Real User 3d printer reviews

I thought it would be useful to have a collection of reviews from people that actually own and use 3d printers. Like anything else they all look confusingly the same until you start using them and only then do you see the things you wish you had looked at before you bought one.
I have written out a list of ‘items’ that you can use as a guide, you don’t have to follow it but do so if it helps your thought process.
I’ve put in ‘Price Range’ but as this varies from country to country feel free to put in a specific price in your money, or just a vague cheap, moderate, or bloody hell the wife/husband is going to kill me for this.
Edit: Please put in your experiences ‘warts and all’, even simple things can be important. I’m remembering a few things now about the Up that I should edit into my review.

Brand:
Model:
Type:
Price Range:
Build Volume:
Enclosure:
Print Platform:
Print Resolution:
No of Heads:
Connection:
Materials:
Software:

Ease of Setup:

Ease of Use:

Print Quality:

Print Accuracy:

Pros:

Cons:

General Impression:

Anything Else:

6 Likes

Brand: Up
Model: Mini (original, quite old now)
Type: FDM
Price Range: 600 AUD One previous owner, not cheap when new.
Build Volume: 4.7” x 4.7” x 4.7” / 120 x 120 x 120mm
Enclosure: Yes
Print Platform: Sprung self leveling perforated metal, heated
Print Resolution: Min Layer 0.2mm (200 microns) Extruder Nozzle 0.4mm
No of Heads: One
Connection: USB (can disconnect once print sent)
Materials: 1.75mm ABS, PLA
Software: Tiertime UpStudio

Ease of Setup: Take it out of the box connect a few bits and away you go, pretty much plug and play, no putting it together.

Ease of Use: Load your model in the software, rotate/scale/move/duplicate etc choose resolution settings, click print. Very straight forward.

Print Quality: PLA prints come out with a nice fine smooth glossy surface that require little finishing, layers will always be visible but the finer you go the smaller they are.
ABS tends to want finishing, a light sand or wash with acetone or both can give you an extremely nice finish.

Print Accuracy: Shrinkage is an issue with most printers and it happens with this one too, but it is generally uniform. As for tracking accuracy, I haven’t had any issues with it running out of alignment on any axis.

Pros: Very easy to use, plug and play and click to print. Compact and enclosed form factor, people mistake it for a coffee machine. Easily changeable parts. Easily accessible parts, for example the print head is held in with magnets and one electrical plug so can be removed for cleaning very quickly. Good dedicated software.

Cons: Build volume is a bit small. No restart at layer if there has been a print failure, so one error on a layer and you throw it away and start again. No material sensors, if it blocks it just keeps going, if it runs out of filament it just keeps going, if a layer hasn’t stuck it keeps going creating a horrible mess of plastic birds nest. (to be fair not many printers spot the birdnest problem)
Tends to only work well with specific Tiertime materials, other ones can be very problematic which can be annoying as there are some very nice materials available now. Doesn’t have the ability to adjust the support enough, can cause problems with some models that need to be printed ‘without support’.

General Impression: A nice simple printer that just works. Good software and easy to use. Good for a beginner while complex enough for someone more experienced. Easy presets of Fast, Normal and Fine with the ability to tweak the settings for more advanced users. Originally rather expensive but I think the newer models have come down in price relatively speaking. Newer models certainly have more features. If I didn’t have access to larger printers I would feel a bit restricted by its size and limited material choice. A very handy tool to have in the corner of the workshop for all those small items you just need (in a few hours after you have designed and printed them).

Anything Else: Although the printer tends to just work as expected, when it doesn’t it can be quite frustrating. I have had times where it would not print properly with ABS but would with PLA and other times the opposite.
Whenever powered on it is making noise, it has several quite loud fans, then you add the printing noise on top of that.
It doesn’t have an auto shutdown either, so if you set it to run overnight it can be sitting there running for many hours after the print has finished.
ABS is very smelly and there is no provision for any sort of extractor. PLA not so smelly.
It does help to be within earshot of it because it makes a telltale clicking noise on the odd occasions when the nozzle blocks or you get a flaw in the filament, the ticking noise is the feed gear chewing on the filament because it has stopped moving.
After some pretty heavy use over a few years it has started to fail, I could probably rebuild/replace the relevant parts to get it back to new but those parts are about as expensive as buying a new different printer. It’s been a good printer but it might be time for it to go to make room for a larger build volume and a double head.

image

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Great idea Box, I’m in the don’t have one but very tempted crowd, the report at the end I’d like to see is
With my hard won experience this is what I’d buy today

Dan

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Yeah, that’s pretty much what this thread is about but the problem is ‘what I’d buy’ may not be what ‘you’d buy’ even with my experience as your priorities can be quite different. I’m looking to get all sorts of experiences thrown together in one place se we can go through and evaluate certain options that may be of interest to each of us independently.
Must admit my ‘review’ is a bit too ‘Normal’ I need to edit it and add in more of the idiosyncrasies of the printer. They are the important things, not just the tech specs.

Love this idea! I’m in!!

Brand: Elegoo
Model: Mars
Type: Resin (SLA)
Price Range: $150 - $180
Build Volume: 120 x 68 x 155 mm (4.7 x 2.6 x 6.1 inches)
Enclosure: yes
Print Platform: yes? SLA… so… nothing special here
Print Resolution: 0.025 mm
No of Heads: LCD screen and removable resin tank instead
Connection: usb flash drive
Materials: resin
Software: Chitubox

Ease of Setup: SUPER easy. Literally printing out of the box. But, as with all 3D printing, there is always tweaking and fine tuning g to be done!

Ease of Use: Chitubox makes it pretty easy to get good looking prints with the automatic settings. Fine tuning the support settings is the art form that must be mastered to get the best possible prints!

Print Quality: insane. I really cannot believe the detail that can be accomplished with this little printer!

Print Accuracy: as above, just great. I love FDM printing, but SLA takes away many of the issues I had with accuracy. No prints slipping or deformation due to material expanding or shrinking.

Pros: easy to use and beautiful prints

Cons: small build volume and resin printing is a mess. Resin gets everywhere (and tastes terrible). Post processing includes watching in 99% Isopropyl alcohol and curing under UV lights. Post printing can be as much if not more work than the printing itself.

General Impression: Love it! I do a lot of miniature work where FDM would not be able to add sufficient detail. The Mars does an amazing job!

Anything Else: the Mars was a great way to try out SLA printing. Cheap and a super small footprint.

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Though frequently tempted, I don’t own a 3D printer yet. I will be very interested to see what people report here. Thanks, @Box !

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Just these two points are reason enough to have started this thread. I was thinking support wouldn’t be an issue with SLA, but then you think about it and of course it all still needs to be connected. It needs the 5 axis 3d laser setup to harden the resin in place to avoid supports.

And having worked with resin a lot I can understand the post process and can happily avoid it.

Thanks Aaron

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Thank YOU for diving in here! If this is getting too off topic let me know and I can remove it. While I am enjoying resin printing, I do miss the sturdy, functional results of FDM. As I am sort of smitten with Elegoo right now, I was thinking of giving their FDM printer a try… I wonder if anyone here as used the Elegoo Neptune 2?

Reviews seem good and for only $160 it seems like an option for beginners (or cheapskates like me).

2 Likes

Brand: Creality
Model: Ender 3 Pro
Type: FDM
Price Range: ± 300 CAD
Build Volume: 8.6” x 8.6” x 9.8” / 220 x 220 x 250mm
Enclosure: No stock enclosure. Although I built one to maintain stable temp.
Print Platform: Heated (max 110˚C), sprung manual leveling via 4 corner adjusting wheels. Stock bed is removable magnetic flexible print surface, but I print exclusively on a glass sheet.
Print Resolution: Min Layer 0.1 mm (so it says, I’ve never printed less than .12mm) stock extruder nozzle 0.4mm (accepts .2-.8)
No of Heads: One
Connection: Micro SD card slot, mini USB port.
Materials: 1.75mm PLA, ABS, TPU, (PLA Wood, PLA Metal, Carbon fiber with nozzle change)
Software: Cura

Ease of Setup: The Ender 3 comes with assembly required. The base, with the bed and Y axis is assembled in the box but the frame, gantry, screw drive, stepper motors, and extruder as well as belts and power supply and other bits n bobs all need to be carefully assembled and checked for square and operation. Asymmetric bearings on the moving wheel parts also need to be adjusted to fit snugly to the extruded aluminum tracks. There are limited instructions in the box, fortunately there is a lot of material online including build videos and lots of advice (a mixed bag) on calibration and assembly tips. Included in the box is a set of actually decent tools (mostly hex keys) to fit all parts of the printer (not Ikea throw away stuff) which is a nice touch, along with a few extras of some of the likely small parts to break or wear out.

I found the setup to be acceptable (for me it was fun). The hardware is good quality and the build quality if the unit in general is high. Holes line up as they should, threading is clean and the fit is good. I felt that I learned a lot about how the printer works in the assembly process that has served me well in the ongoing maintenance and repair over the life of the printer. That said, it does require care and some general knowledge of how to work with tools. It would be easy to strip one of the many small machine screws or to assemble any given part incorrectly that might damage the part or prevent smooth operation. It took me about 3 hours to assemble completely from a closed box, going slowly and carefully, and including adjusting the gantry a few times to make it square with the frame and adjusting the bed for level. In terms of frustration I rate it a “one beer build”, very low frustration level. However it is certainly not plug-and-play and I would not recommend this for younger folks without some help / supervision.

Ease of Use: On the software side the relationship with Cura is seamless. Once the printer profile is loaded into Cura it’s very easy to open a model, set some simple parameters and save the g-code to a micro SD, pop the SD card into the Printer and use the well designed menu system in via the onboard LCD to choose the right file and hit print. I appreciate that Cura allows me to quickly choose from some simple presets that got me up and printing with little knowledge on the first day, but also allows very detailed control of printing so as I’ve learned more I’ve been able to grow into more advanced settings. As I said I find the printer software menu well designed and intuitive and the single interface knob/button which rotates to move the selection and pushes to choose the selection is simple and effective. It’s a little like using an old casino digital watch where you need to remember the menu hierarchy in your head to navigate it, but it’s easy to remember or print out and hang on the wall.

Leveling The Bed. This printer is not auto bed leveling, which is a factor to consider. The user must manually adjust the bed to make sure it is square with the print head. At first the process feels awkward but with practice one gets better at it, and it becomes less frequently needed. The basic process is to disable the stepper motors and manually move the print head around the surface stopping at various places (particularly the 4 corners) to check that the print nozzle is the correct distance from the print surface. Bed too high and the print nozzle grinds into the bed, bed too low (too much gap) and the first layer fails to attach. I level using a piece of paper as a feeler gauge which I can quickly slide between the nozzle and the print surface. If the paper will not fit between then that corner of the bed is too high, it the paper slides effortlessly between the bed is low, when there is a slight drag on the paper but it fits it’s just right, anyone who has adjusted their own valves on an engine will understand. At first I would have to go all round the bed, adjusting and re-adjusting the corners as any change effects readings elsewhere on the bed, this can be annoying. I would also print out specific test patterns between each leveling session to check my work. Now I don’t do any of that, I can check level on the bed in under 5 min and once I check I just plow ahead with a print, no test necessary. I am using a glass plate build surface which I do not remove, this helps by being pretty flat and consistent, even so it’s not “perfect” but I have learned about how “perfect” it needs to be to get great prints without much bed leveling fuss. Initially I needed to level more often, probably a combination of things settling in and my nervousness, these days I can go weeks without leveling the bed, maybe once every 10 prints I’ll check and usually it’s good. There are digital leveling kits available as add ons for this printer, it’s a hall sensor that attaches to the print head and some software to run it that allows the printer to map the build surface and adjust to any z height changes automatically. I did consider adding this but as I’ve gotten better at leveling it’s just not enough of a problem to justify it for me.

Except… for clearing clogs or leaks at the hot end. This is one annoying part of the manual leveling, If I replace the nozzle for any reason, like a clog, then I do have to re-level as the height of the nozzle relative to the build plate might have changed with screwing in a new one. It makes having a clog a tiny bit more work to recover from, but really no biggie.

I have had to replace parts over the life span of the printer, usually with better parts. I upgraded to an all metal extruder body which works better than the plastic one it ships with. The Bowden tube setup had started moving in it’s end fittings eventually which effected retraction and messed with print quality, I put a better than stock tube in for less than $15 CAD, it’s been solid so far.

The printer is loud, when idle with fan noise and especially when printing the stepper motors play a whimsical tune quite loudly. Mine lives in a separate building so I don’t mind but I would not want to sleep in the same room as this thing. Because my shop building is an unheated shipping container I built an enclosure for the printer to keep a consistent temperature through the winter (and to avoid dust) I have a small thermostat hooked to a tiny heater that never lets the chamber get below 10˚C through the freezing winter. I get much better prints with the enclosure. In summer when it’s hot I switch the heater to a fan to keep the temp in the enclosure below 35˚C. I find anywhere between those two temps I print PLA very well.

As I live in the forest we loose power regularly, this printer has an auto restart function which will pick up right where it left of which is appreciated. However, there are no sensors for common print failures or running out of filament, so if there is an error the printer will keep plugging away and usually make an epic mess.

Print Quality: Over all I’ve been very impressed with the quality of this printer. Prints are clean and smooth, walls are straight and it always does better than I think it will at overhangs and unsupported spans. I print a Benchy every once in a while and they always come out without flaws, and are comparable up to ones from any other printer I have seen.

Print Accuracy: I am Happy with the accuracy. I have had some issues, that needed addressing like the loose Bowden tube and a slipping extruder which effected the print quality. But the printer is pretty modular and replacements are available. I currently have a dip in the bed travel which I have yet to diagnose, as it’s toward the back I’ve been able to print around it, I’ll look into that next. It does require looking after but when working it prints very well. So far has worked well with a wide variety of filament brands. I have pushed 10-12 rolls of filament through so far, or about 4000M.

Pros: Big Build Volume, relatively inexpensive, good quality prints, robust community and information available, lots of aftermarket upgrade support and replacement parts easily available. Quality build of frame, motors and mechanism, switchable power supply (110/220). power failure recovery, decent print speed, good interface, micro SD input is simple, no computer necessary to print.

Cons: Not plug-and-play. Manual bed leveling, some of the smaller parts of the printer are cheaply made to hit this price point and will need to be upgraded with any heavy use, loud, needs occasional looking after. Large object, will not fit easily on a desk, requires large enclosure.

General Impression: I’m very satisfied, not sure what more I could want in a printer, except dual print heads. Best for those who don’t mind a little tinkering, but that’s probably true for the whole field of 3D printing.

Anything Else: It has a picture of a dragon on the front, if you are into that sort of thing.

6 Likes

In the words of Mr Burns, Excellent.

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Brand: Artillery
Model: Sidewinder X1
Type: FDM
Price range: currently approx. $400
Build volume: 300mm x 300mm x 400mm (11,8" x 11,8" x 15,7")
Enclosure: no
Print platform: fast AC heated bed (max. 130°C), tempered glass
Leveling: manually, 4 large knobs at the bottom (4 corners)
Print resolution: down to 0,1 mm
Print speed: up to 150 mm/s (never tried it) and max. 250mm/s travel speed (never tried it too)
Extruder: direct drive extruder (Titan extruder)
Nozzle: comes with a 0,4mm Volcano nozzle
Endstops: inductive
No of heads: one
Connection: USB stick, USB type B port, SD card
Power: 110V or 220V variants
Materials (1,75mm filament): ABS (never tried it), PLA, PETG, TPU, …
Software: Cura (or others with gcode output)

Ease of Setup:
The printer comes in two parts (the website calls it “95% pre-assembled”). Only a few screws have to be fixed with the included tool and some ribbon cables have to be plugged in. It probably took me less than 30 minutes from unpacking to the first print (a sample model for the first print is already available on the included USB stick).
Additional accessories like spare parts for vulnerable parts (ribbon cables, lever for filament feeding, rollers for the linear guides, …) are included. Unitl now (nearly 1,5 years) I’ve not needed one of them.

Ease of Use:
All settings can be easily reached due to the TFT touch screen. I have no comparison to other systems, but I have no open wishes regarding operation, everything is easy to find and control. There is also a menu item for manual alignment of the printing plate, with which the four corners and the center can be directly approached with the nozzle. The adjustment through the large knobs on the bottom is then quickly done (not much longer than a minute in total). However, the alignment is also only rarely necessary (every few weeks), so overall it is not a problem.
To change the filament, heat up the nozzle manually via the menu and pinch off the filament with a side cutter 1-2cm above the extruder and pull out the rest. Then you put on a new spool, feed the filament through the sensor and directly into the extruder. All in all, this takes less than 2 minutes.

Print Quality:
I don’t print art, but mostly practical pieces where the last bit of quality doesn’t matter in the end. That’s why I haven’t played around too much with different settings and made series of measurements to determine ideal or optimized parameters. Nevertheless, I am usually positively surprised by the quality. I’m sure you can increase the quality further, but I don’t see any reason to do so for my applications and save myself the time needed for this.
Overall, in my experience, the printing speed plays a big role. If you allow a little more time and print more slowly, the result is usually much nicer.
I can only share @endlessfix 's positive impressions regarding overhangs, it is sometimes impressive how well problematic printing situations are mastered by the printers.

Print Accuracy:
Many of my printed parts have a mechanical purpose as a goal. Therefore, it often depends on a corresponding accuracy. From my point of view, high reproducibility is important, and this is well given. Over time, you develop a feeling for what tolerances you should consider for certain purposes when modeling (e.g. 0.1 - 0.2mm allowance for a nut to fit well in an opening), so you can achieve very good accuracy over time.

Pros:
The printer is very silent (even better with a heavy stone added, idea from Stefan). The printer is right next to me on the desk, yet it doesn’t bother me while listening to music, watching videos, …
It has several types of error detection, although I haven’t really needed or tested them yet (power failure, filament runout sensor) and recovery.
The cable management through ribbon cables are described as negative by many reviews. I cannot confirm that. They have worked without problems since the beginning and do not give the impression that this would change. They look very tidy and clean compared to many otherwise common “air wiring”. For emergencies, even spare cables are included, so I could easily swap them as well.

Cons:
The spool holder at the top of the z-axis can probably become a problem at higher prints due to the mechanical load and the resulting vibrations. However, I have not yet observed a problem here at my mostly smaller prints. If that really became a problem, you could of course always attach the spool externally, the direct extruder doesn’t care where the filament is fed from.
At the beginning, the adhesion of the first layer to the glass plate was good. Over time, however, this has weakened and even the usual tricks (hairspray, glue stick, blue tape, cleaning with Isopropanol, …) have not really improved this. I then switched to a double-sided structured, powder-coated PEI spring steel sheet with magnetic sticker. Since then, not one print has come off, however, the underside of the prints is always slightly textured as a result, but this does not bother me.

General Impression:
The printer is not a tinkering object for me, where I want to spend time and money on optimization. I use it as a desktop printer that has to work without much effort when I need it, similar to a usual paper printer. That is definitely possible with this model.
3D printing in general is impressive, I can spend a lot of time just watching the printer work and watching the creation of a real object from a small plastic sausage, a very calming and satisfying process.

Anything Else:
The printer has a very large print volume, which was also a reason for my purchase decision. However, I can also say in retrospect that I have never used the volume, most of my models are not higher than a few centimeters. The time it would take to print at full size is alone a reason I have never used this, it would take many days. I don’t have that much time for one model, I have too many different parts to print :wink:
I show many examples of my printing results here, for the evaluation of my remarks, it is probably helpful to also consider the objects created and types of application, as these also have a direct influence on the evaluation and expectation: Cotty's 3D printing adventures

Edit:
In the end, it doesn’t really matter which printer you have. Two things are important:

  1. you have a printer and
  2. you know how to create the models you need yourself and don’t have to rely on downloading third-party models.
3 Likes

Great info Cotty, adding that to my short list.

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Great write up. That is a very nice unit, I am jealous of the direct drive extruder.

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Useful idea, Box.

My printer is getting a bit long in the tooth now. I picked it up when the local ALDI supermarket had them on special in 2016. Don’t recall the price.The brand is Cocoon Create, but really it is a rebranded Wanhoa i3. It seems to be pretty much the same as the Ender 3 described above by the Learned One. It came with Sketchup Make 2016, (and Cura) which is the sole reason that I read this particular forum.
It needed assembling, but as a (retired) engineer that was easy enough. I have subsequently added a couple of braces to the gantry to stiffen it up. It is quite fussy about bed levelling, but once set it holds the setting well. There is no enclosure, it just sits at the back of a draught-free room.
I have only ever used it with 1.75mm PLA filament, and that’s fine until there is a problem. Thereafter, as mentioned by others, you get either a birds nest mess, or a jammed nozzle that is tedious to fix. A good quality PTFE feed tube is essential.
It has done quite a bit of work, mostly things like turntables, bridges and complete loco bodies for my model railway, and unobtainable bits for other people’s household appliances and old cars.
I still run the original Sketchup Make 2016, it does everything I need - just hate that it doesn’t work with “real” circles (my AutoCad background), but I understand why.
Until some one offers me a bigger and better unit for free, I don’t see me getting anything different.

3 Likes

Brand: FlashForge

Model: CeatorMax2 Flashforge Creator Max 2 Independent Dual Extruder 3D Printer, Open-Source, Wi-Fi Enabled, 50 Microns, Touchscreen – FlashForge USA (flashforge-usa.com) The mention of Wi-Fi in the link is in error.
EDIT: I have since discovered there is a Wii-Fi enabled SD Card

Price: $729.00 - $969.00 USD

The price difference is due to warranty support. If purchased from China

or Amazon all warranty and support is through the China site. If purchased from the US distributor, the warranty and support is handled through them. Shipping is free.

from both.

Build volume: 200mm, 148mm, 150mm.

Enclosure: Yes, steel frame, plastic panels

Print resolution: Down to .1mm.

Number of heads: 2 IDEX

Connection: USB + SD Card

Materials: PLA, Ultra Strong PLA, PETG, PVA, ABS, ABS Pro, HIPS

Print Technology: FFF

Software: FlashPrint

Ease of setup Very easy, great instructions as to removal from the packing. There is some assembly, mounting the print heads and alignment. The required tools were included. Unboxing and assembly took about 45 minutes. (I took my time)

Ease of use: The controls on the unit are through a TFT touch screen. There are menus for the head alignment, preheating, bed leveling, loading, unloading, you get the idea. The menus are easy to follow and well laid out.

Print quality: Is in my mind and for my usage so far is great, like @Cotty my usage is for function not artwork.

Pros: Once the settings are correct the print is great. Two spools of filament are included as are several tools and 4 extra nozzles.

Cons: The Flashprint software is extremely limited regarding variety of settings. Also, navigation is clunky. Although it is ok for string out.

Anything else: I have explored the Cura Software and I may move to it later. Currently I am using Simplify3D. The support from them is top notch. When I received my printer, it was new to the US. The Simplify3D crew at my request quickly assembled a profile to get me going with their software.

I have found that printing with PVA support material produces some nice results, the setting is the tricky part. Google has been my friend getting up to speed with the various setting and somehow to. The US website has a good selection of spare parts and accessories.

4 Likes

I have owned owned four different printers.
I still use my wooden box flash Forge.
But these new ender 3 pro’s are out of this world.
It’s run nonstop since I purchased it and other than leveling the bed I have done nothing to it.

3 Likes

I don’t have a 3D printer, but someday I’ll definitely buy one. It is very interesting to read reviews of people who already have them. This is really interesting information. Thank you very much!

This is the unit I have also. It was $200 US delivered. It’s my first attempt at 3d printing and the unit has been great. I had to do a few tweaks when I got to get everything in alignment.

Brand: Tevo
Model: Tornado 2018 edition
Type: FDM
Price: $450.00
Build Volume: 300x300x400
Enclosure: not yet
Print Platform: heated glass, now upgrade to aluminum.
Print resolution: .1mm, .4mm nozzle , Boden tube extruder
No. of heads: 1
Connection: USB, currently run with Octoprint
Materials: 1.75mm PLA, PLA+,PETG, ABS,
Software: Cura, any slicer will do
Ease of setup: Out of the box all that needs to be done is attach the upright bars with the gantry to the base, connect the harness to the motors and switches and then the control box.
Ease of use: Load model onto SD card or through the USB connect to PC or in my case use Octoprint.
Print quality: There is some tweaking that needs to be done such as verifying the extruder output and making sure the X,Y and Z move the correct distance.The first you print is a calibration cube and check the cube dimensions and make adjustment if needed. PLA prints nicely. It is the material I use most of the time. PETG prints great for me but some users have bad stinging problems.
Printing accuracy: Out of the box mine was close, but adjustments were needed. After that it is pretty good.
Pros: Build volume. Fairly quiet and easy to modify and upgrade to your liking.
Cons: You have to be willing to tinker with it to improve accuracy. The glass print bed can be easily damaged. Support is for the most part through user group on Face Book.
General impression: It is a nice printer and if you are not afraid make adjustments or modify the printer. I have made several modifications and intend to do more. The best improvement was the addition of Octoprint print server which allows me to control and monitor the printer from another room and with the use of plugins I can monitor and have control the printer from outside my home.

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Agree. The Ender 3 is brilliant if you aren’t paranoid about Z-axis alignment and the tendency of flexible beds to lift up slightly. Otherwise it’s the market leader for good reason.
Paranoid myself, I do nearly all my printing on Wanhao i3 Mini and Duplicator 6 machines.