- Low cost and easy to assemble
- Quieter printing thanks to upgraded motherboard
- The precision of prints is good
- Good external design
- No touchscreen like some competitors
- Aimed more at beginners so missing some features
- Not as cheap as the original model
What Is Creality Ender 3 V2?
If you were a fan of the original Ender 3, you will feel right at home with the Ender 3 V2. It offers all of the same functionality, high-precision 3D printing on a budget, with a few key updated features.
There have been upgrades across the board, including to the overall look and feel of the Ender 3 V2. New additions such as a glass print bed, integrated power supply, new LCD screen and upgraded electronics make the whole 3D printing experience easier and more intuitive.
Unboxing & Setup
From the moment you unbox the Ender 3 V2, you feel right at home. It comes well-packaged and does require assembly. Creality’s usual very easy-to-follow guides really help you blast through through the initial build.
The guide is as helpful as they come, and at a reasonable pace, it took me around 30 minutes to build. If this is your first 3D printer, it may take a little longer. But the instructions make this process an extremely easy process.
The design itself is relatively similar to the outgoing Ender 3. But features some upgraded touches which make it feel much more high-end and up-to-date than its predecessor.
The frame itself uses aluminium extrusion, giving the whole printer an extremely sturdy base to work from. The build quality of other parts is high, with parts fitting together nicely.
What’s New With The Ender 3 V2?
There are a few nice touches on the Ender 3 V2, which really improve the experience over the older model.
First of all, the power supply itself has been integrated into the base of the printer. This tidies things up around the back and eliminates some of the extra desk space that was previously needed.
Then, moving back round to the front of the V2, you will find a small drawer. I used this as a small toolbox and a place to put spare parts.
It is very welcome having this small amount of storage built into the printer itself. If you have any replacement or spare parts such as nozzles, it makes perfect sense to keep them here. Anything that helps me keep my workspace a little tidier is great!
The new and improved LCD screen
Moving just over from the drawer, you will notice the controller and LCD screen, which has also been improved. This is quite possibly the first upgrade that you will notice if you previously used the Ender 3.
It now features a large LCD colour screen, which is controlled by the small dial underneath. The screen itself is an improvement over the previous Ender 3, but does come with a few small issues.
The main one is that it isn’t a touchscreen. This isn’t necessarily an issue, as for this price, the Ender 3 V2 is still great value, even without a touchscreen. However, many competitors are starting to introduce touchscreens around this price range. And the design of this LCD screen would lend itself nicely to being touch-controllable.
The other issue is the brightness and contrast. These are a little on the low side, meaning unless you are standing directly over the screen, you may find it hard to see exactly what is being displayed.
Upgraded glass print bed
Upgrading to the new glass print bed in the Ender 3 V2 is a welcome addition. While you do lose a little space on the print bed itself due to the way the glass bed is clipped into place, the adhesion is extremely good.
Despite the slightly reduced build space, the glass surface goes a long way to ensure your prints are successful. As mentioned, the adhesion to the print bed is extremely good. This means that you will have to wait for the print bed to cool before removing your prints as they will be well and truly stuck on there!
I also experienced great quality in the first layer of printing which can be rare to find on some budget 3D printers.
The inclusion of the Creality 4.2.2 motherboard improves the whole experience of printing with the Ender 3 V2. They work with the pre-installed stepper motor drivers to really remove the majority of noise that the older Ender 3 produced.
This is one area where the Ender 3 V2 shines, as you won’t really be able to hear much other than the cooling fans. Not only does the new motherboard improve noise, but it also slightly improves the print quality.
With the new stepper motors, you can achieve finer levels of detail which result in slightly smoother and higher fidelity 3D prints.
How Does It Work
When you jump into using the Ender 3 V2, it is a very similar affair to the older model. Now that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the previous Ender 3 was one of the most popular budget 3D printers available.
The upgrades make the overall experience a little tidier. But at its heart, you will still be printing on a 220 x 200 x 250mm build volume restriction. The time for the Ender 3 V2 to heat up and be ready to use did seem a little quicker than the previous model, but not by much.
The extruder is also very similar to the outgoing model. It is still made from plastic and will more than likely need to be upgraded over time. It is tricky to load up the filament as it uses the same design which plagued the original Ender 3.
Thankfully there are a few decent upgrades available if you do fancy replacing this part over time. For example, solid aluminium extruders start from as little as £25/$30.
The issues we found
The Ender 3 V2 is a great budget 3D printer, but it didn’t come without a few quirks and niggly issues.
The spool holder itself is one of the first issues we ran into. While it works great with smaller spools, when I tried to attach a large spool, it simply didn’t fit. This is the same design as the older Ender V3, but I really wish it had been upgraded.
As mentioned above the extruder is a little tricky to use. It is fully constructed out of plastic and features an awkward way of inserting filament. While our extruder held up, there are reports of the lever breaking over time, which we can believe. If you are a heavy 3D printer, (heavy usage, not in build!) you will probably look to replace this whole part with a metal extruder.
Overview – Is It Worth Buying?
Jumping to the main reason you are here, is the Creality Ender 3 V2 worth buying? Quite simply, yes.
If you are a first time 3D printer, and you are looking for a budget-friendly 3D printer with a good range of features, the Ender 3 V2 is one of the best.
Alternatively, if you already own an Ender 3, then the improvements to the V2 are probably not quite enough to warrant a complete replacement today. If however, you are looking to add a 3D printer to your setup or replace a slightly old Ender 3, then you should certainly look at picking up the V2 model.
In summary, the improvements to the noise due to the stepper motor drivers, the upgraded screen, glass print bed and other general upgrades are all extremely welcome. The improved build quality and new screen also elevate the look and feel of the Ender 3 V2 towards a more premium aesthetic.
Pair these upgrades with the same Creality 3D printing experience that you are used to and you have the combination of a very good budget-friendly 3D printer.