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Cr-10 Vs. Cr-10s: What is the Difference Between These Models?

Cr-10 Vs. Cr-10s: What is the Difference Between These Models? | 3D Printing Spot

Updated by

William Stone

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September 16, 2021

Creality 3D printers are known for helping anyone, from a professional designer to an enthusiastic hobbyist, bring their designs to life. This article details two of their most popular models, the Cr-10 and the Cr-10s, breaking down their differences and value.  

The difference between the Cr-10 and the Cr-10s is the Cr-10s features a Z-axis screw, upgraded motherboard, resume printing function, and filament breakage sensor. The Cr-10s also costs about $100 more than the Cr-10.

When it was initially released, the Creality Cr-10 was lauded for its large build area, and the Cr-10s follows suit with the same large print area and includes additional features to enhance your printing experience. In this article, we break down each new feature, discuss if the features warrant an upgrade, and provide insight from designers who have tested both models.

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Table of contents:

Breaking Down the Major Differences

The Cr-10 is an often imitated 3D printer model, and for good reason. With patented big printing capacity, the Cr-10 enables 3D printer enthusiasts of all skill levels to produce high quality, unique pieces, and parts. All Creality 3D printers have product quality guarantees and are put through more than four hours of test printing before shipping to ensure you receive a first-rate printer.

Known for its simple assembly, the Cr-10 arrives at your home disassembled in multiple parts that take only a few steps to build. Assembly can be done in ten to thirty minutes, depending on your technical prowess, requires no soldering or measuring, and includes clearly labeled wires that simply need to be connected.

You can go from box to printing at the same time it takes to set up a traditional computer printer.

The Cr-10 has a loyal following of customers that find they are able to produce versatile and interesting products easily using this 3D printer. The Cr-10 has various key features that customers cite as reasons why this model is preferred over alternative 3D printers on the market. These features include:

  • Remote feeding mode that enables the extruder to be light, fast, and stable, making it perfect for at-home printing
  • Large build size of 300x300x400mm, one of the largest on the market, increases the range of opportunity to image and create while ensuring accuracy and quality
  • Industrial-grade circuit board allows the printer to work continuously for hours without pressure or detriment of product quality
  • Linear pulley system—a patented technology— combined with a V-profile and precision pulley ensures smooth operation, enhances resistance against wear and lessens overall operational noise
  • Ergonomically designed leveling nuts provides for ease of use and a set-up structure that can more comfortably adjust to the needs of the human body
  • MK10 extrusion mechanism—another patented technological infrastructure design—reduces the risk of plugging and poor spillage and can print nearly all the filaments on the market

Based on customer feedback, Creality built on these well-received features and designed enhancements that were released as part of the Cr-10s model. At a slightly higher price-point, the Cr-10s has enhancements that add stability, power, and safety to the 3D printer while maintaining the key machine parameters.

The key features that differentiate the Cr-10s model from the Cr-10 model include:

  • Z-Axis Screw and Rod: The newly added double screw makes the printer more stable during lifts and provides enhanced printing accuracy
  • Upgraded Motherboard: The increased memory allows for increased printing time and uses enhanced motor drivers and other components, improving overall print quality
  • Resume Printing Function: The function allows for a piece to continue printing from the exact point at which power was lost, preventing material waste and product loss
  • Filament Breakage Sensor: This sensor ensures printer reliability and quality by detecting empty or detached filaments and stopping the print job in place to await a new filament or fix

We will break down each of these added features in more detail in the sections that follow. We also provide a side-by-side comparison of all the features offered in both the Cr-10 and Cr-10s models.

Z-Axis Screw

If you want to print large items, you need support on either end of the printing arm to ensure both sides remain level as the printer moves up in the air. The Cr-10 had only one Z-axis screw and rod supporting one side of the printing arm. When the printer reached the max height, customers complained of a noticeable sag in their printed items.

To ensure a product is printed per the intended design no matter the height, the Cr-10s added a second Z-axis screw and rod. This enhanced support increases the stability and strength of the printer, eliminating the complaint of any sagging when printing at top height.

Even if you are not printing at maximum height, the enhanced support increases level quality throughout the vertical printing area. With the added parallel strength support, both rods support the weight of the printer motor equally. This makes for a smoother, more even printing experience.

Upgraded Motherboard

A motherboard is the brain of the printer. It connects all electrical components or body parts to continue the human anatomy analogy of the printer to the microcontroller. In our human analogy, the microcontroller would be similar to the central nervous system.

The microcontroller then communicates the 3D printer software code (idea or communication area of the brain) to these electrical components to create the intended 3D object.

As you might know, from pulling all-nighters or being overworked, when your brainpower is low, your ability to do almost anything else also suffers. This is true of 3D printer motherboards as well. You can design the most intricate, detailed schematic, but if your printer does not have the right computing power, you will not be able to transition your design to a real-life prototype.

To enhance printer quality, the Cr-10s features an upgraded motherboard that enables the printer to constantly print for 200 hours without pressure. The increased power also adds product quality assurance and mimics an industrial-grade process. So, your at-home printing projects will rival any of those coming out of a professional manufacturing facility.

The new motherboard is flashable, upgradeable, and customizable. Given the price increase for the 10s model is about $100, the argument can be made that the enhancements in the motherboard alone are worth the value.

Resume Printing Function

Anyone who works with technology that relies on electricity understands the risk and potential devastation that can be caused by a power outage. Complete projects can, and have been, lost due to outages as short as a few seconds. The electronic document community developed back-up saving protocols and cloud technologies to protect their materials from being lost.

In the 3D printing world, if power is lost during a print, not only is the product likely ruined, but the materials used to create that ruined project are lost. Add this to the time spent on the half-completed project, and the losses start stacking up.

Because of the power required to run the printer, the risks for power loss are at the local as well as external environment levels. Even if you live in an area where power loss is extremely unlikely, you can still lose a print due to an overloaded home circuit.

To save print jobs from this risk, the CR-10s added a “Resume Printing Feature.” This feature automatically pauses a print job if power is lost. When power is restored, the printer can pick up exactly where it left off in the printing process. This feature significantly reduces the likelihood of having to scrap an entire model due to a power outage.

This feature has the potential to save you hundreds to thousands of dollars in time and materials and requires you to complete no additional coding or patching within your design specifications.

Filament Breakage Sensor

We have all had the experience of printing a large paper or important document, walking away from the printer for a moment, and returning to find the pages being spit out are nearly illegible due to an empty ink cartridge.

For standard print jobs, this scenario is frustrating enough. You have to dig through that old closet hoping to find one last ink cartridge, and then have to hope that you have enough paper to reprint all of the lost pages and finish the job.

With 3D print jobs, the potential damage is even greater. To prevent a product from failing due to an empty or disconnected filament, the CR-10s added a Filament Breakage Sensor. This sensor works similarly to the Resume Printing feature. It automatically stops a print job when it detects a filament has run out or disconnected for some reason.

An alert will be given to the user, and once the filament is replaced or fixed, the print job will resume from the exact place it left off. This sensor is especially important when printing large or lengthy projects that will require more than filament. You will not have to design stopping points into your product to ensure smooth printing.

A Side by Side Comparison of Cr-10 and Cr-10s Specs

We have discussed several features of both the Cr-10 and Cr-10s models. Because the Cr-10s is an upgraded version of the Cr-10, it contains many of the same overall specifications as its parent model. There are also additional features of both models that we have not yet discussed.

Seeing the features compared directly highlights the numerous similarities between the 3D printer models. This is important to remember when considering an upgrade from the Cr-10 to the Cr-10s, as the differences may not be substantial enough to warrant the duplicate cost of a second 3D printer.

The table below presents a side-by-side comparison of both 3D printing models with the estimated price closing the table. Prices are based on availability at the time of this article’s writing. Actual prices may vary and may differ based on geographical location and product availability.

While the technical specifications are interesting, especially for advanced 3D printer technologists, they may not provide enough detail for a novice user. There are subjective qualities and differences between the printers that tell a more complete story.

To further differentiate between the Cr-10 and Cr-10s, we will compare the design, assembly, and performance capabilities of each model.  

Comparison of Design, Assembly, and Performance Capabilities

The design, assembly, and performance capabilities of a 3D printer are more subjective and are not as easily compared to the more quantitative features discussed previously. However, they are still very important aspects to consider when choosing between these two 3D printer models.

In the following sections, we will dive into each area and discuss any significant factors that differentiate the models.

Design

As the child of the Cr-10, the Cr-10s was passed down nearly identical physical characteristics. The two models nearly mirror each other are hard to differentiate based on design alone.

They both feature the same size build area and a rounded edge glass print bed that fits an aluminum plate below. They offer an edge for paper clips to secure materials to the plate area.

The addition of the new Z-axis screw and rod on the Cr-10s model and aluminum frame differentiates the appearance of the printers slightly. However, you would need to know what you were looking for before this feature stood out.

The added stability and strength provided with the Cr-10s may be more obvious when the printer is in motion. You may notice the printer motor remains more level and the arms stand more stable, less visible swaying, as the printer rises higher in the air.

Overall, both models stuck with a minimalistic design that allows the print quality to speak for itself rather than try to impress with the overall machine style. The design is meant to be simplistic yet stable and powerful. Both models exude this mission, with the Cr-10s being slightly more stable and powerful.

Assembly

As shown in the table above, both models come disassembled in the package and need to be assembled on site. Given their similar design, their assembly procedures are also very similar. The printer is packaged in four main components, three of which need to be assembled. These components are:

  • Control box
  • Upper and lower frame parts
  • A small box containing the card reader, PLA filament, filament holder, cables, and filament sensor (for Cr-10s model only). The box also includes the manual/micro USB, spare parts, tools for assembly, filament remover, and nozzle cleaning needle for future maintenance

Using the provided manual, or micro USB that provides the same set of instructions in electronic form, both models offer quick start assembly guides and state the device is easily assembled in as little as 10 minutes. The instruction guide also offers a template for specific piece parts that can be printed on your printer.

So, if you notice certain printer parts starting to break down for whatever reason, you can use your 3D printer to replace the parts yourself. This gives you even more control over the maintenance and reliability of either model.

Performance

The most popular feature for the Cr-10 was the large print area, which is why this same print area was maintained in the upgraded Cr-10s. Given the upgrades added to the Cr-10s, you can expect performance to be slightly improved on the newer model. These upgrades were made in direct response to customer feedback received on the Cr-10 model.

In the world of 3D printing, both models offer superior printing capabilities and a wide range of printing options, diversifying the type of items or products you can work with and create. Creality 3D printers are known for their intuitive nature and ease of use, so even the most novice of designers can be successful and bring their ideas to life.

For high-quality printing performance, both models provide excellent options. They offer smooth, precise printing capabilities that can handle fairly detailed designs. They are both reliable in their ability to produce the intended design and require minimal upfront work to ensure satisfactory results.

If you are a novice user, you may not notice the added functionality provided in the Cr-10s. However, with minimal additional costs, the upgrades may offer the superior performance that your designs require.

Not only can you produce industrial quality products at home, but you can also do so with the starting costs of about $400. That is impressive.

Should You Upgrade?

If you are purchasing your first 3D printer, hopefully, this article has helped you decide which model will best meet your needs. For an initial purchase, the Cr-10s offers additional capabilities with minimal extra costs. It is hard to make an argument to stick with the Cr-10 unless you can purchase the original model on sale.

However, if you already own the Cr-10, you have more money already invested in the printing system, making the upgrade consideration more difficult. When a new model of any form of technology is released, you have to fight the initial urge to want the best and newest item available for the sole reason that it is newer and (supposedly) better.

Newer isn’t always better enough to justify purchasing an entirely new system. This is true for any product, from cars to phones to computers. In terms of the Cr-10 versus the Cr-10s, the answer to “Should you upgrade?” really depends on your printing needs. Here are some factors to consider about the products you regularly print on your 3D printer:

Size of the Products

If you print large projects or projects that take a long time, then the added features offered in the Cr-10s were designed for you and probably warrant an upgrade. The money and frustration you will save on materials potentially lost from uneven products or filament gaps will likely outweigh the second upgrade investment.

Detail and Versatility of the Products

The Cr-10s, with its upgraded motherboard, can print products in greater detail and offers a wider range of versatility thanks to the upgraded computing power.

Amount of Products

Do you print enough to justify owning two highly capable 3D printers? Would adding another printer take your hobby or small business to the next level? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then the upgrading investment may be right for you.

Length of Projects

The filament breakage sensor was intended to solve the issue of lengthy print projects. If you regularly print projects that require two or more filaments, then the upgrade will be worth the frustration and hassle that is caused by the print not automatically stopping and resuming based on filament needs.

Calculate the Value of Lost Resources

Have you calculated how much money you have lost because your Cr-10 does not have the added safety features? If you have not lost significant materials or had to restart numerous print jobs, you likely will not save much money on resources if you upgrade.

The decision to upgrade is yours alone. You know your financial situation, and you can create any justification you need to upgrade if that is what you want to do. However, just know that the original Cr-10 model is still a superior 3D printer and is one of the best available in the market. Upgrading is not necessary to create products with excellent quality.

User Opinions

User opinions can be helpful in further differentiated some of the more subjective differences between the Cr-10 and Cr-10s. They can also help you determine the real-life value in the upgraded features we have previously discussed that are available in the Cr-10s model.

There are plenty of opinions about the differentiators between the Cr-10 and Cr-10s models available on the internet for you to consider, from Reddit threads to blog comments. Armed with the technical basics provided in this article, these comment-based resources may help you when making a final decision.

Another popular type of user opinion is “box opening” YouTube videos. These videos feature knowledgeable individuals opening and using the products, commenting in real-time on the various aspects and features they find notable. There are multiple “box opening” videos available for these 3D printers, such as this Nexi Tech video that breaks down the assembly and initial use of the Cr-10s.  

Once you have an understanding of the technical specifications of both the Cr-10 and Cr-10s, researching user opinions can help you to make your final decision by providing more subjective information, such as:

Case Studies and Personal Examples

Many users share stories about the successful projects they have completed using the product or issues they may have encountered. By comparing the ways you intend to use the printers with the ways other people have used them, you can gain a better understanding of which printer will work best for you.

Seeing the product in use

Videos are especially great at showing off the printer in real-time. You can gain a sense of the product’s design, size, and ease of use by watching another user print a product.

Getting Non-Marketing Opinions

Rather than just company marketing material, online user opinions offer insight based on research and knowledge, not just marketing copy propagated by the manufacturer. This can be more realistic information to help you make purchasing decisions.

For the Cr-10 and Cr-10s, the overall sentiment is that the upgrades provided in the Cr-10s offer the capabilities to produce a superior product and were well-designed add-ons. The value of these upgrades is more dependent on your particular intentions for the 3D printer and are not necessary to create superior 3D printer products.

Using the knowledge you have gained through this article combined with your understanding of your personal printing needs, you should be able to select the printer that is best suited for you. With either the Cr-10 or the Cr-10s, you will be able to print innovative, quality designs that match the quality of industrial manufacturers.

Conclusion

The Cr-10 and Cr-10s offer high-quality printing capabilities built on many of the same cutting-edge technologies. For around $100 more, the Cr-10s offers four new upgrades that enhance its printing capabilities, add structural stability to the printer, and protect products from being destroyed due to power or filament issues.

The four upgrades offered in the Cr-10s are Z-axis screws and rods, upgraded motherboard, a resume printing function, and filament breakage sensors.

About THE AUTHOR

William Stone

William Stone

William has spent 20 plus years in the custom manufacturing industry as a COO, CEO and Owner of various custom product businesses. His experience has exposed him to all types of manufacturing from die cast, die struck, injection molding, CNC machining, laser etching, engraving and of course 3D printing.

Learn more about William Stone

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Cr-10 Vs. Cr-10s: What is the Difference Between These Models?

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