Creality CR-10 Review and First Impressions

I know, I know. Just what the internet needed: another review talking about how great the Creality CR-10 is. Well we’ve had it for a week, and so far it is great. So after only a week let’s consider this more of a “first impressions” post, and I’ll continue to update it as I get more experience with the printer. I’ll talk about my experience during set-up, our first few prints, and print settings in Simplify 3D.

We’ve wanted a second 3D printer for a while (we gave away our Raise3D N2 and only have the Craftbot), and needed something with a larger build volume for some of our bigger designs. Then boom! Around that time several weeks ago, the Creality CR-10 came out, and immediately started getting positive feedback from the 3D printing community. After reading / watching several positive reviews, we decided to make the purchase. Initially it was going for about $400 (or less if I remember correctly), but we bought it on Amazon for about $540. This is an amazing price for a printer with such a large build volume (almost 12”x12”x16”). Full disclosure – we are an Amazon affiliate.

Unboxing and Setup

I was too excited and didn’t take pictures during unboxing and assembly. My wife is not happy about this. But don’t worry, you can only find a million CR-10 unboxing, setup, and review videos on youtube.

But yes, as you’ve heard the CR-10 comes very well packaged, with three primary components: the print bed, the vertical z-axis / crossbeam, and the control box. It also comes with a box including the power cord, USB/SD card, allen wrenches, and other items you’ll need for assembly and printing.

The provided assembly instructions are not good, nor are the ones included on the USB drive. Fortunately, assembly is simple and basically consists of:

  • attaching the vertical z-axis / crossbeam assembly to the base via four screws; and
  • making all the electrical connections from the control box to the motors.

The electrical connections are all labeled very clearly, and if you have any issues reference this youtube video.

CR10 Edit 2

Oh No! It Doesn’t Work When I Turn it On!

Make sure to flip the switch on the control box from “220 V” to “110 V” for those of us in the USA. Otherwise the printer won’t work. I mean that’s pretty obvious…who would make such a simple mistake…other than me of course. I’ll blame the kids – they were “helping” while I was building the printer and I missed that part…it’s also clearly stated in the video referenced above (which I didn’t watch until after assembling the printer), and probably in the assembly instructions as well…oh well, hopefully I’ve saved you some embarrassment. That’s what I’m here for.

Oh No! They Forgot to Include the SD Card!

No, they didn’t. It’s inserted in the back of the USB. That’s how you get your prints loaded from the computer and to the SD card. But you knew that already…I’m probably the only guy who didn’t know and isn’t up on all this fancy stuff (actually I found at least one other person online asking this same question).

One other point that I forgot to mention – the printer is very quiet! Once we get a housing built, I doubt we’ll be able to hear it at all.

The First Prints

The first prints turned out amazing. Check out the 3DBenchy and R2-D2 pictures below.

For these first prints, I used the default settings in the “Creality CR-10” profile provided by Simplify3D. The only things I initially changed were the first layer height (up to 267%), the first layer width (up to 200%), and the first layer speed (down to 25%). I’ve always found that these settings provide me with a nice, slow, thick first layer for great bed adhesion. I know; everyone has their own preferred first layer settings – no need to debate that here, just use what works for you.

The initial prints were going a bit slower than I’m used to, so now I’ve bumped up the print speed to 4800 mm/min (to match the Craftbot), and the first layer speed down to 15%. I’m still having great print results.

Summary

I’m very happy with the CR-10 thus far, and have been extremely impressed with my first few prints. The printer is a great deal for such a large build volume. Between this printer and the Craftbot, I’m pleased that we have two such excellent products, and can continue printing if we ever have maintenance issues with either one of them. Once again, I’ll continue to update this post as I use the printer over the next several months.

Let us know your thoughts below, and your experiences with the CR-10 or other printers!

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2 thoughts on “Creality CR-10 Review and First Impressions

  1. Luca says:

    Great article!! 🙂 I was wandering which one between the two printer (craftbot and cr-10) do you prefer in terms of pint quality and speed. I am purchasing one and I cannot decide between this two. Thanks

    • Sasha says:

      It is a tough choice, they are both great printers!

      I feel much more comfortable running the Craftbot at higher speeds than the CR-10 due to the Craftbot’s robust, rigid design which utilizes round linear rails as opposed to maker slide (aluminum extrusions) used on the CR-10.

      Both printers produce excellent print quality. Lately I’ve been happier with the print quality on the CR-10, but I admit that is an unfair comparison. Our CR-10 is newer than the Craftbot, and therefore has less total hours of use. I expect if I (finally) replaced the hotend / nozzle on the Craftbot, they would produce similar print quality. In other words, I expect the print quality of a new CR-10 and a new Craftbot to be similar.

      The Craftbot takes up much less space, and I’ve always had a good experience with their customer service if I’ve ever needed anything (which has been rare). The CR-10 has a larger build volume, but takes up substantially more space because of the external control box than the Craftbot. However the CR-10 is cheaper than the Craftbot.

      Both are great choices, but the Craftbot is an excellent “plug-and-play” printer. I’d say if this is your first 3D printer, this may be the better choice (not knowing your budget, build volume, and limitations on physical storage space).

      Let us know if you have other questions!

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