We’re big fans of the Creality family of 3D printers, so today we’re going to take a closer look at the Ender 5 Plus.
Whether you’re new to the world of 3D printing, or you’ve been making prints for years, selecting the right tool for the job can be a problematic experience.
Taking the time to research, purchase and assemble the 3D printer is not a quick process, and picking a dud can be a painful experience.
If you’re already familiar with the Ender range, you might be wondering what the difference is between the Ender 5, the Ender 5 Pro and the Ender 5 Plus. In this review, we’ll compare it to other models in this family and give our take on how it improves over its predecessors and how where it falls short.
We’re going to give you the full breakdown as we take a look at assembly and construction, specifications, noise level, design, and accessories. We also test out two prints and give our thoughts on the overall quality of the finished product. Let’s get into it!
We received the package in good order and didn’t see any defects right off the bat. It came with ample protection and all of the pieces were found in the packaging. So far so good.
You’ll be pleased to learn that this is a simple assembly job. We found putting the 3D printer together to be fairly simple, and other than some difficulty piecing together the lead screws it was a straightforward affair.
The good news is that it doesn’t come in hundreds of parts and everything was labeled correctly. It will take a little longer to assemble if you compare it to the Ender 5 Pro, but it’s still a quick build.
Overall the build time was around 45 minutes, which is better than some of the other models of this caliber, as some you would expect to take up to 2-3 hours to assemble.
Feel free to grab a friend and half the time if you want to get set up quicker. As soon as we turned on the power, everything worked as we would expect.
The instruction manual was simple to follow, and those that are not that clued up on mechanics should still be able to cope with piecing this together.
The first thing we noticed was how sturdy it felt. There was no issue with the movement of the frame, and the structure feels like it’s been created with solidity in mind, owing to the larger printer bed and a higher temperature it can obtain compared to similar models.
In terms of aesthetics, it looks good and isn’t ugly to look at. However there are ‘prettier’ 3D printers in the Creality line, but this model isn’t supposed to be winning any beauty contest, so as long as it printed well and didn’t cause us any issues (which we’ll discuss in just a minute), we could overlook the finish.
One thing we didn’t like was the changing of corner brackets which are now plastic. The Ender 5 model was far superior because it featured aluminum brackets.
This seems like a strange change as it’s meant to be an upgrade from earlier models, but was probably made in part to keep production costs down. If you want to install metal brackets, you’ll have to purchase some separately.
Another feature we wanted to test was the safety features. By purposefully pulling the power so that it couldn’t be supplied to the bed or hotend, the machine immediately came up with an error message on the screen.
This was a nice touch, and we felt confident that every bit of effort was made to ensure the safety of the printer.
Here is the list of specs that come with the Ender 5 Plus:
- Printing Method: FDM
- Print Dimensions: 350*350*400mm
- Display: 4.3 inch
- Print Accuracy: ±0.1mm
- Nozzle diameter: Standard 0.4mm
- Nozzle Quantity: 1
- Nozzle temperature: ≤260℃
- Hot Bed Temperature: ≤110℃
- Working modes: online or TF cards are printed offline
- File formats: STL, Odj, and Slicing
- Software: cura, Repeti-Host, Simplify 3D
- Power parameters: Input:100-240V AC;Output:DC 24V 21A;Max25A
- Printing Materials: PLA、 ABS、 Soft Glue、 Wooden、 Copper Containing、 Gradient, etc.
- Consumables Diame: 1.75mm
- Net Weight: 18.2KG
- Machine Size: 632*666*619mm
- Gross weight: 23.8KG
- Package size: 730*740*310mm
One of the biggest appeals of this model is that it’s larger than some of the other models in the Ender family, including the Ender 5 Pro. The print volume is 350x350x400 millimeters which allows you to print much larger jobs with ease.
Because it’s a bigger printing volume, expect the frame to be larger, as it measures at roughly 630x650x620 millimeters. Make sure you have plenty of room and can fit this printer on a secure surface with ample space because we mean it when we say it’s big!
Due to the larger bed size, they’ve decided to include dual lead screws to help keep the build plate more stable and secure. Along with this, we found most of the materials that help support the frame to be of good quality, and overall we were happy with the specs.
The Dual Z-axis ran smoothly and drove the bed up and down without any hiccups, and we didn’t see any issues with the movement system on the Z-axis.
Creality states that the maximum hotend can reach temperatures of up to 260 degrees Celsius, with the bed reaching a heat of up to 110 degrees celsius.
With extensive testing we found this to be the case, and you won’t have any issues reaching these temperatures with many of the common filaments like PLA.
The power supply they have gone with for this model is a Chinese-made source that is low cost but does the job well. We had no complaints about power outages or dips, barring some noise which we’ll come into in just a second.
However, it did feel like the power source was at its limit, and we have noted that other reviewers have stated the stock power supply eventually gives in, which we’re not surprised by.
The first point we want to touch on is the print surface. The design looks classy, and it has this shiny aspect to the glass on one side, with a matte finish on the other side.
Overall the bed is flat, but we did notice some dipping in the middle. Other reviewers have noted the same defect, so bear this mind if you are looking for a flatbed.
In terms of test prints, we tried a figurine and vase. We used PLA in gray, at temperatures of 200 degrees Celsius and 60 mm/s, and during the print, we didn’t experience any movement, making it one of the most solid installments from Creality.
The vase came out fantastically, including the layer consistency and smoothness. We didn’t encounter any bowing or warping. We have noted a few reviewers ran into the issue of banding with taller print jobs, so bear this in mind if you plan on making taller models or ornaments.
One issue we encountered was stringing on the figurine. This wasn’t a major issue and could be cleaned up after the job is complete as the stringing was very thin.
Overall the quality was decent. It wasn’t perfect, but we didn’t notice any major issues, and the finish was smooth and precise. For a 3D printer at this price range, you’ll get good-quality prints that look acceptable.
It wouldn’t be a complete review without briefly mentioning the noise. Something that cannot be unnoticed is that the motherboard is very loud.
During our printing, we could easily hear the sound of the motherboard making a lot of noise, so there’s no way this could be kept close to the main part of the house. You’ll want to keep this stored away from living spaces and bedrooms.
There are a few options to try out if you want to reduce the noise. The most accepted solution is to purchase a silent motherboard which can make all of the difference, especially if living in a smaller-sized accommodation, but this all adds to the total cost of the printer.
Overall we were impressed with the Ender 5 Plus. It’s a great option as an entry-level 3D printer and for anyone looking to pick up a machine that is easy to set up and get going with.
Whilst the Ender 5 Pro is a buffed-up version of the original 5, the Plus offers more in terms of size and you’ll be able to handle bigger jobs at increased temperatures.
Overall we had good quality prints, and other than a few issues with stringing that could be fixed with some aftercare, the prints were high quality and acceptable for what we intended.
However, there are some drawbacks that we have to highlight. One is that you’re going to need to find plenty of room to house the generous build, which is to be expected from a printer designed for large print jobs. And the second is that It’s a loud model, so expect to keep this stored away from living spaces.
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