Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro Review

The Ender 3 range are the world’s best-selling 3D printers, with the standard Ender 3 offering great durability and reliability for under $200, and the Ender 3 V2 a great upgrade and improvement. Creality have since released their newest printers in the Ender 3 range, the Ender 3 S1 and S1 Pro, and we have been testing the S1 Pro for the last few weeks to see how it matches up.

We printed small miniature models, larger prints, and tried 3D printing scans from our 3D scanner. We were really impressed with the quality, reliability and how easy the printer was to set up and use.

The direct drive extruder is ideal if you want to print flexibles and generally improves your printing experience, and our models turned out great. The kicker: it’s also super quiet.

However, there are a few small irritations. It doesn’t have WiFi built-in, though you can buy a Creality WiFi box, or if you’re more technical go down the Raspberry Pi and Octoprint route. It’s also over $200 more than the standard Ender 3, so you need to factor whether the performance improvements are worth it for you.

A quick note: we tested the S1 Pro, which is $80 more than the standard S1. However, we include a detailed comparison on the differences (and between the S1 Plus), as well as the differences between the S1 Pro and standard Ender 3, so you can find which is best for you.

Here’s the full review.


THE REVIEW

Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro

Available at:

What We Like

Quality: professional quality prints without the complexity.

Quiet: our tests found a print noise of just 36 decibels.

Metal hotend: prevents jamming and ideal for high-temp filaments.

Ease of use: Beginners can be up and running in under an hour.

Key specs

Price: Check at Creality here

Speed: up to 150mm/s

Build volume: 220 x 220 x 270 mm

Minimum layer height: 0.05mm


Who is the Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro for?

The Ender 3 S1 Pro builds on the strengths of the standard model. It’s a tinker-free, set-and-forget way of producing high-quality prints regardless of your experience level.

It’s incredibly user-friendly, designed to be built, powered up, and printing within minutes.

Creality 3 S1 Pro during 3D printing

Main Specs

  • Price: $479 – Available at Creality Official store here
  • Build Volume: 220 x 220 x 270 mm
  • Machine Dimensions: 490 x 455 x 625 mm
  • Nozzle Temperature: Up to 300°C
  • Heat Bed Temperature: Up to 100°C
  • Printing Speed: 150 mm/s
  • Printing Precision: +/- 0.1mm
  • Layer Height: 0.05-0.4mm

Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro Unboxing and Assembly

Ender 3 S1 package delivery

This assembly process was, as you’d hope, pretty painless. The Ender 3 S1 Pro comes in 3 main preassembled parts, and it’s just a case of using 7 – 8 screws to bring it all together.

Add on the touchscreen, connect up the wires, and you’re good to go.

Ender 3 S1 Pro unboxing and accessories before assembly as a kit

I went from a sealed box to a functioning printer within an hour, and I’m hardly the best when it comes to this sort of thing. 

Even though the manual had pretty clear images, there wasn’t much corresponding text. Luckily, the Ender website has assembly instruction videos that make building your printer super simple.

The package comes with all the accessories you could realistically expect – pliers, a filament slicer, and an SD card complete with a USB dongle. Basically, everything you need to get started 3D printing, and some spares.

When it’s all set up, you’ll notice a 22cm x 22cm x 27cm build area that offers plenty of space while still remaining desktop sized.

P.S All the screws came with a couple of spares, which is pretty useful if you like modifying your 3D printer over the years – or if you have a tendency to drop things under the sofa!

Set up and calibration 

Once everything was put together, all that was left was the initial calibration. The Ender 3 S1 Pro will conduct a sweep to get itself in a ball park, but then it’s up to you to take your A4 piece of paper to apply the finishing touches. 

Most of the data points were just a millimeter or so out, which is pretty impressive. I haven’t had to recalibrate the printer since the first use, and I’ve probably done half a dozen prints since then.

Calibrating the Ender 3 S1 Pro

Getting STL files onto the Ender is a breeze. Just throw them on the SD card, click it into the slot, and it’s all there for you on the touch screen at a glance. It’s way better than having to scroll through a load of designs, you can just go straight to what you need.

However, it doesn’t have WiFi connectivity, so you’ll have to make do with the SD card file transfer, or upgrade to a Creality WiFi box or Raspberry Pi Octoprint custom kit.

Once you press go, the screen switches to show you the current print duration and estimated percentage of completion – a super handy feature for scheduling your prints in the most effective way. 

Ender 3 S1 Pro Review: Test 3D Prints

The Famous Cat – SUCCESS

For my first print, I decided to let the Ender 3 S1 Pro play on its home turf with one of the four designs that come on the SD card.

First print on the Ender 3 S1 Pro 3D printer

I own a cat – a single cat – and thought I’d make her a companion. 

I was really impressed. The build was solid, the curves of the body and head were very clean, and the detailing of the face and whiskers was superb.

It was a big win all around, and keep in mind this was my very first print with the device. Normally I find printers are a little rougher for the first couple of prints while they get their eye in, so to speak, but the Ender 3 S1 was ready to rock from the get-go. 

Statue – FAIL … Followed by Success!

For my next test, I decided to go with something a little less straightforward. Human faces are always a good benchmark for a 3D printer, with plenty of details that are tricky to nail cleanly.

We recently tested and reviewed the Revopoint POP 2, one of the best low-cost 3D scanners around. During the test we scanned a small statue model, and had the STL file on hand to try 3D printing it.

Ender 3 S1 Pro 3D printing a 3D scan
Our STL file scan of the statue model to 3D print.

Unfortunately, this test was a bit of a disaster, but it was my bad.

After my cat print, I was super excited. So I started the next print pretty much immediately, without checking everything on the printer was reset properly. Some of the filament from my first print had strung out from the nozzle and was dangling down.

During the first half an hour, the base of the statue was printing just fine – so I decided “what the hell, just let it run”. 

What I should have done was taken advantage of the S1 Pro’s pause and resume feature, halted the print, dealt with the issue, and resumed after that.

So, by the time we got to work on the base of the head, the stringing had reached a height that was connecting with the print itself and had moved the statue. This means the print was no longer where the Ender “thought” it was, causing it to print in various sections of mid-air pretty comically. 

Failed print Ender 3 S1 Pro

I was all out of filament, so had to wait a couple of days to re-run the statue experiment. But this time, things were different.

Success!

The statue came out looking great, with excellent detail on the facial features and hair. This STL came from a 3D scanner, so it was really cool to see the S1 Pro produce such a lifelike replica of a real-world object.

Pokémon – Gotta Print Them All!

I then decided to inject a little extra joy into my life. What better way than to print a few of my favorite pokemon – Umbreon, Mudkip, and Nidoran.

pokemon 3d prints

The prints were pretty impressive overall, but they’re small models, so we could have improved the surface finish with lower layer heights and other better slicer settings to make them even better.

Nevertheless, after some post-processing and sanding to get rid of the imperfections from support removal, they’ll look fine.

So overall from those first few prints, I was very impressed. It worked well printing miniatures (though for perfect detail, go for an MSLA resin 3D printer), printed a standard fun cat model well, and if you planned to use it for more professional uses, it printed a 3D scan effectively in a similar vein to rapid prototyping.

The next part of our Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro review focuses on the differences between this Pro model and the standard S1, and the differences between this and the standard Ender 3.

Ender 3 S1 Pro 3D printed door handle
Door handle we 3D printed

THE REVIEW

Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro

Available at:


Ender 3 S1 Pro: Main Features

Very Quiet

Our testing found the Ender 3 S1 Pro clocked in at just 36 decibels while printing.

One thing that struck me about the Ender 3 S1 Pro compared to other 3D printers I’ve used is how quiet it is.

I normally have to keep my roommates in mind if I’m doing any prints after work. When you’ve had a long day at work, you don’t need some guy whirring away on a print.

With the Ender, you really can’t hear a thing from the next room. The Pro model uses a 32-bit silent motherboard, and it makes all the difference.

To make the point, I thought I’d run a test.

The average 3D printer runs at around 50 – 55 decibels, which is about as loud as a normal, animated conversation. When I tested the Ender 3 S1 Pro, it clocked in at an average of just 36 decibels (adjusted for background noise).

It sounds about as loud as a laptop that’s a few years old, where the fan is seeing a little more action than it used to. 

Ender 3 S1 Pro quiet noise level - 36 decibels while printing

Automatic Bed Leveling

The Ender 3 S1 Pro also comes with a CR touch auto-bed leveling system. It removes a lot of the manual work from producing crisp prints and is a huge time saver. During the set up there’s a little manual leveling involved, but it seems once you’ve calibrated the S1 Pro once, it doesn’t need much love after that.

A Couple of Extras

Beyond these main upgrades, there are a few nice bonuses here and there. For instance, the built-in drawer is a little larger, meaning there’s more place for you to store your filament, tools, and other goodies. 

There’s also new insulation stored under the steel sheet, keeping it hotter for longer while helping you save power.

Would I Recommend the Ender 3 S1 Pro?

The Ender 3 S1 Pro would be near the top of my list for anyone new to 3D printing, or looking for an upgrade on a cheap purchase they made to get into the hobby.

It prints to a high standard, and comes bundled with the first few upgrades you would look to make on a more basic model.

At this price, it’s an absolute steal of a deal.

Nevertheless, if you’re unsure, here are the differences between the Ender 3 S1 Pro and S1, and between the Ender 3 standard.

THE REVIEW

Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro

Available at:


The Ender 3 S1 Pro vs Ender 3 S1 – The Differences

So, what’s the difference between the Ender 3 S1 Pro version and the standard Ender 3 S1? And is it worth the extra $80?

For the extra 80 bucks, you 4 key upgrades that improve the functionality, usability, and convenience of the printer.

4.3-inch Touchscreen

Whereas the Ender 3 S1 has a toggle to navigate the screen, the Ender 3 S1 Pro has a full touchscreen.

The difference in usability is analogous to moving from an iPod Classic click wheel to the more intuitive touchscreen of an iPhone.

The screen itself is very responsive to taps, and actions register without any lag. 

With the Pro, you can see far more information at a glance. I was far less reliant on the manual to get stuff done than I was using the basic model. It’s all just there in front of you, rather than having to scroll through options to select what you need. 

This might not be a gamechanger if you’re already competent with Ender 3 S1, but it will certainly reduce the learning curve for those new to the Ender range (or 3D printers in general). 

LED lightbar

I will often install a light bar on 3D printers that don’t carry it as standard, so it’s nice to see Ender beat me to the punch on this one.

The light distribution is powerful enough without producing glare from the print surface, allowing you to properly scrutinize your print in progress.

I like to print after work and in the evening which is totally possible, given how quiet the Pro is (more on that later). 

Ender 3 S1 Pro LED Light Bar

It’s useful to be able to see what I’m doing without having my main lights on and disrupting my valuable “winding down routine”. 

My only critique would be that they could have gone even further with it. This is just a simple white light, that is either on or off. It’s for visibility of prints in progress only.

If they’d installed an RGB light, they could have used it as a useful means of communicating information. For example, it could glow green when the print was completed, or hum red to alert you that you’re out of filament. 

Sprite Metal Hotend

The Pro model allows you to print at higher temperatures, with the upgraded Sprite Hotend and a PEI spring steel sheet.

The sprite hotend is all metal, not PTFE lined like the Ender 3 S1. 

This means that it is capable of reaching max temperatures of around 300°C vs the Ender 3 S1 Pro’s 260°C, giving you access to high-temperature materials like Nylon, Polycarbonate, or carbon fiber-filled Nylon (if you fit a hardened steel nozzle).

PEI Spring Steel Sheet 

The upgraded sheet is made with these hotter prints in mind. It works really well. For me, my prints stuck to it really well and popped off easily once they had cooled.

My only issue with these higher temperature modifications is that it’s a good idea to have an enclosure in these cases.

While I’ve never been burnt, and have been able to maneuver the sheet post-print safely by using the overhanging tags, an enclosure would be a worthwhile addition for more public purposes like a classroom or workshop.

If you don’t feel you need the Pro version, you can buy the Ender 3 S1 for $379 here.


Ender 3 S1 Pro vs Ender 3 S1 Plus

You don’t lose any of the premium extras you get on the S1 Pro on the S1 Plus – so the metal dual gear direct drive extruder, touchscreen and other features all come as standard on the S1 Plus. 

However, the build volume is expanded to an enormous 300 x 300 x 300 mm, so if you plan to print large terrain for your miniature models, large prototypes, cosplay helmets, or any other creative and fun yet large project – the Ender 3 S1 Plus can almost certainly handle it.

It costs extra though, at $529.

You can buy it here.


Ender 3 S1 Pro vs Ender 3

The main differences for your extra $250 are:

Build volume: the standard Ender 3 has a 220 x 220 x 250 mm, 20 mm shorter on the z-axis (Ender 3 S1 and S1 Pro have 270mm z-height).

Hotend and extruder: the S1 Pro has a full-metal direct drive extruder, whereas the Ender 3 range (including the Pro and V2) have PTFE bowden extruders. Bowden extruders can be fine as they take some weight off of the extruder, but they’re considered worse for printing flexible filaments like TPU due to its delicacy. The S1 Pro’s extruder is generally higher quality, pushing 80N of force and built in-house to be 30% lighter, with chrome steel gears for feeding well without slipping. Upgrade and you’ll get less jamming – especially with flexibles.

Speed: the Ender 3 runs up to 100mm/s, whereas the S1 and S1 Pro run up to 150mm/s. 

Filament compatibility: the standard Ender 3 can probably print more than those Creality advertise on the specs, but the product specs recommends just ABS, TPU and PLA. Realistically it can print PETG too, but the 255°C max temperature and less beefy components mean higher-temp filaments aren’t really suitable. The S1 Pro can print filaments like Nylon and similar high-temp filaments, as well as being better suited to TPU.

Layer thickness: the Ender 3 can handle layer heights as low as 0.1mm (100 microns), whereas the S1 and S1 Pro offer layer heights of 0.05mm (50 microns).

Max nozzle temperature: The S1 Pro can reach 300°C, the S1 260°C, the Ender 3 255°C.

Auto-leveling: the Ender 3 has no auto-leveling, but you can purchase a BLTouch or CRTouch and manually install it – though is a hassle and an extra cost. The Ender 3 S1 and S1 Pro have auto-leveling by default.

Z-Axis build: the Ender 3 S1 and S1 Pro have a sturdier z-axis built with the dual screw motor design.

Extruder type: the S1 and S1 Pro have a direct drive extruder, whereas the Ender 3, V2 and Pro all have bowden extruders. These have different pros and cons, but direct drive extruders are considered more reliable for flexible filament printing.

If the standard Ender 3 works just fine for you, you can pick it up for under $200 here.

THE REVIEW

Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro

Available at:

For more options that won’t break the bank, check out our guide to the best budget 3D printers.

Some other 3D printer reviews:

Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro Review: Best Under $500? - 3DSourced

The Ender 3 range are the world’s best-selling 3D printers, with the standard Ender 3 offering great durability and reliability for under $200, and the Ender 3 V2 a great upgrade and improvement. Creality have since released their newest printers in the Ender 3 range, the Ender 3 S1 and S1 Pro, and we have been testing the S1 Pro for the last few weeks to see how it matches up.

Product SKU: Ender 3 S1 Pro

Product Brand: Creality

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 479

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.5

Pros

  • Quality: professional quality prints without the complexity.
  • Quiet: our tests found a print noise of just 36 decibels.
  • Metal hotend: prevents jamming and ideal for high-temp filaments.
  • Ease of use: Beginners can be up and running in under an hour.

Cons

  • Higher price than previous Ender 3 3D printers