As an early christmas present to myself, I picked up a Creality CR10 on Gearbest when there was a recent price drop. Ive felt harshly limited on space when doing more ambitious builds on my TronXY X1, and the CR10 with its 300mm x 300mm x 400mm build volume fulfills that need to the extreme. Now I didn’t pick up a CR10S, S4, or S5, which have more features and better build volume, mostly because I have heard the great reviews on the original CR10, and the price of the originals dropped drastically; low enough for an impulse buy.
The Creality CR10 is a full aluminium extruded frame, makeing it quite rigid. It has a large heated bed with a glass build plate. The marlin interface with the encoder wheel is simple enough to use, and it easily adapts to octoprint.
The Build Volume. This is by far my favorite part. One of the first things I printed was a spin vase; at 400% size. The thing chewed through 3/4 of a roll of plastic and took 80 hours, but it is so satifingly big. One of the other builds hot on my queue is a storm trooper helmet, all in one print.
Heated Bed. Unlike my TronXY X1, this printer has a heated bed, which will allow me to expand into other materials such as ABS and PETG. I will most likely be picking up an Olsson Ruby nozzle to allow me to expand even further into the world of PolyCarbinates and metal infused plastics. I look forward to printing Carbon Fiber Infused Nylon.
Part Cooling Fan While pretty standard on most printers these days, my TronXY X1 does not have one, and comparing benchies, it shows. It handles bridging much better and I get a lot less stringing.
Setup The CR10 ships in 3 pieces, the print controller, the uprigth and the base. It is basically all assembled. You put in 4 bolts, and 2 t brackets are you are baseically ready to print. Even with the manual coming in Chinese, I was able to assemble and print in less than 2 hours.
Noise This is a pretty common complain for the CR10. They cheaped out on the fans in the controll box and the Nema Stepper motors are not dampened. This means the printer is quite audible while printing. There are pleanty of upgrade guides that fix this but out of the box it is noisy.
No Bed Level. I wouldnt expect this out of a printer so cheap, but with a print bed so big, it being a little bit out of level shows a lot. Even if there were a leveling procedure built into the setup this would be better.
Slow Heat Up This is mostly an artifact of its size, but it takes a long time for that 300x300 build plate to get up to temp.
Glass Build Plate. After having a garalite build plate on my Tronxy x1, that is sticky and flexible, I didnt realize how hard it was to properly print on glass.
Print Time. This one is to be expected, with such a large build volume. 3D print times follow the square cubed law, so by doubling the build plate area alone, the volume goes up double^3 or 8x. Which means standard prints take 8x as long. When I pick up the Olsson Ruby, I might increase the diameter of the nozzle to 0.6mm to allow it to lay down material faster, which should reduce build times approximately 33%. The would allow my BIG prints to finish faster, albeit with a little less detail.
Most of the issues I have with the CR10 are fixed in the upgraded versions such as the CR10S, CR10S4, CR10S5. The rest are problems that inherently come with a larger printer. Despite all of these issues, I agree with most of the online reviews in that it is one of the best budget 3D printers out there, and probably the best buy out there for volume/cost. At the $310 deal I picked it up at on Gearbest, it comes in at approximately $0.0086 per cubic centimeter. For comparison, my tronxy x1 at $149 is $0.044 per cubic centimeter.
If want to get into 3D printing, and have it be a little bit more hassle free than a kit like the TronXY X1, or you want a bigger build volume and more capabilities, and can spend a bit more than twice as much as the tronxy, then I absolutely recommend the Creality CR10.