as the one they have that costs 3x as much.

    Ender 3 Pro caught my eye because print seems about average/better than others the same price, but because so many people seem to have one it's easier to find help on forums for it. That's one factor I'm interested in for sure.

    Definitely watching this thread. Plan is, research now, buy at Xmas when sales start.

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