Officially released in 2018, the Ender-3 series raised the bar for budget 3D printers and became a go-to for everyone from professionals to beginners. In particular, the Ender-3 Neo series, released in early August, surpasses its best-selling predecessor on the market and aims to provide 3D printing enthusiasts with a significantly improved user experience. This official buying guide from Creality walks you through the nuances of the Neo Series specs and guides you to the one that’s right for you.
Ender-3 Neo Series with Bowden Extruders
As the “Neo” suffix suggests, the Ender-3 Neo series is the next iteration of the original Ender-3, Ender-3 Pro, Ender-3 V2, and Ender-3 Max. Like its predecessors, the Neo printers will maintain a clean design, open source compatibility, powerful performance and an affordable price.
A long-standing myth about cheap 3D printers is that they often sacrifice performance for low cost, which is certainly not true of Neo printers. The Ender-3 Neo series is equipped with an upgraded all-metal Bowden extruder and corrugated heat sink for fast heat dissipation and print speeds of up to 120mm/s. All three Neo printers feature the CR-Touch automatic bed leveling system, not available on previous versions, for a hassle-free leveling experience. If you’re worried about a sudden power outage, the Neo series’ resume print function will ensure you print correctly without wasting consumables or time.
If you’re looking for a high-performance, affordable 3D printer, the Ender-3 V2 Neo might be a good choice. Equipped with a PC spring steel magnetic build plate, it adheres well to the model and the print can be removed with just a slight bend. The unique sliced model preview feature built into the user interface system means you can see the exact shape of the model you want to print.
It is also suitable for beginners. With a few pre-installed parts, assembly requires just three steps: with the spool holder, gantry, and screen installed, you can experience your first print right away.
With all the useful features above, the Ender-3 V2 Neo is only $299, which is $20 more than the original Ender-3 V2 and almost half the price of the CR-Touch Auto Level Sensor Kit. If you’re looking for a high-performance FDM printer under $300, this printer might be a good choice.
For large printer enthusiasts, the most anticipated Ender-3 Max Neo may be the first choice. The 300 x 300 x 320mm build volume allows you to easily print larger models or more parts at once. The Ender-3 Max Neo is equipped with two Z-axis and motors to provide high stability and precision in 3D printing. Like the other two Neos, it supports filaments including PLA, ABS, and PETG.
Due to the large build volume, a filament sensor is installed to detect the suitability of consumables, increasing your success rate. It also integrates a high-quality 350W built-in power supply, making the printer safer and more reliable. For this constant workhorse, it’s only $399. You can get $30 off if you buy it from the official Creality store.
Do you only need the base version of the Neo series? The Ender-3 Neo is your choice. It features a silicon carbide glass build plate similar to the Ender-3 Max Neo for easy cleaning. It has all the basic features that a Neo printer should have and is the first choice for DIY enthusiasts. It’s also worth noting that it’s priced at just $219. If you’re hesitating to buy your first 3D printer, this might be the one to try at the lowest cost.
Neo or S1?
If you prefer a direct extruder that unlocks more filament possibilities and want to take your 3D printing experience to the next level, the Ender-3 S1 series (Ender-3 S1, Ender-3 S1 Pro, Ender -3 S1 Plus) could be your go-to. Favourite. Equipped with Chuangxiang’s independently developed “Sprite” all-metal double-gear direct extruder, the 3D printing experience has stronger extrusion force and more choices of wire materials such as TPU. With dual Z-axis and print speed up to 150mm/s, the S1 series offers you high-quality printing. It also allows for color add-ons, including laser engraving modules, water cooling systems, and lightbar kits.
As of now, the Neo series with Bowden extruders and the S1 series with direct extruders make up the latest Ender-3 fleet. If you’re having trouble deciding which series to choose, keep in mind that the main difference between the Neo and S1 series is the type of extruder and the price. If you prefer a budget-friendly printer with an easy-to-maintain Bowden extruder, the Neo series is for you. If you’re looking for high-quality printing and prefer direct extruders compatible with more flexible filaments, the S1 series is worth considering.
Both the Neo and S1 collections are available at store.creaity.com in the US and store.creaity.com/de in European countries. There are various discounts to explore in our official store above. If you’re interested in resin printers, Creality is promoting the HALOT-ONE PLUS for $399 with a $60 discount. Products are also available on Amazon and other affiliated reseller stores.