The Creality Ender-five Pro ($382), which comes as a package, is a piece large than many price range three-D printers we have got reviewed, however its box-like open body has a robust experience that belies the fee. The printer takes some hours to construct, however the procedure is quite straightforward. The Ender-five Pro helps more than one filament types. Its fundamental trouble is one we have got visible with different three-D printers that lack computerized mattress-leveling—it is able to be a ache to set the extruder nozzle the right distance from the print mattress at every nook and hold it calibrated ought to it pop out of whack. But if you are inclined to tackle that chore, you will have your self a three-D printer able to making fairly huge prints of above-common excellent.
An Open-Frame Kit
The Ender-five Pro is an open-body, filament-primarily based totally (FFF) three-D printer it is at the huge facet for its price range ilk, measuring 21.7 through 19.1 through 20.7 inches (HWD) and weighing 26 pounds. The body is specifically constructed of matte black aluminum beams, that you bolt collectively for the duration of setup. This boxy shape feels stabler and greater giant than the arch-like body of Creality’s Ender-three V2, that’s bolted to its base on both facet.
The construct place of the Ender-five Pro is 11.eight through eight.7 through eight.7 inches (HWD), taller than that of the Ender-three V2 (9.eight through eight.7 through eight.7 inches) and each wider and deeper than the Editors’ Choice award-triumphing Original Prusa i3 MK3S+ (9.eight through eight.three through eight.three inches). The Prusa is available in each preassembled (which we reviewed) and package versions, the latter priced at $750, almost two times as an awful lot because the Ender-five Pro.
At the the front of the bottom are a slot for a microSD card and a micro USB port. The blanketed reminiscence card comes with an adapter that suits a USB Type-A port to your PC, in which you could put together documents for printing in Creality Slicer or Cura (greater beneath).
Putting the Ender Together
Building the Ender-five Pro took numerous hours however wasn’t difficult; I’d name it a barely less difficult undertaking than assembling the Ender-three V2. The activity entails bolting the vertical beams (a.k.a. extrusions) to the bottom, which helps the print mattress and holds the motherboard and electricity deliver.
You then span the extrusions on the pinnacle with extra beams which you bolt into place. Around the returned, you bolt the Z-axis meeting, which controls the print mattress’s vertical motion, on the pinnacle and bottom. The extruder is suspended on a carriage that spans the width of the printer and actions ahead and backward in addition to to and fro by way of a machine of motors, belts, and rubber wheels. The filament spool holder is bolted to the proper rear vertical beam, and the LCD to the proper fringe of the printer on the the front.
The backlit LCD isn’t always a hint display; it has a knob that you switch to scroll thru menu objects and press to make a selection. It proved clean to apply in my testing. The display is wider than the LCD observed withinside the Ender-three V2, that’s an improvement; the latter’s 15-person restrict frequently truncated filenames. The Ender-five Pro’s display shows 20 characters, supplying you with a piece greater room to paintings with.
The printer has almost a dozen cables that electricity and manipulate the motors, extruder, and stop stops, and that they need to be connected to the right connectors. Creality does properly in labeling each the cables and connectors. Most of the additives are on the pinnacle of the printer with the motherboard and electricity deliver are on the bottom, so that you have to take care to hold the lengthy cables out of the way (in most cases on the rear or at the facet). The printer comes with zip ties for this purpose.
When I completed the wiring and grew to become the printer on, electricity regarded to be waft in which it turned into intended to, aleven though I observed one oddity: When I used the LCD to carry the extruder to its domestic or default position (zero,zero,zero in Cartesian coordinates), the extruder moved to the proper rear nook of the print mattress. On each different three-D printer I’ve used, the extruder houses to the the front left nook. I painstakingly rechecked the cables and connectors in of worry that I had gotten a twine crossed somewhere, however failed to discover something amiss.
Confused, I did a Google seek on homing the Ender-five Pro’s extruder, most effective to examine that different customers had stated the equal trouble however it wasn’t a problem—the extruder through default does domestic to the proper rear nook. Some 1/3 events provide custom firmware fixes so it houses to the the front left, however the printer works high-quality despite its ordinary homing convention. Just be conscious that an item being published may also look like turned around a hundred and eighty ranges from the way you noticed it to your cutting software program’s preview.
The Print Bed: Doing Your Level Best
As with many different three-D printers that depend on guide mattress-leveling, the leveling procedure—adjusting the space among the extruder and construct plate so that it is the equal in any respect 4 corners of the plate—is straightforward in idea however greater dicey in practice. Bed-leveling is done through putting the extruder above a nook and turning a knob underneath the nook till the extruder and construct plate are so near that you could slip a skinny card among the 2 with moderate friction. You repeat the procedure for every nook, then recheck in case adjusting one nook threw the others out of whack. When all 4 corners are on the right distance from the construct plate, you are equipped to print.
The Ender-five Pro is distinctive than different three-D printers I’ve encountered in that the extruder meeting stays on the pinnacle of the printer. When printing begins, the construct plate is straight away beneath it, and because the item is outlined layer through layer, the construct plate slowly descends. I’m now no longer positive if it turned into due to this ordinary configuration, however I had problem getting the extruder and plate the right distance from every different. One or corners could align properly, however I could not get the opposite aligned well. Before I may want to get the extruder and construct plate near sufficient to at least one another, the knob could attain a factor in which turning it in addition failed to carry the additives any nearer collectively.
I left a message with Creality to peer if the corporation may want to provide a solution, however earlier than I heard returned I determined to attempt leveling the mattress as soon as greater. This time it aligned properly, and shortly the Ender-five Pro turned into printing like a champ. When it got here time to print our exacting geometric check item, I determined to relevel the print mattress to make sure the fine excellent—three-D printers have a tendency to lose their alignment over the years and want to be readjusted.
I set all of the corners as defined above, and that they regarded to be withinside the right position, so I released the print. However, I then devoted a cardinal sin of three-D printing: earlier than the preliminary layers had been published, I grew to become my returned and commenced doing some thing else. (Once a three-D print is in progress, you need not screen it constantly, however you ought to as a minimum ensure that the primary few layers adhere to the print mattress well.)
Sure sufficient, by the point I seemed returned on the Ender-five Pro, the extruder nozzle had torn thru the magnetized pinnacle layer of the print mattress, efficiently ruining it, and had even made an indentation into the glass print mattress beneath. Clearly, the nozzle and print mattress had been too near collectively withinside the middle of the mattress, despite the fact that the corners had regarded well aligned.
Filament Support and Software
The Ender-five Pro base version comes with a 200g spool of PLA filament, aleven though the package is regularly offered bundled with extra filament spools. Although the blanketed spool is incredibly small (you can need to reserve as a minimum one large spool at buy time), it holds substantially greater filament than the starter coils blanketed with many three-D printers, which includes the bottom Ender-three V2. The Ender-five Pro helps PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, and timber composite filaments. Creality sells black, white, and grey PLA filament in 2-kilogram spools for $49.99; at this writing, they had been discounted to $41.99, and colour PLA filament turned into approximately the equal fee.
The SD card that includes the Ender-five Pro consists of Creality Slicer 4.2, the corporation’s personal three-D printing software program. The app may be very just like Cura, the open-supply software program now controlled through Ultimaker that’s blanketed with the bulk of three-D printers we check. In making ready documents for printing, I in most cases used Creality Slicer, aleven though I processed more than one documents with Cura (the usage of the latter’s settings for the Ender-five, because the Pro isn’t always but blanketed in Cura’s pull-down listing of printers). Both packages are clean to apply, and the simple procedure is the equal.
You load a record in a three-D item layout along with STL, OBJ, or 3MF. An photograph of the item you desire to print seems onscreen in a illustration of the print mattress. By clicking at the photograph, you could move, scale, rotate, and in any other case control it. The Print Settings menu helps you to tweak decision and infill, including guide structures, a brim, or a raft. Clicking a Custom button offers you a much broader variety of options. When you’ve got tweaked the item on your satisfaction, you press the Slice button, and the software program maps out the layers to be published primarily based totally to your decision (excellent) and different settings and tells you the anticipated print time. You can then store the record in GCODE layout on your PC’s difficult power or SSD or a detachable power.
Testing the Ender-five Pro: Above-Par Print Quality
I used the blanketed PLA spool for my testing. Based at the 8 finished check prints crafted from item documents processed and sliced in Creality Slicer and Cura, the Ender-five Pro’s usual print excellent is above common for an under-$500 three-D printer—even on the 200-micron decision I utilized in testing—and barely higher than that of the Ender-three V2. Prints had been normally smooth, and not using a symptoms and symptoms of ropiness or neglected layers.
I observed no huge problems in our check prints. A couple of small items confirmed a few spurious, skinny filament “hairs” extending among quantities of the prints; that is a not unusualplace trouble with FFF printers, and fortuitously those strands are clean sufficient to clip and sand away.
Verdict: Does the Ender Justify the Means?
The Creality Ender-five Pro has a huge construct place thinking about its low fee. As a package, it takes a reasonably clean few hours to assemble. Its print excellent tops that of many three-D printers in its fee variety. Its fundamental flaw is that, as with many printers confined to guide mattress-leveling, getting and preserving the print mattress well calibrated may be a headache.
Printers with computerized mattress-leveling keep away from those problems, however carry their personal tradeoffs. The Monoprice Mini Delta V2 calls for no calibration and gives quick, regular printing, however it has a totally slender construct place. The Prusa i3 MK3S+ is to be had completely assembled and calls for no calibration, however it charges almost a grand. The Original Prusa Mini package calls for which you run a calibration routine, however it is in any other case quite an awful lot set-it-and-forget-it, aleven though its construct place is smaller than the Ender-five Pro’s.
With its box-like open body, the Ender-five Pro feels a piece chunky, however additionally appears sturdier than the arch-like Ender-three V2. Although I cannot say for positive that the Ender-five Pro’s introduced balance is answerable for its barely higher print excellent, it does churn out handsome prints, and that counts for a lot, if you are inclined to fiddle.