Creality is the company responsible for producing the Ender 3 Pro and Ender 5 Pro. The Ender 3 Pro and Ender 5 Pro are one of the most talked about 3D printers on the market. Since we already did some reviews on one of the Enders, we decided to review both to see how they stack up against each other.
Table of Contents
Qualities To Consider
There’s a criteria we use to evaluate different 3D printers. Here it is:
This is a quality we measure by a printer’s results when printing something. We ask questions like, are the prints smooth? Has the print left any material deposits?
How consistent is the print quality? Every printer prints differently. Some are better suited for different situations. What we try to do is determine how a casual user would perceive this printer.
Determining set up is another straightforward quality. Essentially, what we’re trying to do is determine user-friendliness. From unboxing to first print, what will the average user think while setting up.
Features is everything the printer does. Features are the machine’s capabilities and what the user can do with them. It’s also determining what the limitations of the printer’s features are.
This is the part where either the Ender 3 or Ender 5 can distinguish itself. Future generations of printers can look the same which means similar setups. But, features help separate similarities between the two.
Design is the overall look of the printer. We might go into detail on the type of material it uses, or how big the printer is. We detail the significant parts of each printer.
Ender 3 Pro
- Printing with PLA
- Able to use 3rd party software
- Tools provided
- Patented technology
- Print bed heats up quick
- Open source
- Easy-to-use interface
- Printing with ABS
- Occasional stringing/blemishing
- Manual bed leveling
- Open layout
- Loud when printing
The Ender 3 Pro is a budget-friendly printer. With budget-friendly printers, you’re not expecting the greatest print quality. Thankfully, the precision is solid which shows in the different standard tests.
When looking at print abilities, users need to look for smoothness. Red flags to look out for are overhangs, stringing, warping, and more. Anything which messes with the overall design is a red flag. But, print quality also depends on how your printer is set up, along with its material.
The Ender 3 is great with PLA material. Normal obstacles like overhangs don’t show and the finish is smooth. If you Google common benchmark tests like 3DBenchy or the elephant, you’ll notice the quality is high.
Using ABS, there are more noticeable deficiencies. You’ll notice the layers aren’t stacked as precise and come with some stringing. Sometimes you’ll see blemishes depending on your settings. We’ve noticed the Ender 3 does better with PLA material than ABS.
Overall, the printer creates good quality. All of the models we’ve seen line up perfectly with each other. One con with the quality is some stringing.
The set up is straightforward, but still bad. One con we have are the instructions though. The instructions aren’t precisely step-by-step because they don’t have good explanations, and the pictures are hard to see.
Creality is compatible with 3rd-party software, but it also uses its own proprietary software. Being able to use different software makes setting up easier as you’re not so rigid in tools.
Creality advertises setup as only taking 10-20 minutes which is definitely not a certainty. What’s good is the assembly comes with 20 screws assembled making the process easier.
Once you open the box, you’ll see the base is set up. Another bright spot is tools are provided and the parts are not hard to distinguish.
Creality advertises the Ender 3 Pro as an “easy and quick assembly” with several assembled parts. But, the 2 hours they state can obviously last longer depending on how you take those instructions. There are also resources to help if you get stuck.
One con is the manual bed leveling. Not only does it take longer to get your first model going, it also contributes to more mistakes. Mess up this step and your model will not look good, guaranteed.
A few features that make this printer stand out are its precision and software. The precision makes it easy to print things like miniature models and the software makes it easy to use.
These 2 features make it appealing for new 3D printer users. Another feature which would help Ender 3 users is a flexible build plate. A flex build plate makes it easy to remove models. Sometimes users damage models taking it off the plate. A flexible build plate means all you have to do is bend the plate to remove the model. Unfortunately, this printer doesn’t have a flexible build plate.
A signature feature of this printer is its patented technologies. The MK8 extruder reduces plugging issues and bad extrusion. This helps so filament doesn’t get stuck in the tubes which is a hassle.
Assuming set up goes well, printing doesn’t take long either. The print bed can heat up in 5 minutes and the electric circuit makes it so the printer can print continuously for hours.
One design aspect of this printer we appreciate is it’s open source. This means users can improve the printer by changing code or chaing parts and sharing it with the community.
One criticism we have of this printer is how open it is and how loud it is. The open printing layout bothers us because we feel like the model is more vulnerable to damage. A lot of the loudness comes from the fans. You might be able to change how loud your printer is by changing fans, we just don’t know exactly what to look for.
A positive of the design is the screen and interface. It’s easy to navigate around the menu options which is 90% of what users look for when it comes to interfaces. The interface also comes with a clickable wheel to easily navigate the interface.
Ender 5 Pro
- Smooth finish
- 3rd party software
- Instructions are clear and concise
- Comes pre-assembled
- Tools come in package
- Resume printing feature
- Stable foundation
- Magnetic and removable build plate
- Quiet when printing
- Open source
- Random blobs
- Printing with ABS
- Manual bed leveling
- Open layout
The print quality of the Ender is solid if you get the right settings. We recommend using PLA if you do decide to print with this. Standard tests show this printer has stringing the more precise it requires. There are also some blobs in random areas of your print.
For example, if you print a small detailed design, expect some random blobs on your print. The more precision the model requires, the more random blobs you should expect. Again, similar to the Ender 3, if your settings are set up correctly, it’s possible to make a flawless print.
Overall, the print quality is consistent. Although PLA is the safest option to make sure your prints don’t come out disappointing, this printer can work with a variety of filaments.
Here’s a picture of a fish comb we printed to give you an idea of the print quality:
The set up for the Ender 5 is easier than the Ender 3. The instructions are clear and concise. A big part of printer installations are the axes. The Ender 5 comes with them pre-assembled which saves a lot of time.
The Creality Ender 5 Pro supplies you with tools. You’ll get a SD card, wrench, spatula, screwdriver, and more.
The one con we have with this setup is installing the printer. Leveling the bed is tedious and time consuming. There is no difference between the Ender 3 Pro and Ender 5 Pro when it comes to leveling. Both printers need manual leveling which takes a lot of time.
Leveling the bed means making sure the X-Y axis has the same height for all 4 corners. A good trick is to slip a piece of paper to make sure the distance between print bed and axes are good. This should save you time and guess work.
One thing you don’t need to worry about is the user interface. The set up of the interface makes it easy to navigate. Everything set up related after leveling the bed is easier. Once you’re done leveling, you should be able to print shortly.
The Creality Ender 5 provides solid features. It also has resume printing functionality which comes with stable printing.
The stableness comes from its overall shape, and two-sided timing belts. The print bed is average for its build. You won’t be able to print the biggest items, but something like a small box is possible.
Although there is no flex build plate, the Creality comes with a removable build plate making it easier to remove models. The print bed also comes with self-adhesion which makes it easy to place back on the build plate.
To print the best finished product, practice waiting until it cools off and then using a scraper to remove the print. Another great addition to this printer is its quiet printing. We printed the fish comb in the garage where it’s eerily quiet and you can barely hear the printer operate.
The Ender 5 looks like a bare rectangle with not much to it. But, the simplicity is nothing to be scared of. We already told you its shape contributes to its stableness.
It also helps when removing the print or cleaning the print bed. You can easily reach in to do what you need to. The spool holder is on the right side alongside the user interface. Similar to the Ender 3 Pro, the Ender 5 Pro is open source. You can make upgrades to it without compromising anything.
Its dimensions are 16 X 16.25 which makes it the size of a small box. Although it’s the size of a box, the Ender 5 Pro comes with a metal extruder frame. This is another contributor to the printer’s stableness and durability.
Which Is Better?
The better printer in all aspects is the Ender 5 Pro. If you want an easier set up, go with the Ender 5. If you want better print quality, go with the Ender 5. Those 2 factors alone will make most people go with the Ender 5. Add the features and that’s icing on the cake. It’s no surprise the Ender 5 is better because it’s the newer version.
In conclusion, there’s a lot of similarities between the two which is obvious. But, the Ender 5 Pro tops it out in almost all the categories to consider.