Ender 4 is made by Creality, a Chinese company that offers solid, well-researched printers with quality components at modest prices. The CR-10 is certainly the spearhead of this company that produces many other printers. In this review I present the Ender 4, corexy in KIT.
This is one of the cheapest corexy that the market offers, but you pay for it in another currency, that is, by committing to assemble almost everything.
Conceptually, I like the idea of the printer to be assembled personally very much, during the assembly you learn a lot about the mechanisms of the printer (especially after errors) and the method of installation of the various pieces. This forced practice will be very useful in case of failures, when we will personally have to replace the various parts.
There are 2 types of people who approach 3d printing; those who draw in 3d and want to turn their fantasy works into reality and those who are fascinated by 3d printing regardless of what they create. If you are part of this second group, I suggest you start with a KIT to make your bones, and maybe this is the kit for you.
By opening the package you will find everything you need to start assembling this kit. In fact, the printer arrives disassembled into individual parts. Only the extruder arrives already assembled, for the rest you have to roll up your sleeves!
The kit inside is :
- Classic cutter;
- SD 8gb;
- USB and SD adapters;
- Various hexagonal and non-hexagonal Keys;
- Filament bobbin holder (One piece of threaded rod);
However, if you want to have all the equipment available to deal with the best 3d printing, you can refer to this article. Where are indicated all the necessary tools!
Ender 4: Assembly
Inside the SD card that comes with the printer there are several files. A test gcode, the original firmware, and instructions. The instructions are composed of a PDF file with explanations and a video demonstration of how to mount the Ender 4. Following the video you build the printer in 5-6 hours. As mentioned before we will bless the time spent mounting the printer at the first fault we encounter.
Being this conformation a cube I had no big problems for the squaring (which happens with the prusa), and to be honest no problem in general, carefully following the instructions goes smoothly.
Ender 4: First Impressions
After the hours spent assembling it, I immediately wanted to see her at work, to print something! And I must say with satisfaction!
This corexy can withstand high speeds (up to 120/130 mm/s) and is precise in its movements. The test prints were dimensionally perfect and aesthetically pleasing
The printing volume of 23x23x28 cm allowed me to make some high vases that with the prusa 20x20x20 cm I could not do. I propose it in photo.
Here is a gallery of prints made with the Ender 4.
Ender 4: OPTIONAL
The End-of-Filament Sensor
Among the options of this printer I wanted to try the end of filament sensor. The Ender 4 in fact integrates a very practical end of filament sensor that in case the filament to be extruded ends interrupts the printing, raises the extruder group, keeping the temperature, giving us a way to restore it or even change color.
It is not all gold that glitters, however.
This sensor consists of a simple end stop and if the filament is a little curved (as happens with the filament imbobinato) the sensor does not read it and you end up with the print constantly interrupted. I ended up threading a stump of wire into the sensor that I pull out when I want to replace the wire or change color. I just use it as a wire end sensor only if I actually run the risk of finishing the filament!
Bed leveling capacitive sensor
Another very useful option is the capacitive sensor to level the bed(correct small imperfections in the leveling), the green sensor Sn04 that you have all already seen. This sensor is very precise and I personally find it very useful. Obviously the use of this sensor precludes the use of glass (can perceive the metal at about 2mm). As you all know, the corexy moves the extruder on the X and Y axes, and the plate in Z (Prusa models moves the extruder in X and Z and the plate in Y). This feature means that the platter does not suffer particularly from inertia. So, as an overplatter, I chose a 1.5 mm stainless steel plate. The weight of almost one kilogram of the plate does not adversely affect the print and keeps the shape much better than a possible substitute, aluminum, which tends to deform easily.
The laser engraver
Another intriguing option offered by this printer is the laser engraver, which I did not miss. The laser (magnetized) puts itself in position very easily and is able to engrave on paper, wood and metal (250W). Here, too, however, there is no shortage of defects. One of them is the program to create the gcode of the engravings totally in Chinese. It takes a lot of testing to understand what you are doing! Then the whole die is very manual. The laser, connected to the output of the fan layer must be activated manually before starting the Gcode, and in a hurry after the beginning you must adjust the focus of the laser to make it incisive. This laboriousness, combined with a not brilliant creation of the drawings convinced me to desist and not use much of this function. But I propose to take it back in hand in the future and try to study it better.
NB: If you opt for the version with laser engraver, if you are not engraving, do not feed it, detaching it as in the photo. If you don’t remember to deselect the fan layer when preparing the model, this laser can do serious damage in the house because it is powerful. I speak from experience, having forgotten a few minutes turned on just in this mode marked me the base of the PC monitor.
The biggest flaw I could find in the Ender 4 was the inability or almost inability to add a layer fan. In fact, except for the fact that the laser occupies its housing in the motherboard and that you have to disassemble the electronics box to replace it, it is also difficult to find a suitable position for the fan itself.
We start by saying that it is impossible to use the normal fans, radial or standard. These are at least one centimetre and do not physically stand on the sides of the extruder.
We have to find a slim fan (the one supplied with the CR-10), but even if we want to put that one we will not know how to install the inductive sensor. It would be all solvable if there were many users of this 3D printer that through some design, even to be printed with the same 3D printer had designed a “mount”. Unfortunately this machine is not too widespread, although it is cheap and of great quality, which means that if you want to make some changes you have to design them yourself!
Another defect that I have personally suffered a bit is the impossibility to save the changes given by the keypad with the original firmware. We will have to resign and change the firmware (normal Marlin) as soon as possible, otherwise we will be destined to set for example the Z offset at each power on!
This printer is controlled by the display, which contains in a menu all the functions of the 3D printer. I’m not a fan of the control wheel in all Creality printers, I find it uncomfortable and difficult to handle, example to prepare the printer by raising the temperature of the extruder.
Ender 4: Price
Now let’s get to the fun. This printer Creality Ender-4 is sold for about 300 €. for the basic version, up to 400 €. for the full optional version only on Aliexpress.
The good news is that for purchases from official store Creality on AliExpress you can select to want to receive it from Germany and do not pay any customs duty, although the price will obviously rise a little!
A Corexy of this quality at 300 €. had never been seen!