Creality Ender-5 S1 Review: Needs an Upgrade

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Creality is well known for their Ender-3, a 3D printer that was so good and affordable when it came out that it was partially responsible for ushering in the age of cheap desktop 3D printers. But today we will take a look at the Ender-5 S1, a printer that promises high speeds and high temperatures.

As a whole, the Creality Ender-5 S1 is a great printer but it is held back by a few minor things that don´t make it worth the price unless you upgrade it to Klipper. The Ender-5 S1 can be upgraded for as little as 50 $ at which point it can print almost twice as fast.

Pros and Cons of the Ender-5 S1:

Fast printing with 250 mm/s and 2000 mm/s² accelerationNeeds an upgrade to Klipper to unlock its full potential (There is a bundle deal with the Ender-5 S1 and the Sonic Pad)
Very rigid frame
Great print quality
High flow hotend
Amazing cable management
Insulated heated bed

I can recommend the Ender-5 S1 to those who are willing to upgrade the printer with Klipper to unlock its full potential. Creality sells the Sonic Pad and the Ender-5 S1 in a bundle for around 580$ which makes the Ender-5 S1 a good choice if you want a fast budget-friendly 3D printer.

For those who want a great out-of-the-box printer with high print speeds, I can recommend other printers that are more expensive but come with greater speeds right out of the box like the Bambu lab P1P or the upcoming Creality K1 that promises almost all of the features of the X1 Carbon but at a lower price.

That being said, it is possible to upgrade the Ender-5 S1 for as little as 50 $ (more on that later). And after upgrading the Ender 5-S1 it actually becomes a quite fast printer that is capable to print PLA and TPU at 250 mm/s and 5000 mm/2² acceleration.

Features of the Creality Ender-5 S1

The Creality Ender-5 S1 has some very interesting features that set it apart from other 3D printers in a similar price range:

  • Fast printing. The Ender 5 S1 can print with above-average speeds of around 250 mm/s. However, the predefined slicer options are all set to 120 mm/s and need some adjustment.
  • Stable frame structure. The frame is built with aluminum profiles and it is very rigid. There are two handles on each side of the printer that make it easy to move the printer around.
  • High-temperature hot end. The hot end can print at 300°C but the printer doesn´t come with an enclosure so most high-temp materials can´t be printed reliably. Creality sells an enclosure for the Ender-5 S1 separately.
  • PC build surface. A lot of people don´t like PC as a build surface but I quite like it. All you have to do is apply some glue to the surface as a release agent to keep the prints from sticking too well on the surface.
  • Direct extruder. The direct extruder allows for printing flexible filament (TPU) and other special filaments.
  • Filament runout sensor. This is always nice to have and very well implemented on the ENder 5 S1.

Packaging and Setup

The Ender-5 S1 is very well packaged. The print head is stored in the middle of the package surrounded by multiple layers of foam so nothing should ever damage it during shipping.

The setup is quite easy but it requires some work because the printer comes only partially assembled.

But don´t worry, you don´t need to install any belts as the XY gantry comes already fully assembled.

All you need to do is build the frame, install the heated bed, and finally plug in all of the cables and the PTFE tube.

The Ender-5 S1 comes with very detailed and illustrated instructions that will show you very clearly how to assemble the Printer.

All of the screws are labeled which also helps a lot with the assembling process.

Once assembled the print bed only needs to be leveled and the printer is good to go.

The whole assembly process took about 25 minutes.

The Ender-5 S1 Comes With:

  • Some screws for assembly
  • A PTFE tube for assembly
  • Some tools for assembly
  • A USB adapter for the SD card
  • A big 8 Gb SD card
  • A spare brass Nozzle
  • Cable Ties
  • A metal spatula
  • Pliers
  • A well-illustrated Manual
  • 200g of white PLA filament

Print Quality

The print quality is really good at lower speeds (120 mm/s) and decent at higher speeds (250 mm/s).

Here you can see a Benchy printed at 120 mm/s with a pre-sliced file that comes with the printer. This file has been sliced with Cura 5, which is interesting because Creality recommends using their own slicer for the Ender-5 S1 that is based on Cura 4.7.

So they sliced the Benchy with Cura 5 instead of with their own slicer.

The Benchy turned out ok but I then transferred all of the settings from their Creality slicer over to Cura 5 and sliced the Benchy myself with 120 mm/s speed and that one turned out much better for some reason.

I then decided to print a Benchy with 250 mm/s and 2000 mm/s² acceleration to see if the printer is capable of printing at these speeds.

The results were still pretty good but I wouldn´t recommend printing at those speeds without upgrading the printer to Klipper.

Finally, I upgraded the Ender-5 S1 to Klipper with the Creality Sonic Pad and with that, I was able to print at 250 mm/s and 5000 mm/2² acceleration and still get pretty good results.

You can see that the bottom front part of the Benchy didn´t print too well which is probably because the part cooling wasn´t enough at these speeds.

But it is possible to comfortably print at these prints if your model doesn´t have any steep overhangs or bridging.

I have printed this complete organization system the “Stackable Storage/Assortment Boxes” from Lucky Resistor with the Ender 5 S1 and didn´t run into any issues during the multiple hours of printing time for each box.

Print Speed

The Ender-5 S1 can print very well with 120 mm/s and an acceleration of 2000 mm/2². These are also the recommended slicer settings by Creality.

You can increase the print speeds to 250 mm/s and still get some very good results but the acceleration will be capped at 2000 mm/s². So even if you increase the acceleration in your slicer the printer will not accelerate faster than 2000 mm/s².

If you want to use the Ender-5 S1 to its full potential then you need to upgrade the printer to Klipper. This can be done with the Creality Sonic Pad, with a raspberry pi, an orange pi, a banana pi, an old laptop, or something similar.

You need to be a little tech-savvy to upgrade a printer with Klipper but you can do it for free if you have an old laptop laying around or for about 50 $ if you buy an orange pi.

The easiest way to upgrade the Ender-5 S1 and other Creality printers with Klipper is by using the Sonic Pad from Creality. This is, however, also one of the more expensive methods except when you buy the Ender-5 S1 bundled with the Sonic Pad.

The Sonic Pad will guide you through the whole process of installing Klipper and you don´t have to calibrate the printer at all as Creality already has all the necessary settings for their printers preinstalled.

You only have to choose the printer and then let the Sonic Pad do its thing.

Power Consumption

The Ender-5 S1 consumes very little power compared to the P1P, for example.

On average it will consume about 0.18 kWh. This is pretty good when you compare it to the Neptune 3 which is an Ender 3 clone that consumes around 0.13 kWh but is also only half as fast.

Here is a detailed table that shows you the power usage of the Ender-5 S1:

StagePower Consumption in Watts
Idle13 Watts
Nozzle Heating127 Watts
Nozzle at Temperature58 Watts
Bed Heating400 Watts
Bed at Temperature150 Watts
Printing130 – 300 Watts

The Accuracy of the Ender-5 S1

The Ender-5 S1 is very accurate.

I printed a calibration cube and found that it was almost perfectly accurate.

This means that you will be able to easily print functional parts with the Ender-5 S1.

I printed multiple functional and moving parts with the Ender-5 S1 and all of them worked fine and were dimensionally accurate.

Can you Print ABS, ASA, or Nylon on the Ender-5 S1?

The Ender-5 S1 advertises that it has a direct drive hot end that can print at very high temperatures of 300 °C. But can you print ABS, ASA, or Nylon right out of the box with it?

ABS, ASA, and Nylon can not be reliably printed on the Ender-5 S1 without enclosing the printer first. Creality sells a separate enclosure for the printer but the Ender-5 S1 does not come with it.

So you have to enclose the Ender-5 S1 first before you can print ABS, ASA, Nylon or any other similar filaments with it.

Additionally, you also have to use a hardened steel nozzle if you want to print Nylon with the Ender-5 S1 because Nylon is highly abrasive and will wear out the brass nozzle quite quickly.

The Ender-5 S1 is only delivered with two brass nozzles, however, so you need to buy a separate hardened steel nozzle in addition to the enclosure if you wanted to print nylon reliably.

How Noisy is the Ender-5 S1?

The Ender-5 S1 is not very loud. During printing, it will reach between 50 and 53 dB and while idle it will be almost completely silent.

This was a nice surprise as most other printers in this price range are known to have silent drivers but the fans of the power supply or the part cooling fans are very loud.

Not so here. The fans of the Ender-5 S1 are not silent by any means but they are much less noisy than most other printers in this price segment. And even more silent than the P1P.

Hi, I am a passionate maker and professional prop maker for the entertainment industry. I use my woodworking, programming, electronics, and illustration know-how to create interactive props and puzzles for Escape Games and marketing agencies. And I share my knowledge and my experience on this blog with you so that you can become a maker yourself.

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