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Creality Ender-3 V3 SE

Creality Ender-3 V3 SE 3D printer review

The Creality Ender-3 V3 SE has refined what an entry-level 3D printer should be and has all the key features you need to get straight into 3D printing. The entry-level machine has a straightforward feature set, including a user-friendly interface, a direct drive extruder, and a screen that walks you through filament loading and initial setup.

Even if you’re new to 3D printing, you can go from unboxing to printing in under 30 minutes. Having tested many of the best 3D printers, we can say that the Ender-3 V3 SE itself is nice and simple, and this is complemented by Creality’s intuitive printing software, which easily handles files downloaded from the Internet or , if you have appropriate knowledge, downloaded ones that you designed yourself.

Although it may lack advanced features like filament run-out detection and built-in camera functions, its low price makes it an attractive choice for beginners. However, with the market teeming with exceptional and innovative printers and not much else, the question arises, is the reliability of a straightforward, proven design enough for even a beginner?

Creality Ender-3 V3 SE: Design

Creality Ender-3 V3 SE

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The Creality Ender-3 V3 SE 3D printer adopts the popular bed-slinger design, in which the printing platform dynamically moves back and forth during the printing process. Many budget 3D printers prefer this approach, which is also used in premium models from brands like PRUSA and Lulzbot. As is common with this type of printer, the open frame design provides a clear view of the internal printing operations. This transparency is particularly beneficial for beginners as it gives you a better understanding of how these machines work.

If you are a beginner, this practical and visible design is invaluable. This makes problems like loose belts easy to spot, and observing printing errors when they occur can be an educational troubleshooting experience.

Creality Ender-3 V3 SE

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

Assembling the Creality Ender-3 V3 SE is remarkably easy, as the printer arrives almost fully assembled and all that remains is to attach the vertical frame and connect a few simple cables. The process is quick and takes no more than 30 minutes. Everything you need to know is in the manual.

When it comes to loading and printing files, the printer uses an SD card to load the files, with selections made via an LCD screen controlled by a dial rather than a touchscreen. While this interface is a bit retro, it fits the printer’s straightforward design ethos.

In terms of physical dimensions, the Ender-3 V3 SE measures 365 x 345 x 458 mm and weighs 6.5 kg, making it relatively compact and portable. The filament is mounted on top of the machine, which requires some vertical space but contributes to the small footprint. Overall, the design of the Ender-3 V3 SE combines simplicity, accessibility and practicality, making it the ideal choice for newcomers to the world of 3D printing.

Creality Ender-3 V3 SE: Features

Creality Ender-3 V3 SE

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The Creality Ender-3 V3 SE 3D printer stands out in the entry-level market not only for its affordability, but also for its numerous features that enhance the 3D printing experience. One of the key features of this printer is its impressive speed, which can reach up to 250mm/s. This performance is powered by a high-performance processor, ensuring that the speed does not compromise the quality of the prints.

Thanks to the CR Touch sensor, auto-leveling is a standout feature that makes achieving a perfect first layer easier. This feature, along with the automatic Z offset strain sensor, ensures precision and easy print setup, making it a hassle-free experience for users regardless of their expertise.


Printing technology: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

Construction area: 220x220x250mm

Minimum level resolution: 0.1mm

Maximum layer resolution: 0.35mm

Dimensions: 365x345x458mm

Weight: 6.5kg

Bed: Automatic leveling with CR Touch sensor

Print surface: PC spring steel

Software: Creality Print, Cura, Repetier-Host, Simplify3D compatible

Materials: PLA, PETG, TPU (95A)

Print speed: Up to 250 mm/s (maximum), 180 mm/s (typical)

The Ender-3 V3 SE’s “Sprite” direct extruder is capable of processing a variety of filament types, including flexible TPU, significantly expanding printing possibilities. In addition, the printer is supported by two linear Y-axis shafts that ensure smooth and accurate movement of the build platform. The user interface on the printer’s display provides a comprehensive overview of the automatic leveling process, including the fascinating difference numbers and other important printing parameters.

Transferring files to the printer can be done either via an SD card or directly via a USB Type-C connection. The printer also features a sturdy dual Z-axis and a compact, elegant design that cleverly integrates all components without compromising on the build volume of 220 x 220 x 250 mm.

Creality Ender-3 V3 SE: Performance

Creality Ender-3 V3 SE

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The 3D printer’s performance in our tests was impressive, especially given its status as an entry-level printer. With a top score of 26.5 out of 30 in our tests, it stands out in its price range for its exceptional performance, a testament to its simple design coupled with advanced features.

The printer featured dimensional accuracy, a crucial aspect of precision in 3D printing. With an average error of just 0.054mm, it demonstrates the ability to accurately reproduce dimensions. This precision makes it suitable for detailed models and prototypes where accurate measurements are essential.

The Ender-3 V3 SE scored points in the areas of overhangs and bridging, both receiving a perfect rating. This demonstrates the printer’s robust ability to handle complex geometries and structures without assistance. However, it performed worse in fine flow control and XY resonance, suggesting some limitations when handling extremely intricate details and potential vibrations in high-speed prints.

A standout feature is the printer’s high-precision automatic bed leveling system, which ensured that every file that passed through the system was printed.

Proper filament management is crucial for this printer. The recommended use of a filament dryer can significantly improve print quality. However, the lack of a filament runout sensor means users should be vigilant, especially when making larger prints.

Creality Ender-3 V3 SE

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The noise level is moderate and not particularly annoying, making the printer suitable for office or workshop environments. As far as print speed is concerned, there is a noticeable loss of quality at maximum speed, but the prints remain acceptable. This flexibility is beneficial for quick prototyping or test prints before longer, more detailed printing sessions.

The Creality device is an entry-level, high-performance 3D printer. Its combination of simplicity, essential advanced features, and reliable performance make it an excellent choice for beginners and those looking for an affordable yet powerful 3D printer.

Creality Ender-3 V3 SE: Print quality

Dimensional accuracy – Score 4

Goal 25 = X: 25mm/0mm error | Y: 24.90mm / 0.10mm error

Goal 20 = X: 20.09mm / 0.09mm error | Y: 20mm/0mm error

Goal 15 = X: 15mm/0mm error | Y: 14.99mm / 0.01mm error

Goal 10 = X: 10.05mm / 0.05mm error | Y: 9.99mm / 0.01mm error

Goal 5 = X: 4.88mm / 0.12mm error | Y: 4.84mm / 0.16mm error

X error average = 0.052

Y error average = 0.056

Average X and Y error = 0.054

Fine flow control – Grade 2.5

Subtle negative features – Score 4

Overhangs – Score 5

Bridging – Score 5

XY resonance – Grade 2.5

Z axis alignment – Grade 2.5

Adding the totals produces a final score of 26.5 out of 30.

Creality Ender-3 V3 SE: Verdict

Creality Ender-3 V3 SE

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The Creality Ender-3 V3 SE 3D printer is an excellent entry-level printer, especially when you consider its price and the market segment it is aimed at. With a performance rating of 26.5 out of 30, it boasts quality that exceeds expectations in its class. This printer combines the simplicity of design with some advanced features, providing a balance that makes it an ideal choice for beginners and those looking for a hassle-free and reliable printing experience.

A key factor in the high score is the exceptionally accurate automatic bed leveling system, which always ensures reliable, high-quality prints. This feature, coupled with the device’s straightforward setup and operation, makes it an attractive option for those new to 3D printing. The printer’s ability to easily handle various filaments, further enhanced by the recommended use of a filament dryer, increases its versatility.

Although the printer lacks some advanced features like filament runout sensors, its basic functionality doesn’t detract from its overall usefulness. The printer operates with a moderate noise level that is noticeable but not overly disruptive, making it suitable for use at home or in small office environments. Another plus point is the printing speed, as the printer can maintain reasonable quality even at higher speeds, which is ideal for testing or repeating designs before moving on to final prints.

The Creality Ender-3 V3 SE 3D printer is an excellent choice for anyone venturing into 3D printing. It offers a perfect blend of ease of use, reliable performance and affordability. For this price, you really can’t beat this printer before you take the next step to next-generation devices.

Creality Ender-3 V3 SE: price comparison