With new 3D Printers constantly being released by various companies all over the world, producing a 3D Printer that stands out is becoming more and more challenging. In this post, we will be doing a 3D Printer comparison between the popular Creality Ender 3 V2 and the newer BIQU B1. Being in a very similar price range and offering great standard features has made this comparison a popular topic in various 3D Printing communities and we often get asked by customers which one we recommend. So let’s dive right into the comparison.
A brief look at the 3D Printers
Creality Ender 3 V2
When first looking at the Ender 3 V2 you will notice that it looks very similar to the Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro. You will also notice a few external upgrades that help give the V2 a more sleek and professional look when compared to the original Ender 3. Not only did the exterior get upgrades but the heart of the machine did as well with a newer motherboard and stepper drivers. The biggest upgrades the Ender 3 V2 received were a 32bit V4.2.2 motherboard with TMC2208 silent stepper drivers, carborundum bed, a modular HD display, and assorted adjustment knobs.
When you first look at the BIQU B1 you will notice design aspects from various 3D Printers. Inspiration seems to be taken from the BIQU Thunder, CR-10S Pro, and i3 Mega 3D Printers. The BIQU B1 is positioned to compete with the Ender 3 range and other similar 3D Printers. Where the B1 really stands out is the number of features that come standard on the machine while not drastically affecting the price. The key features of the B1 are the B1 specific SKR V1.4 motherboard, spring steel plate, 3.5″ TFT dual-mode display, and other minor improvements.
3D Printer Comparison
Ender 3 V2
For years 3D Printers were equipped with 8bit motherboards but as the 3D Printing industry continues to develop the need for more powerful motherboards has become more apparent. The Ender 3 comes equipped with an 8bit V1.1.3 motherboard using a microcontroller with 128KB Flash and 16KB SRAM with A4988 stepper motor drivers. The updated 32bit V4.2.2 motherboard in the Ender 3 V2 has a 72MHz ARM Cortex-M3 which features 512KB Flash and 64KB SRAM. This higher performance helps accommodate firmware updates and possible future upgrades. The 32bit V4.2.2 Motherboard also includes TMC2208 ultra-quiet stepper motor drivers which reduce the noise during printing as well as offering other benefits.
The bed has also been upgraded from the original BuildTak of the Ender 3 to a carborundum glass bed based on the Ultrabase design. The bed is a glass sheet with an Ultrabase-like coating helping adhesion and providing a very smooth first layer. This bed helps with print removal as when the bed has cooled the print will often pop off with minimal force. While this may not be the biggest upgrade to the Ender 3 V2 it not only functions really well but also adds to the sleek and professional look of the 3D Printer.
For many years Creality has used the same LCD display for its 3D Printers, and while it works perfectly, we were very excited to see updated screens and UI on newer 3D Printers. The Ender 3 V2 features a new HD display that is designed to be modular so if needed you can disconnect the display to suit your setup. The UI (user interface) has also been updated with a better overall look and easy-to-learn layout and the screen is also larger than the original LCD. Despite the size and new UI, the display is not touchscreen which is a bit disappointing and all navigation needs to be done with the standard rotary encoder.
Adjusting belts and tensioners on most 3D Printers can be quite frustrating if you are new to 3D Printing but the Ender 3 V2 has the solution. Most areas that would need adjusting on the Ender 3 V2 have large knobs designed to make tightening or loosening parts much easier. The bed features large knobs to assist in levelling the bed, the extruder has a feeding knob to assist with filament loading, the X and Y-Axis also have large, easy to access, tensioners to adjust the belts. There is also a convenient storage drawer in the base that makes use of the unused space next to the motherboard.
The SKR V1.4 motherboard is a 32bit board made by BigTreeTech and powered by a 100MHz ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller. This microcontroller features 512KB Flash and 64KB SRAM, it also offers a variety of features that you may not find on the Creality V4.2.2 motherboard. It is important to note that the board is specific to the B1 and may have some features that you may not find on a non-specific SKR V1.4. This SKR V1.4 also comes equipped with TMC2225 ultra-quiet stepper motor drivers which help make the 3D Printer quieter during operation as well as provide other benefits.
In contrast to the Creality carborundum, BIQU went with a magnetic spring steel plate with a powder coat to assist in adhesion. The plate is highly flexible to assist with print removal. We noticed that compared to other flexible build plates the spring steel plate is incredibly thin while still feeling incredibly sturdy. The powder coat layer is also rather smooth compared to other powder coated plates, this means that the first layer is actually rather smooth. As the plate is powder-coated it can be flipped over to provide a fresh surface if the other side gets worn out or damaged.
The BIQU B1 features a 3.5″ TFT dual-mode display that has been designed specifically for the B1. This means it has fewer unnecessary ports and an optimised layout to ensure you get high performance while keeping the B1 affordable. The display is dual-mode which means that you can switch between the BIQU touch mode or a traditional Marlin mode. The touch mode is colourful and has big buttons to make it easier to navigate, we found the touch mode took a bit of getting used to if you spend lots of time using Marlin. Marlin mode is very similar to the UI you see on other 3D Printers such as the Ender 3 and can be navigated with the rotary encoder. The ability to switch means that incredibly accessible to all Makers, especially those who don’t want to learn a whole new UI.
The BIQU B1 also offers a host of other improvements that improve the accessibility of the 3D Printer. The first improvement is the knob on the Y-axis to allow for belt tensioning, however, it does lack the X-axis tension seen on the Ender 3 V2. The B1 comes with a filament runout sensor as standard which is a nice addition, especially for those longer prints. The hotend is also unique as it makes use of a USB Type-C connector cable meaning you only have one cable instead of multiple cables bundled together. Other additions to the hotend include the dual-cooling fan setup and the integrated LED which helps light up your print and has a variety of preset colours. The DIYElectronics specific version of the B1 features black accents and a Mean Well power supply.
Creality Ender 3 V2
The Ender 3 V2 is an affordable, high quality 3D Printer for Makers of all ages and experience levels. While quite a few parts of the V2 have been updated or upgraded there are many parts that remain the same. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it means that the Ender 3 V2 is compatible with a range of upgrades. Creality has also built a large community over the years and that can assist if you have issues or questions. We really enjoy using the Ender 3 V2 in the office as it consistently produces high-quality prints without issues. We really liked the upgraded display and UI however we really would have liked to see a touchscreen or dual-mode display similar to the B1. The carborundum bed took a bit of getting used to as it needs a slightly higher temp than other build plates. For the next addition to the Ender 3 range, we would like to see a few upgrades included such as filament runout sensor and auto bed levelling. Overall, a great 3D Printer for makers of all experience levels and while it lacks some of the upgrades found on the B1 they can be bought and installed later on.
The BIQU B1 took us by surprise when we first got it in. With this being the first BIQU 3D Printer we stocked we were eager to see how it would perform. We did plenty of testing with our machine and the prints it produces have been high-quality. As this is only the second 3D Printer produced by BIQU/BigTreeTech the upgrade options are a bit limited however due to the upgrades included as standard this is not a huge problem. As BigTreeTech has been producing boards and parts for 3D Printers for years they have created a large community that may be able to assist with problems or questions. We really enjoyed the dual-mode display and loved the addition of LEDs on the hotend making it much easier to see the print in low light. The USB Type-C cable makes for great cable management but we feel it may limit the options for hotend upgrades. Onto the dislikes, we had a bit of trouble getting perfect first layer adhesion at first but soon had it dialled in, the space under the bed makes it hard to adjust the level if needed while printing the first layer, and finally, the B1 is very talkative as it will beep and boop at you for a variety of reasons, this might annoy some Makers. Overall, an ideal 3D Printer for beginners with a bunch of great features and an affordable price tag.
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Graphic Designer | Photographer | Gamer and Twitch streamer.
I have a passion for design and a love of art. I am always eager to learn new things, be it 3D modeling/3D printing, copywriting or even cooking. Pretty chill guy who is always down for a braai with family and friends.