Shipping the printer partially assembled lowers the cost considerably and assembles in about an hour, so it’s a worthwhile tradeoff. The instructions are clear and there are also videos to guide the process. The cube frame certainly makes for a sturdy printer.
I don’t normally print the test files that come with the printer, but this one had a bunny on it, so I was curious. I tried printing without manual leveling to see how auto leveling would handle it, and it started printing a full millimeter from the bed. After manual leveling it printed fine.
It’s a great impression. Adorable. Okay, bear with me for a short rant. If I already leveled the bed, why do I need auto leveling? This is not something I hold against Creality because I have had almost entirely negative experiences with auto-leveling systems on various printers. The best first few layers print on a level surface, which is easy to achieve manually on almost all printers, and having the printer test a level bed before each print is just a waste of time. I’ve removed the probing from the initial gcode for the rest of the review, and I’ll take this opportunity to ask that we, the 3D printing community, stop requiring printer manufacturers to include auto-leveling. It’s not necessary and it just makes the printers cost more and have more parts that can break. rant about. Let’s move on to the first real impression, Benchy!
That is a quality impression. The only real blemish is a tiny one on the arch; the rest of the overhangs are fine. The top surfaces are solid and the little features came out right. The default print speed on the Ender 5 S1 is 120mm/s, which makes this print even more impressive because it took much less time to print than most Benchies.
The Creality Slicer appears to be a version of Cura, and after printing a couple of items I tried the regular Cura and liked the quality better, so I stuck with that for review. As a reminder, in an effort to minimize plastic waste, I try to print items that I can use or gift to loved ones. To test the moving parts, I print this handy machine container.
These prints came out clean and working fine. The cap was printed at the standard 120mm/s and the gears turn smoothly. The container was printed at 250mm/s and you can’t tell just by looking at it because the inside is completely smooth and the outside design is crisp. Combined, these parts took a little over five hours to complete. Very impressive. The extruder is designed to handle a variety of materials, so that’s what I tried next. I needed a simple door block so I printed it on ASA.
It came out fine, although it warped a bit from the bed because it’s currently about 68° in my library and the printer is open. I tried printing the same part in ABS and experienced more warping and a lot of delamination, so you can print these materials, but they will work much better with the optional acrylic shell. It costs less than $60, so it’s definitely worth the money. It’s time to try PETG with Pom Pom Purin!
The PETG printed cleanly with smooth walls and no warping. Needing a different color for the face and hat, I went with some PLA infused with coffee residue, and it also printed without a problem. TPU is one of the most delicate materials to print, but the 80N force of the “Sprite” extruder is supposed to help with that. I printed this Tree Coaster to find out.
No problem! There were some minor strings, but that’s not a big deal. TPU is one of the most functional 3D printing materials due to its flexibility and hardness, so it is important to know how to handle it. However, quality is also important, so let’s see how it works with 0.1mm layers on this Legend of Zelda pen holder.
I used silk PLA here to make it more shiny. The details and textures turned out beautiful, so I’m pleased with the printer’s ability to produce high-resolution prints. There are a few spots on some strings, but that would be resolved by increasing the retraction a bit. Finally, a height test with this Julia Vase – Heatwave fluid.
Beautiful. It’s about 250mm tall and took just over 11 hours to print with 0.3mm layers, and could be done faster by speeding up the outer perimeters. With dual 12mm Z-axis rods, I had little doubt that the Ender 5 S1 would pass the height test, but it’s good to confirm. There is no Z wobble here.
In summary, the Creality Ender 5 S1 is a very capable printer and I enjoyed working with it. Loading and unloading of materials is easy and you can handle a wide range of materials with your Twin gear extruder at 300°C. I tried both the filament run out sensor and the power loss recovery functions and both worked as intended, saving what would otherwise have been failed prints. the printer is incredibly fast and yet quite quiet. Its large touch screen is responsive and the UI is intuitive, and I love how easy it is to adjust the Z offset. One gripe with the UI is that there is no model preview when selecting a file to print, and neither displays the full file name, so if two files have long names that start the same, they can’t be told apart on the touch screen. It’s a small problem, but long filenames that start the same are quite common in 3D printing due to iterations and variations. Other than that, everything was smooth sailing. If you’re looking for a rugged and versatile 3D printer that’s easy to use, the Ender 5 S1 is a solid choice.
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