So how does Creality treat its vendors? Just how much do they want to control the message that goes out to the public? Well, I found this one their main website by accident when I needed a replacement part for a video. I personally find this to be very concerning and worry about how they treat their resellers.

The issue I found this with this is that they haven’t limited their use of any assets which are shared on their platform, and it could potentially be used to resell STL’s and take the revenue from any shared videos. At the time of recording this, this was the only way to get certain replacement parts from the company, since their resellers didn’t have them available at the time. So in order to purchase any items you must be signed up to this service in particular and be restricted to their reseller program. With some of their reseller’s limiting their selection of products this will make it difficult to buy replacement or upgradable parts which is most likely to limit the lifespan of newly released machines.

While I am focusing on the use of the information that’s shared within this contract, there are certain areas which could also be problematic. The clause of additional fees could easily be used to sell the work of other’s by including this as a service. Since this contract is clearly stated as being flexible and could change at any time, there is also the potential for this contract to be changed to something more questionable in the future.

Original link to VIP:
https://vip.creality.com/en/register




Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another video. In today’s review, we’ll be taking a closer look at the CR10 Smart PRO version by Creality and see what this machine has to offer. Full disclaimer, I purchased this machine with my own money in order to do this review, so everything you see here is based on my own opinion.

For those of you who follow this channel, you already know my opinion on the regular CR10 Smart and this was quite a different experience mixed is with some familiar ones. To start things off, I didn’t need to update the firmware in order to get the machine to function properly, which is always a good sign. If you need to update your machine, however, make sure to check out my other video since there’s quite a few things to be aware of when starting off. So while the update process is still quite finicky, it isn’t required to get a functioning machine.

Unlike previous machines, the company has decided to stop providing the source code and this will make future upgrades more difficult and can prevent newer features from becoming available. Like most budget friendly machines, most of these are notorious for not updating to the newer versions of marlin, which often limits their usability and can sometimes present safety issues. I did test thermal runaway protection, and I’m happy to report that the safeties are in place for the stock version of the firmware. One thing I would have liked to see, however, is a specific warning of was triggered to make it easier to troubleshoot later on. As is, there’s just a generic warning in place. Now, if this warning triggers’ when you first get your machine, I could be that you improperly installed the connection to the hot end assembly. So you’ll first want to reseed it, making sure that both ends are properly secured and held in place with both the clips and the bracket.

I’m happy to report that the automated bed levelling feature works quite well on this machine out of the box. With the inclusion of the adjustment knobs, is easily adjusted to ensure proper print adhesion. When you first get your machine, you’ll first want to manually adjust the bed levelling prior to doing an automatic one. Once completed, you can choose to include an auto bed levelling procedure in your G-Code commands or do so when needed. As long as your print bed is levelled, you should only need to do this periodically instead. I will have a separate video on how to level your print bed, but for now I do have the downloadable PDF for this machine if you need it right away.

This machine like so many others on the market has tinned wired connections which should replaced with ferrule one’s. This is unfortunately a pattern with most companies and I would like this to be changed in the future since it does pose a safety risk. I already have a video going over this process in more detail, so please feel free to check that out if you ensure what’s involved.

The hot end assembly has been updated to include the sprite extruder with the all metal upgrade. With this addition, you can now print with higher temperature materials right out of the box instead of having to add this feature yourself. There is still is a small Bowden tube connection that connects to the feeder, which I prefer to replace with a Capricorn one, but I wouldn’t say this is required unless you encounter issues. Both the entire Hot end is a custom design, so unfortunately it’ll be difficult to purchase replacements from any other vendors at this time, but it was designed so that key components can be easily swapped out. The remainder of the hot end assembly is quite difficult to take apart since all the components have been tightly integrated together. Luckily, it doesn’t seem like this should be needed unless you were doing any modification. They seem to have learned from the Ender 3 S1, and have added some additional support for the hot end assembly cable. The cable does still do a twisting motion when moving around, which could cause it to wear over time, and there isn’t currently a purchasable replacement cable. Some hot end connections use a non-standard connector, which could make alternative replacement parts more difficult to find. The heat break is also using a different length and threading size than what’s standard, which once again makes it difficult to find alternative versions of these parts. The machine which I purchased showed signs of pre-testing, so quality control may have improved in comparison to previous versions.

A great new feature is the integrated lighting which has been included with the machine out of the box and is something which I didn’t think I would even need until it was available. So far this has made it a lot easier to work on the machine and turns off automatically when the machine is powered off. Alternatively, you can turn off the light with the power switch as well, making this new feature quite convenient to use.

The bottom screws that attach the base of the machine are very easily striped, so be very careful when putting them in or taking them out. I will be replacing those since I don’t want to risk being unable to access the components of my machine. When you open up the machine, you’ll see the integrated Creality Wifi Box which I of course disconnected, so I could use the USB port to connect to my computer or raspberry pie directly. I have a previous video going through this process if you intend to do the same.

The build plate has been upgraded to a flex build plate, and they’ve added some indentations to make it easier to line it up during re-installation. I personally love this new feature because it makes it so much faster to swap the build plate in and out. If you have a printing farm, then having a series of build plates you swap out just became a lot faster with this machine.

This machine has a lot of new innovations, and I’m happy to see that they’ve been properly implemented. With this however we are looking at a much higher price point especially when comparing it to the regular CR 10 Smart. So is this worth the price? If you want something that works out of the box, then this gets a solid recommendation, but I would also consider how some of this has been locked down by the manufacturer. You see, without the source code files and easily purchasable components, this machine does have a limited life span in comparison to other machines. With a regular Ender 3 V2 for example, I can easily upgrade the hot end to whatever I feel like using and this means that I can replace par ts from a larger amount of suppliers, in turn increasing the lifespan of the machine. It’s for this reason that this machine gets a 7/10. It’s a good machine, but without additional support materials and the files it may not be as repairable in the future unless you’ve created an account with the company and signed this really shady contract. Ah, ya…. as a YouTuber, I’m not going to agree to that.




The Process

So, you may be wondering how this project began? Well most of you don’t know this, but I do take on a limited number of commissions, but I can’t always talk about them. In this case, this client was kind enough to agree to the showcases of this project and even participated. So let get started.

EZStreetRick is a fellow YouTuber in my area, and he’s an avid wolverine fan, so we’ll me making him a set of custom Wolverine claws. He’s already gone ahead and chosen a file that he wants to use, but needs it to be made from a more durable material along with some minor modifications. I’m going to put a link in the description below to the original creators file on Thinginverse. Now for his final model, we needed to both combine the two meshes together and add a small hole so that he could sew these to the handle. For him, he found the provided handle grip to be cumbersome, so he’ll be replacing that with some foam to make it more comfortable.

I had two options for combining the meshes together. The first was to combine them as is, which requires a lot of merging and limits my ability to make changes latter. The second option, was to simply remodel the design so that I could make changes as I went and was the option I decided to go with. This allowed me to do a couple of things to make the printing a little easier to achieve. I added a small platform that would be flat when printed, but could be sanded down afterwards. Although this was a small change, it made a big difference when printing in an upward direction. With the final design approved, I could then begin my first test print, and it completed without any issues. This file, just barely fit into my printer, so I had been very careful when removing the build platform so that I didn’t accidentally puncture the FEP sheet. The nice thing about this however was that I could print the model in one single piece which required minimal post post-processing latter.

Before I began sanding, I first wanted to make sure that I had the correct spray paint for the job. Since durability was the main focal point, I went to the local automotive department and bought some car touch up paints for this. As always, I couldn’t resist getting some extra paints in the process. With the colour chosen, I could then begin the long process of sanding down the parts. After a couple of hours of sanding and cleaning, I was finally able to begin the painting process. I first began with a base coat of primer, and this is essential to prevent the paint from peeling. Once that was completed. I then began adding the main colour for the claws. Now you might think it was a simple as simply painting just the one colour, but you would be mistaken in this case. If you only use the one colour without any detailing, you often end up with something that looks quite bland and fake. For this reason, I began an experiment on a test piece with the final finish I wanted to achieve. In the end I used a very thick past which I could dry brush on slowly and this allowed me to get this more metal like texture and shading that you see here. Although the camera doesn’t pick up the difference nearly as well as it should, this really does make it look more like actual metal. To ensure that the finish would last longer, I used a UV coated finish that would help maintain the colour over time. So what did the customer think about the final piece? Well let’s go find out shall we!

Meeting up at one of the local malls, I was finally able to give him his new prized possession. Even after a full two weeks of drying, the piece still smelled like varnish, but he didn’t seem to mind at all.




Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another video. Today we’ll be taking a look at all the upgrades which I’ve done to this machine and talk about which ones were worth it and which ones were not. I purchased all of these components for the purposes of this video, and no money has exchanged hands. Full disclaimer, I’m in no way responsible if any damages may occur, so do these mods at your own risk.

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve upgraded the build plate, the adjustment knobs, pulley wheels, springs, extruder, axis, Bowden tube and added a CR Touch for auto bed levelling. So while that’s a lot of different components, many of these only become a requirement for specific use cases. So to start things off, we’ll take a closer look at which hot end upgrades are actually worth doing.

First and foremost even though this may sound underwhelming, this is easily one of the most important upgrades I recommend, especially when it’s a Creality machine. Almost all the budget friendly printers I’ve bought have had issues with the stock Bowden tube at some point in time, and in most cases when it does decide to fail it’s awful. A simple replacement of the Bowden tube with a Capricorn one can save you countless hours of frustration, and it’s it’s the cheapest upgrade on the list.

Now because I know all of you want to know about the all metal hot end, I will say that it is definitely worth upgrading to a quality hot end by a known company with a good reputation. Generally speaking, the hot end that comes with most machines will be functional until you try to print with higher temperatures, especially when you begin creeping up to the 135 mark. Even if your machine is rated for a higher temperature, both the Bowden tube and the hot end my not be suitable for those temperatures. Very important to keep in mind is that you’ll need to modify your machine’s firmware to allow for the higher temperature settings once you’ve upgraded your machine. Quite a few all metal hot ends still require a Capricorn tubing inside, but most come with a Bowden tube, so make sure to swap that out before using it.

There can be quite a lot of debate whether upgrading the standard Bowden tube to a direct drive is worthwhile, but once again, that will depend on your specific use case. If you intend to print mostly flexible filaments, then this is something you may wish to take a closer look at, since there’s less chance of the filament compressing within the Bowden tube. If you don’t have money to upgrade to a direct extruder setup, simply upgrading to a Capricorn tubing could actually solve some of these issues because of the higher tolerances, but make sure to check that your tubing doesn’t have any defect’s prior to installing it. When using a direct extruder, you’ll want to keep in mind your retraction amounts and speeds will change. On almost all of my direct extruder machines, I have my retraction distance set to 0.6 with my retraction speed set to 20 and for the most part this has given me the best results thus far. Now if you do decide to install a direct extruder, the kit that I used is just one of many on the market today, but you should also upgrade your machine to have dual Z axis if this is the case. The additional weight that’s on the extruder can cause issues, so adding some stability will greatly improve the overall prints.

IF you decide to add another Z axis, you may also want to look at upgrading the pulley wheels. In this case, I have to say that unless you actually have flat spots on your wheels, this isn’t really a useful update. Another YouTuber made a great video testing this, and showed that material that you see coming off the wheels, goes away once they’ve worn in a bit. So unless it’s actually necessary, maybe just leave that mod alone for now.

Do you need a CR Touch? Well no but maybe a yes for convenience. So if you’re willing to update the firmware, then this can be useful in a scenario where you’re continuously changing between filament types. For this to be truly beneficial, you will need to run the bed levelling prior to starting a new print after the print bed it up to the correct temperature. This normally takes the form of adding the G29 command within your start G-code and while this will help with bed levelling accuracy it can increase your print time by quite a bit so just make sure to keep this in mind.

Upgrading the adjustment knobs and tensioning springs are not necessary unless you’re adding a flex build plate. So if you’re looking to add a flex build plate, make sure you install silicon columns instead of the springs. I found that I had to consistently adjust my print bed when I had the springs on, and this only started happening once I began using the flex build plate. I can only assume that the process of removing and placing the build plate causes the springs to loosen much more quickly, but the moment I added the silicone columns, this stopped being an issue.

This brings us to the final mod which we undertook for this machine. The flex build plate in all its glory. Now, in my case I didn’t find it necessary, but it was useful for larger prints that took up most of the surface. On smaller prints, however, I found this to have the opposite effect, and this was the complete reverse of a glass build plate. So if you’re planning on printing smaller objects, then the glass build plate will do just fine. However, if you plan on filling up your build plate, then the PEI flex build plate is a great choice. There are some things you’ll want to keep in mind, though. The build plate temperature in my case need to be raised, and it needs to be within a 5 degree difference, otherwise the print would simply peel right off. Before you start printing with the flex build plate, try cleaning it with soap and water first, since some people including me had issues with the build surface until it was cleaned off. After that, you can use isopropyl alcohol to clean it’s surface or continue using soap and water instead. I would try both and see what works best for you.

As you can see, not all the expensive mods provided all that much in return, so I would look at your use case to evaluate your needs instead. I am currently working on a comparison video for this machine and the Ender 3 S1 that just came out, so keep an eye out for that since I will be comparing which one was a better deal for your money.