The first obvious difference between these two printers is that the box is completely integrated into the base unit of the CR-10s Pro.
The box for the CR-10s had a monochrome screen with a rotary end coder. It took a micro USD card on the side, and a mini USB if you wanted to hook it up to your computer. Inside the CR-10s is the standard Creality version 2 board, so you can hear it as it moves around.
The CR-10 Pro has a color touchscreen, which can make jingles instead of just beeps, so there’s some improvement there. In some cases, it is nice to have the rotary end coder, but I also like being able to set the temperature rate from a dial pad on the screen.
The box of the CR-10s Pro uses the trinamic drivers, which are 256 micro steps, making it silent. The board for the CR-10s Pro is a Creality board, and the drivers are integrated into the board (they’re not using the stepper stick drivers). The fans and the Mean Well power supply inside each printer are also very quiet, making the printer near silent.
The CR-10s Pro has an Ender 3 spool holder, which is just a little bit different than the CR-10s slant spool holder. This makes no difference to some people.
Y-axis Rails and Tensioner
The Y-axis was running on a 20 by 40 rail on the CR-10s and the tensioner for the Y-axis was at the front. The Y-axis rails on the CR-10s Pro are two 20 by 20 rails, which should provide better bed stability. Since you no longer have the tensioner at the front, you would need to tension the belt by shifting the motor at the back.
On the CR-10s Pro, there are four wheels per rail, eight wheels total. There were only six wheels on the CR-10s and only 3 eccentric nuts on one side. The eccentric nuts are on the underside of both rails, so that's where you adjust the tension for the bed to make sure that it’s making good contact with the rails the whole way along. You would adjust these to put the pressure on that middle rail.
On the CR-10s, the belt path came up over the top and ran through the middle rail. Now, on the CR-10s Pro, the belt is tipped 90ﾟ, so it runs differently.
The Fan and the Hotend
Both the units are Bowden Drive but are very different.
On the CR-10s, the extruder is on a little bracket on the right-hand side and the hotend runs on the 20 by 20 rail. It has three wheels two on top and one on the bottom. The one on the bottom has the eccentric nut for making sure the extruder is secure against the rail.
The hotend cooling fan has a little redirection duct on the bottom. It uses a 40 by 10 fan for the hotend cooling fan, which cools the aluminum heat sink to keep the cool side of the hotend cold.
The hotend assembly on the CR-10s is an Mk8 with a pinch type thermistor. Kapton tape holds on the cotton thermal insulation pad. Two bolts run straight through the heatsink and mount it on to the X-carriage.
The heat sink doesn't have very deep grooves or very many of them, so there's not a lot of air flow past those fins from the 40 by 10 fan. It does a good enough job though, otherwise, there would be constant jamming, but they've made quite a few changes to this assembly as will see when we open the CR-10s pro.
The CR-10s Pro clearly looks quite a bit different than the older model. The cooling fan is significantly improved. It’s a 40 by 20 radial fan, which has a much higher static pressure reading then an axial fan would, so it's the proper type of fan in my opinion.
The cooling fan duct, or shroud, to deflect the air around the nozzle on to the part has also been improved. It still Bowden, but in this case, they have used Capricorn excess tubing, which is a welcome improvement, and they have auto bed leveling.
In this case, they’re using a capacitive probe, because inductive doesn't work at all on the glass and works pretty poorly on an aluminum surface they're designed to sense ferrous metals such as steel. They do work but the sensing distance is greatly reduced so a capacitive sensor is nice to see there.
Covering the same points here as we did in the CR-10s, the X carriage is almost the same. It's a much wider bracket but, from a mechanics standpoint, it’s not much different. It still has two wheels on top of the 20 by 20 with one on the bottom in the center with an eccentric nut on the bottom wheel to apply pressure to the rail.
We see a large departure here with the hotend assembly itself. On the cold side, we have what looks V6 kind of like the mounting pattern we saw on the MK8, it's fully bolted straight through to the back of the X-carriage and the cooling fins are not only thinner but there is a lot more space between them and their rounded much like a V6 is.
I believe it actually takes the same nozzles as the 6 but they're a shorter thread length. This is a little bit confusing because you would think it would fit and then your nozzle be sticking too far out of the block, so that’s something to be aware of.
Another change we see is that they are including a thermal sock. If you've ever had to replace the Kapton tape and that cotton pad that's a miserable experience, so this is a nice improvement.
Replacing a thermal sock of silicone like this is a lot easier, and they're pretty stick resistant. They're still using the pinch type thermistor and your standard heater cartridge on the side. The CR-10s Pro is all 24 V now, so unlike the previous models which were run on 12 V we’re running 24 V on everything here.
Looking at the extruder mechanism at the back of the CR-10s, the 1st thing we notice is the filament run-out sensor on the side. This filament run out sensor is friction fit onto the plate. It never seemed like a very good way of installing this, it seemed kind of like an afterthought. I don't personally use one, but I would like to see this fastened on in some way.
The feeder on the CR-10s is a single brass tooth. It's got shallow teeth grooves in it and it's only pushing from one side of the filament. On the backside, there's an idler pulley that guides the filament through the filament path.
It's all plastic, and they flip-flopped between plastic and aluminum and now they're back to plastic. One downside of it being all plastic is you may end up with the groove in the inlet of the lever arm where the film can snag. I like to put a PTFE tube in there as the aluminum is a lot more resistant to that kind of abrasion over time.
This is probably one of the largest departures that we see on the CR-10s Pro versus the CR-10s. The entire extruder assembly, including the cable, is completely different from what we've seen on their previous models. The cable we saw first on the CR-X, the dual color printer, but it is reminiscent of a Bond Tech drive gear system.
There are two gears that are toothed at the bottom so that they're kept in sync with each other and the hob bolt portion of them feeds the filament in from either side at the same time. This means you get a lot more force pushing the filament forward, and you're getting a good positive grip.
With the CR-10s Pro, they're back to the aluminum lever assembly, so everything here is aluminum, the entire bracket and all the components. The filament path is rather constrained. There's very little opportunity for something like a flexible filament, such as a TPE, to bind and buckle as it is fed through the path, which is another nice improvement.
One of my major complaints, the unbracketed filament run-out sensor, is completely resolved in the CR-10s Pro. It's in an aluminum enclosure and its bolted to a bracket, so it's going nowhere.
Since it’s aluminum it should also be more abrasion resistant. I am very excited to see that we now have easy pressure adjustment for the spring. We can adjust the screw to increase the amount of tension that's but on there, but it's preloaded well from the factory.
Onto the Back of the Box
Looking at back the CR-10s, you can see we have aircraft connectors and pilot cables that go to all the components on the printer coming from the back of the box. We have the Y-axis stepper motor and the belt that goes over the top and the duels that act as lead screws on either side, this is something we've seen for a long time so it's nothing remarkable.
You can also see the strain relief for the bed table coming out of the back. You need to make sure to leave enough clearance so you're not ramming that into a wall or something when it tracks all the way in.
On the back of the CR-10s Pro, you can see the power inlet and the on-off switch. We also have the Y-axis motor. Instead of sticking out the back, it’s inside the case. The reason they changed the orientation of the belt 90ﾟ was to fit that inside the case. To control the Y-axis belt tension, you would have to loosen the screws on the motor and slide it back to open the bottom of the case.
What you don't see, is the mess of cables thanks to the integrated base with all the electronics in it. We still have the strain relief on the bed cable, and since it still protrudes a little bit from the back of the machine, you have to leave that clearance. They both have the standard mechanical limit switch on the back.
The Bed Surfaces
On the CR-10s the bed is a three mm thick glass plate on top of an aluminum bed and it’s held on there with binder clips. Other than that, there’s no build surface so the build surface is just glass. Some people like that. You could put your bonding agent on top of that if you feel the need, or you can always laminate another build tack type surface on top of that.
On the CR-10s Pro, we still have the aluminum build plate. As mentioned earlier, it is 24 V instead of 12 V. The glass top is three millimeters thick. On top of that glass, they have bonded something like a build tack material.
It’s very similar to the material that we have seen on the Ender 3 for a while. Things bond to extremely well. The one thing I’m a little bit concerned about is the replacement of this is going to be a lot of work, unlike the magnetic field surface of the Ender 3, which is an easy replacement.
It's going to be a bit of a chore, but the unit is perfectly flat. It's a nice unit and we have absolutely no adhesion problems.
They’ve changed the way they've attached the glass onto the aluminum build plate, they’ve used these clips that we saw originally on the CR-X that are very low profile.
They swing out from the front and then you slide the glass out from the back and the back ones are stationary. It ’s nice if you're doing a purge line across the front because you don't have to worry as much about leaving clearance for the binder clips.
My favourite improvements on the CR-10s pro, aside from being 24 V and everything that provides, is the extruder assembly and the Bond Tech style dual sided hearing for pulling the extruder or pushing the filament through the extruder.
That is a very welcome upgrade as well as the mounting bracket for the filament run-out sensor. Those were two of my biggest complaints on the Bowden setups of the past.
I really liked how the auto bed leveling worked. We took the printer out of the box, did nothing to the bed whatsoever, really put it through the paces, and it was exactly 0.2 mm with the feeler gauge the whole way across the bed after we did an auto bed leveling sequence.
So especially for newcomers, that's really going to simplify the bed leveling process that some people struggle with.
I haven't had enough time with the printer to determine if the hotend itself is an improvement. I do like the silicone sock, but it does turn out fantastic prints. I would say they are completely on par with my Ender 3 if not, I'd give the edge to this CR-10s Pro.
The silence is another improvement. Having a printer that doesn't make any noise is a little bit eerie at first, but it's really a welcome surprise and one of the reasons I'm a big fan of trinamic drivers in general.
Hopefully, those comparisons were helpful enough to you to help make your decision. Check out our stock of 3d printers, or watch the video comparson below!