The Full Scoop on the Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro

A powerful modular printer with a few kinks.
Odin Odin (182)
Our rating: 4/5

Creality’s Ender series of 3D printers has long been a central name in the world of 3D printing, with their highly-modifiable system offering a cheap base option that can, with a little tinkering, become a total powerhouse.

However, many new companies have been vying for Creality’s position as industry leader, and the competition is getting stiff. If the Ender series was going to continue to remain on top, Creality needed to give it a big makeover: so that’s exactly what they did.

TLDR: If you’re a fan of the Ender and are looking for an upgrade, this is a head-and-shoulders improvement. It doesn’t outright beat other printers in a similar price range, but it does stand on equal footing, and comes backed by the Creality name. Just make sure to heavily test your model within its return window, and don't expect the auto-leveling to be anything special.

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Ender 3 S1 Pro Key Features
Ender 3 S1 Pro Key Features

There are a lot of things about the S1 Pro that I loved, but there was one glaring gray area that needed resolving, and remains an important point of consideration with stacking this printer up against others in the same price range.

It’s a large FDM printer (490 x 455 x 625 mm) compared to its relatively small 220 x 220 x 270mm print bed. But, it’s also a very stable printer. Its size and weight give it a nice, sturdy printing base, and that wobble elimination is a win.

The Ender 3 S1 Pro also has both a Type-C USB slot, and an SD card port. This gives you more options for connecting your printer to external devices, like a Raspberry Pi.

The wins
The wins

Firstly, let’s take a look at what this printer does well. It absolutely hits some peaks for me, and on these, alone, it’s a worthwhile contender to many printers on the market.

Extruder and nozzle

The S1 Pro also has a "Sprite" full-metal dual-gear direct extruder rather than the more common Bowden design (where the filament is fed through a plastic tube at an angle). With an extrusion force of 80N. This is a manual loading and unloading process, but it allows for a bit more wiggle room when it comes to which filaments you use, and is generally very straight forward.

The S1’s new brass nozzle design can stand up to 300°C printing temperature, and is compatible with multiple filaments, such as PLA, ABS, PVA, Wood, TPU, PETG, and PA.

Build plate

The build plate is magnetic PEI Spring Steel, which is pretty common these days because of how easy it is to remove prints from the surface—no more worrying about scratching your build plate with a chisel as you try to pry the plastic off.


A feature I enjoyed having added from the get-go was the LED light, built into the top of the frame. Yes, you can mod your own onto the Ender, but it’s a lovely touch to have it there from the beginning.

Problem detection

The Ender 3 S1 Pro has a filament sensor to ensure that you don’t suddenly run out of filament and ruin a print, and includes a power loss detection feature, which likewise keeps a sudden outage from making a mess of things. These are totally standard at this price range these days, but weren’t not that long ago, so it’s worth a highlight.

You can use it to shoot lasers

One of the immediate highlights about the Ender 3 S1 Pro is that it’s compatible with Creality’s line of laser modules, opening an exciting doorway to a truly multipurpose device capable of both 3D printing and laser engraving. You can read my review of the Ender 3 S1 Pro combined with a 10 watt laser module, here.

The Questions
The Questions

Now, one of the reasons I was most excited about the S1 Pro was because it touted “CR-Touch” a 16-point automatic leveling system. Anyone who’s been following me for a while knows that I love a 3D printer with a good automatic leveling system, and that the current king of this area is Anycubic. I’d been looking forward to seeing how the Ender 3 S1 Pro stacked up.

I manually level all my printers before running any automated system—no problem there. But, as soon as I ran the automated leveling program, I knew there was an issue. The system was setting the Z-vector (the vertical height of the extruder) about two centimeters higher than the bed!

I reached out to Creality for support and received what they could offer, but all to no avail. One way or another, the problem persisted, despite the best efforts of their engineering team, and my own attempts to solve the issue. Only when I took the machine apart entierly, cleaned and refit every main component, was I eventually able to get it to level even manually as well as needed to accomplish some basic print testing. Auto-leveling remained completely inaccessible, as the issue repeated itself without cease.

Given my experience with other printers that offer complete auto-leveling along the full XYZ axis, this was disappointing. However, the printer performed well when only manually leveled, allowing me to ascertain that it is indeed a speedy and stable printer by all accounts.

While I would like to assume that this was an issue with only the printer sent to me, and not one endemic to the well-liked series as a whole, I would still caution prompt and comprehensive testing before your return period expires. This especially because I found complaints online regarding issues extremely similar to mine: all involving problems with the printer's ability to level itself correctly.

Unboxing and assembling
Unboxing and assembling

The Ender 3 S1 Pro has the best packaging of any printer I’ve reviewed. It’s well-packed in a tight case, and the parts are minimal. It’s nice to have a printer that comes partially assembled like this because it allows you to get started faster. The Anycubic products that I reviewed in 2022 were amazing, but often required a fair bit of work to set up. One of the downsides of pre-assembled printers is that the shipping container often has to be larger, but Creality’s done a great job of keeping the size compact.

As always, the printer comes with tools, screws for assembly, and misc. accessories.


Setting this one up is far easier than most kit printers, and that’s a huge boon to people who are new to the world of 3D printing and just want to get straight into the fun. You can read my full assembly guide, here.

I love how few parts there are for this printer: it’s easy to assemble in the extreme, and I was able to have it up and running in about a half hour (not including the time it took me to take notes and pictures). Some printers that I’ve assembled would really have benefited from a two-person team, but this printer is clearly designed with the solo enthusiast in mind. Even someone with no prior experience assembling a 3D printer would be able to handle this.

Unboxing and assembling
Unboxing and assembling

Priced at the $450-$500 range ($500-$600 with the laser module combo), the Ender 3 S1 Pro is aiming to compete in a very stiff market of upper-mid-range printers.

There were remarked difficulties with the auto-leveling feature in my model, but even if there had not been, it is a less functional form of automatic leveling than other models on the market for a similar price. What sets it apart is its inherent modularity and companion pieces like the laser module.

Well worthwhile for an experienced 3D printer professional, I would not recommend this for anyone just starting out with this as a hobby.

Because maybe you can't read the default Chinese Ender 3 menu.
Michael Michael (175)
1 minute

Some of Creality's Ender 3 V2 3D printers will arrive with the default language set to Chinese. Creality is based in China, after all.