The 4 Best Budget Creality Ender 3 Alternatives

Intro

Finding a low-price 3D printer for your home is a great way to get into 3D printing without breaking the bank. For a bit, the Creality Ender 3 was the go-to for hobbyists (for good reason). Now, there are other options to consider that are budget-friendly but offer much more value than the Ender 3.

In this guide, we’ll review 4 of the best budget Creality Ender 3 alternatives. We’ll discuss printers that perform better than the Ender 3 at a price point that’s equally impressive.

What Is a Creality Ender 3?

For a short time, the Creality Ender 3 was the gold standard when it came to budget 3D printers for home use. Before that, it was the Prusa i3, but the Ender 3 is more than 6 years newer and offers a lot more.

When the Prusa i3 came out, dozens of companies took the printer, stripped it down, built their own package, and sold it as a unique printer. Why? Because the i3 was inexpensive, easy to modify, and hard-working.

Creality did exactly that with the Ender 3, but it was different this time. Unlike other printing companies, Creality’s clone gained more traction and notoriety than the original Prusa i3. As a result, Creality took the title as one of the best budget at-home 3D printers on the market.

The Ender 3 is a typical FDM printer that targets recreational 3D printing hobbyists. It was released in 2018 and currently sells for about $200, depending on where you get it. It has a build volume of 220 x 220 x 250mm, a hotend temperature of 260°C, and a resolution of 0.10mm.

All About the Ender 3 V2 NEO

The Ender 3 V2 NEO shares the same pedigree and chassis as the Ender 3, but it adds a lot more. It’s the newer version made by the same company, with some major tweaks. It adds an automatic bed leveler, metal extruder, power outage recovery system, and a ton of extra sensors and electronics.

The result? A reliable and hardworking printer that rivals a lot of the more expensive platforms on the market.

The downside is that you’ll need to fully assemble the Ender 3 V2 NEO — that’s partially how they can keep the price so low. Luckily, there are a ton of online guides and helpful tips from Ender to help you through the process.

All About the Artillery Genius Pro

As a 3D printing company, Artillery has been around for a few years. Their focus has been on high-quality 3D printers that utilize a lot of extra tech so you can make the best parts. The Genius Pro is the newest printer in their line, and it has a lot to love.

For starters, it can run at high print speeds and deliver exceptional quality. Other printers need to run slower to achieve the same results.

The printer has a sleek touchscreen, nice aesthetics, automatic bed leveling, and impossibly quiet operation.

All About the Anycubic Kobra

The next printer to discuss is the Kobra by Anycubic. Anycubic has a reputation in the industry for delivering high-quality and hard-working printers at low prices.

The Kobra is a great option if you want to get into 3D printing or expand your inventory with a low-cost option. It offers smart leveling, fast printing speeds, and a bed that simplifies adhesion. All-in-all, this is a strong option.

All About the BIQU BX

The BIQU BX is an excellent printer that focuses on build quality at a low price. You’ll need to assemble some of the printer before you can start, but the setup doesn’t take long at all.

The stepper motor used is very impressive. It’s quiet, incredibly accurate, and results in higher resolution in each part. In addition, the carbon fiber-like trim around the printer makes this an aesthetically pleasing option.

Comparisons at a Glance

The best way to pick the best budget Creality Ender 3 alternative is through a side-by-side comparison with the 4 other options. In this section, we’ll give you quick comparisons so you can make the decision for yourself.

Price

When it comes to budget printers, price is typically the driving factor. With all of these printers, the price is lower than you’d expect, given the impressive features and build volumes.

Ender 3 V2 NEO: $535

Artillery Genius Pro: $599

Anycubic Kobra: $400

BIQU BX: $531

Best option: The Ender 3 V2 NEO and Anycubic Kobra are tied as the least-expensive option.

Build Volume

Build volume will determine how large your parts can be. This is the area within the printer which can be printed in. In other words, you can make a large block with these three dimensions and that will be the largest part you can make.

Ender 3 V2 NEO: 220 x 220 x 250mm

Artillery Genius Pro: 220 x 220 x 250mm

Anycubic Kobra: 220 x 220 x 250mm

BIQU BX: 250 x 250 x 250mm

Best option: The BIQU BX offers the largest build volume.

Resolution

The resolution of a 3D printer refers to how small the layers are. With smaller layer heights, you can create more precise parts. It largely applies to how smooth the final part looks and the aesthetics of your piece.

Ender 3 V2 NEO: 0.05mm

Artillery Genius Pro: 0.10mm

Anycubic Kobra: 0.10mm

BIQU BX: 0.10mm

Best option: In this case, the Ender offers the highest resolution. However, a 0.10mm resolution is basically the industry standard, so the other three printers are strong in this category as well.

Hotend Temperature

The hotend temperature will determine what type of materials you can print. If a hotend can reach 220°C, then you can print PLA. At 240°C you can start printing ABS.

Ender 3 V2 NEO: 260°C

Artillery Genius Pro: 240°C

Anycubic Kobra: 260°C

BIQU BX: 260°C

Best option: Every printer but the Artillery Genius Pro can achieve temperatures up to 260°C. However, even at 240°C you’ll be able to print most materials on the Genius Pro.

Which Is the Best Option?

The best option depends on what you’re looking for. In our opinion, all four of these printers are exceptional budget alternatives to the Creality Ender 3.

It’s worth highlighting the Artillery Genius Pro, which is the best pound-for-pound printer from our perspective. It’s packed with countless upgrades and features, and it allows for the highest quality at the highest print speeds — that means you get better-looking parts even faster. Although its specs aren’t the best on paper, the takeaway after using the printer is that it’s one of the best printers at its price.

Conclusion

This guide covered 4 of the best budget alternatives to the Creality Ender 3. We discussed the Ender 3 V2 NEO, Artillery Genius Pro, Anycubic Kobra, and BIQU BX. The Artillery 3D printer is one of the best in this comparison, but all 4 options are exceptional budget choices.

Article written by Connor Benedict for 3Docity.com.au

Images sourced from Bambu Lab’s, Prusa and LDO Motors.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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