Ender 3 S1 – Final Verdict – Just how good is it?


Hello everybody and welcome to another video. In today’s review, we’ll be taking a closer look at the Ender 3 S1 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.

With this new machine, with have a newly upgraded build plate which is both flexible and has excellent print adhesion. While I have had this machine for a couple of months now, the build surface has held up and has not visible damage as yet. I haven’t had any issues with the prints sticking and removal has been quite easy with the print’s, self releasing if they’re allowed to fully cool down. In fact, I was so impressed by it that I order a second surface for my Ender 3 V2 which I had upgraded in a previous video.

This machine has been the first to come with ferrules connection out of the box, which I’m happy to report. What I have found confusing however is the fact this machine has proper connections while the CR10 Smart Pro still has tinned one. So although my machine has the proper connection types, I would still recommend you double-check yours since I purchased mine on Amazon and some reseller’s upgrade the machines prior to sending them out.

This machine does in fact have silent stepper drivers, however they did not upgrade the extruder fans to be more silent, so it can be still quite loud during operations. This is an unfortunate oversight since the hot end assembly has so many great innovations included within its design.

Similar to other recent machines, this one has a drawer which contains all the tools you’ll need to repair it in the future. This is appreciated since it makes it easier to keep everything organized and easy to find when you need it. I’ve gotten in the habit of storing original hardware, which I may have replaced, in this drawer just in case I need it later on.

The X gantry has a small clip to help to hold the cable to the hot end assembly, and while this allows for clean cable management, it doesn’t quite work correctly. When printing, the cable for the hot end assembly bends and cause the limit switch and motor connections to become strained. If you already have this machine, you may which to print this cable support to help keep this portion into place. You’ll need an extra long M3 screw to attach this into place, along with a Zip tie. I will have this file available on my website along with the PDF survival guide for this machine.

Thermal Runaway Detection was tested and is fully functional. The nice thing about this extruder drive is that it can easily be detached with the cable, so you have access to all the connections. This made it a lot easier to test as a result and will make maintenance in general a lot easier. The company has also recently released the source code files for the firmware, which should make it easier to upgrade in the future. Although not all of their machines are currently available, it’s likely that they may be in the future. I will include a link in the description below as to where you can find the repositories.

With the new dual Z axis, bed levelling should be less of an issue and shouldn’t be required as often. Both motors are linked together with a timing belt to help keep them in sync with each other. Although you shouldn’t have any issues out of the box, you’ll want to make sure that your stepper motor timing is properly synced up. For this, you’ll loosen one of the clutch screws for both motors and, with the machine turned on, use the menu to lift it up and down a bit. You’ll then simply re-tighten them, and should be good to go.

The spool holder and filament run out are both located on the top of the machine and have also been updated. The spool holder has the filament run out sensor attached to it’s front, which allows the sensor to rotate with the hot end assembly. While this helps reduce the amount of friction it does raise the overall height of the machine and because of my limited amount of space I had to create this filament guide to get around the issue. It should also be noted that having the spool holder on the top of the machine can cause more vibrations, which can affect final print quality. So although this is a great innovation, you may need to do some form of modification depending on your space limitations. I will have the STL for this modification available on my main website if you wanted to try it out for yourself.

With the upgraded hot end assembly, we now have the new sprite extruder, which uses a direct drive mechanic. It’s similar to that of the CR10 Smart Pro with one important difference. In this case, although it is does have a Sprite Extruder, it isn’t an all metal hot end. This machine has a Bowden tube which lines the inside of the heat break and should be replaced with a Capricorn one to prevent any future issues. At the time of this recording, some upgradable or replacement parts were not yet available within my area. The only way to get the upgradable components is by agreeing to the terms of service and become a Creality reseller. Due to how the wording of certain clauses are, I find this to be risky and have refused to do so.

So what is the final verdict on this machine? Well this machine is a very reliable one which has become my go to for many prints. With the source code released, it’s a great option for those just starting or more advanced user’s alike. The only sticking point at the moment is the lack of available replacement parts, so although that’s something they’ll need to address in the future, they have left it open to modifications and alternatives. So for me, this gets a solid 8/10 for both new users and veterans alike.