Creality gives beginners two 3D printer options: the Ender 3 and the Ender 3 Pro. These printers are impressive when it comes to quality, features, connectivity, and ease of use. Out of the many 3D printers we’ve used and reviewed, we knew the Ender series will be the best for first-time users. But it’s a matter of choosing between the basic Ender 3 or the 3 Pro. Let us look into these Creality printers in great detail and find out if it’s worth considering Ender 3 vs Ender 3 Pro.
Is the Pro version worth paying for an additional $67? Or are the features of the Ender 3 enough to get the hang out of 3D printing?
Another Comparison Review: Ender 3 vs Ender 5
Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro Specifications
The best way to get to know more about these two Creality 3D printers is to view their specs. Both printers are designed for first-time users but will also be great for hobbyists and 3D project enthusiasts. Find the 3D printer that’s right for you.
Ender 3 3D Printer Specs
The Ender 3 3D printer is a high-precision printer with quality and unique features. It’s designed to quickly heat up so you won’t have to wait too long plus, it offers resume printing, an efficient feature that lets you get back to work after a power interruption.
- Dimensions: 8.7 x 8.7 x 9.8 inches, 17.64 pounds
- Power Supply: with a branded power supply
- Heating Time: 5 minutes to reach 110 degrees Celsius
- Supported File Formats: OBJ and STL
- Compatible Materials: 1.75 mm filaments TPU, PLA, and ABS
- Printing Speeds: 180mm/second
- Hotbed Temp: 110 degrees Celsius
- Special Features: resume printing, enhanced extruder, V-shape design, upgraded wheels
- Release Date: March 27, 2018
- Warranty: 1-year warranty on major parts, 3 months for the extruder kit
Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer Specs
The Pro is an upgrade of the Ender 3. It offers an enhanced magnetic build table and an efficient MeanWell power supply. The design is no different from the Ender 3 but we noticed a few upgraded components making it more durable, more stable, and a lot easier to use.
- Dimensions: 20.6 x 14.9 x 7.9 inches, 17.81 pounds
- Power Supply: MeanWell power supply
- Heating Time: 5 minutes to 110 degrees Celsius
- Supported File Formats: OBJ and STL
- Compatible Materials: 1.75 mm filaments PLA, TPU, wood, ABS, carbon fiber, gradient color, and more
- Printing Speeds: 180mm or higher per second
- Nozzle Temp: 255 degrees Celsius
- Hotbed Temp: 110 degrees Celsius
- Special Features: Magnetic bed surface, large LCD screen, simple controls, safe and efficient power supply
- Software: Cura, Simplify3D, and Repetier-Host
- Warranty – via Creality 1-year warranty on major parts, 3 months for the extruder kit, via Amazon 18 months limited replacement for 3D printer parts. With lifetime technical support.
It was our pleasure to review the Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro and include these printers in our review roster. Our years of 3D printer use and review have made it easier to point out the good and the bad in the Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro. Comparing the two printers was not easy as they possess almost the same features with just a few enhancements considered on the Ender 3 Pro printer.
We carefully consulted customer and user reviews, product ratings, comparison reviews, and blogs about the Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro as we want to create an unbiased comparison review. We hope that you find the best Creality Ender 3D printer that’s right for your needs after checking out this comparison.
The Creality Ender 3 3D Printer
The Ender 3 is a small-scale, easy to assemble, beginner’s 3D printer with basic and updated features. It’s not as large as other space-hungry 3D printers as it measures only 8.7 x 8.7 x 9.8 inches but it’s very heavy. You can’t take it anywhere to print.
The Ender 3 printer has a regular branded power supply that produces efficient power. This printer extruder nozzle and bed heat up to the optimum temperature of 110 degrees Celsius in just 5 minutes which is faster than other regular 3D printers.
This printer accepts PLA material to create all kinds of projects. It is packed with many features, among them a resume printing feature that lets you continue where you left off after a power outage or work pause. The extruder has an improved design which prevents blockage of the filament material and problems with the system during operation.
The base is spacious and ready to print all kinds of projects. The Ender 3 has updated wheels so moving the printer across the table won’t be too complicated. Your purchase of the Ender 3 gives you more value for your money as it comes with 1-year warranty coverage on all major printer parts and 3 months coverage on the extruder.
This printer is an open-source 3D printer so you can use it to work on all kinds of projects for any industry. Use the source code to improve your printer for work or your hobbies and share your changes with community members.
The Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer
The Ender 3 Pro 3D printer is an open-source, low-cost printer that has similar features and specs to its predecessor, the Ender 3. They have the same compatible filament material, supported file formats, and other physical features. But the Ender 3 Pro is not just a shadow of the Ender 3 as it comes with more advanced specs and features.
This 3D printer is larger than its predecessor at 20.6 x 14.9 x 7.9 inches but weighs almost the same as the Ender 3. Instead of a mysteriously branded power supply, the Ender 3 Pro uses a durable MeanWell Power Supply which provides just the right amount of power for optimum operation.
Nozzle and plate heating time are only 5 minutes to reach the best working temperature of 110 degrees Celsius. There’s no need to guess whether you’ve achieved the correct temperature as you can easily check this out from the convenient LCD screen.
You can use file formats STL or OBJ on the Ender 3 Pro. Meanwhile supported filament materials include PLA, ABS, and metal. Working and changing the filament is easy as this 3D printer has the filament change feature. The base is clear, spacious, and balanced; ready to work on any kind of project.
When it comes to warranty, you’ll get a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty on the printer’s major parts and 3 months for the extruder. When you purchase the Ender 3 Pro from Amazon, you’ll get 18 months limited replacement for all the 3D printer parts. Plus, you’ll get lifetime tech support. All these add more value for your money when you choose the Ender 3 Pro.
Ender 3 vs Ender 3 Pro
Now that you have an idea of what the Ender 3 vs Ender 3 Pro is capable of, let’s proceed with a comparison of these two Creality 3D printers. We will see which printer is better when it comes to parts, setup, aesthetics, compatibility, features, filament materials, and warranty.
Out of the Box
The Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro will arrive inside a marked box unassembled. You need to allow at least two to four hours of assembly time if you’re a pro but a beginner could take longer. The printer parts are labeled accordingly and wrapped in safe plastic and carton. It may be overwhelming for a beginner as these printers have more than a hundred parts! But there’s nothing to worry about as a step-by-step assembly guide and a video is available online.
The instruction manual is easy to understand, the parts are appropriately labeled. Expect the setup to be a bit complicated for a beginner but there’s no need to rush. You can check out assembly videos anytime online.
Ender 3D printer parts are almost identical except the Ender 3 Pro has several advanced components.
- Power Supply
The Ender 3 has a branded power supply with 100 to 265V (50-60HZ) input power and 24V 15A 270W output. It is very durable, reliable, and efficient but is not as perfect as it may seem. The Pro comes with a MeanWell power supply, an upgraded power source with an AC100-120V 6.8A 200-240V 3.4A 50 to 60 Hz power input, and a DC output of 24V 270W.
The MeanWell power supply provides the top power needed for faster heating and longer 3D printing times. This is also shielded from harmful voltage spikes and possible power outages. In case there is a power outage, you can resume printing where you left off once the power comes back.
The frames of the Ender 3 and the Ender 3 Pro are made from aluminum which is more durable and more flexible than other materials. Aluminum won’t bend and will never lose its shape even with constant use. The aluminum frames of the Ender 3 and 3 Pro are strong and durable made from precise CNC machining technologies. These are capable of holding the extruder and the nozzle assembly without wobbling.
The Ender 3 Pro comes with an updated triangle slot that matches its Prusa I3 frame. It is an innovative component that follows the new trend in DIY 3D printer components.
It’s easy to see that the frame of the Pro is larger than the Ender 3. The size allows it to handle larger and more complicated tasks. You can adjust the frame for both printers and thus you can enhance your setup and save money in the long run.
The Ender 3 comes with a plastic extruder which helps dispense the melted filament material efficiently on the bed to create all kinds of projects. The Ender 3 Pro comes with an aluminum extrusion at 40 x 40 from the Y-axis base.
The aluminum extruder is more stable and can handle hotter material temperatures without affecting its shape whereas a plastic extruder will lose its shape at some point. An aluminum extruder can work even with very hot temperatures which is the temperature needed to melt tougher materials like metal and ABL.
The Ender 3 3D printer has a regular printer platform which is enough to work with basic prints, projects, and items. The surface is smooth, easy to clean and maintain. It’s small but has a lot of potentials and is built for school, home, or office projects.
The Ender 3 Pro has a C-MAG magnetic plate. This is removable, flexible, and is designed only for the Ender 3 Pro. The bed is textured to better adhere to different filament types. This is far better compared to using glue, tape, or traditional hairspray. With a textured C-MAG bed, you can also say goodbye to warping especially when you’re working on larger 3D projects and prints.
t’s easier to use the C-MAG magnetic plate on an Ender 3 Pro. As soon as the printer is done, remove the upper magnetic bed from the lower bed and bend the print surface to release the model from the bed.
- Circuit Board
The Ender 3 circuit board is an industrial-grade board known for its efficiency, durability, and reliability. This board can work even for 200 hours without pausing, pressure or failure. The board is protected by a thermal runway, the Ender 3 can resume where it left off during a power outage or a printing lapse.
The Ender 3 Pro has almost similar circuitry to its predecessor which is why it shares the same resume printing functions. You can also resume printing where you left off so you don’t need to waste time and material.
- Cooling Fan
The extruder system of a 3D printer could heat up uncontrollably in case of any problem with its circuitry or use. Creality extruders come with cooling fans that will help protect the mechanism. The fans are activated once the sensors detect increasing temperatures on the extruder.
In both the Ender 3 and the Ender 3 Pro, the cooling fan is placed near the extruder system to ensure the best results.
- Motion components
The 3D printer arm on the Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro moves efficiently across the board. Movements are fluid, with very minimal noise and no unnecessary movements. The printer arm is completely adjustable and in case you need to replace it, you can remove it from the printer assembly and change it.
The arms and other moving components of the Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro are made from very strong metal. The circuitry is connected to the arms and other components but these are attached efficiently, with no hanging wires, no electronic circuits exposed to make you feel uneasy.
The Ender 3 Pro has an ergonomic design with updated bed leveling nuts. This allows you to make more precise adjustments and avoid unbalanced printer beds. Meanwhile, the Ender 3 comes with regular leveling nuts.
- LCD Screen
The LCD screen in both the Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro is what you use to check the status of your printer. You can check the nozzle and bed temperature, amount of filament remaining, and other printer information.
The LCD screens have a blue backlight which lets you see the status of your printers. Many agree that the blue backlight color is not enough and it’s difficult to read the information on the screen in this color.
Assembly and setup are needed to use the Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro. These printers will be shipped disassembled so you need to identify each piece and connect accordingly. Luckily, you don’t need special tools to connect the different pieces.
The Ender 3 Pro boasts of easy installation and claims you can complete the process in just 10 minutes. The printer is held together by only 20 screws and compared to the Ender 3 and other popular 3D printer models, it was very easy to install.
Connecting these 3D printers to your PC, laptop, or any equipment is easy through wired connections. You can also use a convenient card slot located at the front section of the printer.
The Ender 3 and the Ender 3 Pro have almost similar designs except for the larger bed and the larger build of the Pro printer. These printers don’t have a casing for the finished project which makes it look raw and unfinished.
The Ender 3 is compatible with file formats STL, G-code, and OBJ while the Ender 3 Pro is compatible with OBJ, STL, and AMF file formats. Meanwhile, you can use the Ender 3 using an online 3D printing program or through an SD card offline. The Ender 3 Pro also works through an online program or an SD card when offline. It is compatible with slice software such as Simplify3D, Repetier-Host, and Cura software.
The Ender 3 is an open-sourced 3D printer that works with beginners and professional users. This is a stable printer due to its V-Slot+ precision pulley system. This component keeps the printer stable, balanced, and ready for any kind of project. It runs smoothly and is more efficient compared to the Ender 3 Pro.
You will also notice that the Ender 3 is quieter than most Ender 3D printers. This is also due to its enhanced pulley system and sturdier base. However, the circuit board already has an older design and will not be able to work longer than 200 hours. This is a very important thing to consider especially if you plan to use this printer to create larger and more intricate projects.
The Ender 3 comes with a resume printing feature which means it can remember your settings and when you left off before a power interruption or a printing pause. The printer’s thermal runway protection keeps the circuit safe from any power surges.
This 3D printer uses the MK8 extruder which is one of the latest patented extrusion systems. It that can reduce poor material spillage and prevents plugging or clogging. It can work with almost all filaments and because it can reach 110 degrees Celsius in just 5 minutes, it can also handle ABS material.
Meanwhile, the Ender 3 Pro has a redesigned aluminum extrusion system which means it can handle tougher materials in higher temperatures. It also has upgraded parts and various components so it can work safely and more stable than the Ender 3.
The Ender 3 3D printer comes with an updated MK8 extruder that prevents material clogging and plugging. However, this is still made of plastic and thus, you can only use a limited type of material. The Ender 3 works with 1.75 mm filaments of ABS, PLA, and TPU material.
The Ender 3 Pro is designed with an aluminum extrusion system and thus, it can take almost any type of material as it can accept higher temperatures. This printer uses 1.75 mm filaments made from ABS, PLA, TPU, wood, carbon fiber, gradient color material, and many more.
Both the Ender 3 and the Ender 3 Pro are open source printers which means you can improve the printer parts and source codes and share your improvements. Open source technology allows users to promote and improve the experience of all users.
Users of both the Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro 3D printers enjoy free lifetime technical support. You can always call Creality for any questions about their printers and any problems including warranty, parts service, parts replacement, and troubleshooting.
You can find help for your Ender 3D printer from Creality’s official site https://www.creality.com/. You can get after-sale technical service using a form found at Creality’s site. You may also e-mail Creality or follow the company on social media to learn more about their products.
Creality’s Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro are good 3D printers. If you’re good at the replacement or repair of 3D printer parts, installation and modification then the Ender 3 is best for you. If you have a tight budget then this printer will be a cost-efficient solution for your 3D printing needs.
But if you have an unlimited budget and you want a printer with enhanced quality, stability and precision then the Ender 3 Pro is the best one for you.