Creality’s latest entry in their popular CR series is the CR-10 Smart-Pro.
The CR series is well-known among 3D printer enthusiasts. It was one of the first desktop 3D printers to become widely used several years ago, mainly due to the original CR-10’s reliability, inexpensive price and ease of modification.
Since then Creality has continually released new versions in the CR series, each with incrementally improved features. We performed a hands on test of one in 2018, the CR-10S.
Currently, Creality’s CR series includes quite a few models, including:
- CR-10 Smart
- CR-6 SE
- CR-6 MAX
- CR-10S Pro V2
- CR-10 MAX
- CR-30 3DPrintMill (a belt 3D printer)
They’ve added yet another model to the list, the CR-10 Smart Pro.
The CR-10 Smart Pro is an open gantry style FFF device, with a rather large build volume of 300 x 300 x 400 mm, enabling operators to print very tall objects.
There is a single full-metal dual-gear direct extruder, with a standard brass nozzle of 0.4mm diameter. The print surface can be heated to 100C, and the maximum hot end temperature is quite high at 300C. These enable the CR-10 Smart-Pro to handle more advanced materials like PETG and nylons, in addition to PLA and ABS.
So far those features sound pretty standard for a desktop 3D printer, but the CR-10 Smart-Pro includes several more advanced features, and there’s quite a list. The machine also includes:
- Easy ten-minute assembly
- Magnetically attached spring steel PEI-coated print plate for easy print removal
- Automatic filament-out detection and recovery processing
- WiFi connectivity, in addition to SD card and USB interfaces
- Equipped with AI HD camera
- On board webcam
- LED strip to illuminate the build area
- HD touchscreen with newly designed graphical interface
- Simplified over-the-air firmware updates
Sure, some of those features can be found on some other desktop 3D printers, but it turns out the CR-10 Smart-Pro has even more interesting and unique capabilities.
While the CR-10 Smart-Pro’s frame is made from aerospace grade aluminum extrusions for rigidity, Creality has taken the extra step of adding two diagonal crossbars to add extra rigidity for the tall Z-axis. This should significantly improve print quality for taller printed objects, and is a feature not often seen on desktop units.
Some desktop 3D printers have an automated leveling system, and the CR-10 Smart-Pro does as well. However, this machine actually has dual leveling modes: it’s possible to use the intelligent automated system but also a manual leveling mode. This should allow the operator to fine-tune the plate’s leveling far more than other 3D printers.
The CR-10 Smart-Pro also includes a new style of extruder. Instead of using the standard Bowden-style extruder as they have on most of the previous models, the new machine uses a direct extruder, the “Sprite”. (For an explanation of the differences between these approaches, please read our Bowden guide.)
The direct extruder is located in the moving toolhead and aside from improved retraction and more precise extrusions, it also allows far easier printing of flexible materials. Flexible filament is notoriously challenging for Bowden equipment, as the filament tends to jam in the Bowden tube. That won’t be a problem at all on the CR-10 Smart-Pro, and flexible objects should be easily printable.
Finally, the CR-10 Smart-Pro is indeed “smart”: the device connects via WiFi to the Creality Cloud, and online system for printer management. The cloud can be accessed via a mobile app, and allows the operator to remotely monitor and control the CR-10 Smart-Pro. The device’s webcam can provide a live view of printing action, even in the dark due to the system’s LED light strip.
The Creality Cloud also provides access to thousands of online 3D models, any of which can be prepared for printing using the mobile app. It’s actually possible to select a model and start printing without being near the machine, and that’s pretty convenient.
Creality lists the price of the CR-10 Smart-Pro as US$799, which is a good price for a machine with such a huge build volume. However, it’s even better when you consider all the extra advanced features included with the machine.