Creality Ender 3 V2 vs Ender 3 (Pro): The Differences
Announced in 2020, the Ender 3 V2 is very similar to its predecessors, with a few notable exceptions which give the 3 V2 the highest price of them all – $269 USD as of the time of publication. It’s not yet released, but we’ve compiled all the specs Creality’s given us to give you as good an idea as any of what to expect.
All this newness begs the question: is the Creality Ender 3 Pro or Ender 3 V2 worth the extra cash or is the Ender 3 still the enduring favorite?
We’ll explore this in the following 3D printer shootout. Read on to find out which machine we think is best.
There are a number of features that make original the most popular machine currently on the market. But, beyond the physical features the machine offers, one of the Ender 3’s greatest perks is its massive community. Since the machine isn’t the new kid on the block anymore, it has a great number of owners and an incredible wealth of information about it online – not to mention a passionate userbase that is happy to help should you run into issues.
That aside, the Ender 3 offers a build volume of 220 x 220 x 250 mm, a BuildTak-like heated build plate, power recovery mode, and a tight filament pathway that makes it easier to print with flexible materials. These are attributes that are oftentimes missing from even more high-end 3D printers, and the Ender 3 does it for about $200.
As you’ll see in our Creality Ender 3 review, this machine exceeded our initial expectations by a longshot. We experimented with PLA, PETG, ABS, flexible and exotic filaments, and managed to print successfully with all of these materials.
The 3D printer is easy to assemble and – although it requires manual calibration – the enlarged bed leveling knobs make the process convenient.
The most glaring issue presented by the Creality Ender 3 is the uneven base, which causes a wobble to the entire 3D printer. The manufacturer seems to have taken note of this problem, creating a slightly more stable frame for the Ender 3 Pro. Aside from that, there isn’t much to knock this machine for, especially when you consider how much (or rather, how little) it costs.
Another positive mark for the Ender 3 is its hackability. There are a number of ways to upgrade the printer, from buying a tempered glass print bed to various 3D printed add-ons.
All in all, the Creality Ender 3 is an excellent option for beginners or makers on a budget. While this 3D printer does have its flaws, the affordability makes it a worthwhile investment. Unlike other budget options in this price range, the Creality Ender 3 is prepared for high-quality 3D printing right out of the box.
Believe it or not, there isn’t much separating the from its wildly popular predecessor beyond a handful of changes.
For starters, the Ender 3 Pro has been redesigned with a sturdier, 40 × 40 aluminum extrusion for the Y-axis base. Arguably the most important upgrade as far as print quality goes, this larger extrusion was implemented to improve the overall stability of the printing surface.
Another aspect that makes the Ender 3 Pro superior is the upgraded Meanwell Power Supply Unit (PSU), which is thinner, quieter, and all-around better than the version featured on the original Ender 3.
The first version of the Ender 3 had a board fan at the top of the printer’s base, which made it susceptible to falling bits of a filament. On the Ender 3 Pro, the manufacturer has placed this fan at the bottom of the 3D printer. Although the new placement of this fan effectively protects the board from being bombarded by plastic, we remain a bit skeptical about how much airflow is available underneath the base of the printer.
Finally, Creality 3D also added a magnetic printing bed to the build plate of the Ender 3 Pro. This sheet is removable and flexible, making it easier to pluck finished prints off of the build surface. It has a textured surface that, in theory, should improve adhesion for all types of filament, eliminating the need for tape, glue sticks, and hairspray.
Otherwise, the Creality Ender 3 Pro has the same build volume, design, and overall functionalities as the original Ender 3.
For these aforementioned enhancements, you’ll have to spend a bit more for the Creality Ender 3 Pro. It has a retail price of $259 but it’s also possible that you’ll be able to find the Pro version at a discounted price from time to time.
So, is it worth shelling out a few extra bucks for the Pro? We’ll answer this question in the following “Verdict” section.
Minus the slight tweaks, the other technical specifications for the Ender 3 Pro are the same as in the regular Ender 3.
This brings us all to the latest (and possibly greatest?) of Creality’s Ender 3 iterations: the .
While it’s hard to definitively say whether it’s the best (or worst) of the options – again, the printer hasn’t been released yet, though it is available for pre-order, and we haven’t had a chance to review it yet – we can make some educated guesses based on the specs and details Creality has released so far.
Like the original Ender 3, the V2 has a print volume of 220 x 220 x 250 mm and can also print with PLA, ABS, TPU, and PETG.
But, there are some important differences, namely, the tempered carborundum glass bed, perhaps the most notable of all the new features. This is a welcome change from the detachable magnetic heated bed of the Ender 3 Pro as these beds were prone to accumulating filament residue over time, which ever so often resulted in ugly first layers.
The glass print bed is mounted on the aluminum plate. Said to improve overall material adhesion, this flatter surface should allow you to remove prints much more easily.
The V2 also has a fancy HD color screen instead of the old LCD character display. As with the older style displays, the color screen is still navigated using a click wheel.
It also boasts an upgraded, 32-bit, self-developed, “silent” motherboard. Creality says it prints at 50 decibels, which is comparable to a quiet suburb or a conversation at home. And it has a brand name MeanWell power supply to heat up quickly and let users choose between power voltage of 115V or 230V.
Some other upgrades and tweaks are a toolbox embedded in the base of the printer, where you can store things like nozzles, needles, pliers, and other tools, the capability to resume a print after a power outage, an XY-axis tensioner and manual filament feeding.
Lastly, Creality added in two adjustable tensioners on the X- and Y-axis to try and prolong the belts’ lifespans, in addition to a rotary knob to the Bowden extruder to manually load filament if desired.
However, again, despite some welcome changes, the basic tech specs of the Ender 3 V2 are the same as the original Ender 3.
All this information is great, but which machine is right for you? The answer depends on a few factors: Your budget, how much you value newness, and how much effort you want to put into printing. Without a doubt, the original Ender 3 still offers the best value. All three machines are capable of printing the same materials, where they differ is the ease of printing with them.
If you already have an Ender 3, we’d suggest simply upgrading your existing machine to have these same features, like swapping out the old build plate for a glass one, for example.
But if you don’t own any version of an Ender 3 yet, you have to decide whether the improvements and extra features in the V2 are worth the additional cost. For example, the carborundum glass print bed, though great, is something you can always purchase separately and upgrade an existing Ender 3 with. Other features, like the color screen and toolbox, are nice to have, but not a game-changer in terms of print quality, nor really even useability.
As for the tensioners and rotary knob to load filament in the V2, they are handy features, but since the machine isn’t available yet, it’s tough to say whether they will work as advertised or whether they are even that useful.
That being said, the MeanWell brand power supply and Creality’s 32-bit motherboard should give you quieter and zippier (at least when it comes to waiting for the extruder and print bed to heat up) printing experience.
Ultimately, if you want a machine with all kinds of bells and whistles, and are fine paying extra for that (and are a fan of the newness and don’t mind that the machine hasn’t been reviewed yet), the Creality Ender 3 V2 is your guy. But if you’re happy with the best value out there and don’t mind upgrading your machine as you go, we’d stick with the Ender 3.
And if you fall somewhere in the middle – you want a machine that’s been put through its paces, but don’t want to have to do too many upgrades to it yourself and are fine with paying a little extra – we’d go for the Ender 3 Pro.