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Sizing It Up!

Ender 3 Dimensions: How Big Is the 3D Printer?

Picture of Pranav Gharge
by Pranav Gharge
Oct 28, 2019

Dimensions and sizes can be very confusing, even on the popular Ender 3. Keep reading to find out what secrets the Ender 3 dimensions hold.

Ender 3 Dimensions Build Volume

Build volume is not the same as build plate area
Build volume is not the same as build plate area (Source: Wham Bam Systems)

The Ender 3 was previously our top pick for the best 3D printer below $200, and there are a lot of reasons for that, including printing quality, cost, material compatibility, and community support. That said, two of the most important features people sometimes miss are the size and build volume, which can be easily overlooked. Some people want to print large objects and some just miniatures. Regardless, the Ender 3 aims at satisfying everyone with its compact build and relatively decent printing area.

A budget 3D printer released in 2018, the Ender 3 tries to fit the essential requirements, and it does that excellently. With a modest build volume of 220 x 220 x 250 mm, the Ender 3 has just about the perfect size for a desktop 3D printer, with a build volume sufficient for most of the objects that a hobbyist or a beginner might like to print.

Of course, you can always exceed the default dimensions, as the area of the bed is actually 235 x 235 mm. Though the advertised printable area is 15 mm less in both directions, a number of users have had no problem with utilizing the entire surface.

And that’s just a discussion of the build volume. The actual machine size – the space needed on your desk – is a whole other story.


Ender 3 Dimensions Machine Size

A perfect desktop companion
A perfect desktop companion. (Source: 3D_Bus_Driver / Thingiverse)

The build volume is the maximum size of the objects that can be printed on the Ender 3. Obviously, the exact dimensions of the machine will be larger.

Though not often recognized, the Ender 3 excels in utilizing space to the maximum, with the entire device having a footprint of just 440 x 410 x 465 mm. This is impressive, considering the printing volume that we get from it. Also, unlike the CR-10, the Ender 3 has it all in a single package. The power supply and electronics fit very well into the compact frame, rather than an external control box.

This size of Ender 3 makes it fit for keeping on your desk, an excellent companion to your PC. Even if you want to move it from place to place, having everything in one frame makes it very convenient. However, this may vary slightly, as many users don’t like the spool holder at the top. The filament path is just too steep. Hence, by mounting it on the side or using an external spool holder, the width of the machine increases.

Still, it manages to keep everything in a relatively small area compared to most other printers with similar build volumes. This is one of the reasons the machine has become so popular. From students to everyday hobbyists, everyone seems to like the machine’s overall size-to-performance ratio.


Ender 3 Dimensions In Comparison...

The Prusa MK3 Build size probably has the most competitive build volume
The Prusa MK3 Build size probably has the most competitive build volume (Source: 3D Natives)

Well, there are a few printers that go head to head with Ender 3 in regards to build volume.

  1. Prusa i3 MK3S: This device is definitely an apparent competitor to the Ender 3. The machine’s build volume is very comparable, at 250 x 210 x 200 mm. Termed as the most-used, best 3D printer, this one has a definite advantage over the Ender 3, but it’s also almost twice the price.
  2. Anycubic i3 Mega: Another machine similar to the Prusa i3 but at a fraction of cost is the i3 Mega, which has a build volume of 210 x 210 x 205 mm. This is comparable to the Ender 3, but it lacks the height. Still, it provides a decent printing experience.
  3. Creality Ender 5: A brother, a competitor. The Ender 5 comes with a build volume of 220 x 220 x 300 mm. As such, it has you covered for those taller objects that you may like to print with. Also, with a box-like frame, it just seems more rugged than the Ender 3.

(Lead image source: 3DPrima)

License: The text of "Ender 3 Dimensions: How Big Is the 3D Printer?" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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