Ender-3 V2 Neo Review: A Great Improvement on a Classic

Bruno Sekyanzi

3D Printer Reviews, 3D Printers

Ender-3 V2 Neo Review

The original Ender 3 and Ender 3 V2 have been some of the world’s most popular 3D printers – known as the cheapest reliable printers that changed desktop home 3D printing.

But, the previous Ender 3 V2 had issues (that the Ender 3 V2 Neo now fixes!):

  • It took a while to build (longer than an hour, whereas now kits are 20-30mins)
  • It didn’t have auto-leveling

To update it for the present day, Creality have launched the Ender 3 V2 Neo, with a range of new features added. 

And we were fortunate to receive an Ender 3 V2 Neo from Creality to test, on the agreement we would impartially review it based on what we think: is it the next best-seller, or does it not live up to the original Ender 3 range’s former glory?

Even before we got our hands on it, we were excited about its new features: the CR Touch auto leveling, removable build plate, and all-metal extruder. But we were also curious about how it performed in action, and the 3D print quality.

So, we ran several tests on our new Ender-3 V2 Neo, sometimes pushing it to the limit. We played around with its new features and tested its overall performance. Here’s what we found out.

Ender-3 V2 Neo


Auto-leveling works great via CR-Touch

New and improved metal extruder system

Build plate makes removing prints easier, and prevents damage from sticking too well

Print resume features saved us during power outages

Handles 90mm/s speeds pretty well, 1.5x faster than standard 60mm/s


Still doesn’t have a touchscreen

At 120mm/s speeds you see a noticeable loss in print quality

TL;DR – A Quick Summary

Overall, we were impressed with the Ender 3 V2 Neo. 

Even at higher speeds it mostly maintains high precision and quality, and honestly we pushed it way beyond the settings you should be using it at on a day-to-day, so a couple of the models that have small imperfects and gaps would have come out perfect if we’d ran the print on calmer settings.

Bowden Extruder Printers Ender 3 Neo Series (Ender-3 Max Neo, Ender-3 Neo, Ender-3 V2 Neo) and Direct Extruder Printers Ender-3 S1 Series (Ender-3 S1 Pro, Ender-3 S1, Ender-3 S1 Plus)

The auto-leveling is a huge plus, especially for new beginners – who otherwise would have to install the CR-Touch themselves. And the new build plate and metal extruder are big quality-of-life improvements on the original Ender 3, and Ender 3 V2.


Ender-3 V2 Neo in the box

We started by assembling the 3D printer. One of the things you’ll notice off the bat is that the Ender-3 V2 Neo comes pre-installed. All you have to do is:

  1. Install the gantry
  2. Connect the screen
  3. Attach the filament rack

All this can be done in 25 minutes, which is not bad for a printer of its capacity. Once we got the parts together, we shifted our attention to the newly added features. 

Ender-3 V2 Neo fully assembled

Ender-3 V2 Neo New Features

PC Spring Steel Magnetic Build Plate

This was one of the major improvements on the Ender-3 V2 Neo. Its build plate is removable, bendable, and made out of steel. 

At the bottom of the plate, there’s a magnetic surface that helps it stick firmly to the print bed. On top, the build plate has a glossy, black coating of Polyetherimide (PEI). This material gave us great adhesion during all our printing, so we never needed any plate adhesive. 

Ender-3 V2 Neo magnetic build plate

So what’s so special about this type of build plate? 

Since it’s detachable, the PC spring steel magnetic build plate has two major advantages:

  1. It makes it easy to get your printed object off the bed. Once you’re done printing, simply drag off the plate, bend it a little, and off goes your print. It’s much better than a spatula because you won’t damage your print bed surface with all the scraping, and you’re far less likely to have your print stick too well and take a chunk out of your print bed. 
  1. It’s easier to clean. You can quickly pop it off, clean it, dry it, and lay it back onto your print bed. If it were fixed in one place, you’d have to be really careful not to get water into the crannies of the printer, and it’d just be much more of a hassle to clean generally.
Ender-3 V2 Neo build plate easy removal and cleaning

Bed Springs

Below the print bed are four orange springs that let you manually adjust the bed surface. 

Ender-3 V2 Neo bed springs

Compared to previous Ender 3 printers, the Ender-3 V2 Neo’s strings are stronger and more compact, so they won’t buckle. Once they compress, they hold the position of the bed much better. And because they’re flatter on top, you’ll have a more leveled bed.

Manually leveling your bed is tedious. So if your print bed remains in one flat position for long, you won’t have to do it all the time. 

Full Metal Bowden Extruder

The Ender-3 V2 Neo’s full-metal Bowden extruder offers greater durability, extrusion force, and smooth feeding and retracting of filaments. This is one of the features that pay off in the long run.

Plastic Bowden extruders are okay. But if you’re constantly using your printer, you’ll need an extruder that will last.

Ender-3 V2 Neo full metal bowden extruder

Model Preview 

The Ender-3 V2 Neo may not have a touch screen display, but there’s something to love about its user interface – the model preview function. It shows you a 3D colored image of what you’re about to print.

This comes in handy if you have a large collection of models but the names are difficult to discern the models from.

Ender-3 V2 Neo model preview

To work the display, you have to rotate the knob, which takes you through the different options. To select an option, you push on the knob, which makes a rather loud popping sound. 

Although it gets the job done, we still feel like Creality can do better with this knob. Most 3D printers in this price range, like the Anycubic Kobra, now use touchscreens.

Other Ender-3 V2 Neo Features

Build Volume

The Ender-3 V2 Neo has a 220 x 220 x 250 mm build volume – the same as the original Ender 3s. It can 3D print pretty much any size of object you expect from a desktop printer.

Printing a small sculpture? You’re covered. Want to print something sizable? Unless it’s particularly large, you should be alright – but if it’s particularly large like a cosplay helmet, you might want to consider the larger Ender 5 Plus (or brand-new Ender 5 Neo range!).

Technically, the bed surface is 235 x 235 mm, giving you more wiggle room to create slightly larger prints or to print multiple objects at a go. If you require more space on your build plate and you want to pick up an Ender 3 – a better option is the Ender-3 Max Neo with its 300 x 300 x 320 mm build volume.


Speed is important when it comes to 3D printing. It affects print quality and how much power and material you use. 

According to Creality, the Ender 3 V2 Neo prints optimally at around 60 mm/sec. That’s not bad. But if you want to do things quickly, this printer can go all the way up to 120 mm/sec. 

Bear in mind that there’s a trade off between speed and precision. As you increase your print speed, you might see a fall in the quality of your 3D object. 

To test the Ender 3’s print quality at higher speeds, we printed these two little sink drains at two different speeds. 

The one on the left was done at 60 mm/s and the other at 90 mm/s. These were the results:

Ender-3 V2 Neo printing speed

At 60 mm/s, the print on the left turned out practically as perfect as can be. When we increased the print speed to 90 mm/s, we noticed some slight stringing between the holes of the drain, but overall it was still a pretty solid print and still came out very circular. 

But that wasn’t enough, we wanted to know what happens when you crank up the print speed on the Ender-3 V2 Neo right to the top. 

More specifically, we needed to know if there is a noticeable change in the print’s quality as the print speed increases beyond what it’s comfortable with.

So we brought out the classic speed test tower. In this test, the printer starts printing this model at a low speed and gradually increases print speed as it goes higher up the tower. For every 12.5 mm increase in height, the print speed increases by 20 mm/s. 

We started at 40 mm/s at the base and ended at 120 mm/s.

Ender-3 V2 Neo speed test tower front

As you can see, the quality of the print was consistent until around 100 – 120 mm/s. At this printing speed, we notice some inconsistencies in the bonding between the layers, and some slight stringing starts. But still, it wasn’t horrendous.

Ender-3 V2 Neo speed test tower side

Minimum Layer Height 

When we talk about layer height, we’re referring to the thickness of each layer of extruded material. Layer height is important because the shorter the layer, the higher the precision in your object.

Therefore, if you want the highest level of definition in your prints, try printing at the minimum layer height. The Ender-3 V2 Neo has a minimum layer height of 0.1 mm with the default being 0.2 mm, same as the original Ender range.

So, we printed the halloween mini-pumpkin on the left at 0.1 mm, and the one on the right at 0.2 mm. This is what they looked like.

Ender-3 V2 Neo mini-pumpkin

They look identical at first glance. But when you look closely, you’ll immediately see the effects of layer height on the two prints. On the left halloween pumpkin, the layers are almost visible while the right one has a smoother texture to it.

Though if we did this again, we would tweak the print settings to cover for the layer gaps and holes, you can clearly see from this layer height test that you get notably better results at 0.1mm, with less prominent layer lines – which the Ender 3 V2 Neo handles without too much issue. 

For this particular set of prints we had power outages unfortunately, which the Ender 3 V2 Neo recovered from owing to its power outage recovery features (discussed further in the next section!). The print quality would have been smoother without these issues most likely, and when it had an uninterrupted run, the print quality was high.

Ender-3 V2 Neo mini-pumpkin up close

Resume Printing – Print Resume / Filament Run-Out Sensor

Worried about a sudden power outage? I have some good news for you. The Ender-3 V2 Neo has a resume printing function that allows you to get back to your printing in case of an interruption in power supply. 

Interestingly, many of the prints in this review were made during sporadic blackouts, but still completed the prints, without a large loss in quality (we’d perhaps do some post-processing on these prints, but they still work as decorations).

Creality Slicer Software

The Ender-3 V2 Neo comes with a memory card loaded with the Creality Slicer program, the official slicer software made for every Creality printer ever made. We quickly installed it in a matter of minutes, and launched it to an interesting surprise.

Ender-3 V2 Neo Slicer Software

If you’ve used Cura before, you’ll notice that the Creality slicer software has a striking resemblance to Cura, and it’s basically exactly the same to use. 

Creality Slicer lets you see a multi-angle view of your model by changing the angle of the bed to 3D view front, top, left, and right view. You can also rotate and move the model around the bed, scale it along the X, Y, and Z axes.

Within the slicer, you can also tweak the settings for infill settings, dual color printing, nozzle movement, slicer preview, and others.   

If you’re looking for a wave of inspiration, try the Creality Cloud plugin that comes with the slicer. There, we found tons of models that you can download, including TV characters, toys, famous architecture, and many more.

The slicer supports several 3D file formats, such as STL, 3MF, AMF, and OBJ files that you can drag and drop into a neat user interface.

Material Compatibility

Like a lot of the extrusion-type printers today, the Ender-3 V2 Neo’s default filament is PLA. But it’s also compatible with PETG and ABS. 

For best results, you might want to use Creality filaments on their printers. A good example is this roll of 1.75 mm PLA that came with our printer.  

Ender-3 V2 Neo Material compatibility

Overall, the Creality Ender 3 V2 Neo impressed. It is what it claims to be: an updated version of the hugely successful Ender 3 that brings it in line with the new tech we have a few years on. 

It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it’s a solid low-cost 3D printer, that along with other printers we rate highly like the Anycubic Kobra and Prusa Mini, are great beginner-friendly FDM printers that beginners and experienced makers alike can enjoy.

Ender-3 V2 Neo


Auto-leveling works great via CR-Touch

New and improved metal extruder system

Build plate makes removing prints easier, and prevents damage from sticking too well

Print resume features saved us during power outages

Handles 90mm/s speeds pretty well, 1.5x faster than standard 60mm/s


Still doesn’t have a touchscreen

At 120mm/s speeds you see a noticeable loss in print quality

If you enjoyed this post, also check out our other articles:

Share to...