The Creality K1 is not just a simple copy of the P1P or the X1 Carbon from Bambu Labs. There are quite a bit of differences but, unfortunately, most areas where they differ are also areas where the K1 is inferior. The K1 has however two main advantages, the price and the fact that they don´t use proprietary parts.
The Creality K1 is an enclosed, fast Core XY 3D printer with excellent print quality capable of printing PLA, PETG, ASA, ABS, and TPU. It is a good cheaper alternative to the Bambu Lab P1S. But it is a shame that the K1 only comes with a stripped-down version of Klipper.
- Fast print speed
- Reasonably priced
- Good print quality
- Can easily be upgraded and repaired
- Good responsive touch screen
- A stripped-down version of Klipper
- Creality support is bad
- Prints at only 300 mm/s when using stock settings
- Limited print profiles
- Replacing the nozzle is annoying
In the following, I will cover the pros and the cons of the K1 as well as look at the print speed, print quality, and more. I will also share how I was able to print a 9-minute Benchy with the K1 that actually looks decent.
Features of the K1
The K1 comes with a lot of features but I have to say that I am a little disappointed by the marketing of the K1. While they don´t lie in their marketing, a lot of features they promise in reality come with a big “but only” attached to them. So let’s take a closer look at the features of the Creality K1.
- Fast print speed of 600 mm/s and 20 000 mm/s² acceleration
- Fully automated auto bed leveling
- Creality OS (Klipper) with resonance compensation
- Ceramic hot end for fast heating and volcano-style nozzle
- Connect via Wi-Fi
- Filament run-out sensor
- Build Volume of 220*220*250mm
The print speed is the main feature of the K1 and Creality advertises it heavily on their website. But is the K1 as fast as Creality says?
The K1 prints on average at around 300 mm/s. If you want to print at the promised speed of 600 mm/s then you need to change the settings of the slicer. The stock settings of the slicer are limited to 300 mm/s print speed and 12000 mm/s² acceleration instead of the advertised 20000 mm/s².
There is a presliced 3D Benchy file on the K1 that demonstrates how fast the printer can print. The Benchy looks really good and is printed in only 16 minutes.
However, if you try to slice a 3D Benchy in the official Creality slicer with the stock settings then you won´t be able to print the Benchy any faster than 42 minutes.
This is because the stock settings of the slicer are set to 300 mm/s speed and 12000 mm/s² acceleration.
That being said, I was able to print at the promised 600 mm/s and with an acceleration of 20000 mm/s² after adjusting the slicer settings a little.
And, after tuning some more, I was even able to print a 3D Benchy, that actually looks decent, in less than 9 minutes. Which is pretty impressive for a 3D printer. I just wished that Creality would provide slicer settings that allow for printing at the advertised print speeds.
There is a lot of stringing but this Benchy looks good for just 9 minutes.
Fully Automated Bed Leveling
The bed leveling process of the K1 is fully automatic. No more setting the z-offset with a piece of paper. The whole bed leveling process is done fully automatically.
The nozzle of the Creality K1 touches the print bed at various locations to home the Z axis and to set the z-offset fully automatically. This is done by utilizing strain sensors that sense when the nozzle is touching the bed. This process works really reliably.
Creality OS (Klipper)
Creality OS has been in the spotlight lately because of quite some controversy regarding the open-source nature and license of the Klipper Firmware.
Basically, Creality OS is a stripped-down version of Klipper without any contribution to the Klipper project and closed down. This is really such a shame because Creality missed their big chance here.
If they had shipped the K1 simply with a freely accessible open-source version of Klipper with all features and full access to the firmware then they would have had a major advantage over Bambu Labs P1S.
But as it is now, you can´t access Klipper fully and there are a lot of features missing. Creality will, however, as a reaction to all of the backlash publish their Creality OS version of Klipper and make it open source. So soon, we will be able to unlock some core features of Klipper on the K1.
The most basic features like resonance compensation (Input Shaping) are there and work perfectly fine.
The K1 is the first 3D printer that Creality ships, that is fully enclosed right out of the box without needing to buy any extras.
It’s an acrylic enclosure with a plastic top cover. The enclosure does what it has to and enables the K1 to print ABS and ASA in addition to PLA, PETG, and TPU. Another plus of the enclosure is that it makes the K1 look really slick. This is easily the best-looking machine that Creality ever released.
Volcano-Style Nozzle and Ceramic Hot End
The K1 also comes with a ceramic hot end that allows the nozzle to heat up very fast (30 seconds to 210°C) and a volcano-style nozzle to ensure that the flow rate can keep up with the fast print speeds.
I like both additions and I especially like the fact that the nozzle is a regular volcano-style nozzle that can be easily replaced or upgraded to a hardened steel nozzle or a diamond-tip nozzle. This upgrade will then allow the K1 to print abrasive filaments like carbon or glass fiber filaments or even Nylon.
The only thing that I did not like was the placement of the cooler fan for the heat break. It is located between the PCB of the print head and the heat break and pulls in air from the back of the print head directly on the print head PCB. This location could lead to an issue with cooling and eventually could cause nasty clogs.
To be clear, I had no issues with clogging and the K1 printed fine at pretty much any temperature and with any material that I threw at it. This is simply something that could cause issues later on but I could also be completely wrong about this. Time will tell.
Nozzle Replacement is Annoying
The fact that the nozzle of the K1 can be replaced with any volcano nozzle is great but the process of replacing the nozzle is a little frustrating. This is mainly because the silicon sock on the hot end is kind of hard to reach and annoying to remove.
Once you have the silicone sock off, you can easily remove the old nozzle and replace it with a different one. Getting the silicone sock back on is also slightly annoying but much easier than removing it.
The K1 comes with Wi-Fi connectivity, however, I wasn´t able to test it because my Wi-Fi password has the “&”-sign in it and the keyboard on the touchscreen is missing this and a few other special characters.
From what I know, the Wi-Fi connectivity works great but the web interface of the K1 is lacking a lot of Klipper features.
And, if the K1 would have been shipped with stock Klipper then I would have been able to work around this issue easily.
I contacted Creality support because of the issue I had with connecting the printer to my Wi-Fi. I could not enter the “&”-sign that is contained in my Wi-Fi password because the keyboard on the touchscreen was missing some special characters.
Well, I never heard back from them and it has been over a week now. I tried contacting them three times and never heard back.
The touch screen on the other hand is really good. It is responsive and quite fast. Navigating the menus is easy and most settings are also easy to find.
I never had an issue where I desperately searched for a menu point or setting. Everything is clearly named and all of the menus are easy to find.
Filament Run-Out Sensor
The Creality K1 comes with a filament run-out sensor that is located at the back of the printer. It works fine and pauses the print as soon as it detects no more filament.
The only small issue I had with it was that I was sometimes struggling to feed the filament through because the filament holder and the run-out detector are located at the back of the printer which makes it hard to feed the filament through the sensor without seeing what you are doing.
The K1 comes nicely packaged in a sufficient amount of foam. The bottom part of the printer could be better protected, however. My K1 arrived with a broken foot on one side.
The most important parts, however, are nicely protected.
What’s Included in the Box?
The Creality K1 comes with:
- Tools for assembly
- A plastic spatula
- Some pliers
- A glue stick
- Some metal lubricant
- A USB stick
- 200 g of Hyper PLA filament
The setup time was less than 20 minutes. All that needs to be done to get the K1 operational is removing all of the packaging material, removing the screws on the print bed, installing the door handle, installing the touch screen, installing the rubber feet, and finally starting up the printer.
Each step is lined out in the manual and the most important parts of the setup process are shown again on the touch screen of the K1 when the printer starts up for the first time.
Before you can start the first print job the K1 will do a set of calibrations and checks to see if everything works as intended. This whole process takes about 5 minutes.
The K1 is ready to print once the calibration is done.
You should, however, apply some 3D glue to the build plate as a release agent before you start the first print. If you don´t then you will have a hard time removing your finished print from the build plate.
The Creality Slicer
Prints are being prepared in the official Creality Slicer called “Creality Print”.
Simply import a 3D file in the slicer, choose the right type of filament, and slice the file.
Unfortunately, you only have a limited choice of speed and quality presets for the K1 in the slicer. None of the presets print with 600 mm/s and there is only a limited choice of filament presets. For example, presets for ASA and glass fiber filaments are missing.
The Creality slicer is a nice tool but I am a little disappointed that they didn´t include more presets and a fast speed preset (the “HyperSpeed” preset in the image above is my custom slicer profile).
The sliced GCode file can be uploaded to the K1 via USB or the web interface.
The K1 will transfer the file to its local storage before printing it which is great because you can easily reprint a previous file while keeping the USB stick clean and even if the UBS stick fails mid print then the print will continue because the file is stored locally.
Does Cura Support the Creality K1?
Cura does support the K1 from Creality. If no official printer presets are available inside Cura then the presets from Creality’s official slicer can be transferred manually to Cura. Cura offers more functionality and features than Creality´s slicer even though Creality Print is based on Cura.
The print quality of the Creality K1 is great. The K1 can easily bridge and print overhangs up to 80° without any issues. The surface finish of the prints are also very clean and the prints are accurate to 0.02 mm on all axis.
I printed several Benchys at different print speeds and layer heights and all but the very fast 3D Benchys look as good as it gets.
Here is the 16-minute Benchy that comes presliced with the K1.
A regular Benchy that I sliced with the standard “high-quality” preset in Creality Print. It took just above 40 minutes to print.
And this is the Benchy, that I printed with my own slicer settings in only 9 minutes. Doesn´t look as clean but I wanted to test the limits of the K1.
I also printed this torture toaster by Clockspring. All parts of the toaster could be moved. The K1 cleared the clearance test up to 0.2 mm. This is about average.
I then printed this articulated Bone Dragon by kh4rj0 in ABS to see how the K1 handles a detailed print in ABS. And the result was really good.
All of the details even the smaller ones are visible. I had no stringing and no adhesion issues while printing. This dragon was printed with the standard “High Detail” setting and sliced in Creality Print.
I then also printed this calibration cube to test the accuracy of the K1 and all of the axes were accurate to 0.02 mm.
How fast is the Creality K1?
The Creality K1 can print with up to 600 mm/s and with an acceleration of up to 20000 mm/s². But the K1 will only print at 300 mm/s and with an acceleration of 12000 mm/s² because of the stock settings of the Creality Slicer.
If you want to print at the promised speed of 600 mm/s then you will need to create your own custom slicer settings.
If you only slice with the standard settings of the Creality Slicer then you will be limited to 300 mm/s.
How Noisy is the Creality K1?
The K1 is quite loud with 60 dB when printing at full speed and around 50 dB when printing the top and bottom layers. The auxiliary part cooling fan and the chamber fan are both very noisy and the enclosure does very little to reduce the noise.
That being said, most fast-printing core XY printers like the K1 are quite loud when printing fast. The P1P, for example, is about as loud as the K1.
What Kind of Filament Can Be Printed with the K1?
The K1 is an enclosed 3D printer, which allows for printing a wide range of materials including PLA, ASA, ABS, PETG, and TPU. If the stock brass nozzle is upgraded with a hardened steel nozzle then the K1 can even print Nylon, carbon, and glass fiber filaments.
I had no issues printing ASA, ABS, and PLA and I even printed some carbon fiber PLA after I upgraded the nozzle of the K1 to a hardened steel one.
Creality K1 Vs the Bambu Lab P1S
The closest printer to the K1, that I own, is the P1S. So I want to compare both printers here for you. Feel free to read my entire review of the P1S right here if you are interested. So how does the K1 compare to the P1S?
As a whole, the K1 is cheaper but also a little slower than the P1S if only the provided slicer settings are used. The P1S is also very reliable, comes with a carbon filter, and is better built than the K1. The biggest advantage of the K1 is the fact that it doesn’t use proprietary parts like the P1S.
|Build volume of 256*256*256 mm||Build volume of 220*220*250 mm|
|Print speed of 500 mm/s and 20000 mm/s² acceleration (regular print speed of 350 mm/s)||Print speed of 600 mm/s and 20000 mm/s² acceleration (regular print speed of 300 mm/s)|
|Can print ABS, ASA, PLA, PETG, and TPU.||Can print ABS, ASA, PLA, PETG, and TPU.|
|Has auxiliary part cooling||Has auxiliary part cooling|
|Has a camera as an add-on||Comes with a camera|
|Abundance of slicer presets||Very limited slicer presets|
|Has a carbon filter||No filters|
|Proprietary parts||No Proprietary parts|
|Runs on Klipper||Runs on Klipper (Creality OS)|
|Fully automated bed leveling||Fully automated bed leveling|
|Has resonance compensation (input shaper)||Has resonance compensation (input shaper)|
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.