You may have heard about the CR6-SE when it was launched on Kickstarter last May, the project had reached over $4 million with more than 10,000 contributors.
Sold for 265$ for the flash sales, and up to 339$, that is to say between 220€ and 280€ for those having pre-ordered it via Kickstarter, we find today this 3D printer around 350$/295€ on the Official Creality website.
On paper this machine is relatively interesting, equipped with a self-levelling sensor, a silent motherboard, a touch screen and a printing area of 235x235x250mm, it is a pre-assembled machine, which will require almost no modifications.
Here are the main features of the machine :
– Printing area 235x235x250mm (Ultrabase platen)
– Self-leveling sensor
– 32bits silent card
– 4.3 inch touch screen
– Extruder type Bowden
– X and Y belt tensioners
– Dual Z-axis motor (with synchronization belt)
– Carrying handle / tool storage drawer
One would be tempted to compare it with the new Ender 3 V2, sold for about $100 less, which has no self-leveling sensor, no touch screen, a silent 8-bit motherboard, and only one motor for the Z-axis. Personally, I think this price difference is justified, I haven’t had the opportunity to try this 3 v2 ender yet, but I can already tell you that I was pleasantly surprised by the CR6-SE!
Let’s go to unpacking the Creality CR6-SE
The packaging protects well the machine, which is broken down into 2 parts, all components being partially assembled, it will take about 10min to assemble it, no need to be a great handyman, this type of machine is perfectly suitable for a beginner!
The components and the structure seem to be of quality, with a nice finish, it gives the impression of a higher quality product than a simple Ender 3 (first version).
First use of the Creality CR6-SE
Once the machine is assembled, check that the belts are tight, and also check the bearings of the different axes, you can adjust the eccentrics to reduce their play. Also check the head and the platen, they must be stable.
Once these checks are done, one last step before you make your first impression!
You have to launch the calibration procedure of the tray, by going to the “leveling” menu. The nozzle will press on 16 points of the plate, it takes about 2 minutes, this step is essential !
When you start printing, if you notice that the nozzle is too close to the platter (or too far away) you can adjust the distance by changing the value of the “Z-offset” in the leveling menu, I had to change the initial value from 0.20 to 0.30.
It’s useless to do this every time you print, I do it every 5-6 prints.
Now it’s time to make a first impression with the CR6-SE!
Creality provides several example gcode files on the SD card, before you want to launch your own templates, I strongly advise you to print one of these templates, in order to make sure that the machine works properly.
Note: you may have read recommendations for additional checks to be done on forums or youtube videos, especially concerning the power supply, especially the power button, some of them recommend to disassemble the machine to check the connections, or even to replace a component. Indeed for some series coming from Kickstarter commands (and only kickstarter), this check is necessary, however if you ordered your machine via Amazon or the Official Creality website, it is useless, Creality having identified all the machines that could be concerned and corrected the problem.
Here is my very first print made with the Creality CR6-SE
I have to say that I’m particularly impressed, the print is just perfect, I’ve rarely had such clean first impressions, you can hardly see the print layers. The print quality is far superior to other Creality printers I’ve tried, and yet it’s generally pretty good. Maybe it is also due to the filament supplied with the machine (a 1kg spool of the Creality brand).
Here are all the other gcode files provided on the SD card I printed.
Slicer configuration for CR6-SE
I have been using Prusa Slicer for some time now for all my printers. Prusa has added since several versions of the beta profiles for the Creality machines, it works pretty well without any particular settings.
Here is the profile used for my tests, I chose the Ender 3 printer model, I didn’t modify anything !
Other prints made with the CR6-SE
Here is the first impression made with my profile, I have a quality similar to what I got with the example gcode files provided on the card, so it’s pretty good! Printing with a layer height of 0.15mm.
Here is the second impression made always with this same profile, in animated version.
Another print in progress, just to see the efficiency of the self-levelling sensor on the whole surface of the tray, and it’s quite conclusive, just as efficient as a BL Touch.
Finally a small slideshow of other prints made with the CR6-SE
To conclude, what about this CR6-SE? A good machine?
After about a hundred hours of printing, I am very satisfied with this machine, really easy to handle, it will suit a total beginner in 3D printing.
I could say that it’s clearly the best machine I could test this year, it would deserve the “coup de coeur 2020” badge 😉
The printer is relatively quiet, even if you can still hear (a little) the ventilation, it’s much quieter than a classic Ender3.
After a few prints I noticed a small quality drop in my prints, with “wobble” effects, it turns out that the problem was coming from the platen whose screws I hadn’t tightened during assembly, so it’s imperative to check these points before using the machine.
On the price side, we’re more around 300€ than 200€, but it’s clearly justified, if you want to be quiet and have this budget you can go there with your eyes closed, if you prefer to spend less an Ender3 will always remain a very good alternative.
For the moment I don’t see any particular improvement to be made, or maybe just at the level of the tray, to install a metal magnetic tray with PEI surface, because I have a preference now for this type of tray, but this original ultrabase tray does the job very well for the moment!
If you are interested in this machine, I advise you to buy it directly from Creality, on their official store, they have stock in Europe most of the time (maybe less at this time, Christmas shopping period), or else via Amazon if you prefer the Amazon after-sales/advantages.
Thanks to Creality for sending me this machine to present it to you today.