The Creality3D CR-10 is an FDM 3D printer which managed to shake the 3D printing community. In a very short time, it became one of the most popular mid-range 3D printers together with Anet’s A8 and A6. What makes CR-10 so special that it has twice the price compared to the other kit printers?
First of all, CR-10 comes nearly assembled. Other kit printers take a couple of hours to complete from scratch, where as the CR-10 takes only a few minutes. Second, it has an extremely large printing volume of 300mm x 300mm x 400mm. The biggest question is, is CR-10 worth the ~500$ price tag?
In this review, I will try to figure that out. I will unwrap it, assemble it and print tons of stuff to test its performance, durability, print quality, and safety.
With the rising popularity of the CR-10, Creality 3D released few more versions of the printer. The only difference between the versions is in the printing volume and of course – the price. Larger the volume, higher the pricing. Additionally larger printing volume models included 2x 1K roll of filament.
So far CR-10 can be found in these sizes :
- 300 x 300 x 400 mm (link) – standard
- 300 x 220 x 300 mm (link) – known as CR-10 Mini
- 400 x 400 x 400 mm (link)
- 500 x 500 x 500 mm (link)
Update: Creality 3D released CR-10S which is a dual lead screw Z axis printer and has filament sensor.
In this review, I’ll take a look at the most standard CR-10 model, below table shows the technical specification of the product.
- Printer model
- Printing size
- Printer Dimensions
- Printer Weight
- Print speed
- Layer resolution
- Axis positioning accuracy
- Material diameter
- Printer Frame Material
- Platform board material
- Extruder type
- Heated Bed
- Max Nozzle Temperature
- Max Heatbed Tempeature
- Auto leveling sensor
- Filament sensor
- Resume from outage
- Recommended Material
- Power Input
- Retail price
- Creality 3D CR-10
- 20mm/s - 100mm/s
- 0.05mm - 0.4mm
- 0.01mm - X 0.002mm Z
- MK10 Bowden
- ABS / PLA / Wood / Nylon
- 110V/220V AC, 50/60Hz
I received my CR-10 from BangGood. The box arrived looking tired, but everything was well packed in foam and has everything needed to get started. My oldest daughter has an unboxing video located below.
What’s inside the box?
- 1x CR-10 3D printer
- 1x rack shelf stack
- 1x sheet metal wall
- 10x cable
- 1x pilers
- 1x scraper
- 1x power adapter
- 1x USB cable
- 1x certification
- 1x hose
- 1x socket wrench
- 1x 8G SD Card
- 1x T Z Fixed Block / Z limit
- 1x T Z Fixed Block
- 1x tape
- a bunch of screws, bearings, nuts and washers
- 1x nozzle
- 2x tube connector
- several alien wrenches
- 1x screwdriver
After unboxing it’s time to assemble the CR-10. Even though some newbies might think this part is scary, it’s actually quite easy. Two of my daughters helped me and had some fun along the way.
Inside the box, you’ll find he printed building directions. However, they are quite blurry and vague. On the other hand, the pdf manual, which can be found on the SD card is great. It contains the good amount of information to assemble.
The hardware was not complicated either. I can’t stress this enough, but the whole process was very easy. The CR 10 came in two pieces; the base and the Z axis. There are 8 screws that connect the two main pieces. And that’s pretty much everything, the frame is completed.
Next came the cable wiring and they are all bundled and very clearly labeled. My desire for organization greatly appreciated this. This printer came with an SD card containing plenty for new and experienced printers; operating instructions, a basic troubleshooting guide, slicing software, and even screen grabs of the settings they used when slicing the included .stl files
Design and Build quality
From the aesthetic point of view, CR-10 looks quite unique. It has stripes on the frame which make it stand out from other printers. Lately some other manufacturers began copying the same stripe design (Anet E10).
The frame is quite sturdy and the slot bearings are quiet and a very smooth motion, only 2 needed tightening upon arrival. I feel this is a great printer design and I would only make one change to the frame and one change to the carriage. Details about these can be seen in the upgrades section.
The 300mm x 300mm hotbed took a bit to warm up and kept the room warm, but at that size, it is expected. Leveling the bed was quick and nearly painless.
I upgraded my previous printer, the Anet A6 multiple times. I worked to improve extrusion which is how much filament is extruded with each estep on the motor for this I added a Greg’s Wade geared extruder, I printed frame braces to improve stability and enable me to add tension to the belts which help reduce wobble. I added an e3dv6 hotend to improve print quality and used a Bowden setup to lighten the carriage.
All this except the Wade extruder come built into the CR-10. This makes it a great print out of the box printer. Just to give you an idea on how much improvements some 3D printers need, take a look at Anet A8 upgrades list.
Because most issues a printer may encounter are engineered out of the design I will only be putting a cross piece to stabilize the Z axis and lessen wobble and a better parts fan. There are several great designs available on thingiverse.com at the minimum I would recommend everyone get the upgrade available that lessens stress to the heated bed wires solder joints.
So far, I had no need for other modifications and upgraded or printed parts. If I come across a worthwhile piece or upgrade, I will update the article.
User interface and navigation
Loading the filament with the MK-10 extruder was quick and easy and the filament flows wonderfully. The display is nice and bright with adjustable contrast. The dial navigation made selecting in the menu a breeze. I do feel the grouping of the menu items could use a little work. However, I may be biased since I am more familiar with my other printer. My daughters were able to navigate the menus themselves.
However, I may be biased since I am more familiar with my other printer. My daughters were able to navigate the menus themselves.
The display shows bed/nozzle temps both set point and current value so you know exactly where the printer is running, flow rate so if you notice either over extrusion (too much material) or under extrusion (too little material), fan speed If the part is too warm you can also adjust this while live printing and live display of each axis coordinate which is nice since these are set during slicing and tuning may be required to maintain a quality print. It would be good to mention the progress bar is not a representation of % completed but layers completed.
Luckily only two test kitties were lost to loss of adhesion. Some glue stick and away she printed. The stock kitty stl has had several weird loops it made while printing then the y axis seemed to have shifted at the neck I couldn’t let the poor kitty suffer when it shifted again. I’m going to blame the file.
It turns out some sd cards have a corrupt kitty stl affectionately named decapi-cat on the CR-10 forums. It is kind of like an initiation step in owning a CR-10. There is even a cleaned up version of the decapitated cat that has been modeled.
It was time for a benchy and the benchy came through and I am very impressed by the print quality. It wasn’t perfect but that is remedied by changing settings. At 80mm/s the printer was quieter than I am used to.
Having printed multiple items on the CR-10 I can say I am impressed. The overhangs are well formed with no drooping. The infill isn’t visible through the print wall. The bridging all completed without issue and taller objects have little to no Z banding even at higher print speeds, which is seemingly a standard to most FDM printers.
I placed my Anet A6 printed benchy and my CR-10 printed benchy side by side and I had to be careful to not mix them up they were so similar.
Printing after the upgrades With one upgrade and after adjusting only a few of my slicer settings I was able to dial in the printer to run on par with my heavily modded Anet A6.
I believe a well-built machine can run safely for extended periods of time. I pushed this printer running back to back long prints with total times ranging from 18 hours to over 45 hours. I have left the printer idle for several days and returned it to running long and intricate prints and it is still printing without issue.
The electric box for this printer is well designed and the cable connections make assembly easy. The cabling is all covered in protective sleeving and its bundled in a way that makes routing the cables easy. One thing which adds an extra layer of safety is an external mosfet for the heatbed. The
The mosfet is one of the most common upgrade recommendation for most Chinese kit printers. It costs around 7-10$, but it’s even better when it’s included with the printer, so you won’t have any extra investments.
All in all, this is a great printer design. I’m shocked to say that I have nothing bad to say as 3d printers can be fickle. I have and will recommend this printer for new people in the 3d community that want to jump right into printing.
I do recommend a few simple upgrades mentioned above that will improve the life of the printer. Some advice I wish I could have heard would be to remember to use the resources around you, ask questions when you have them.
Most of the 3d printing forums and groups are great resources of data and the people in the community are eager to help people just beginning to printer. Sometimes the correct terminology is all that’s standing in the way of a successful search or question. Always search the file section. There are some key sites to remember.
The community behind CR-10 is massive. There are plenty of user-groups on Facebook where you can get immediate online help from owners of the printer. If you have a question about using the printer or need an assistance in troubleshooting or calibrating it, visit this group (there are few, but this one has over 13 000 members).
- Large Build volume
- Simple to use
- Easy to build
- Quiet running
- Prints out of the box
- Requires little to no upgrades at all
- Good community
- Only has 1 lead screw, 1 Z axis motor, instead of having one on the other side of the gantry.
- Without an enclosure, heated can reach only 70 degrees
- Due to the large heated bed size, it warms a room quite a bit
All pros easy to build and simple to use, a large print area, and its quiet running. The printer is quick and easy to set up and it prints great out of the box. It can run for extended periods of time without issue. If I have to come up with a con it would be that the printer will warm the room it is in while printing, however I am not a fan of being cold so that kind of works for me.
Since receiving the CR-10 I have successfully printed Decapi-cat, Benchy, Clash of Clans: Hog Rider, Dare Devils cowl, multiple Triforce key chains, 14 Ninja headbands from Naruto Shippuden, Crystal Gems and Rose Quatrz sword from Steven Universe, the logo to Final Fantasy VII, Dancing hotdog from Snapchat, several Leaves of Lorien, a Groot flower pot, Guardians of the Galaxy emblems, Starlords blaster, the UNSC Magnum from Halo 4, the idol from Raiders of the Last Ark, and two fore arm bracers for a cosplay project.
CR-10 is an amazing printer. I would highly recommend it to beginners who are looking to enter the 3D printing hobby or experienced users who really need a stable printer with a large build volume.