When it comes to low-budget under 500 dollar 3D printers, Creality Ender 3 and its subsequent generations (the pro and V2) are the most affordable options in the 3D printing industry.
Yet, New companies crave to get their market share and make a profit in this competitive business. Sovol3D is one of the companies that has done a great job with its first 3D printer, Sovol SV01.
There are many similarities and differences between this product and the Ender 3 series that may confuse most buyers. So, This article is an in-depth look at each case’s main features to help you make a better choice.
Note that in this article we will check out the Ender 3 Pro features and there are minor differences between different models of Ender 3.
You can find the specific technical features of the two 3D printers in this table:
Sovol SV01 vs. Ender 3 Pro
|Model Name||Ender 3 Pro||Sovol SV01|
|Build Volume||220 × 220 × 250 mm||280 × 240 × 300 mm|
|Price||Click Here.||Click Here.|
|Estimated Assembly Time||60 min||15 min|
|Bed Type||Magnetic Flexible Bed||Ultrabase glass plate|
|Z-axis Mechanism||One Z-axis Stepper Motor||Dual Z-Aix Motor|
|Max Nozzle Temperature||260o C||250o C|
|Max Heated Bed Temperature||110o C||110o C|
|Feeder Type||Bowden Tube||Direct Drive Extruder|
|Nozzle Size||0.4 mm||0.4 mm|
|Connection Type||SD Card Reader||SD Card Reader|
|Printable Filaments||PLA, PETG, ABS, TPU, …||PLA, PETG, ABS, TPU, …|
|Filament Diameter||1.75 mm||1.75 mm|
|Additional Features||Resume Print Function||Resume Print Function
Filament Run Out Sensor
There are several differences between the two printers. Some are more critical, while others are minor and don’t make a meaningful difference. Here you can find the key features of the printers and their detailed comparison.
Assembling a 3d printer is a one-time task, though it can be challenging and problematic if you don’t do it right.
Both 3D printers come in a semi-assembled package, which means a few separate parts in the box that you need to link together according to instructions, plug some wiring connectors, bolt the axis together, and maybe update their framework.
However, the Sovol 3D printer is more integrated, and there are fewer parts to assemble. The moving frames and most of the electronics are ready to go, and you need to connect the pre-assembled pieces to complete the machine.
The printer comes with the necessary instruction to do the process, but you can use youtube videos to guide you through it. Here we have an excellent unboxing and installation video from Sovol3D company which shows everything in two minutes:
On the other hand, the installation of Ender 3 (Pro) is more laborious.
The moving axis, electronic components, belt, and wire connections are separate from each other, so you need to assemble them one by one to reach the final design.
It’s also necessary to adjust the timing belt tensioning so that the rollers won’t quickly wear out. The whole process may take between 30 to 90 minutes based on your experience, so be prepared to do some work.
Creality puts an installation manual which consists of 12 steps to assemble the printer. It’s usually enough though it may become confusing for beginners and first-time owners.
There are many videos available on youtube that make the process more understandable and straightforward. You can watch the video below to better understand what I’m talking about:
As you can see in the first table, the build volume of Sovol SV01 is bigger than the Ender 3 pro. (Ender 3 and V2 series also have the same value.)
Build volume is the maximum space that a 3D printer can use to create an object. This parameter affects the freedom of action on your design process.
Both 3D printers benefit from a cartesian coordinate system, and they have a cubic build volume. For example, the Ender 3 Pro can print any object that fits in a 220 × 220 × 250 mm cube, while the Sovol 3D printer can create things as big as a 280 × 240 × 300 mm cube.
It’s worth mentioning that the Sovol SV01 has a filament run-out sensor that limits the Z-axis’s upper moving range. In other words, to create objects with around 300mm, this sensor may collide with the moving parts. Thus, it’s best to change its position or print smaller items. This replacement is relatively easy, and you can do it anytime, so it’s not too much of a big deal.
But do we really need a big build volume? Well, most 3D printer beginners and even professionals usually print small objects. Many ready-to-print items on the internet are way smaller than the Ender 3 or Sovol SV01 building sizes. There are many similar 3D printers to Ender 3 in the market which have similar build volumes. So, this build volume for this price range is quite normal.
Sovol Sv01 benefits from an Ultrabase glass plate that is a glass sheet with some textures on it and some added materials to help with bed adhesion.
This way, this product provides excellent first layer adhesion and avoids print warpage, lifting corners, and similar problems. In general, this bed doesn’t need additional adhesives, hairspray, blue tape, etc., to provide enough adhesion.
Removing parts from the surface is also easy. When the heated bed loses its temperature, it starts to contract. In most situations, this contraction and the surface texture make the printed object pop up automatically.
On the other hand, The Ender 3 Pro comes with a magnetic print surface. It has a unique coating on its top, and the plate is quite rough. It has an acceptable surface adhesion, but sometimes it’s better to add some adhesives on top of it.
The Magnetic bed is flexible and can be easily de-attached from the base. So, you can pick up the bed and bend it so that the print pops off.
So, Both 3D printers benefit from unique but different bed surfaces. They are more than enough for printing popular filaments like PLA. Still, it’s worth mentioning that Ultrabase glass beds usually last longer than magnetic surfaces because the said coating wears out over time, and you need to change the magnetic piece once in a while.
One of the limits of magnetic surfaces is their ability to withstand high temperatures. Depending on production quality, any heated bed temperature value over 80°C may damage the surface and weaken its magnetic force. It can be an issue for printing with filament materials like ABS and Nylon. Yet, magnetic beds are still common in 3D printing communities, and many people use them.
The stiffness of Ultrabase glass over Ender’s Bed is another advantage. Most people use small clamps on the surface of the printer’s flexible corners to increase its stability.
However, these clamps can slightly bend the corners and intensify the filament’s first layer warpage. Still, 3D printing small objects on the bed’s center area won’t be a problem though it shows itself in 3D printing more oversized items.
In conclusion, both 3D printers provide acceptable bed surfaces for beginners, and they are good options for first-time owners; Still, the Sovol SV01 benefits from a printing surface that lasts longer and a few more advantages.
Sovol SV01 uses two stepper motors to adjust the height of the nozzle on the Z-axis. In contrast, Ender 3 Pro only has one stepper motor and a lead screw to control the peak.
The difference is, one stepper motor sometimes can’t perfectly align the frame, and Z-axis wobbling is probable. In contrast, Z-wobbling isn’t the case for the Sovol 3D printer.
Stepper motors have static torques. It means they resist rotation even when the power is off. Hence, when you turn off the 3D printer and Z-axis isn’t in the zero position, this torque prevents the axis from dropping due to gravity.
Based on the Z-frame weight and motor’s torque, the frame may or may not fall off.
Two stepper motors of the Sovol SV01 can always prevent this phenomenon, while it’s not the case for Ender 3. Note that this annoying problem has easy fixes though it’s worth mentioning before you make a purchase.
Ender 3 series come with a Bowden tube filament drive system, while Sovol 3D printers benefit from direct-drive extruders.
As the name suggests, the Bowden tube is a tube made with PTFE that guides filament from a separate extruder mechanism into the hot end.
In contrast, direct extrusions benefit from an integrated extruder-nozzle system that doesn’t need a long guiding tube.
Flexible filaments like TPU tend to twist in a long tube when they are compressed. Thus, it’s much easier to print them using a direct extruder.
Yet, after some tweaking with Bowden systems, it’s possible to use TPU filaments without any problems. So, direct-drive systems are more suitable for beginners.
Sovol SV01 comes with a filament run-out sensor which is a big deal if you want to use the machine over long periods of time, especially while you sleep or have a 3D printer farm. It’s also worth mentioning that you can’t control the sensor with Octoprint. I hope the Octoprint community adds this feature later.
Both Ender 3 Pro and Sovol SV01 benefit from the print resume function, and This means that if the power runs out mid-way, the 3D printer memorizes the last command and can continue the print after the power comes back.
We discussed several Sovol SV01 and Ender 3 Pro features and understood that the Sovol 3D printer has a few more advantages. However, I want to emphasize that the Ender 3 Pro is slightly cheaper, and both 3D printers really worth their price.
You can pay a few more dollars and get the benefits of Sovol SV01 and get its benefits or get the Ender 3 Pro at a more affordable price.
Note that it’s also possible to upgrade 3D printers with high-quality parts, sensors, etc.
(Featured image source: damorashop.com)