You may have heard of the CR6-SE when it was launched on Kickstarter last May, the project having reached more than 4 million dollars with more than 10 000 contributors.
Sold for $265 for the fastest, and up to $339, or between €220 and €280 for those who pre-ordered it via Kickstarter, this 3D printer can now be found for around $350/€295 on the official Creality website.
On paper this machine is quite interesting, equipped with a self-levelling sensor, a silent motherboard, a touch screen and a 235x235x250mm printing surface, it is a pre-assembled machine, which will need almost no modification.
Here are the main features of the machine:
– 235x235x250mm printing area (Ultrabase tray)
– Self-levelling sensor
– 32bit silent card
– 4.3 inch touch screen
– Bowden type extruder
– X and Y belt tensioners
– Dual Z-axis motor (with timing belt)
– Carrying handle / tool storage drawer
One is tempted to compare it with the new Ender 3 V2, which is about $100 cheaper, has no self-levelling sensor, a non-touch screen, a quiet 8-bit motherboard, and only one Z-axis motor. Personally, I think this price difference is justified, I haven’t had the opportunity to try this ender 3 v2 yet, but I can already tell you that I was pleasantly surprised by the CR6-SE!
Let’s go to the unpacking of the Creality CR6-SE
The packaging protects the machine well, which is broken down into 2 parts, all the 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 good quality, with a nice finish, it gives the impression of a higher end 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 plate, they must be stable.
Once these checks have been carried out, there is one last step before launching your first print!
You must launch the calibration procedure of the plate, by going to the “leveling” menu. The nozzle will perform a pressure on 16 points of the plate, this takes about 2 minutes, this step is essential!
When you start printing, if you notice that the nozzle is too close to the plate (or too far away) you can adjust the distance by changing the value of the “Z-offset” in the leveling menu, for my part I had to change the initial value from 0.20 to 0.30.
There is no need to do this every print, I do it every 5-6 prints.
Now it’s time for the first print with the CR6-SE!
Creality provides several example gcode files on the SD card, before you start printing your own models, I strongly advise you to print one of these models, to make sure the machine works properly.
Note: you may have read recommendations for additional checks to be carried out on forums or youtube videos, particularly concerning the power supply, and more particularly the power button, some recommend dismantling the machine to check the connections, or even replacing a component. Indeed, for some series from Kickstarter orders (and only Kickstarter), this check is necessary, but if you ordered your machine via Amazon or the official Creality website, it is unnecessary, Creality has identified all the machines that could be affected and corrected the problem.
Here is my first impression of the Creality CR6-SE
I must say that I am particularly bluffed, the printing is just perfect, I rarely had such clean first prints, you can hardly see the layers of printing. The print quality is far superior to other Creality printers I have tried, and yet it is generally quite good. Perhaps this is also related to the filament supplied with the machine (a 1kg Creality reel).
Here are all the other gcode files provided on the SD card that I printed.
Slicer configuration for the CR6-SE
I have been using Prusa Slicer for some time now for all my printers. Prusa has added “beta” profiles for the Creality machines since several versions, it works quite well without making any particular adjustments.
Here is the profile used for my tests, I chose the Ender 3 printer model, I did not modify anything!
Other prints made with the CR6-SE
Here is the first print made with my profile, I have a quality similar to what I had obtained with the example gcodes files provided on the card, so it’s a good sign! Print with a layer height of 0.15mm.
Here is the second printout made with the same profile, in an animated version.
Another printout in progress, just to see the efficiency of the self-levelling sensor on the whole surface of the board, and it’s quite conclusive, just as efficient as a BL Touch.
Finally a small slideshow of other impressions made with the CR6-SE
To conclude, what can we say 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 is clearly the best machine I could test this year, it would deserve the badge “coup de coeur 2020” 😉
The printer is relatively quiet, even if you can still hear the fan (a little), it is much quieter than a classic Ender3.
After a few prints I noticed a small drop in quality in my prints, with “wobble” effects, it turns out that the problem came from the plate whose screws I had not tightened at assembly, it is therefore imperative to check these points before using the machine.
As for the price, it’s more around 300€ than 200€, but it’s clearly justified, if you want to be safe and have this budget you can go with your eyes closed, if you prefer to spend less an Ender3 will always remain a very good alternative.
For the time being I don’t see any particular improvement to be made, or maybe just the platter, to install a magnetic metal platter with PEI surface, as I have a preference now for this type of platter, but this original ultrabase platter is doing very well for the moment!
If you are interested in this machine, I advise you to buy it directly from Creality, on their official shop: CR-6 SE (Creality Official Store), they have stock in Europe most of the time (maybe less at this time, Christmas shopping period), or via Amazon: CR-6 SE (Amazon FR) if you prefer the service/benefits of Amazon.