Why the Creality Ender 3?

If you've looked at the Ender 3 you know it has a long list of issues. Some are very important. Others not so much. Because this is such a popular printer there are LOTS of solutions for the issues and a very large number of YouTube videos on the printer.

Issues

Where do I start? Probably the most important ones are those that can be addressed during assembly. Loose or overtight rail trolleys are high on the list. Also you need to check to see that the frame is square so it doesn't wobble. There are a couple of high priority other things to do during assembly. I've already printed them on my Monoprice Mini Delta so I'm ready.

I decided I would need a list and what better way to organize it than in a database that is available and updated on the web? It's here: Ender 3 Planning

You will notice that I have big plans for upgrades although none of them are all that expensive.

Probably most important is the thermal sanity checks that are disabled in the firmware. I have seen in a couple of places that they have corrected this but I won't believe it until I check it myself. Even so, I don't plan on leaving the printer unattended when I'm not in the house or asleep. I will have a smoke detector in the room before the Ender 3 arrives.

Why Not the Ender 3 Pro?

I did seriously look at the Pro but found it lacking in enhancements for the difference in price. Mostly I found one thing they changed that I DID NOT like - flipping the electronics case over. This requires that you turn the printer over on it's side to get into the box. Sure, it moved the fan to a down facing position (so stuff doesn't fall inside) but that little problem is solved with the easily printable fan shroud. The improved power supply is not as big of a deal as people seem to think. The original one is much more than adequate for the printer. Just because it doesn't have a well known name brand doesn't make it bad. The only plus for the Pro model that I see is the cMagnet build surface - which is available for much less than the $60 difference in price.

Why I Chose the Ender 3 Over [insert your favorite printer name here]

The reasons are numerous. Full open source (hardware and firmware) played a part. The availability of a very large community support articles and video is also a big part. It's just a very well known printer and all of the quirks seem to have been identified and solutions for them developed.

And it's even been cloned a time or two. What better recommendation could it get? Yes, the clones have some nice upgrades but they are all brand new and sometimes not all that well implemented. They are of course trying to compete at the Ender 3's price point. A couple of years from now things may be different.

And not to forget Creality's well established presence in the 3D printer market. There are large areas of commonality with the very popular CR-10 series of printers. Most parts made by third parties that fit the CR-10 also fit the Ender 3. That opens up a large selection of good upgrades.

How I Like the Ender 3 (March 11, 2019)

It's time to tell how I like this printer. It's easy - I REALLY like it. Yes, there are problems with bed leveling (which I think I have worked out now) but overall it's a great printer. I like being able to print bigger things and I'm really liking OctoPi even though I don't have a camera hooked up yet.

Would I buy one again? YES!