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Creality Ender 2 Pro Review Deliver Big Quality with its Small Size?

Creality Ender 2 Pro is a recent update to the original Ender 2. It’s small size is useful for new 3D printing enthusiasts, young hobbyists, small spaces, easy transportation and possibly improved print quality. This happens to be my twentieth (20th) FDM printer. I’m curious how easy it is to use and the stock output quality of the Creality Ender 2 Pro.

Some of the features for the Ender 2 Pro version of the classic Ender 2 include:

  • 32 Bit Silent Motherboard
  • 4-Steps for Quick Assembly
  • Light Weight (4.65kg / 10.25lbs) and Portable with an Included Handle
  • 165x165x180mm with a Flexible Textured Magnetic Print Surface
  • Heated Print Bed (up to 80C) with Strain Relief for the Wires
  • Cantilever Design with Extra Reinforcement for the Z-Axis
  • Built-In Power Supply
  • Belt Tensioner Knobs
  • Built-In Drawer to Store Included Tools
  • Clip on Screen and Fold-able Filament Holder to Improve Portability
  • Tight Fitting Hotend Fan Assembly and Silicone Sock to Reduce Finger Burns
  • Power Resume (Textured Bed Should Limit Parts Coming Loose When Cooled)

The small print size should have the potential to minimize 3D print errors typically seen on larger bed-slingers. This is the main reason I chose to buy this printer. Hence this is an unsolicited and honest review, for a machine I purchased with my own money.

Creality Ender 2 Pro Packaging and Unboxing

The Creality Ender 2 Pro is shipped in a custom printed box with a drawing of the 3D printer. Form fitting black foam is used to secure the contents very well. Bags for the screws are labeled with the corresponding sizes for easier assembly. Extra bowden tube connectors, clip and a copper nozzle are included. This is helpful, since these are Consumable items that are commonly replaced. Included filament is typically inferior quality, therefore I rarely use it. One good use for the sample filament is to clear out clogs performing cold or hot pulls – video. All of the typical FDM 3D Printer tools are provided to assemble and maintain the Creality Ender 2 Pro FDM 3D Printer. A scraper is not included. However the 3D printer uses a flexible textured magnetic print surface. Therefore a scraper should technically not be needed. As you can see in the final slideshow pictures, the 3D printer is rather small and does not require much assembly.

Creality Ender 2 Pro Review Assembly and Setup

The Creality Ender 2 Pro FDM 3D Printer is packaged with multiple sub-assemblies. Following the included instruction manual is simple and straightforward. Only a few screws and wire connections are required. After the printer is bolted and connected a few adjustments are typically required and suggested. All three axis use V-Slot aluminum extrusions and V-Slot rollers. The axis brackets include Eccentric Nuts that are used to adjust the friction/tightness of the rollers.

Additionally it is a good idea to ensure all of the screws and nuts are tight prior to use. This includes the frame screws as well as the set screws for the gears, pulleys and motor shaft couplers. All of them can be tightened with the metric allen keys that are included with the Creality Ender 2 Pro 3D Printer.

Typically 3D printers are test assembled and operated prior to packaging and shipment. Ideally the Z end stop sensor and bed leveling/tramming is perfect upon assembly. However, this is rarely the case. Therefore the sensor and bed level must be adjusted. Neither is very difficult and many video tutorials exist. Below a few are listed.

  • Eccentric nut adjustment YouTube Video
  • Leveling Tramming Bed Videos – ONETWO – There are many more tutorials – Try a few – Don’t give up or assume you need auto bed leveling!
  • Teaching Tech Printer Calibration Site
  • Bob Modrow’s Ender 2 Pro Cura Slicer Profile (4.13.1) – Inov3D Slicer Profiles

Creality Ender 2 Pro Review Cura Slicer Setup

Cura 4.11 was my active slicer when I assembled the Creality Ender 2 Pro. There was not a PRO machine cura slicer profile yet; I used the older Creality Ender 2 option. This required editing the newer print volume and ensuring 1.75mm was the filament diameter. Examining the default profiles created revealed they are is typical for Creality 3D printers. Jerk is enabled at 8mm/s.

Starting with the original Creality Ender 2 profile, I made my typical tweaks to the Cura slicer profile. Despite the shorter bowden tube, using retraction lengths and speeds similar to Creality Ender 3 size machines are required. After changing just a handful of settings I was able to print quality figures, even before performing any machine calibrations or material tweaks.

Ender 2 Pro’s easier assembly, smaller moving bed, minimal slicer tweaks and part orientation resulted created impressive print stock straight out of the box.

Test Printing while doing the bed leveling/tramming was straightforward. Cura with my custom profile was used to print the popular 3DBenchy and my own custom test piece.

Creality Ender 2 Pro Figure Printing

Below are some detailed figure prints from various sources. All pieces were printed on the Ender 2 Pro using Cura and a slightly modified cura slicer profile. If you are interested in a particular model and can not find it for sale, attempt to contact the artist directly. Tell them Bob Modrow and Inov3D sent you.

Just Woke Up Figure – Sized up to 1:10

Artist: Akash SinghArtstation – Personal Purchase
Cuts: This figure included three pieces – Lower base, pillows and female figure
Comments: Though ideal for resin printing, she did print very nicely at 1:10 / 180mm and miniature scale.

 

Ender2Pro WokeUp 00

Crusader 1:10 Resized Figure

Artist: STL ProjectCGtrader – Test Print for the Artist
Material – GST3D Silver PLA+
Cuts: This figure has multiple cuts to assist with printing and painting.
Comments: Although challenging, all the parts and weapons are printed well with the FDM Creality Ender 2 Pro. Sanding and prepping for paint will improve the quality even more.

Ender2Pro Crusader 00

MK 1:10 Resized Figure

Artist: Bruno GCGTrader – Test Print for the Artist
Material – GST3D Violet PLA+
Cuts: This figure has multiple cuts to assist with printing and painting.
Comments: Printing this fanart figure was straightforward. FDM support damage was minimal and easily hidden at the rear of the figure’s body parts.

Ender2Pro MK 00

Ekdahl 1:6 Figure

Artist: GSculpt Art – Patreon – Patreon Model Release
Material – Enote Rainbow PLA
Cuts: This figure has multiple cuts to assist with printing and painting.
Comments: Printing this figure with (slow) color changing rainbow plastic was fun. She has alot of fine details on her armor and interesting Dragon Head sword hilts.

Ender2Pro Ekdah 00

Creality Ender 2 Pro Review Possible Upgrades

Although I typically review 3D printers completely stock, this Creality Ender 2 Pro was assembled using replacement yellow bed springs. This is a common upgrade when printers are shipped with weak (silver) springs. Past experience has resulted in the bed wheels moving using the stock springs on a Creality Ender 5. Additionally silicone spacers are now being used as an alternative to springs. Since I do not have any immediate upgrade plans, I did not wish to struggle keeping the bed leveled/trammed.

Eventually we may wish to modify the Creality Ender 2 Pro FDM 3D Printer. Below is a list of some changes I may perform. Most of them are easy and don’t require major changes or firmware upgrades.

  • Extruder – Stock style all metal extruder – Stock plastic extruder arms often crack over time even with proper usage
  • ExtruderDual gear style – Official or clone BMG style extruders are very popular. E-Step will need to be modified
  • Bowden TubeConnectors – The included style of tube connectors require a plastic clip to secure the bowden. They also wear out relatively quick. Upgraded versions with metal grip teeth are cheap and easily obtained. The included wrench is required.
  • Bowden TubeBrand – Authentic Capricorn brand tubing is very popular. Most people consider this an upgrade. Some point out that the inner diameter is smaller and can cause extra friction. The included wrench and a cutter is required.
  • Print Surface – Other types of printing surfaces are available include PEI coated flexible magnetic sheets. The stock print surface works great with PLA and PLA+ in my opinion.
  • HotendPart Cooling and Nozzle Visibility – Printing a replacement hotend shroud and fan nozzles may improve print quality. Additionally an alternative shroud could improve hotend visibility and access for maintenance.This type of change requires 3D prints, partial disassembly and maybe a few extra screws and nuts.
  • HotendVisibility Alternative Idea – One owner on Facebook modified his hotend shroud. To improve nozzle visibility, they simply cut out the front red V-shape in the stock plastic shroud. It’s a permanent change, but a simple one!
  • HotendMore Fans – While printing a new shroud, some may consider adding an additional or bigger fan. At the same time dual or wrap around fan nozzles can improve print quality, especially for overhangs and bridging. This will require some disassembly, purchasing fans and splicing wires. Be sure to unplug the printer!!
  • Thread Z-RodReplacement – Sometimes the threaded rods for the Z-axis are bent from the manufacturer. This typically results in Z-branding lines and/or other quality issues. Replacing the rod with a new straight one can fix many quality issues. This simply requires the included Allen keys and some lightweight oil.
  • Threaded Z-RodUpgrade – Finer thread pitches are available for the type of rods used with 3D printers. One style is twice as fine as the standard models. Therefore, it takes twice as many revolutions to move the same Z amount. This may provide improved vertical quality of your prints, especially smaller, miniature or engineering models. Installing a finer pitch rod requires changing the steps for the Z-axis.
  • FansQUIETER – The fans on the Ender 2 Pro are rather loud with a high pitch whine. Personally I find them annoying and I will be changing them out soon. This will require disassembly, fan purchases and possible wire splicing.
  • Z-HeightModification – One possible change is am considering is making the Z-axis 400mm tall. This requires a longer piece of aluminum extrusion, a longer threaded rod, longer wire splicing, and firmware editing. I have all the parts to make this modification. At this time I’m not sure if the firmware is open source and editable. Worse case, a different main board would be required to make this change.

These are the changes I’m considering and/or have the spare parts for. Additional modifications are always possible. Yet they may not improve print quality or be cost efficient. Before considering machine revisions, learn about your machine, calibrate it and enjoy if for awhile! One of my biggest mistakes a few years ago, was modifying my first machine before I finished calibrating it.

Where To Buy The Creality Ender 2 Pro

Ender 2 Pro FDM 3D Printer Review Final Thoughts

Creality’s Ender 2 Pro FDM 3D printer is smaller than the common Ender3 and Prusa sized FDM machines. However, that does not mean it is limited as a starter or kid’s model. Smaller machines are perfectly acceptable UNTIL you need a bigger print volume. While the Ender 2 Pro may not have every modern feature available, it is priced well for its features and build volume. (Obviously current prices will vary depending on your location and over time.)

This printer requires minimal assembly and has less moving parts with the cantilever design. The smaller bed with the magnetic bed surface is also lighter than 220×220 (and larger) beds that often use textured glass surfaces. Theoretically this compact model can create projects with higher quality and less ghosting (which is partially cause by the bed’s weight and inertia).

All testing and printers used the Creality Ender 2 Pro straight out the box without additional calibration. Personally, I found the quality equal and slightly better than any of my twenty (20) larger FDM printers. Fully calibrating the machine, using yellow bed springs and adding a metal or dual gear extruder should improve quality even further. Overall, I intent to keep using my Creality Ender 2 Pro and perhaps buy a second one.

 

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