Hello everybody and welcome to another review. Today we’ll be taking a closer look at the Ender 3 V2 and see where it stands in today’s market. 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.
This is the updated version of the original Ender 3, and it does seem like the company may have implemented some customer recommendations. First off, this machine does use silent stepper drivers, which greatly reduces the amount of noise during operation. Very important to note, however, is that the stepper drivers are soldered to the board, making any future replacements or upgrades more difficult with this main board. Although the motors moving the machine are silent, the fans which cool all the various components are not, and this should be taken into consideration. A great addition to this machine is the fuse for the main power input that’s located on the motherboard. This is the first time I’ve seen a company implement this safety feature, and I certainly hope to see other companies do so as well.
With the screen now fully enclosed, it also has a new modern interface which makes it easier for new users. The one downside with this interface is that some functionality is no longer available with more modern versions of marlin. In this model, the screen uses a knob to control the interface, which is perfectly functional if perhaps slightly outdated. There is an issue with the contrast levels on the screen, thereby making it difficult to see what’s been selected. This is especially prominent when looking at the screen from an angle which is to the side.
While the original print bed was flexible, it has since been upgraded to a glass bed, which is far more durable. With a glass build plate, the prints will almost always release once the surface has cooled down, however if this isn’t the case you can use your filament cutter’s to help leverage the corner just enough to release the pressure or fit your spatula underneath. During my testing, I found that most prints released without any issues after the first couple of prints. In most cases, unless you’re filling up the bottom surface with a large print, this is rarely an issue.
Like most machines which use a very basic hot end, this one uses one which is prone to heat creep at around the 230 degree. I highly recommend upgrading the standard Bowden tube with a Capricorn one to help prevent issues in the future. Because of the current mounting design, it is fully compatible with the Micro Swiss all metal hot end and doesn’t require any modifications other than a firmware changes. Creality has since released the Creality Sprite extruder upgrade, which is supposed to be compatible with this machine. Since I have yet to test that particular upgrade, I can not say whether it’s worthwhile. The cable for the hot end does tend to get caught if it isn’t properly secured. In my case, I simply used a zip tie to fix the issue by attaching it to the adjustment screw of the extruder feeder.
The power supply is incorporated into the base of the machine, unlike the original Ender 3. It’s also been upgraded to a genuine Meanwell Power Supply, which makes it more reliable and safer. Unfortunately, this machine in particular uses tinned connections, which I would highly recommend you replace since they could pose a safety hazard. Like most of these companies machines, this one in particular does have properly functioning thermal runaway protection enabled. The only ventilation for the power supply is where the intake fan is located and is something that I would like to see revised in the future. All the components, although they are properly contained, are fairly segmented in their locations. For instance, the power supply has its own enclosure as well as the motherboard. While this isn’t really a problem, is can be inconvenient when doing repairs since you have to open up two different compartments within the base of the machine.
This machine uses only 1 Z axis, which is fine with this particular set of features. If you’re looking to add a direct extruder, however, you will want to upgrade to a dual Z axis setup since the X carriage is very easy to move. Because this machine comes with a Bowden tube setup, most of the weight is taken off the X carriage, and this hasn’t been an issue for me as yet.
So how would I rate this machine overall? Well I’ve used this exact model for both my contract work as well my own personal projects for well over a year now and can say that I’m very pleased with its operation. Other than some very minor tweaks, it’s been my go-to machine for anything that fit’s it’s build size. It’s for this reason that I give it a solid 8/10. For the price, it’s well worth the money, and I’ve actually been debating whether to pick up another. But is this the best that this machine has to offer? Well, I’m going to be doing a series of upgrades to see which one’s might be worth it and comparing it to the newer release, so keep an eye out for those videos.
I’ve started creating downloadable support files and mods for the machines I’ve reviewed, so if you’re looking from some additional information, I would suggest you follow the link in the description below. Thank you for watching, and I hope to see you again soon. Thank you and take care.