IS it worth Buying? – CR10 Smart PRO
In today’s article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the CR10 Smart Pro by Creality. 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 these articles, you already know my opinion on the regular CR10 Smart, and this was quite a different experience mixed in 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 article HERE 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.
EDIT: Since the original writing of this article, Creality has released the source code for this machine and some of the newer one’s as well. You can find them at this link here.
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 for the different types of thermal runaway errors to make it easier to troubleshoot. 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 an article going over this process in more detail, so please feel free to check HERE.
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. You can check out this Article which goes through the 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 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 parts 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 to their shady contract.
Yasmeen completed both the 2D and 3D animation course at Algonquin College and worked in the animation industry as a freelancer for a number of years before being hired to manage the 3D printing services at ItsYeBoi. While using the Alias of "Jenny" during her services, she was responsible for the testing, maintenance and upgrading of the machine while also filming and developing 3D printable assets for various projects.