Creality has notably dropped the price of their very popular desktop 3D printer, the Ender 3.
This particular 3D printer has succeeded in the market for three main reasons: it is reliable, provides good quality output, and is available at a very low price. Now that price is even lower.
Last year the price of the Ender 3 was over US$200, and the company has slowly been dropping the price since then. This past January the price was US$188, but now the price has been lowered even further, to a measly US$170.
Certainly it’s a competitive world and all 3D printer manufacturers battle on price / performance ratios, and Creality is no exception. Lower prices are always expected, or else increased features.
The problem is that the basic set of features provided on most low-priced 3D printers is now approaching “fully functional” levels. In other words, for most buyers these machines have all the features they’d require. Thus the price can go only downward.
While this price drop may not be that significant in today’s competitive world, it is notable when comparing it to the options offered by companies in the past. The Ender 3 was, and still is, to some extent, one of the “favored” machines by the community for the reasons stated above.
Favored machines of this type would have been priced at far higher levels years ago. And by higher, I mean over US$1,000, or even US$2,000 a few years before that. Times certainly have changed: the price of a great 3D printer has literally dropped by 10X.
Some may suggest another reason for the price drop of the Ender 3: the recent release of the Ender 3 V2. It’s a similar machine, but with a number of additional features including silent operation and a brand new interface. Today it costs about US$100 more than the original Ender 3 3D printer.
Could it be that Creality is simply lowering the price to clean out inventory? I don’t think that is the case. If you look at the history of their pricing for this product, it’s been gradually decreasing over time, likely due to reduced component costs. With previous price reductions, they should have exhausted their inventory by now, but they have not. It seems that Creality is still making and selling the machines, and why not? It fits into a lower price bracket for a different set of buyers.
How low could this price-cutting go? It’s hard to say without knowing the internal financials at Creality, but I suspect a day will come when they or a competitor drops the price on a very capable 3D printer to less than US$100.
The time when buying a low-cost machine meant compromising on quality and features to the point where the machine essentially was non-functional are now totally gone. It’s possible to purchase a truly usable 3D printer with all the basic required features for almost no cost at all.
It’s even possible to buy a spool of filament that is more expensive than this 3D printer.