How Good is the CR10 V3
In today’s article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the CR10V3. This is a follow-up article to the previous unboxing one. Now, full disclaimer before we begin. I purchased this machine with my own money and was not paid to do this video, so everything you see here will be based on my own opinion.
To start things off, this machine is a large printer which prints a dimension of 300x300x400mm and can reach hotbed temperatures of up to 100 °C with a printer nozzle temperature of up to 250 °C. Unlike many 3D printers, this machine uses a direct extruder which pushes the filament directly into the nozzle instead of the traditional Bowden tube. This feature makes is quite suitable for printing flexible filaments, which is what was tested for this machine. Also included with the machine, is a run out filament censor which is located in the top of the machine along the spool holder.
If you are getting this machine yourself, you’ll want to keep the spool holder height in mind, since it does take up more room because of its current location. This is however useful if you’re more limited in your overall space, since you can easily place this on a table which doesn’t have any fixtures above it. I personally did end up liking the fact that the control box was separate, since this allowed me more options in placing the machine. I for instance placed the 3d printer sideways but oriented the box controls towards the front of the table, so I would have easier access. Having the control box separate also makes repairs a good deal easier since you can completely disconnect the machine in order to do the proper maintenance without having to deal with the whole unite.
The hotbed itself has a unique design in that it’s easily removable which makes replacements easier in the future and I do which more companies designed their print beds similarly for this reason. This design also makes is possible to upgrade the print bed in the future with a flex plate, which is great news for those who enjoy tinkering with their machines. The print bed is also pre-insulated to help retain the heating temperatures and is a welcome improvement to what can be typically seen in most printers today. I did see some reports about the V2 model having issues maintaining its heat, however this isn’t something in which I found to be an issue with the model that I currently have.
While having a touchscreen is more visually appealing and less daunting to those who are new to 3D printing, it is still fairly easy to navigate. The machine does come with some basic instructions, which do help significantly in this area. There are some things you may wish to know, since they can often be taken for granted. For instance, if the filament sensor goes off because there’s no more filament available and goes into standby. In this case the nozzle will cool down, which is a good thing for safety reasons, however it will mean that you need to reheat the nozzle prior to changing the filament. This is something you can easily do by going to “Prepare + Preheat PLA + Pre Heat nozzle” This will only pre-heat the nozzle at which point you can remove the filament in question. Be very careful not to jostle the nozzle, otherwise your print will shift and this could cause the layers to be more brittle when they come apart.
Now, although the direct extruder is great for working with flexible filaments, you definitely want to be aware that it can be difficult to maintain. The way it’s assembled, the wires do get pinched very tightly onto the side of the housing which does keep them out of the way, however it can make reassembly interesting to deal with. Nozzle replacement shouldn’t be too affected, however, just keep in mind that you’ll want to raise up the print head before you do so. Creality has a very good tutorial on their YouTube channel which walks you through the steps, and I recommend that you look at that video for more details. Most blockages can be removed with the aid of the provided tweezers, so keep those nearby should you need them. For more severe blockages, you will most likely need to use the included needle to help push the blockage up and out, but in most cases it can be removed by doing a cold pull. From a complete cool down state, start heating the nozzle up to temperature while pulling on the filament. This causes any deposits to be lifted with the filament, since they become just hot enough to stick to the filament being pulled out. This may have to be repeated 2 or 3 times, but does a more thorough cleaning of the nozzle. One thing to keep in mind is that the extruder does have a Bowden tube placed inside the heat sink so on occasion this may need to be replaced, however this should be a rare occasion.
The nozzle does ship with a 0.4 nozzle along with its replacement, however I would suggest that you replace these with a 0.6 or 0.8 since this will reduce your print times significantly for larger prints. If you require more detailed pieces and are willing to wait significantly longer, then it may still be worthwhile. When it comes time to removing the filament, You’ll want to push this portion forwards until the filament comes out. Make sure the nozzle is heated before you do this, otherwise this will be far more difficult to achieve and could result in the filament snapping within.
The filament run out detector currently only accepts 1.75 filament, which isn’t unsurprising, since the filament trajectory could be problematic when the print head comes too close to its maximum height. I’ve had some issues with the filament snapping, since it doesn’t have a Bowden's tube to help guide its trajectory. Fortunately this was mostly an issue with the cheaper filaments which were more brittle, however part of this could have been caused by the extremely tight filament sensor. This filament sensor produces a lot of friction which may be the source of this issue and I would like to see this address in the future. When the filaments snap, it doesn’t trigger the run out sensor because of its current location. This was far less pronounced when printing with TPU, but was aggravated when using soft PLA. Having the sensor away from the print head is still very much appreciated since it make filament removal easier, however I would like to see the angle of the spool revised along with the run out sensor. Having a gradual entryway to the filament sensor would get rid of the hard edges which seem to be causing the friction and should be a minor fix in the future.
The frame is very well-supported and given it’s size I’ve experienced very little Z-Wobble, which is very much appreciated. For the wiring, some areas have been glued to help ensure that their connection points don’t come loose over time, which is a good call since I’ve definitely experienced this issue with other machines in the past. The only thing to keep in mind is that this will make it more difficult to replace such wires in the future because of how they are currently attached, however if they last much longer than this shouldn’t be an issue. All the cables are clearly labelled, so tracing connections are a lot easier and will make future modifications easier to achieve. Along with the sturdy frame, the machine has silent stepper drivers and a built-in mosfet. Although I personally prefer when the mosfet is separated from the board because it’s easier to replace, I can appreciate the fact that there’s one less item to troubleshoot in the future.
So how did this machine perform? Well, let’s start with the default Test print that comes which the machine. These prints are always a good way to make sure that your machine is functioning correctly and should always be the first thing that’s printed. So in my case I choose the dog and although it’s difficult to see just how well it printed because of the filament colour that came with the machine it did very good. I then tried printing with flexible PLA, which I soon discovered had a tendency to get stuck because it shaved so easily within the gear system. The results however were very comparable to the dog print. With that out of the way, I immediately changed to a 0.8 nozzle to see just how well it could print with a wide variety of materials. Once again, I printed with the flexible PLA as well as some regular PLA and TPU filament. Here were results of the standard Benchie Test. I then followed up this print with a large scale print for my client in TPU which for NDA reason I can’t show on video. I can say that the 4-day print was very comparable in quality to my small Benchie Test print in TPU. I also 3d Printed a bust of one of my sculptures. To test the full build volume, I then printed a vase in vase mode.
This machine is good. Especially if you already know that you want to use it for flexible filaments. While the user interface is perhaps not as modern, it does the job quite fine and with a couple of tweaks, this could be an even greater machine. So would I recommend this machine? It’s a good machine if you already have some basic experience. I probably wouldn’t recommend it as your first printer because of the user interface, and most user’s don’t require such a large build volume starting off. This is a very good upgrade to your current repository and is an affordable next step.