Creality CR-10s Review

Note: I  want to thank Gearbest for sending this 3D Printer to me.  I was not paid to do this review, but I had the printer sent to me to try out, for free.

Let me start out with “The hype is real”. Seriously, the Creality CR-10s has earned its reputation as an great affordable 3D Printer for good reason.   The CR-10s is a refinement of the CR10 that has been very popular this past year. I featured it several weeks ago in a preview and live build.  Previous to this printer, my experience has been with kit printers. Going from a printer that takes most of a day to put together to one that takes less than an hour is a revelation.  I was sent this printer by Gearbest, but I was not compensated in any other way.  This was sent to review and talk about, to help others make a decision about what 3D Printer to buy.  Finally, he CR-10s is also going to be put in my 3D Printer buying guide.

I spent an hour and a half assembling this printer live. If I had been doing offline, by myself, it would have been more about 30-45 minutes. The printer instructions are not great, but the printer is pretty simple to put together. You unpack the parts. Then bolt the upright onto the base. On either side of the upright goes a brace that attaches to the extrusions with t-nuts. The electronics are all labeled with flags showing where they attach to the CR10. It makes the printer simple to assemble over all. The only real issue I had was with the filament runout sensor. It is not included in the instructions. I was able to put it together properly, though. I got the printer together, powered it on, and put in their supplied filament and did a few prints. It just worked. I really like that the CR10s went together so well, and easily.

Warlayer Wargame terrain - printed CR10s (10 of 10)

I have a number of “complaints” about this 3D Printer, but I want to say, they are ALL pretty minor. I am not unhappy with this printer at all (except it really could be quieter, that is my biggest complaint). From a more technical view, I hooked up a power meter to the outlet. It tells me the average power draw of the printer is 121 W. It peaks up around 285W and then goes down to around 70W when the bed is not heating. At my energy rates, running this for 20 hours a day, 30 days a month is less than $6. One of my other annoyances is how long the bed takes to heat up. I’ve timed the bed at 5 minutes and the print head at 2 minutes. So, basically 7 minutes to begin printing. This is a definite negative to me, but it is not a big deal.

Probably the only real flaw I saw, was with the filament runout sensor. I printed the Eiffel Tower for my daughter, for Christmas. It mostly turned out great, except where the sensor told the printer that the filament had run out. (It hadn’t). It left a weak layer bond with a seam that eventually broke off. From my research, this does not sound like an isolated incident. Earlier in the print, I had also found the sensor had come loose from its attachment point, and that could have potentially caused a problem. Since then, I have just left the sensor off. I use OctoPi for my printing, and it does not have access to the filament runout sensor. Having looked around the CR10 Facebook groups, it looks like many people have problems with the run-out sensor and there are printable mounts for it as well as many people advising to just not use it at all. I’ve more recently run into a problem with the cooling fan in the control box. It has started squealing when turned on. After running for a few seconds it quiets down how it should. This is going to be something I have to replace to make sure it functions well. While this is a forced upgrade, I had already planned on installing a quieter fan there.

Warlayer Wargame terrain - printed CR10s Damaged WallI know, these are a number of problems with the printer. And really, it isn’t perfect. But it just works great. I think that is the key. It has a large build volume. The material it puts down looks good. It has clean layers, and .2 mm looks good, .15mm looks great. The Eiffel Tower I talked about earlier, I did at .1mm and it looked outstanding and took almost 2 days to print. The print quality of the CR10s is outstanding, out of the box. My biggest issue came from stringing, and it was a big problem for a while. I am not 100% sure if my other printer does not tell me a good temperature but I had to drop hot end temperatures way down. I also had to increase retracion a bit. This is something that can be tuned, and just something to keep an eye out for.

Wargame terrain - printed CR10s - ContainerMy first print was the Containment Container from Warlayer, which Greg_FL dubbed the wargame terrain benchy. Other than the stringing mentioned above, this model turned out outstanding. From then on, I have had a lot of great prints. Almost all failures I have seen are due to me. One of the biggest reasons, is I forget to put more hairspray on the glass plate. Hairspray seems to last about 4 or 5 prints. After that, I need to put more down to get the prints to stick. I do think a good PEI sheet would help here, as well. There is also an issue with he glass plate warping. I have seen this with my plate, but it is pretty minor. Usually, I can get the first layer to stick well, despite the variation. Something else I really like about this 3D Printer, is that it feels solid. The control box, the frame, the movement of the bed and hot end. All of that just feels good when used.

I’ve really enjoyed using the Creality CR-10s 3D Printer. It has quickly replaced my older printer as my go-to printer. While it has some problems, they are not overwhelming or detract too much from how well this 3D Printer functions. With a 300mm x 300mm x 400mm build volume, you can create some very large 3D prints or even batch together several prints at once and let it print for a long period of time. At this price point, you get a lot from this 3D Printer. Since this printer is so popular, there are a number of mods, recommendations, and message boards to help old and new owners alike. If this is in your budget, you can’t go wrong with the Creality CR-10s. You’ll have a solid 3D printer that is easy to assemble and works out of the box.  Again, I want to thank Gearbest for sending this printer over for review. Watch for a forthcoming CR10s vs Tevo Tornado shootout.  

3D Printed Terrain from the CR-10s: