Making the decision: Ender 3 vs. Ender 3 Pro

by Michael M.

With 3D printing continuing to take the art and design world by storm, there are many choices of 3D printing machines from which a user can pick. Through open-source initiatives, consumers get access to fast, resilient devices which have been tried and tested by members of the 3D printing community. This article helps the customer in making the decision: Ender 3 vs. Ender 3 Pro.

FDM 3D Printing

FDM is, at the moment, the most popular form of 3D printing. Often, beginners are introduced to 3D printing through FDM. In this process, a thermoplastic filament gets inserted into the very printer. When the nozzle gets heated to the desired temperature, the filament is fed into the head and nozzle where it is melted down. Also, while attached to a triple-axis system, the extrusion head can move in the X, Y, and Z planes. The melted filament is generated in thin strands, which are then deposited one layer at a time in preselected locations. It is then left alone to cool and solidify. The cooling process can be accelerated by using cooling fans. As soon as a layer is achieved, the build platform is lowered down, allowing the deposition of a new layer.

Open Source 3D Printing

Before we analyze the Ender 3 vs. Ender 3 Pro decision, here is a list of the leading competitors:

  • Anet8 – one of the best cheap printers. Depending on how you tune it, it offers above-average capabilities. It comes in parts, and the users will have to do the assembly themselves. Pricing begins at $200.
  • Printrbot Play – It comes with a chunky powdered metal finish for the body, cover of the tool head, and the spool holder. This means this machine is exceptionally stable, resulting in smooth and accurate prints. It is perfect for beginners, and pricing starts at $310.
  • Creality CR-10 – It has the unmatched ability to produce impeccable prints at an affordable price. The size of the prints can reach 300 x 300 x 400 mm3. Pricing starts at $570.

Ender 3 vs. Ender 3 Pro

The Ender 3 holds the reputation of one of the best 3D printers in the industry. It features a low price and impressive print effects. The enhanced and upgraded version, Ender 3 Pro, comes with a Meanwell power supply, which means it can print more safely and with higher stability.

The Creality Ender 3 is open-source with extreme durability. It also features a V-Slot precision pulley system running on patented technology. It runs more smoothly and is wear-resistant. It also has embedded noise reduction capability. It can work for more than 200 hours comfortably. The upgrades in Ender 3 Pro include a Meanwell power supply, aluminum extrusion, a CMAG magnetic bed, and enhanced bed leveling.

For 3D printing newbies, the Ender 3 is perfectly based on budget (~$200), and its high quality and precision printing. The Ender 3 Pro came with a detachable heat bed and enhanced Y-axis, which produces better print qualities. The Ender 3 Pro is more expensive, with pricing starting at just under $300.


In deciding between Ender 3 vs. Ender 3 Pro, consider quality, precision, stability, and performance. For extreme durability and stability, go for the Ender 3 Pro. If you have experience repairing and replacing printer parts, e.g., exchanging the build plate for a glass sheet, go for the Ender 3.

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